The Rays couldn’t manage so much as a hit or a walk Wednesday in Felix Hernandez’s perfect game, but look at what they did to the Angels’ starters in four games since:
Dan Haren: 3 2/3 IP, 7 H, 5 ER
Jered Weaver: 3 IP, 8 H, 9 ER
C.J. Wilson: 4 2/3 IP, 6 H, 7 ER
Zack Greinke: 6 IP, 7 H, 6 ER
That’s a combined $50.25 million worth of starting pitching, and the Rays just ate them alive on their way to sweeping a four-game series in Anaheim. They won 8-3 on Sunday and outscored the Angels a combined 37-14 in the four games.
The Rays now have the AL’s third-best record at 67-54, while the Angels have slipped to two games over .500 at 62-60. They’re not only nine games behind the Rangers, but they’re now four games back of the A’s for second place in the AL West.
Greinke has been a bust of an acquisition through five starts, going 1-2 with a 6.19 ERA. The Angels gave up three prospects to get him from Milwaukee last month, but they currently find themselves with the eighth-best record in the AL and they don’t stand to gain any compensation if he leaves as a free agent this winter.
The Rays, on the other hand, appear to be in fine position, particularly with Matt Moore having come on so strong. Moore was the winner today after allowing two runs in 6 1/3 innings. He hasn’t allowed more than two runs in any of his last seven starts. He’s gone from 5-6 with a 4.42 ERA to 10-7 with a 3.57 ERA during that span.
Here are the Cardinals and Cubs lineups for Game 4 of the NLDS in Chicago:
3B Matt Carpenter
1B Stephen Piscotty
LF Matt Holliday
RF Jason Heyward
SS Jhonny Peralta
CF Randal Grichuk
2B Kolten Wong
C Yadier Molina
SP John Lackey
Yadier Molina is in the lineup despite leaving Game 3 early with obvious discomfort in his injured thumb. Randal Grichuk starts in center field after Tommy Pham played there in Game 3, which is interesting because in Game 1 the Cardinals used Grichuk in right field and Jason Heyward in center field. John Lackey is starting on short rest after winning Game 1, as manager Mike Matheny bypassed Lance Lynn with the season on the line.
CF Dexter Fowler
RF Jorge Soler
3B Kris Bryant
1B Anthony Rizzo
2B Starlin Castro
LF Kyle Schwarber
C Miguel Montero
SP Jason Hammel
SS Javier Baez
Addison Russell is out of the lineup after injuring his hamstring in Game 3, so Javier Baez is taking his place at shortstop and batting ninth behind the pitcher. Jorge Soler’s hot streak gets him another start in the No. 2 spot, with Kyle Schwarber batting sixth again. Jason Hammel makes his first start in 12 days.
Phil Nevin retired following the 2006 season so he was too early to join the trend of All-Star players who, rather than simply wait around for a big league managerial job to be handed to them, actually went and managed in the bus leagues for a while.
He started in independent ball, jumped to the Tigers’ Double-A team and then Triple-A team and then, for the past two seasons, managed the Diamondbacks’ Triple-A club in Reno. In short, the man has paid his dues and has had good reviews from his players everywhere he’s been. So this is not too much of a surprise:
The Padres feel like the most natural fit given that Nevin’s best seasons came with the club and given that he makes his home just outside of San Diego. But all of those jobs are fairly desirable, either for personal reasons or because they’re fairly talented clubs who underachieved in significant fashion this year. Nowhere to go but up, right?
Chase Utley‘s suspension is quickly turning into a more theoretical than actual thing.
Following his Sunday suspension for sliding into Ruben Tejada and breaking Tejada’s leg, Utley appealed. Per the Collective Bargaining Agreement players are eligible pending appeal, and because MLB, the union and Utley’s agent could not get together for a hearing yesterday he was eligible for last night’s game. Of course he didn’t play.
Now, Tim Brown of Yahoo hears from a source that there will be no hearing today either.
This is simultaneously interesting given how much of a to-do the whole matter has become and boring given how, in reality, Utley is a pretty unimportant piece of the Dodgers roster at this point and his presence or absence will, in all likelihood, not affect any game on a level even approaching the manner in which he affected Game 2.