It has to be over for the Brewers now. They just lost 2-1 to the Reds, dropping them four back in the wild card race pending the outcome of tonight’s games. It was a thin hope they had before — probably no real hope — but even the optimists have to jump ship now.
The thing about that loss: what killed them today in Cincinnati is what has killed them all year: The bullpen.
Up 1-0 entering the bottom of the ninth, Jonathan Axford came in to lock it down. He retired the first two batters, striking them both out. Then gave up a homer to Todd Frazier, a single to Jay Bruce and a walkoff triple — triple! — to Dioner Navarro.
There’s no real shame in blowing a 1-0 game. It’s a tough save as far as those things go. But when you think of just how many games the Brewers’ pen blew this year — and realize that it’s way, way more than the margin by which they will fall short of the wild card — you just have to kick yourself if you care about their fortunes.
The Rangers outrighted reliever Shawn Tolleson off the 40-man roster on Wednesday. Rather than accept the assignment to Triple-A Round Rock, Tolleson has opted to become a free agent, Rangers executive VP of communications John Blake reports.
Tolleson, 28, emerged as a closer for the Rangers in 2015, but his follow-up campaign this year was dreadful. He finished with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He eventually went on the 60-day disabled list with a back injury.
Despite the nightmarish season, it’s easy to see a team deciding to take a flier on Tolleson for the 2017 season.
Indians slugger Carlos Santana hasn’t played in the outfield in a major league game since 2012, but the Indians are strongly considering starting him in left field for Game 3 of the World Series at Wrigley Field on Friday, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. As the game is hosted in a National League park, there is no DH rule in effect, so the Indians might otherwise have to keep Santana on the bench.
Santana is hitless in six at-bats in the World Series thus far, but he has drawn two walks. He has overall not had a great postseason, carrying an aggregate .564 OPS in 40 plate appearances since the beginning of the playoffs. Still, during the regular season, he had an .865 OPS so he can certainly be a threat on offense at any given moment.