The Giants’ offense was dormant through the first five innings of this NLDS Game 1 despite the early exit of one Johnny Cueto. But it woke up in the sixth.
MVP candidate Buster Posey hit a leadoff homer over the left field wall, then Hunter Pence smoked a Mat Latos pitch that was caught by Drew Stubbs on the warning track in dead center. Brandon Belt followed with what would have been a bloop single had Ryan Ludwick not made a full-extension diving catch. Gregor Blanco then reached on a bunt single before Brandon Crawford flew out to shallow left.
The Giants only got one run out of the active frame, but they finally made Latos work a bit. And that feels like progress in this particular game. The Reds lead 3-1 as we move to the top of the seventh inning.
Alex Rodriguez’s post-retirement renaissance continues apace. After starring as a studio host for Fox’s playoff coverage over the past couple of years, A-Rod is about to be named to, arguably, televised baseball’s top job: color commentary in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth.
Michael McCarthy of The Sporting News is hearing that ESPN is going to give the gig, vacated by Aaron Boone by virtue of his hiring by the Yankees, to Rodriguez. There he’ll join Jessica Mendoza and whoever they get to replace play-by-play man Dan Shulman, who chose to step back from the Sunday night job following last season. This, by the way, marks the second time A-Rod has taken over Aaron Boone’s job given that he replaced Boone at third base for the Yankees in 2004.
The twist: A-Rod is likely to keep his Fox postseason job too. While some broadcasters work for multiple networks, it’s pretty rare for Fox to allow its talents to work for competitors like that. Apparently they believe keeping A-Rod — who five years ago was one of the most despised figures in baseball — is worth it. What a difference a few years makes.
In other news, Alex Rodriguez is likely to be shunned mightily by the current crop of BBWAA voters when he hits the Hall of Fame ballot in a couple of years. At the rate he’s going, though, their successors will put him in Cooperstown via the Ford Frick Award sometime in the 2040s.