Giants 7, Cardinals 1: Apart from the Angel Pagan homer the Giants dinked and dunked their way to the win in Game 2. The biggest story of the game, however, was the b.s. takeout slide of Marco Scutaro by Matt Holliday in the first inning. X-Rays are negative — Scutaro continued in the game, driving in a couple of runs on a single — but he did have to eventually leave.
Bright side: I let my kids stay up late to watch the first few innings, and the Scutaro-Matt Holliday business created a teaching moment in which I was able to explain to them the politics of plunking and retaliation for dirty play. Mookie seemed to grasp it pretty well. I know this because when Holliday came up to bat and wasn’t plunked in retaliation for that slide, she yelled “why didn’t they hit him?!”
On to St. Louis for Wednesday’s matchup of Kyle Lohse and Matt Cain.
The Reds have signed free agent reliever Oliver Perez to a minor-league contract, the team announced Saturday. The deal comes with a major-league invite and could be worth $1.25 million if Perez secures a roster spot this spring, with an additional $500,000 in potential performance bonuses.
Perez, 36, is coming off of a two-year run with the Nationals. He produced a 4.64 ERA, 3.3 BB/9 an d10.6 SO/9 through 50 relief appearances and 33 innings with the club in 2017. The veteran lefty hasn’t kept an ERA under 4.00 in at least four seasons, but he continues to be undeniably solid against left-handed batters, holding them to a .227/.301/.364 batting line over 18 1/3 innings last year.
While returning southpaw Wandy Peralta appears to have locked down a bullpen spot already, Perez will still compete for another role against fellow left-handers Cody Reed and Amir Garrett, both of whom also have experience in the rotation. If Perez doesn’t break camp with the team, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon notes, he’ll be permitted to opt out of his contract. The Reds are currently looking to bounce back from a dismal performance in 2017, one in which their bullpen ranked 28th among major league teams with a collective 5.63 ERA and -1.2 fWAR.