10:52 PM: It’s now 3-0 in the bottom of the eighth, as the AL strung some hits off Craig Kimbrel, capped by Jason Kipnis’ two out double scoring Sal Perez.
And a surprise? Mariano Rivera comes into the game in the bottom of the eighth, not the ninth. Interesting choice.
9:41 PM: The AL extends its lead, going up 2-0 after an Adam Jones double, a Joe Mauer single and J.J. Hardy hitting into a fielder’s choice which scored Jones. Oh, and a fan ran onto the field in the top of the fifth and was body slammed by a security guard right behind second base. Hope he enjoys jail tonight.
9:26 PM: Apart from the Robinson Cano HBP it had been all pitching until the top of the fourth, but then the AL drew first blood.
With Patrick Corbin on in relief of Clayton Kershaw, Miguel Cabrera doubled to right center. Then Chris Davis singled moving Cabrera to third. Jose Bautista then flew to center, deep enough to score Cabrera. Corbin got out of the inning after inducing a David Ortiz double play and we stand at 1-0 entering the bottom of the fourth.
Fun part about Cabrera’s double: just one pitch before he hit it Corbin fooled him so badly on a pitch Cabrera’s bat flew out of his hands and into the stands. The man adjusts quickly.
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.
Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”
On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”
Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.
Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.