Things which make me wish I didn’t watch “Wayne’s World” and fall asleep on the couch at 11pm last night: the Dodgers-Rays game.
The Dodgers found themselves down 6-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh last night, but then scored one in the seventh, two in the eighth and four in the ninth to stun the Tampa Bay Rays 7-6.
The winning run came on what should have been an inning-ending double play when Fernando Rodney did this with a comebacker:
Of course it shouldn’t have even gotten to that point. By then Rodney had blown a three-run lead. He was helped by the Rays’ defense, which allowed an unearned run to score off of an otherwise impressive David Price in the seventh. Then Jake McGee, Josh Lueke and Joel Peralta combined to allow a couple more in the eighth, setting the stage for Rodney’s awful inning.
As for the Dodgers: they have been living a charmed life since June. Put them together with the seemingly equally charmed Pirates and a Braves team that has looked like a juggernaut of late, and the National League playoffs are shaping up to be all kinds of fun.
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.
David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.
Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:
[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.
The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.