There is a mere 1.5-game separation between the three teams at the top of the NL Central standings.
Reds speedster Billy Hamilton was at it again on Saturday afternoon, entering as a pinch-runner in the bottom of the 10th inning and scoring the game-winning run as Cincinnati downed the Dodgers 4-3. Hamilton stole his fourth base in four chances to put himself in scoring position and crossed the plate for the third time as a major leaguer. He has yet to take an at-bat but has already been a difference-maker.
In St. Louis, the Cardinals happily welcomed the return of the real Adam Wainwright, who fought past his recent struggles and delivered seven shutout innings against the Pirates in an eventual 5-0 victory.
The win vaulted the Cards ahead of the Bucs for first place in the division.
Your Saturday box scores and recaps:
White Sox 3, Orioles 4 (10 innings)
Red Sox 13, Yankees 9
Dodgers 3, Reds 4 (10 innings)
Astros 1, Athletics 2
Brewers 5, Cubs 3
Mets 4, Indians 9
Braves 5, Phillies 6
Tigers 3, Royals 4
Blue Jays 11, Twins 2
Nationals 9, Marlins 2
Pirates 0, Cardinals 5
Rockies 1, Padres 2
Diamondbacks 2, Giants 1
Rangers 3, Angels 8
Rays 2, Mariners 6
Sports radio personality Howard Eskin is hearing a fun rumor that the Philadelphia Phillies are considering Chase Utley to be their bench coach.
Utley hasn’t retired yet, but he is almost 39, is a free agent and is unlikely to find anything beyond a bench role at best at this point. Time for a career change? Who knows, as this popping up over Thanksgiving makes it hard to confirm or deny one way or the other. It’s fun to think about, though. Over the past four or five years, as Utley’s production has declined, he has been widely praised as a good clubhouse presence and mentor, so it would not be hard to imagine him transitioning into a formal coaching role.
Utley, of course, played for the Phillies for thirteen seasons. If he’s going to break into coaching, he’s most likely to do it there.