Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran added to his post-season legend by coming through for his team in the fifth inning against Pirates starter Francisco Liriano in the fifth inning of Game 3. Jon Jay singled and Pete Kozma walked to put runners on first and second with no outs, but it appeared they were on their way to squandering that opportunity.
Pitcher Joe Kelly attempted to bunt both runners over but failed, striking out on a foul tip to catcher Russell Martin. Matt Carpenter then struck out looking as Jay and Kozma successfully executed a double-steal, moving to second and third with two outs. With a base open, the Pirates could have pitched around Beltran, especially after Liriano fell behind 2-0. But Liriano fired some off-speed stuff before Beltran was able to get a grounder through the Pirate infield for a two-run single, tying up the game at 2-2.
The Pirates had taken a 2-0 lead in the first inning thanks to Marlon Byrd’s two-run single to left against Cardinals starter Joe Kelly. Kelly has since held the Pirate lineup down without much of an issue.
Joe Longo, the agent of Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich, said his client’s relationship with the Marlins is “irretrievably broken,” ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports. He believes in the best interest of both Yelich and the Marlins to work out a trade before the start of spring training.
They have a plan. I respect that plan, but that plan shouldn’t include Christian at this point in his career. He’s in the middle of the best years of his career, and having him be part of a 100-loss season is not really where [we] want to see him going.
The relationship between player and team is irretrievably broken. It’s soured. He’s part of the old ownership regime. The new ownership regime needs to get new parts into this plan and move forward, and he needs to get on with his career where he’s got a chance to win. The big issue is him winning and winning now.
He loves the city of Miami. He loves the fans. He’s had nothing but a good experience in South Florida, and he feels sorry where they ended up. But I think having him report [to spring training] and attempting to include him moving forward is going to be uncomfortable for both sides. I don’t see how it’s going to work.
This certainly comes as no surprise considering the offseason the Marlins have had after installing new ownership, going from Jeffrey Loria to Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter. The club traded All-Star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, who hit 59 home runs last season, as well as Dee Gordon and Marcell Ozuna. As Crasnick notes, Yelich isn’t the only player to express disappointment with the Marlins’ current direction — J.T. Realmuto and Starlin Castro have as well.
Yelich, 26, signed a seven-year, $49.57 million contract extension with the Marlins in March of 2015. Given his career performance, that’s a bargain of a contract, which is why more than a handful of teams have inquired with the Marlins about him this offseason. Yelich finished the past season with a .282/.369/.439 triple-slash line along with 18 home runs, 81 RBI, 100 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances.