The Dodgers were threatening to take the lead in the top of the tenth inning against Cardinals reliever Trevor Rosenthal, in for his second inning of work in Game 1 of the NLCS. After Carl Crawford flied out, Mark Ellis smoked a line drive to right-center, which center fielder Jon Jay read very poorly. He dove after the ball but it got past him, rolling to the wall, allowing Ellis to slide in safely at third for a triple.
Manager Mike Matheny put up the four fingers, ordering Rosenthal to intentionally walk Hanley Ramirez to bring up Michael Young with runners on first and third with one out, obviously setting up for a ground ball double play. Young instead hit a fly ball to shallow right-center. Jay gave way to Beltran, who lined up under the ball and sent his momentum towards home plate for the throw. It was right on the money to catcher Yadier Molina, who corralled the ball and applied the tag to Ellis for the third out of the inning, preserving the 2-2 tie.
Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario replaced Brian Wilson for the bottom half of the inning, retiring the bottom-third of the Cardinal lineup in order, sending the game into the 11th inning.
The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.
Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.
As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.