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.
In a mailbag published on Thursday, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post says he has spoken with Arenado and his agent from the Wasserman Media Group. Based on that, he says the Rockies have not broached the subject of a contract extension with the All-Star third baseman.
Arenado will enter his second of four years of arbitration eligibility after earning $5 million for the 2016 season. He’s due to a hefty pay raise and will continue on that track into free agency after the 2019 season. It may behoove the Rockies to get extension talks started sooner rather than later. Saunders, however, thinks that Arenado wants to see if the Rockies become contenders in the next two seasons before signing the dotted line.
Arenado, 25, enters Thursday’s action batting .293/.361/.567 with 40 home runs, 130 RBI, and 112 runs scored in 678 plate appearances. His 40 homers is best in the National League and the 130 RBI are best in the majors. He has an argument for winning the National League Most Valauble Player Award.
Agent Scott Boras eulogized client Jose Fernandez at his funeral on Thursday. Boras couldn’t even get through the first sentence without breaking down in tears. It was difficult to watch without wanting to sob myself, but it was a touching eulogy that spoke for a lot of people who were fond of Fernandez.