Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz didn’t have enough gas to get through the sixth inning of Game 6. After shutting the Tigers out through five, he showed diminished velocity and command, as he walked lead-off batter Torii Hunter on consecutive 88 MPH fastballs. He then surrendered a single to Miguel Cabrera through the hole between third base and shortstop, prompting manager John Farrell to exit the dugout to bring in lefty reliever Franklin Morales.
The slide continued as Morales walked the struggling Prince Fielder on four pitches, then was nearly taken deep by Victor Martinez, who drove a single high off of the Green Monster in left-center, scoring Hunter and Cabrera.
Farrell called on right-hander Brandon Workman to halt the Tigers’ newfound momentum. He did, getting Jhonny Peralta to hit a sharp grounder to second baseman Dustin Pedroia. Pedroia dashed towards Martinez caught in no-man’s land off the first base bag, tagging him for one out. He then fired home to catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, catching Fielder in a rundown. Saltalamacchia chased Fielder up the line back to third base, tagging him a foot off the bag. Peralta advanced to second base on the play, then was pinch-run for by Don Kelly.
Workman struck out Alex Avila looking to end the frame. Though the Tigers took the lead, the Red Sox have to feel good about how they played damage control. Not only could the score have been much, much worse, but Tigers manager Jim Leyland removed one of his best hitters thus far in the post-season for a pinch-runner, who ultimately failed to even attempt to score.
Phillies outfielder Tyler Goeddel was included in Wednesday’s starting lineup against the Nationals. It’s notable because it’s only his eighth start in August. The Phillies selected Goeddel from the Rays in the Rule 5 draft during the winter, which means the club has had to keep him on its 25-man roster all season. If the club didn’t, it would have had to offer Goddel back to the Rays.
Goeddel is by no means a top prospect, but the Phillies deemed him worthy enough of taking a year-long 25-man roster spot, which are quite valuable. And the rebuilding Phillies aren’t exactly fighting for a playoff spot, so why not play him?
As Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports, manager Pete Mackanin asked, “What’s the point?” in regards to starting Goeddel. Mackanin said, “I’ve seen enough of Goeddel to know. We’ve kept him this long and we’re going to keep him and we’ll see where we go next year with him. I don’t see a need to play him, especially after he hasn’t played so much.”
That seems like circular logic. You don’t see a need to play him because he hasn’t played much. Well, maybe if you played him more often, you’d see a reason?
In fairness, Goeddel hasn’t exactly torn the cover off the ball, putting up a .191/.250/.296 triple-slash line in 217 plate appearances. But the Phillies have chosen to play utilityman Cody Asche and journeyman Jimmy Paredes (“an extra player,” according to Mackanin), who both don’t figure to be in the Phillies’ future plans. Goeddel is only 23 years old. In May, when he was starting regularly, he posted a .794 OPS.
This isn’t a roster blunder on the Ruben Amaro, Jr. scale, but it’s a very odd way to handle a Rule-5 player for a rebuilding team.
Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller returned to the majors on Wednesday after a stint of about a month and a half in the minor leagues. The right-hander had compiled an ugly 2-9 record and a 7.14 ERA over 14 big league starts along with a finger injury and the minor league demotion.
On Wednesday afternoon against the Giants at AT&T Park, Miller still got the loss, but he gave up only two runs on six hits and a walk with three strikeouts in three innings. It’s the fifth time in 15 starts he gave up two or fewer runs. Opposing starter Matt Moore, who nearly authored a no-hitter his last time out, was just a little bit better, limiting the D-Backs’ offense to a lone run in 5 1/3 innings. The Giants ultimately won 4-2.
You may recall Miller was part of the trade that forced the Diamondbacks to send Ender Inciarte, Aaron Blair, and 2015 No. 1 overall pick Dansby Swanson to the Braves. It’s a trade that chief baseball officer Tony La Russa defended as recently as last week.