David Ortiz put the Red Sox ahead in the bottom of the sixth inning with a two-run homer, but the lead didn’t last long.
After John Lackey was pulled with two on and one out in the top of the seventh in favor of Craig Breslow, Pete Kozma and Jon Jay executed a double-steal before Daniel Descalso drew a walk to load the bases. Matt Carpenter then hit a fly ball to left field which was caught by Jonny Gomes, but Kozma was able to beat out a weak throw to the plate which got away from Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Breslow, who was backing up home plate, then made an errant throw to third base which allowed Jay to score the go-ahead run and Descalso to advance to third. Carlos Beltran put an exclamation point on the rally by hitting an RBI single to right field to extend the Cardinals’ lead to 4-2. Now that’s one disaster frame.
Michael Wacha is suddenly in position for the victory as Game 2 of the World Series moves to the bottom of the seventh inning.
Orioles third baseman Manny Machado will become a free agent after the 2018 season and there hasn’t been much in the way of progress on a contract extension between the two sides. It seems as if Machado will test the open market next offseason.
The Phillies, currently with relatively minuscule obligations for the 2018 season and beyond, are expected to be big players for Machado, as well as other potential free agents like Bryce Harper. In fact, the Phillies may not even want to wait until next offseason, as Roch Kubatko of MASN reports that the club has expressed interest in Machado to the Orioles. In return, the O’s have been doing their homework on the Phillies’ minor league system.
Kubatko notes that the Orioles like, in particular, Phillies prospects Sixto Sanchez and Scott Kingery. The Phillies may be hesitant to part with either considering they can get Machado for a lot of cash but no prospects next winter. MLB Pipeline rates Sanchez as the Phillies’ best pitching prospect and the second-best prospect overall in the system. Kingery is third overall and the top infielder. While the Phillies’ system is among the best in baseball, its notable weakness is pitching, so parting with Sanchez — who throws in the upper 90’s and can hit triple digits — would be a big ask. Kingery is seen as the club’s next second baseman of the future, so much so that the Phillies are shopping Cesar Hernandez at the Winter Meetings.
As usual with rumors during the Winter Meetings, there may be some smoke but no actual fire here. The Orioles are likely to get continued interest in Machado from many teams between now and the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. They are simply doing their due diligence by seeing what the Phillies and others have to offer for Machado.