Going into his sixth-inning at-bat against Cardinals reliever Seth Maness, Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes was 0-for-10. He had reached base just once on a walk in the fifth inning. Fans complained that he had started Games 1 and 2 in lieu of Daniel Nava. He wasn’t even supposed to start Game 4, but Shane Victorino was a late scratch due to back tightness. It all seems to have worked out for the Red Sox.
Lance Lynn appeared to have calmed down after a shaky fifth inning in which he allowed the Sox to tie the game at 1-1. He got Jacoby Ellsbury to pop out and Daniel Nava to ground out, but a line drive single by Dustin Pedroia and a walk to David Ortiz ended his night. Manager Mike Matheny brought right-handed ground ball machine Seth Maness to pitch to Gomes. Maness left a 2-2 sinker up and Gomes crushed it into the bullpen in left field for a three-run home run to put the Red Sox on top 4-1.
Xander Bogaerts singled but Stephen Drew grounded out to end the inning. Felix Doubront, who pitched a perfect bottom of the fifth, is out for his second inning of work.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network said yesterday that the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs have been engaged in trade talks involving starting pitcher Justin Verlander and catcher Alex Avila. Morosi also noted that the Los Angeles Dodgers have shown interest in Verlander as well. Whether this is idyl chitchatting of serious dispute is unclear, of course. Everything is unclear in the leadup to the deadline.
The veteran right-hander is carrying a 4.50 with a 120/57 K/BB ratio over 124 innings. Verlander impressed last year, finishing second in AL Cy Young Award balloting, but he has fallen back to Earth in 2017. His velocity remains high, however, and it’s not hard to imagine him going on a solid run in a way that could help a contender. He is owed $56 million over the next two seasons, however, and has a $22 million option that could vest for 2020, so negotiations for him could be tough. If the Tigers want talent back, they’ll have to eat salary.
Verlander got an ovation from a Detroit crowd last night which seemed to sense that, yes, it’s possible he pitched his last game for the Tigers. Given that he has 10/5 rights, allowing him to veto any trade, that decision is ultimately up to him. It’s not hard to imagine him accepting a trade to a contender, however.
We wait see.
The Dodgers beat the Twins last night thanks to a Cody Bellinger three-run homer. But Bellinger was not the only Dodgers rookie who had a notable game. A far more unconventional one is worth mentioning as well.
That rookie is reliever Edward Paredes, who made his big league debut last night. What makes him unconventional: he’s 30. Turns 31 in September, actually. Paredes pitched professionally for 12 years before making it to The Show. Most of that time was in the affiliated minors in the Mariners, Indians, Angels and Dodgers organizations. He spent time in the independent Atlantic League in 2013-15 as well.
Paredes did not do anything heroic last night. It was more of a right place/right time kind of appearance, retiring the side in order with a fly out, line out and a ground out and remaining the pitcher of record while Bellinger hit that three-run homer. That’s enough for a W, though. A W that Paredes waited a lot longer for than most pitchers who notch one in the bigs.