UPDATE: So much for that. Lidge told Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News that the Phillies reached out to him about joining the broadcast team but he turned them down because “the timing right now is tough.”
CSN Philly cleared the Phillies’ broadcast booth by letting go of both play-by-play man Chris Wheeler and analyst Gary Matthews. No word yet on who might replace Wheeler, but Bob Nightengale of USA Today says the analyst job could go to Brad Lidge if he wants it.
Back in August the annual Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) convention was in Philadelphia and I actually saw a panel discussion featuring both Lidge and Matthews (as shown in that picture). Lidge stole the show, telling a bunch of funny stories and generally just being very charming and interesting.
During the audience question part someone asked him about possibly joining the Phillies’ broadcast team and I remember thinking the exchange was kind of awkward with Matthews sitting right next to him. Turns out less than six months later Lidge might be replacing Matthews.
Don’t look now, but the Nationals have the best record in baseball at 16-6. They’re coming off a 10-game road trip in which they went 9-1, including sweeps of the Braves and Mets and a 3-1 series against the Rockies at Coors Field. During that series with the Rockies, the Nationals scored 46 runs, which is nearly as many as the Royals (54) have scored all season long. The Nats scored double-digits in all three wins.
The first game at Coors, an 8-4 loss, saw a three-hit game from Anthony Rendon and a homer from Ryan Zimmerman.
The second game featured Trea Turner hitting for the cycle and driving in seven runs. Daniel Murphy had three hits and five RBI.
The third game saw Turner finish a triple short of the cycle. Bryce Harper had four hits. Zimmerman had three hits including a homer. Murphy homered, too.
The fourth game featured homers from Adam Eaton, Harper, and Murphy. Seven members of the lineup had multiple hits and six had multiple RBI including pitcher Gio Gonzalez.
The series helped the Nationals bring their run differential to +34, the best in the National League. The Yankees are the only team with a better differential at +35.
Indeed, the Nationals are sad to be leaving Coors Field. They return home to open up a three-game set with the ailing Mets on Friday night.
Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre is nursing a calf injury, an issue that plagued him starting early in spring training. At first, the hope was that he’d be ready by the regular season, then at some point in April, then at some point in May. According to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, however, even a May return is looking “murky.”
Manager Jeff Banister said, “It’s at the point where we didn’t necessarily see the progress results we thought we would see. We decided to take a step back and get him back to where the soreness and [swelling] is out of there. We weren’t progressing forward at the rate we wanted to.”
Fortunately for the Rangers, Joey Gallo has performed admirably in place of Beltre at third base. The 23-year-old has played solid defense while hitting .232/.361/.623 with seven home runs and 16 RBI in 83 plate appearances. Gallo will continue to man the hot corner until Beltre is healthy enough to return.
Beltre is sitting on 2,942 career hits. His reaching the 3,000-hit milestone was expected to be one of the highlights of the 2017 season.