Antonio Bastardo reportedly was drawing plenty of interest leading up to the July 31 trade deadline and seemed like a prime candidate to be moved, but instead the Phillies hung onto the 28-year-old reliever … and now he wants out of Philadelphia anyway.
Last night Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News asked Bastardo if he’d have been better off with a trade to another team and the left-hander actually gave an honest reply:
I don’t know, that’s a good question. I think it could be good for me to stay here, but I think it could be better going somewhere else. We have two young lefties here, and they can do a really good job. A third lefty in the bullpen … I think for my career–for my career–I should be somewhere else.
For my career, it could be way better to be somewhere else. If there was a team interested in me, I could be a part of a team and … help more. Be more in the game, stuff like that. Help them, and it could help me in my career. I’m moving forward not to be a mop-up guy in the game. I just like to be in the [biggest] spot that I can get.
In other words: Bastardo thinks the Phillies have some decent left-handed bullpen options for the future and he’d like to pitch for a contending team in a higher-leverage late-inning role. All of which seems fair, although surely Phillies fans won’t take too kindly to his asking out of Philadelphia.
Bastardo, who has a 3.31 ERA and 259 strikeouts in 201 innings since 2011, is under team control for 2015 and then can become a free agent.
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Dodgers second baseman Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, clinching the NL West for the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. What a way to celebrate Vin Scully’s final home game behind the microphone.
The Dodgers were trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, but shortstop Corey Seager tripled in a run to tie the game. Rockies outfielder David Dahl untied the game in the top of the ninth with a two-out solo home run off of Kenley Jansen. But Seager once again rose to the occasion, blasting a game-tying solo shot in the bottom half of the ninth against Adam Ottavino. That would set the stage for Culberson in the next frame.
Culberson, a former Rockie, came into the afternoon with a .591 OPS and zero home runs in 53 plate appearances. He finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with the homer.
It’s the fourth consecutive season in which the Dodgers have won the NL West. The Cubs have clinched the best record, which means they’ll play the winner of the Wild Card game. The Dodgers will play the Nationals in the NLDS. The Nationals have a 1.5-game lead over the Dodgers for home-field advantage, so both teams are still playing for something of importance in the regular season’s final week.
The Red Sox defeated the Rays 3-2 on Sunday afternoon thanks to some nifty base running by second baseman Dustin Pedroia. The win marks their 11th in a row, inching them closer to a division title.
With the game tied 2-2 in the top of the tenth, Pedroia led off with a single off of reliever Eddie Gamboa. After Xander Bogaerts lined out, David Ortiz ripped a double into the right-center field gap. Pedroia, running hard the whole way, rounded third and motored towards home plate, but the relay throw home — from center fielder Jaff Decker to second baseman Logan Forsythe to catcher Luke Maile — beat Pedroia by a good 10 feet. He was a dead duck.
Pedroia danced around Maile’s glove, avoiding the tag. Maile, on his side, continued to attempt to apply the tag on Pedroia. When he finally did, the ball was knocked loose and Pedroia scored the go-ahead run. The play was reviewed but the call was upheld.
Joe Kelly kept the Rays off the board in the bottom of the 10th, securing the 3-2 victory for the Red Sox.
The Blue Jays also won on Sunday, meaning the Red Sox still have a 5.5-game lead in the AL East. Any combination of two Red Sox wins and Blue Jays losses will seal up the division for the Red Sox. The two clubs round out the regular season with a three-game set against each other in Boston.