They talked with Houston, but they obviously didn’t like what they were hearing: Ken Rosenthal reports that the Cardinals are no longer involved with discussions for Roy Oswalt.
The latest: Rosenthal says that the Phillies are able to meet what Houston is demanding in return for Oswalt, but that (a) the price still may be too high; and (b) there’s still no strong indication that Oswalt would agree to a trade to Philly. Yes, he said the other day that “location” doesn’t matter, but that’s only relevant if you think that his objections to Philly are based on them being on the east coast. It’s possible, is it not, that he just doesn’t want to go to the Phillies?
Even if that isn’t an issue, with each win the Phillies grow less desperate to make a move, so unless Ed Wade ratchets back his expectations on Oswalt, he may not find anyone interested in talking to him pretty soon.
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has not had a good postseason. Entering Monday night’s NLCS Game 3, he was batting .111/.238/.278 in 21 trips to the plate across the NLDS and the first two games of the NLCS.
Defense has also been an issue for Grandal. In Game 1 of the NLCS, Grandal was on the hook for two passed balls. In the sixth inning of Game 3 Monday night, he couldn’t corral a curve in the dirt, which allowed Travis Shaw to score the Brewers’ second run of the night. Starter Walker Buehler was charged with a wild pitch. In the eighth, with Ryan Braun on first base and Shaw at the plate, Grandal again couldn’t corral a pitch in the dirt, allowing Braun to move to second base. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Alex Wood was able to escape the inning with no damage.
Manager Dave Roberts said that Austin Barnes, not Grandal, will start behind the plate for Game 4 on Tuesday night, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. That comes as no surprise at all. When Grandal struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Dodger fans regaled him with boos.
Barnes will be an upgrade defensively, but he’s lacking with the bat. He had an 0-for-3 performance in Game 2, though with an RBI, bringing his career slash line in the playoffs to .200/.281/.300 across 57 plate appearances. During the regular season, his career 100 adjusted OPS is a fair bit behind Grandal’s 115. Roberts is trading offense for defense in Game 4. Rich Hill will get the start opposite the Brewers’ Gio González.