Hamels offered tequila shots Sunday at Cincinnati eatery

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This is great.

According to a blog post on the Cincinnati Enquirer’s website (with picture included!), Phillies starter Cole Hamels was spotted having a pre-game lunch and enjoying some Sunday afternoon football at a sports bar called Cadillac Ranch in downtown Cincy.

Hamels is scheduled to start Game 3 tonight against Reds righty Johnny Cueto and can knock the opposition out of the postseason.  Aware of that, a couple of Reds supporters sent Hamels two shots of tequila in an effort to knock him off his game.

Hamels, of course, denied the drinks and a few Phillies fans swooped in to take advantage of the already-poured liquor, telling the left-hander “You can’t drink those!”

“A” for effort, Cincinnati.

Diamondbacks, T.J. McFarland avoid arbitration

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Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the Diamondbacks and reliever T.J. McFarland have avoided arbitration, agreeing on a $1.45 million salary for the 2019 season. McFarland, in his third of four years of arbitration eligibility, filed for $1.675 million while the Diamondbacks countered at $1.275 million. McFarland ended up settling for just under the midpoint of those two figures.

McFarland, 29, was terrific out of the bullpen for the D-Backs last season, finishing with a 2.00 ERA and a 42/22 K/BB ratio in 72 innings. While the lefty may not miss a lot of bats, he does induce quite a few grounders. His 67.9 percent ground ball rate last season was the third highest among relievers with at least 50 innings, trailing only Brad Ziegler (71.1%) and Scott Alexander (70.6%).

McFarland was dominant against left-handed hitters, limiting them to a .388 OPS last season, but the D-Backs deployed him nearly twice as often against right-handed hitters, who posted an aggregate .764 OPS against him. It will be interesting to see if the club decides to use him more as a platoon reliever in 2019.