Every year something happens in the offseason that makes me think that I can’t handle the looniness anymore. That the hot stove season has reached its nadir. After which I say that I cannot handle another weird rumor or report. When I say “not again. The line must be drawn here! This far, no further!”
That usually happens in mid-January. This year it happened on November 16, in a tweet from Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times:
Sideny Ponson. Who hasn’t pitched since 2009 and hasn’t pitched well since 2003. I’m going to assume for the sake of my sanity that the A’s official in question is the brother-in-law or college roommate of Ponson’s agent and that the meeting was a social affair.
If not, I’ll be in the bar. Until mid-February.
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.