UPDATE: They settled. Read the details here.
Barring an 11th hour settlement — and those often happen in these cases — The Red Sox and DH David Ortiz are set to have an arbitration hearing today. If the thing goes off as scheduled, it will be the Red Sox’ first hearing in ten years.
As previously reported, The Red Sox offered $12.65 million. Ortiz countered with $16.5 million. You never can be totally sure how these things will go but, with the knowledge that salaries tend to rise in arbitration, not stay static, the Red Sox’ offer seems kind of low. Ortiz made $12.5 million last year and then put together his best season in four years, posting a .309/.398/.554 line.
One would think that’s worth more than a $150,000 raise. And since an arbitration panel has to choose one number or the other — they can’t split the difference themselves — one would think that, if the sides don’t settle for $14 million or so that they’d go with Ortiz’s submission.
But, to use one of the most hackneyed phrases in all of writing … only time will tell.
One team has punched its ticket to the Fall Classic. Two teams are looking to join them, with the Dodgers carrying the distinct advantage. Los Angeles needs only a split in the final two games of the NLCS while Milwaukee needing to win both games at home. Doable? Absolutely. But to do it, the Brewers are going to have to wake up their sleepy bats.
NLCS Game 6
Dodgers vs. Brewers
Ballpark: Miller Park
Time: 8:39 PM Eastern
Pitchers: Hyun-Jin Ryu vs Wade Miley
The Dodgers will give the ball to left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, who tossed seven shutout innings in Game 1 of the NLDS but allowed two runs and tossed 72 pitches, failing to get out of the fifth inning, in Game 2 against Milwaukee. Even if he again turns in a short outing Dave Roberts should feel pretty confident, however, as the Dodgers’ bullpen — considered a question mark coming into this series — has allowed only three runs in in 21 and two-thirds innings of work.
For Milwaukee it’s once again Wade Miley, who was the Game 5 “starter,” but who pitched to only one batter. I suppose it’s possible that Craig Counsell will burn him like that again, but it seems more likely that Miley will actually pitch in this game rather than be used as a decoy.
As I noted the other day, though, the Brewers’ pitching gamesmanship has not really been a factor in this series. The real problem for them has been their offense. They’ve scored only 16 runs in five games while batting .219. That’s actually identical to the Dodgers’ run total and average overall, but L.A. has been better at distributing that meager offense. Milwaukee has been cold at the worst times, too, going 5-for-35 with runners in scoring position in the series, including one for their last 11. If that doesn’t change, their season ends tonight.