No one has started both games of a doubleheader since Wilbur Wood in 1973. That’s not going to change today, but Miguel Batista said he’s up for finishing the nightcap after starting the first game of Monday’s doubleheader against the Giants.
Batista, who took the loss this afternoon after allowing six runs — three earned — in 3 2/3 innings versus the Giants, declared himself available to work in the bullpen tonight. It’s unclear if the Mets would really consider using him. They’d surely prefer not to, but they did burn through four relievers in the first game today.
Say what you will about the quality of Batista’s innings, but even at age 41, he remains one of the game’s most durable and versatile pitchers. Last year, making just his sixth start in three years, he threw a two-hit shutout against the Reds on the final day of the season.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.
Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.
As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.