The Giants are in. The Reds are in. Now we wait for the rest of the postseason picture to fully develop.
The Cardinals took a step toward the National League’s second Wild Card spot on Saturday at Wrigley Field, bouncing back from a crushing Friday loss to capture a 5-4 extra-innings victory over the Cubs. Adam Wainwright was shaky, yielding four runs in seven frames, but the bullpen registered zeros and Jason Motte earned his 39th save.
Carlos Beltran hit his 30th homer — a game-tying shot in the top of the ninth inning that sent a charge through the stadium filled mostly with red. The Cardinals’ big free agent acquisition is now batting .286/.375/.446 in September after slumping through August.
St. Louis enters play Sunday with a 2 1/2-game lead over the Brewers in the Wild Card hunt.
Your Saturday box scores and recaps:
Athletics 9, Yankees 10 (14 innings)
Cardinals 5, Cubs 4 (10 innings)
Brewers 4, Nationals 10
Orioles 9, Red Sox 6 (12 innings)
Marlins 3, Mets 4
Twins 0, Tigers 8
Dodgers 0, Reds 6
Braves 8, Phillies 2
Pirates 1, Astros 4
Indians 3, Royals 5
Blue Jays 5, Rays 11
Diamondbacks 8, Rockies 7
Rangers 0, Mariners 1
White Sox 2, Angels 4
Padres 4, Giants 8
Former Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is up for grabs this offseason, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that as many as nine suitors are interested in bringing the righty aboard. While the Red Sox are eager to retain Eovaldi’s services after his lights-out performance during their recent postseason run, they’ll have to contend with the Brewers, Phillies, Braves, White Sox, Padres, Blue Jays, Giants, and Angels — all of whom are reportedly positioned to offer something for the starter this winter.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the 28-year-old in 2018, however. After losing his 2017 season to Tommy John surgery, he underwent an additional procedure to remove loose bodies from his right elbow in March and didn’t make his first appearance until the end of May. He was flipped for lefty reliever Jalen Beeks just prior to the trade deadline and finished his season with a combined 6-7 record in 21 starts, a 3.81 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, and 8.2 SO/9 through 111 innings.
Despite his numerous health issues over the last few years, Eovaldi raised his stock in October after becoming a major contributor during the Red Sox’ championship run. He contributed two quality starts in the ALDS and ALCS and returned in Games 1-3 of the World Series with three lights-out performances in relief — including a six-inning effort in the 18-inning marathon that was Game 3.
A frontrunner has yet to emerge for the righty this offseason, but Cafardo points out that the nine teams listed so far might just be the tip of the iceberg. Still, he won’t be the most sought-after starter on the market, as former Diamondbacks southpaw Patrick Corbin is expected to command an even bigger payday following his career-best 6.0-fWAR performance in 2018.