Dusty Baker just managed the Reds out of a possible rally

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Bottom of the sixth inning, the Reds coming back. A Ryan Ludwick homer brings them to within three runs.  Then, Jay Bruce walks, Scott Rolen singles, putting Bruce on second. Ryan Hanigan comes up to the plate — still no one out — and works the count full.  Matt Cain is on the ropes!

Then Dusty Baker sends Jay Bruce on a steal of third for some damn reason, Hanigan either doesn’t realize it or doesn’t care, and fails to swing at Cain’s pitch, which is called a strike, and then Buster Posey fires it down to third and nails Bruce by a couple of steps. Stike-em-out-throw-em-out double play. Cain is off the hook and then after a pitching change Drew Stubbs grounds out to end the inning. We’re in the seventh now, with the Giants up 6-3.

Why Baker is sending Bruce in that situation, in that park against a pitcher who is fighting for his life is a mystery. But he gave the Giants a free out and, depending on what Hanigan was thinking, maybe two.  Just a disastrous sequence of events.

But Dusty sure showed us who can manage, in every active sense of the verb “manage.”

Report: Phillies, Giants interested in Jeurys Familia

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ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the Phillies and Giants are among the teams interested in Mets closer Jeurys Familia. Olney adds that the Phillies may prefer to wait to see what happens on the Manny Machado and Zach Britton fronts before moving on to Familia.

Familia, 28, has racked up 17 saves with a 2.88 ERA and a 43/14 K/BB ratio for the Mets this season across 40 2/3 innings. It’s been a good bounce-back year after struggling and battling a blood clot in his right shoulder in 2017.

Familia would be a rental for any team that would acquire him, as he’s a free agent after the season. Regardless, he ranks among the best relievers available heading into the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

Both teams could use the bullpen help. The Phillies’ bullpen is largely young and inexperienced, and has battled inconsistency in the first half. The Giants are without closer Hunter Strickland and only got Mark Melancon back last month.