Four games? Really? What, people were supposed to watch hockey or something?
[Shut up, Calcaterra, hockey pays the bills around here — Ed.]
Um, congratulations, Chicago Blackhawks!
Padres 4, Phillies 3: Philly took a three-run lead into the bottom of the ninth with Cliff Lee still pitching a shutout when he began the inning. Then Kyle Blanks happened. Lee allowed the first two runners to reach and was relieved by Jonathan Papelbon, still up 3-0. Blanks promptly drove in two with a single. Blanks advanced to second when Papelbon hit the next batter with a pitch and Blanks took third on a double play. Then, oops, Carlos Ruiz allowed a passed ball which scored Blanks and onto extra innings we went. In the tenth the Padres loaded the bases with two walks and another hit-by-pitch after which Blanks won it with an RBI single. What a dispiriting way to lose a game.
Indians 5, Orioles 2: Michael Brantley drove in four as the Indians won for the ninth time in 12 games. That’s four straight losses for the O’s.
Dodgers 3, Giants 1: Yasiel Puig homers again — his seventh — and broke a tie with an RBI single in the eighth. After the game A.J. Ellis said of Puig, “he’s hitting everything and hitting it hard. I’m just really happy he’s on our side.” I think they said that about Dr. Manhattan too. The Dodgers have won three in a row, which is their longest winning streak of the season.
Rays 4, Blue Jays 1: Jeremy Hellickson shut out the Jays for seven innings, allowing only one hit. James Loney, Wil Myers and Sam Fuld went back-to-back-to-back in the second. The Jays’ winning streak ends at 11.
Barring physicals and roster reshuffling, the Yankees and Reds are all but ready to finalize a deal involving right-hander Sonny Gray, Fancred’s Jon Heyman reported Saturday. The exact return has not been confirmed, but Heyman hears that the Yankees will receive top infield prospect Shed Long and a draft pick in exchange for Gray, with an as-yet unnamed third player possibly involved as well.
According to several reports earlier in the day, negotiations came down to the wire as the Yankees first had their eye on the Reds’ no. 6 prospect, 22-year-old catcher Tyler Stephenson. The Reds ultimately elected to hang on to Stephenson and send Long to New York, as they currently have a greater need for catching depth and weren’t expected to be able to provide a full-time role for the infielder in 2019. Long, 23, is ranked seventh in the Reds’ system and appears to be nearing his MLB debut after batting .261/.353/.412 with 12 homers and a .765 OPS across 522 PA at Double-A Pensacola last year.
Gray figures to step into a prominent role within the Reds’ rotation, which is likely to be a mix of recently-acquired left-hander Alex Wood and right-handers Tanner Roark, Luis Castillo, Anthony DeSclafani, and Tyler Mahle, among several others. Despite Gray’s struggle to remain productive on the mound — he’s three years removed from his only All-Star campaign and turned in a disappointing 4.90 ERA and 2.16 SO/BB rate in 2018 — he might yet help stabilize a team that trotted out the fifth-worst rotation in the majors last season. If, on the other hand, the veteran righty finds the hitter-friendly confines of Great American Ball Park a little too unforgiving this year, the Reds can take some comfort in the fact that he’s due to enter free agency in 2020.