Brewers GM Doug Melvin thinks the Mets could make a good trading partner

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The Brewers need a first baseman, that much is obvious. Long time outfielder Corey Hart is one option, and one that Brewers GM Doug Melvin has certainly considered. Melvin, however, is looking towards the Big Apple as a creative way to round out his roster, noticing that the Mets will be open to moving Ike Davis.

Via MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy:

“They’ve indicated that they have extra first basemen, and we have a need,” Melvin said. “Again, it’s all about keeping your options open. … Nothing imminent, and I don’t anticipate anything imminent. But first base is one of our needs, they have excess first basemen, so you can tie two and two together — and come up with three.”

The embattled Davis started off the 2013 season very poorly, posting a .500 OPS through June 9. The Mets sent him to Triple-A Las Vegas to focus on reworking himself both mechanically and mentally. He improved, getting on base at a .429 clip between July 5 and August 31 before his season ended due to a strained oblique. Davis, however, finished with just nine home runs one year after hitting 32 of them. Davis still has two years of control left before he can become a free agent, something Mets GM Sandy Alderson will keep in mind when trying to find a suitable trading partner.

Red Sox look to punch their ticket to the World Series tonight

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Thanks to some amazing defense, some big hits and — to continue to beat this horse, a bad call by Joe West — the Red Sox have a 3-1 lead in the ALCS and look to clinch the AL Pennant tonight down in Houston.

If you believe in momentum, you’d have to say it’s on Boston’s side. If you believe that momentum is the next day’s starting pitcher, however, you’d have to say things favor Houston more than the standing of the series would suggest. All of which makes me wish Game 5 was starting right now, because it figures to be a tense and exciting affair.

ALCS Game 5

Red Sox vs. Astros
Ballpark: Minute Maid Park
Time: 8:09 PM Eastern
TV: TBS
Pitchers: David Price vs. Justin Verlander
Breakdown:

If someone told you that you had to win one baseball game against the Martians to save the human race, you could do far worse than calling on Justin Verlander to be your starting pitcher. Among the pitchers still in the postseason, he’d almost certainly be your choice right now.

Does Verlander himself appreciate the situation? This is what he said about that yesterday:

“I mean, these are all must-win games at this point. Every time you take the mound I don’t think there’s any difference whether it’s 2-2 or 3-1.”

Look, we’re asking him to beat the Martians here, not win the National Math Bee, so let’s let that go. The point is that after all of these years he’s still one of the most dominant pitchers in the game and after the exhausting, see-saw battle of Game 4, he stands the best chance of giving Houston what it needs: a quick, quiet and drama-free win.

Not that the Red Sox are likely to roll over for that. They didn’t the first time they faced Verlander in this series. They Astros won, yes, and Verlander limited them to two runs on two hits. But he also issued four walks and wasn’t his sharpest overall. Boston didn’t capitalize on his mistakes as best they could, but he’s not invincible.

For Boston it’s David Price. He allowed four runs on five hits and four walks over four and two-thirds innings in Game 2, not factoring in the decision. That’s not great, but given the talk leading up to that game being all about how Price is a postseason flop, the fact that the Sox won it in the end had to bouy him at least a little. As does the fact that, here, tonight, it’s not 100% on his shoulders. Sure, the Sox want to close this out, but with a 3-1 lead there is less pressure on Price than on his former teammate Verlander. Worth noting, though: Price is on short rest and warmed up in the bullpen last night in case he was needed to bail out Craig Kimbrel. He may not go deep into this game.