On Tuesday, the Angels received lefty Rich Hill from the Red Sox for cash considerations. Hill made his 2014 debut that day in the first game of a doubleheader against the White Sox, loading the bases on a single and two walks before being replaced by Joe Smith, who allowed an inherited run to score on a ground ball double play. Hill pitched again in the second half of the doubleheader, walking the only batter he faced.
The Angels have ended the Rich Hill experiment, as the club announced that the 34-year-old lefty has been designated for assignment to make room for the recently-acquired Joe Thatcher. The Angels made two additional moves as well, optioning Cory Rasmus to Triple-A Salt Lake, and selecting the contract of Michael Roth from Double-A Arkansas.
The Brewers and Dodgers haven’t had much action in Game 4 of the NLCS, bringing a 1-1 game through 10 innings and about four and a half hours. We finally got something to get the blood pumping, though, when Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado and Brewers first baseman Jesús Aguilar exchanged some words with each other, prompting both teams’ benches to spill onto the field.
With one out, Machado grounded a 3-1, 95 MPH fastball to shortstop Orlando Arcia, who made an easy throw to first base to complete the out. Machado, running the play out, dragged his left leg, slamming it into Aguilar’s leg as he crossed the bag, causing himself to stumble momentarily. Machado went back and jawed at Aguilar like it was his fault.
Machado has not had the best press in the NLCS. He failed to run out a grounder in Game 2, then made a couple of slides in Game 3 that attempted to interfere with Arcia at the second base bag. He was called for interference on the second one. Machado hasn’t earned the benefit of the doubt for his actions tonight.
It’s difficult to imagine Machado’s behavior during the NLCS will affect his windfall as a free agent this offseason, but he’s proving to be somewhat of a distraction for a team trying to get back to the World Series. And that’s not good.