Playoff Reset: Indians vs. Red Sox ALDS Game 3

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The Game: Cleveland Indians @ Boston Red Sox, ALDS Game 3
The Time: 6:00 PM EDT
The Place: Fenway Park, Boston
The Channel: TBS
The Starters: Josh Tomlin (Indians) vs. Clay Buchholz (Red Sox)

The Upshot:

The rain gave an extra day for the Indians bullpen to rest. Between that and Corey Kluber‘s long outing in Game 2, Terry Francona should be able to, once again, use Andrew Miller and Cody Allen in liberal fashion should starter Josh Tomlin (13-9, 4.40 ERA) falter or run out of gas. And who knows what Tomlin will give them. He started the year well, then cratered in the second half, leading to him being demoted to the bullpen. He’s only starting now because of all of the injuries to Cleveland’s starters. Since coming back to the rotation, however, he has been pretty solid, posting a 1.75 ERA in 25.2 innings in four September starts.

Not that it’s all about pitching: the Indians bats have been pretty darn fierce and have them poised to sweep Boston this evening. To stop that, John Farrell looks to Clay Buchholz. Buchholz, once the Sox’ ace, was likewise demoted to the bullpen in 2016. Several times, in fact. But, like Tomlin, he’s been solid since returning to the rotation late in the season (3-0 with a 3.14 ERA in five September starts). On the other hand, Buchholz has been pretty terrible in Fenway Park this season and several hitters in the Indians’ lineup have had success against him, though none in anything approaching significant sample sizes.

The Red Sox’ backs are against the wall. To survive, they’re going to need a lead by, say, the fifth inning. If they don’t have it, they’re looking at Miller and Allen and that’s not a duo you want to face while trying to come back from behind. If they cant hit Tomlin hard, today will likely be their last game of 2016.

Report: Brandon Nimmo staying with Mets on 8-year, $162M deal

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NEW YORK – Center fielder Brandon Nimmo is staying with the free-spending New York Mets, agreeing to an eight-year, $162 million contract, according to a person familiar with the deal.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the agreement is subject to a successful physical and no announcement had been made.

A quality leadoff hitter with an excellent eye and a .385 career on-base percentage, Nimmo became a free agent last month for the first time. He was a key performer as the Mets returned to the playoffs this year for the first time since 2016.

The left-handed hitter batted .274 with 16 homers and a team-high 102 runs, a career high. He also set career bests with 64 RBIs and 151 games played. His seven triples tied for most in the National League.

Bringing back Nimmo means New York is poised to return its entire everyday lineup intact from a team that tied for fifth in the majors in runs and won 101 regular-season games – second-most in franchise history.

But the Mets remain busy replenishing a pitching staff gutted by free agency, including Jacob deGrom‘s departure for Texas and Taijuan Walker‘s deal with Philadelphia that was pending a physical.

On the final day of baseball’s winter meetings Wednesday, the Mets completed an $86.7 million, two-year contract with former Houston ace Justin Verlander that includes a conditional $35 million player option for 2025. New York also retained All-Star closer Edwin Diaz last month with a $102 million, five-year contract, and the team has a $26 million, two-year agreement in place with veteran starter Jose Quintana, pending a physical.

Those moves add to a payroll that was the largest in the majors last season. Under owner Steve Cohen, who bought the Mets in November 2020, New York became baseball’s biggest spender this year for the first time since 1989. The Mets’ payroll was $273.9 million as of Aug. 31, with final figures that include bonuses yet to be compiled.

Nimmo was selected by New York with the No. 13 pick in the 2011 amateur draft. He declined a $19.65 million qualifying offer from the Mets last month.

The 29-year-old Wyoming native made his big league debut in 2016. He is a .269 career hitter with 63 homers, 213 RBIs and 23 triples in 608 games. He has an .827 career OPS and has improved his play in center, becoming a solid defender.

Nimmo’s new deal with the Mets was first reported by the New York Post.