Thanks to the Cardinals’ timely 7-6 win over the Brewers on Saturday, the Rockies will return to the postseason for the first time since 2009. The Brewers fell out of postseason contention despite an impressive run on Saturday, putting up five runs in the third inning to secure a two-run lead over the Cardinals.
Orlando Arcia got things started for the Brewers with a sac fly in the second, but was left stranded when Brett Phillips flew out to end the inning. Things weren’t so easy for Cardinals’ rookie Luke Weaver in the third inning. Ryan Braun clubbed an RBI double, his 27th of the season, while Shaw collected an RBI single and scored on Domingo Santana‘s first-pitch, two-run blast:
Leading 6-0 in the bottom of the third, it looked like the Brewers were poised to hang on for at least another day (barring a Rockies’ win on Saturday night, that is). The Cardinals had other ideas. Paul DeJong and Jose Martinez cut Milwaukee’s advantage down to two runs with a pair of doubles, and Stephen Piscotty returned in the eighth to tie it up with a two-run single.
Harrison Bader took care of the rest, plating Piscotty for the go-ahead run while Juan Nicasio effectively quashed the Brewers’ attempt to rally in the ninth. Following the Cardinals’ win, the Rockies will advance to the wild card tiebreaker against the Diamondbacks next Wednesday. The winner will go up against the Dodgers in the NLDS, who entered Saturday’s contest against the Rockies with a league-best 102-58 record.
Former Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is up for grabs this offseason, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that as many as nine suitors are interested in bringing the righty aboard. While the Red Sox are eager to retain Eovaldi’s services after his lights-out performance during their recent postseason run, they’ll have to contend with the Brewers, Phillies, Braves, White Sox, Padres, Blue Jays, Giants, and Angels — all of whom are reportedly positioned to offer something for the starter this winter.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the 28-year-old in 2018, however. After losing his 2017 season to Tommy John surgery, he underwent an additional procedure to remove loose bodies from his right elbow in March and didn’t make his first appearance until the end of May. He was flipped for lefty reliever Jalen Beeks just prior to the trade deadline and finished his season with a combined 6-7 record in 21 starts, a 3.81 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, and 8.2 SO/9 through 111 innings.
Despite his numerous health issues over the last few years, Eovaldi raised his stock in October after becoming a major contributor during the Red Sox’ championship run. He contributed two quality starts in the ALDS and ALCS and returned in Games 1-3 of the World Series with three lights-out performances in relief — including a six-inning effort in the 18-inning marathon that was Game 3.
A frontrunner has yet to emerge for the righty this offseason, but Cafardo points out that the nine teams listed so far might just be the tip of the iceberg. Still, he won’t be the most sought-after starter on the market, as former Diamondbacks southpaw Patrick Corbin is expected to command an even bigger payday following his career-best 6.0-fWAR performance in 2018.