Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera extended his on-base streak to 40 consecutive games after he engineered a first-inning home run during Friday’s game against the Mets. He selected a Steven Matz curveball for the 418-foot blast, sending it deep into the right field stands to give the Phillies their first lead of the evening.
The home run was his sixth of the year; more importantly, it kept a historic streak alive. Per MLB.com’s Stephen Pianovich, Herrera’s on-base streak now ranks seventh-longest in club history. He’s still another 16 straight games away from rivaling Mike Schmidt’s 56-game on-base streak, however, a record that hasn’t been bested in 36 years.
Herrera’s solo shot was good enough to buoy Jake Arrieta, who set down seven scoreless innings in one of his strongest performances of the year so far. The Phillies’ bullpen finally caved in the ninth, however, when Hector Neris handed over the lead after allowing back-to-back home runs to Michael Conforto and Devin Mesoraco.
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.