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Report: Red Sox interested in Fernando Rodney

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Twins closer Fernando Rodney has landed on the Red Sox’ radar this summer, according to a report from ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. The club is reportedly looking to deepen their bullpen reserves in advance of a push for the postseason, and Crasnick points out that GM Dave Dombrowski has more than a passing familiarity with the reliever from their time together on the Tigers.

The 41-year-old Rodney hasn’t looked himself lately — and that’s a good thing. He recorded 18 saves in his first 23 save opportunities this year, paired with a respectable 2.97 ERA, 3.3 BB/9 and 10.1 SO/9 across 30 1/3 innings. While Rodney’s durability and effectiveness might be due for a more significant regression over the next few years, he figures to be one of the more affordable arms on the market this year and could give the Red Sox an easy way to spruce up an already-dominant crew.

It also helps that Rodney wouldn’t be thrust into the kinds of high-leverage situations he’s facing with the Twins, given that fellow right-hander Craig Kimbrel has been pretty well established as the team’s closer over the last three years. The Red Sox’ relief corps currently ranks third among AL teams and fifth in the league overall with a collective 3.24 ERA and 3.6 fWAR — totals that could still use a little boost from Rodney’s stellar 2018 campaign. Naturally, Rodney isn’t the only potential setup man under consideration; the Red Sox have also reportedly been asking around about Orioles left-hander Zack Britton and Reds right-hander Raisel Iglesias, among others.

On a night full of letdowns, Yankees’ defense let them down the most

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Game 4 of the ALCS was a gigantic letdown for the Yankees for myriad reasons. They lost, first and foremost, 8-3 to the Astros to fall behind three games to one. Their fans continued to act boorishly. CC Sabathia exited with an injury, likely the final time he’ll pitch in his career. The offense went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

The biggest letdown of the night, though, was the Yankees’ defense. They committed four errors, their highest total in a postseason game since committing five errors in Game 2 of the 1976 ALCS.

Make no mistake: the two three-run home runs hit by George Springer and Carlos Correa, given up by Masahiro and Chad Green respectively, were the big blows in the game. But the errors contributed to the loss and were downright demoralizing.

The first error came at the start of the top of the sixth inning, when Alex Bregman hit a cue shot to first baseman DJ LeMahieu. LeMahieu couldn’t read the bounce and the ball clanked off of his knee, allowing Bregman to reach safely. He would score later in the inning on Correa’s blast.

The Yankees committed two errors in the top of the eighth, leading to a run. Yuli Gurriel hit another grounder to LeMahieu, which he couldn’t handle. That not only allowed Gurriel to reach safely, but Bregman — who led off with a double — moved to third base. He would score when second baseman Gleyber Torres couldn’t handle a Yordan Álvarez grounder.

Error number four occurred when Altuve hit a grounder to Torres to lead off the top of the ninth. The ball skipped right under his glove. Facing Michael Brantley, Jonathan Loaisiga uncorked a wild pitch which advanced Altuve to second base. Brantley followed up with a line drive single to left field, plating Altuve for another run. Loaisiga would throw another wild pitch facing Bregman but that one didn’t come back to haunt him.

The Yankees can’t control injuries, the behavior of their fans, or how good the Astros’ pitching is on any given night. They can control the quality of their defense. On Thursday, it was a farce, and now they’re staring down the barrel of having to win three consecutive games against the Astros to stave off elimination.