Greg Holland
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Report: Nationals in discussions with Greg Holland

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The Nationals have reportedly engaged in contract negotiations with free agent reliever Greg Holland, per Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post. A deal hasn’t been finalized just yet, however, nor has the team confirmed the report.

Holland, 32, was released from the Cardinals last Wednesday after failing to log a single save in seven save chances and pitching to a career-worst 7.92 ERA, 7.9 BB/9 and 7.9 SO/9 in 25 innings — a performance that was undeniably hampered after he missed nearly four weeks with a right hip impingement. The right-hander looked no better during a brief rehab stint in the minors, and appeared to be a far way off from replicating the All-Star numbers and NL-best 47 saves he amassed with the Rockies in 2017. Still, he could yet provide some value to a bullpen that currently ranks 10th-worst in the majors with a cumulative 3.65 ERA and 1.7 fWAR this season (and whose closer is currently laid up with a stress reaction in his left foot).

Recent struggles notwithstanding, Holland’s track record attracted considerable interest around the league in the days following his release from the Cardinals. According to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo, five or six unidentified teams have already come calling for the closer. It helps, too, that Holland successfully passed through waivers last week, so any interested party will be able to restructure a new deal with the righty rather than paying off the rest of the $14 million salary the Cardinals agreed to at the start of the season.

George Springer’s lack of hustle was costly for Houston

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George Springer hit a big home run for the Astros last night. It was his fifth straight World Series game with a homer. That’s good! But he also did something less-than-good.

In the bottom of the eighth, with the Astros down 5-3, Springer was batting with Kyle Tucker on second and one out. He sent a breaking ball from Daniel Hudson deep, deep, deep to right-center field but . . . it was not deep enough. It rattled off the wall. Springer ended up with a double.

Except, he probably has a triple if, rather than crow-hop out of the box and watch what he thought would be a home run, he had busted it out of the box. Watch:

After that José Altuve flied out. Maybe it would’ve been deep enough to score Springer form third, tying the game, maybe it wouldn’t have, but Springer being on second mooted the matter.

After the game, Springer defended himself by saying that he had to hold up because the runner on second had to hold up to make sure the ball wasn’t caught before advancing. That’s sort of laughable, though, because Springer was clearly watching what he thought was a big blast, not prudently gauging the pace of his gait so as not to pass a runner on the base paths. He, like Ronald Acuña Jr. in Game 1 of the NLDS, was admiring what he thought was a longball but wasn’t. Acuña, by the way, like Springer, also hit a big home run in his team’s losing Game 1 cause, so the situations were basically identical.

Also identical, I suspect, is that both Acuña and Springer’s admiring of their blasts was partially inspired by the notion that, in the regular season, those balls were gone and were not in October because of the very obviously different, and deader, baseball MLB has put into use. It does not defend them not running hard, but it probably explains why they thought they had homers.

Either way: a lot of the baseball world called out Acuña for his lack of hustle in that game against the Cardinals. I can’t really see how Springer shouldn’t be subjected to the same treatment here.