Before we heard recent indications from Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer that the Cubs are finally ready to start making some impactful acquisitions, we got the first of such signs when the Cubs claimed Cole Hamels off waivers in August.
No, it was not even a remote possibility that a deal would’ve been made at the time. But it told us that the Cubs were ready to target a top pitcher, and that they like Hamels.
Howard Eskin recently reported out of Philadelphia that the Phillies will be looking to trade Hamels this winter, and that the Cubs, as well as the Red Sox, would be interested.
I’m a big fan of Hamels, and I’d like to see him in a Cubs uniform. But what would it take to get him?
Typical Cardinal magic
Friday was a baseball lover’s dream, with all of the current playoff teams playing on the same day.
It did not disappoint.
Arguably the most anticipated match-up, Game 1 of the Cardinals-Dodgers series, definitely had no lack of drama. The game screamed of a pitcher’s duel, as it featured probably the two best starting pitchers in the National League this year: Adam Wainwright and Clayton Kershaw. But baseball is an unpredictable game, and St. Louis ended up winning a wild one 10-9.
The Dodgers jumped ahead early, taking a 6-1 lead and looking like Kershaw would cruise to an easy win.
But then the Cardinals put up a single run in the sixth inning and eight(!) runs in the seventh. That monster inning started with five straight singles and was broken open by a two-out bases-clearing double by Matt Carpenter.
It was an impressive and classic-annoying 11-pitch at-bat by Carpenter. Analyst Harold Reynolds was insisting throughout the inning that the Cardinals were stealing signs with their base runners on second base.
I don’t know if his point had any merit or not, but I suppose it’s possible. However, some of the pitches in the inning were simply not located well by Kershaw, including the pitch that ended in Carpenter’s double.
The inning was capped off when St. Louis scored two more runs on a home run by Matt Holliday to take a 10-6 advantage.
The Dodgers tried to claw their way back, but the game ended with Yasiel Puig striking out with the tying run on third base.
It was a great game in what has been an outstanding playoffs thus far. I still like the Dodgers in this series, but ya know, it’s the Cardinals (grumble).
Tigers fall behind 0-2 against Orioles
Detroit’s bullpen was at it again on Friday, as it blew a two-run lead in the eighth inning. Delmon Young hit a pinch-hit three-run double off Joakim Soria, leading to the 7-6 Orioles victory.
J.D. Martinez hit another home run for the Tigers (what a great story he has been this year), but it wasn’t enough.
I really thought the Tigers would roll over the Orioles in this series, but things are looking pretty dire at this point. Detroit will be counting on David Price to right the ship in Game 3 on Sunday.
Giants take series lead
Despite a MONSTER home run from Bryce Harper, the Giants won Game 1 against the Nationals 3-2. Jake Peavy is still kicking, going 5.2 scoreless innings in this one.
I have a feeling this series will be an upset, especially now with the Giants up 1-0 and Madison Bumgarner yet to pitch.
Royals go up 2-0
With Kris Bryant in attendance, the Royals won 4-1 in another extra-inning affair.
Royals starter Yordano Ventura, who gave up a big home run after being brought in as a reliever in the AL Wildcard game, rebounded nicely. He pitched seven innings of one-run ball and was throwing some serious gas out there.
Eric Hosmer had the big blow with a two-run shot in the top of the 11th.
All in all, it was great day of baseball.