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21/12/2018 02:51
To a certain extent in the regular season and to a far greater extent in the postseason Glen Perkins Jersey , Nathan Eovaldi has finally become a pitcher worthy of his extraordinary right arm.It will soon be time for him to be paid accordingly.For now, it's no exaggeration to say that the Boston Red Sox would not have wontheir fourth World Series championship since 2004 without Eovaldi. He helped get them to October with 54 solid innings after coming over from the Tampa Bay Rays in a July 25 trade. Once there, the hard-throwing righty became their best and most valuable pitcher.Eovaldi put up a 1.61 ERA over 22.1 playoff innings, spread out over two starts and four relief appearances. This was all against the second, fifth and sixth highest-scoring offenses in Major League Baseball to boot.The one tragedy, as it were, is the lone earned run that Eovaldi, 28, gave up in relief: Max Muncy's walk-off home run at Dodger Stadium in Game 3 of the World Series on Friday.But since that came on his 97th pitch鈥攖he most-everrecorded by a reliever in a World Series game鈥攊nthe longestFall Classic game ever, Eovaldi earned a hero's reception from his teammates anyway.'That was the most incredible pitching performance I've ever seen,' Rick Porcello, who started Game 3 for Boston, told reporters. 'Actually after the game was over, I started crying because that was鈥擨 mean, he's grinding. Every pitch. He literally gave everything he had on every single pitch, and it was special. It was a lot of fun to watch. That's the epitome of reaching down deep. I'm really proud of him.'All's well that ends well. Rather than compound the disappointment of Game 3, the Red Sox fought back to win Games 4 and 5 to dispatch the Los Angeles Dodgers in five.Eovaldi and everyone else will be wearing rings come next spring.Between now and then, Eovaldi has some money to make on the winter free-agent market.Frank Franklin II/Associated PressEovaldi has had Tommy John surgery twice, first as a high schooler and again as a professional in 2016. By the time he went in for the latter Harmon Killebrew Jersey , he was sitting on a pedestrian 4.21 ERA over739 career innings for the Dodgers, Miami Marlins and New York Yankees.So when he took the mound for his Rays debut back on May 30, it was the proper start of a true reclamation project. What followed was a 3.45 ERA over 133.1 total innings, and it was all possible thanks to his evolution Eovolution.As evidenced by his four-seam fastball's 97.4 mph average and 101.6 mph maximum, Eovaldi's superb arm strength wasn't lessened by his second Tommy John operation. He did, however, take to throwing his fastball higher on average鈥攁standard adjustment to the launch-angle revolution, to be sure, but it worked nonetheless.The slugging percentage against Eovaldi's heater dropped from .446 in 2016 all the way to .309.It also helped that Eovaldi made it more difficult for hitters to sit on his fastball. He threw it a career-low 39.9 percent of the time. The other 60.1 percent of his pitches were made up of cutters, splitters, sliders and curveballs.Eovaldi's cutter was the biggest beneficiary (31.9 percent) of that shift, and why not? It was a standout pitch in terms of both its velocity and its spin rate:Data courtesy of BaseballSavant.MLB.comAll told, what Eovaldi achieved in 2018 is perhaps the most GIF-able arsenal of pitches in MLB.To wit, here's a 102 mph fastball to Alex Bregman, via Rob Friedman:Rob Friedman PitchingNinjaNathan Eovaldi, 102mph 馃敟 LLcD5e4gAkAnd, also courtesy of Friedman, an absurd three-pitch strikeout of Carlos Correa:Rob Friedman PitchingNinjaNathan Eovaldi, Filthy 3 pitch K Sequence (78mph Curveball Paul Molitor Jersey , 92mph Cutter and 84mph Slider). 馃あ yXvg35r20ZIn theory, the biggest shortcoming for a guy with Eovaldi's stuff should be a tenuous relationship with the strike zone. In reality, he's always been the type to relentlessly attack the zone. So it went in 2018, during which he walked only 1.6 batters per nine innings.Eovaldi saved his best performance for October. He walked only three batters and surrendered 15 hits. Pitching exclusively in high leverage, he permitted only one walk and four hits in relief over his last four appearances.Despite Eovaldi's evolution and his monumental October statement, some teams may still look at him and see a guy whose body is too scarred to trust. Teams might also take issue with how he's not much of a strikeout artist. He whiffed only 7.9 batters per nine innings this campaign (including the postseason).However, Eovaldi's huge upside is such that few, if any, other starters on the open market will be able to match it.If nothing else, he'll be the only accomplished starter younger than 30 available. Fellow free-agents-to-be like Dallas Keuchel, Gio Gonzalez, Lance Lynn and possibly Clayton Kershaw and David Price are past their primes. Patrick Corbin is coming off a better season than anyone else, but he has his downsides.Nobody should expect a nine-figure contract to come Eovaldi's way. But if last winter's market could conjure a $57 million deal for Alex Cobb, Eovaldi should do at least that well this winter. From there, he might have a shot at matching Ian Kennedy ($70 million) or Mike Leake ($80 million). Even Jeff Samardzija ($90 million) may not be out of reach.As recently as May, it would have been unthinkable for Eovaldi to be worthy of such figures. But when a guy breaks out to the degree that he has, well, things change.Stats courtesy of Baseball Reference, FanGraphs , Brooks Baseball and Baseball Savant. DENVER (AP) — Chris Iannetta flung the bat aside as if he got all of the pitch.In a way, he did — a walk’s just as good as a hit, especially with the bases loaded in the ninth.Iannetta brought in the winning run by drawing a five-pitch walk, and the Colorado Rockies beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-3 after squandering a late lead Sunday.“I like my chances against a guy in that situation — someone with their back against the wall and has to make pitches over the plate,” the Rockies catcher said.It was the second walk-off win in as many days for Colorado. Ryan McMahon lined a three-run homer in the ninth on Saturday.DJ LeMahieu led off the ninth with a single to right that Yasiel Puig misplayed, allowing LeMahieu to take second. After David Dahl was intentionally walked with one out, Ian Desmond grounded out. McMahon was also walked to load the bases.Manager Bud Black thought about using pinch-hitter Carlos Gonzalez, but elected to stick with Iannetta, who drew the walk off Dylan Floro (4-3) when the right-hander’s sinker missed low.“I don’t get the job done and we go to the next inning. It’s not live or die,” Iannetta said of the pressure situation. “If he doesn’t get the job done, the game’s over.”The Rockies took three of four for their first home series win against the Dodgers since April 7-9, 2017. The loss dropped the Dodgers out of a first-place tie with Arizona in the NL West.It was the third straight game a Dodgers bullpen without Kenley Jansen — who’s sidelined with an irregular heartbeat — was tagged with the loss.“When you’re putting guys in a tough spot in tight situations where every game is close and you can’t get any breathing room, it makes it tough on everyone,” manager Dave Roberts said.Wade Davis (2-6) pitched a shaky ninth in a tie game after Colorado failed to earlier protect a 3-0 lead.Chad Bettis pitched efficiently into the seventh before turning it over to the struggling bullpen.That’s when the Dodgers went to work.Brian Dozier delivered a two-out, two-run single in the seventh off Scott Oberg. In the eighth, Matt Kemp tied the game at 3 with a sacrifice fly against Adam Ottavino.Davis got two quick outs in the ninth before walking Dozier, who stole second and then third when the shifted infield wasn’t paying attention. Davis retired pinch-hitter Joc Pederson on a grounder to end the inning.“They bended a little, didn’t totally break,” Rockies manager Bud Black said.Bettis went 6 1/3 innings , allowing one run and three singles. It was his second start since returning from the disabled list after a pesky blister on his right middle finger kept him out for a month.Rich Hill threw six innings and allowed three runs, two earned, as he returned to the mound at Coors Field for the first time since April 23, 2008, when he was with the Chicago Cubs.His biggest mistake was a two-seam fastball on a 3-2 count that Charlie Blackmon knocked into the left-field bleachers in the sixth. It was Blackmon’s first homer since July 31.TRAINER’S ROOMDodgers: LHP Julio Urias will soon pitch three innings at Double-A Tulsa as he takes another step in his rehab from June 2017 shoulder surgery. Urias turned 22 on Sunday.ARENADO UPDATERockies All-Star 3B Nolan Arenado was close to playing Sunday, but the team decided to give him another day to rest his sore shoulder. The team has an off day Monday before playing in Houston, where Arenado could play third or be the designated hitter.“Feels better for sure,” Arenado said.FRUSTRATIONIt was a frustrating day for Manny Machado, who went 0 for 4. He broke his bat over his leg after striking out in the seventh. He was lifted in a double-switch in the bottom of the inning.UP NEXTDodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (5-5, 2.58 ERA) will go against another ace in San Francisco LHP Madison Bumgarner (4-4, 2.69) to open a three-game series Monday. Kershaw is 22-10 with a 1.60 ERA in 42 starts versus the Giants.Rockies: Monday provides the first day off after 17 straight games. The Rockies will open a two-game series at Houston on Tuesday, with RHP German Marquez (9-9, 4.69) taking the mound. The Astros will throw RHP Justin Verlander (11-7, 2.50).
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