Welcome back. Hope you had a nice long All-Star Break. For me the actual ASG was kind of meh. Call me old-fashioned but what I didn’t like was the on-field interview (interviews? I only saw one) during the game (albeit in-between innings) and that business with the batter giving the catcher his cell phone to take a photo with the umpire. Yes, I know this is an exhibition game, but if I want to see that kind of stuff, I’ll watch the celebrity softball game.
Anyway, back to business…
Ryan Braun must have felt rested. He launched a grand slam on Friday to cap an eight-run inning in a 9-6 win for the Milwaukee Brewers over the visiting Philadelphia Phillies. All told, Braun was 3-for-10 for the weekend. The home run — his sixth career grand salami — was his 11th of the year. He also stole his fifth base. The Brewers took two of three to move 10 games over .500 at 52-42.
Danny Valencia was 3-13 as the Seattle Mariners (46-47) swept the host Chicago White Sox. All three were extra bases hits: two doubles (14) and his 10th home run which was good for three RBIs to tie yesterday’s game in the fourth inning.
Ian Kinsler walked to lead of the game for the Detroit Tigers (41-49) vs. the visiting Toronto Blue Jays (42-49) yesterday. He then stole second and scored the team’s first run, en route to a 6-5, 11-inning contest. That was the highlight of the weekend for Kinsler, who was 1-for-8 with two walks in two games (he did not appear in Friday’s 7-2 loss). With the Tigers falling farther and farther, trade rumors have picked up but since he’s been slumping so much, who would be interested?
Kevin Pillar was 1-for-10 with two runs scored and an RBI for the Jays.
Scott Pederson was 4-for-10, including two doubles (14) as the LA Dodgers (64-29) swept the host Miami Marlins. Pederson entered Sunday’s game as a pinch hitter in the seventh and flied out. He had one subsequent at-bat.
Alex Bregman was 2-for-10 with his 22nd double as the Houston Astros (62-30) took two of three from the visiting Minnesota Twins (46-45). Bregman also walked twice, scored twice, and drove in his 28th run. Craig Breslow made another rehab appearance, striking out one of the two batters he faced yesterday for the Rochester Red Wings in a loss to the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.
Richard Bleier gave up a hit and struck out one in 2.1 innings on Friday as the visiting Chicago Cubs chased starter Kevin Gausman after just three innings. Could the O’s — who lost all three games to fall to 42-27 — be considering making Bleier a starter? According to a story on MASN.com (HT to Bob Wechsler for this one)
[Manager Buck] Showalter confirmed that the Orioles have considered the idea of stretching out Richard Bleier as a starter. Bleier’s ERA is down to 1.38 in 32 2/3 innings.
“Certainly it crosses your mind because he can defend himself against right-handed hitters, but I don’t know for sure how that would play right now,” Showalter said. “He’s doing such a good job in that role, I’d hate to mess with it.”
Bleier is getting a decent amount of swings and misses on his cutter and he’s incorporating a changeup.
“He’s deceptive,” Showalter said. “If you watch his delivery, he’s one of the few guys who lands on his toes on the ball of his foot and doesn’t come off it. Most people go toe-heel. He goes toe and stays on it. That’s really unusual. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pitcher do that, but it works.”
Though Bleier worked 2 1/3 innings last night, Showalter said it wouldn’t surprise him if the left-hander insisted that he could pitch tonight if needed.
“We’d like to stay away from Richard, but one of the things that’s been attractive about him is he’s pretty resilient,” Showalter said. “I bet he’s going to stay that he can give us a hitter or two tonight, but I’d rather not.”
“Stalwart” Scott Feldman gets the start for the Cincinnati Reds today against the visiting Washington Nationals, who have won the first three games of the series. He might make a good pick-up for a team looking for some veteran pitching, perhaps one who scores well to overcome all the runs he gives up.Tags: Alex Bregman, Craig Breslow, Danny Valencia, Ian Kinsler, Joc Pederson, Kevin Pillar, Richard Bleier, Ryan Btaun, Scott Feldman