Archive for the ‘Game Day’ Category


JML Update, World Series Edition: Game Two

Posted on: October 25th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Ian Kinsler‘s two-out RBI single in the second inning put the Boston Red Sox on the board first en route to a 4-2 win over the visiting LA Dodgers, giving them a 2-0 lead in the Fall Classic.

Joc Pederson flied out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth. He remained in the game as the left-fielder and did not have another turn at bat.

The teams take a break tonight before resuming action tomorrow in Los Angeles.

JML Update, World Series, Game 1

Posted on: October 24th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Unless you’re a Red Sox fan, this one was pretty ho-hum. Boston beat the visiting LA Dodgers, 8-4. Neither of our boys were involved in the highlights.

Ian Kinsler started for the home team and went 0-for-4.

Joc Pederson entered the game for the Dodgers as a pinch-hitter in the seventh, leading off that inning by grounding out sharply to second, although not Kinsler, since the Sox were in a shift. He remained in the game and again grounded out to second to lead off the ninth, this time to his co-religionist.

In an ESPN ranking of both teams by Sam Miller, Pederson was listed at #28:

We really can’t stress enough how incredible the Dodgers’ platoon system is this year — with two guys at almost every position who would start on the vast majority of teams — but here it is again: Pederson is a pretty good defensive center fielder who slots in between Giancarlo Stanton and Joey Votto on the 2018 OPS+ leaderboard, and he is going to end up starting fewer than half the Dodgers’ postseason games. Fun fact: When I was drawing up the list of 50 players in this World Series, he was the last name I recalled, after Dylan Floro and Blake Swihart, because you actually can forget that Joc Pederson, near star, is even on this team.

Kinsler was ranked #33:

This might be overly optimistic, considering the man just had easily his worst offensive season and some extremely humbling at-bats against Gerrit Cole in the American League Championship Series. But Kinsler’s defense is still fantastic, he still usually puts the ball in play, he’s got great awareness and I’ve just got a weird hunch he’s worth watching in this series.

Game Two starts tonight at 8:09.

JML Update, World Series Edition: Pre-Game One

Posted on: October 23rd, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

One’s in, one’s not.

Ian Kinsler is projected as the starting second baseman for the host Boston Red Sox, while Joc Pederson is not among the opening nine for the LA Dodgers.

This marks the second straight year that two MOTs have opposed each other in baseball’s final showcase. You may recall that Pederson created quite a story in the 2017 Fall Classic, belting three home runs and a couple of doubles in a losing cause against the Houston Astros. Alex Bregman had a couple of long balls himself in that one for the ‘Stros.

Kinsler has appeared in two World Series, 2010 and 2011 while with the Texas Rangers, in which he batted .293 (12-for-41) with no home runs and two RBIs.

Image result for ian kinsler, world series



Joops Update (Oct. 22, 2018)

Posted on: October 22nd, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

(Because Jews + hoops = Joops)

Memphis Grizzlies Jaren Jackson Jr. (13) reacts to a foul near Grizzlies Omri Casspi (18) in the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Karen Pulfer Focht)Omri Casspi made his 2018 debut with the Memphis Grizzles on Friday, scoring 11 points in 24 minutes off the bench to help his team beat the visiting Atlanta Hawks, 131-117.

The 30-year-old Israeli import — and the only Jew in the league at this point — hit on four of eight field goal attempts (missing both tries from three-point land) and three of six foul shots. He also pulled down four rebounds and made two assists.

Casspi — who seems to have missed more than his share of games due to various injuries and coaches’ ennui — did not appear in the season opener, a 111-83 loss to the Indiana Pacers.

The Grizzlies (1-1) are his seventh team in his nine-year NBA career,: Sacramento Kings, Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, Kings (again), New Orleans Pelicans (for whom he scored 12 points in his only appearance before before getting hurt), Minnesota Timberwolves, Kings (again!), and the Golden State Warriors, who mercilessly released him with two games left on the schedule last year. I can’t figure out why he can’t stick since he’s generally regarded as a great teammate and a solid bench player. Maybe this is his year.


JFL Update, Week 7

Posted on: October 22nd, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

QB Josh Rosen had a tough go of it for the Arizona Cardinals (1-6, T-3, NFC West) in their 45-10 loss to the visiting Denver Broncos on Thursday. He was 21 of 39 in passing with one TD and three interceptions, two of which were run back for Bronco touchdowns. Rosen also rushed once for 14 yards. Rosen sustained a sprained toe which might impact his next game.

Mitchell Schwartz appeared on all of the KC Chiefs’ 70 offensive plays plus another eight (30 percent) on special teams in a 45-10 win over the visiting Cincinnati Bengals. The Chiefs are 6-1 to lead the AFC West.

Ali Marpet — who recently signed a six-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-3, third, NFC South) — appeared on all of the team’s 95 (!) offensive plays plus another six (18 percent) on ST in a 26-23 overtime win over the visiting Cleveland Browns (2-4-1, fourth, AFC North). Kicker Greg Joseph did not have any field goal attempts but connected on three PATs for the Browns. Nice piece on the rookie in The Times of Israel.

Greg Joseph celebrates after the Cleveland Browns defeated the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, October 7, 2018. (Jason Miller/Getty Images via JTA)

Nate Ebner appeared on 27 ST plays (82 percent) as the New England Patriots (5-2, first, AFC East) beat the host Chicago Bears, 38-31. He assisted on one tackle.

Jordan Dangerfield and the Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2-1, first, AFC North) were in their bye week.



JML Update, World Series Edition

Posted on: October 22nd, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Congrats to Joc Pederson and the LA Dodgers. By beating the host Milwaukee Brewers, 5-1, on Saturday, they return to the Fall Classic where they will take on Ian Kinsler and the Boston Red Sox beginning tomorrow night at famed Fenway Park.

Pederson started in left field came out for a pinch hitter in the third inning after grounding out in his only at-bat leading off the game. Overall, he had three singles in 13 official plate appearances.

Ryan Braun was 0-for-4 in the deciding game. He had seven hits, including two doubles, in 29 at-bats and drove in four runs. The New York Times ran a nice feature on him on Saturday.

By the way, in case no one else mentions it among the hundreds of pre-Series background stories and fillers, Fenway — which opened in 1912 — and Dodger Stadium — 1962 — are two of the oldest ballparks in the Majors; only Wrigley Field (1916) is older than the Dodgers’ home field.

Another “fun fact” — the last time these two teams faced off in the World Series was back in 1916 when the Dodgers were known as the Brooklyn Robins (named after their beloved manager Wilbert Robinson). The Sox took the championship that fall, four games to one.


JML Update, LCS Edition (Game of October 18, 2018)

Posted on: October 19th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Congrats to the Boston Reds Sox. Their 4-1 win over the host Houston Astros puts them back into the World Series. Ian Kinsler  was 2-for-4 as the starting second baseman, including a double and a run scored. Ales Bregman, once again at the top of the Astros’ lineup, was once again hitless, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Between the two MOTs, Bregman giveth…

And Bregman taketh away…

Now Boston has to await the winner of the Milwaukee Brewers (Ryan Braun) – Los Angeles Dodgers (Joc Pederson) NLCS with the former trailing the latter three games to two. That could be over tonight.

JML Update, LCS Edition (Games of October 17, 2018)

Posted on: October 18th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

It took a circus catch by Andrew Benintendi to prevent Alex Bregman from being a hero once again for the Houston Astros.

The home team had the bases load with two out in the ninth and trailing the visiting Boston Red Sox, 8-6. If the ball drops, two runs would have scored, and if it got by Benintendi, the game would have been over. As it was, the Sox took a three-games-one advantage with the victory.

Perhaps it’s because he’s been so selective at the plate (11 walks in the post-season), but the Astros moved Bergman into the lead-off spot where he went 0-for-5.

Ian Kinsler appeared as a defensive replacement for the Sox in the ninth.

The fifth game takes place tonight.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers took a 3-2 lead over the visiting Milwaukee Brewers with a 5-2 win. Joc Pederson came on as a defensive replacement in the fourth inning and was 1-for-2 over the rest of the game.

Ryan Braun was 0-for-3 with a walk for the Brewers.

Game Six will have to wait for the teams to return to Miller Park tomorrow.


JML Update, LCS Edition (Games of Oct. 16, 2018)

Posted on: October 17th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

It took 13 innings and five hours and fifteen minutes for the LA Dodgers to beat the visiting Milwaukee Brewers, 2-1. Ryan Braun had three singles in six trips to the plate and stole a base with two out in the tenth.

Joc Pederson entered the game as a defensive replacement in the seventh inning and was hitless in three at-bats.

Shawn Green, who ranks second on the all-time home run list for MOTs behind Hank Greenberg, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

The NLCS is tied at 2-2.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

The Boston Red Sox beat the host Houston Astros, 8-2, thanks mostly to a grand slam by Jackie Bradley Jr. Ian Kinsler started the game and was 0-for-3, remaining hitless in the LCS. He came out for a pinch-hitter in the eighth.

Alex Bregman put on a defensive clinic, to paraphrase Ron Darling, making several excellent plays at third. Bregman tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the fifth with a double to left, one of two hits he had in three official at-bats. He also walkedthe 11th time he’s received a free pass in the post-season — to boost his OPS to a mind-boggling 1.214. More here.

Boston leads the ALCS, 2-1.

JFL Update, Week Six

Posted on: October 16th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Geoff Schwartz and the visiting Kansas City Chiefs suffered their first loss of the year, coming at the hands of Nate Ebner‘s New England Patriots, 43-40. Schwartz appeared on all 54 offensive plays plus another eight (22 percent) on special teams. Ebner was in on 27 special team plays (75 percent) and assisted on a tackle. The Chiefs are 5-1, tops in the AFC West; the Patriots are tied for first with the Miami Dolphins with a 4-2 mark.

Josh Rosen got the start behind center for the Arizona Cardinals (1-5, T-3rd NFC West) in their 27-17 loss to the host Minnesota Vikings. Rosen completed 21 of 31 pass attempts for 240 yards (longest, 40), no touchdowns, and one interception. He was sacked four times for a loss of 32 yards.

Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2-1, 2nd AFC North) strong safety Jordan Dangerfield appeared on four plays with the defensive unit (7 percent) and 20 (74 percent) on special teams in their 28-21 win over the host Cincinnati Bengals.

Ali Marpet appeared in all 66 offensive plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3, 3rd NFC South) plus another four (14 percent) on special teams, making one tackle in the team’s 34-29 loss to the host Atlanta Falcons.

Kicker Greg Joseph connected on two field go attempts (33 and 28 yards) but the Cleveland Browns (2-3-1, 4th AFC North) fell to the visiting Los Angeles Chargers, 38-14. He also appeared on five special team plays (17 percent).


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