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Archive for the ‘Jews and baseball’ Category

 

JML Update, Games of 9/6/17

Posted on: September 7th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Ian Kinsler hit home run #15 to break a four-way tie for most among MOTs. It was one of the few highlights for the Detroit Tigers (59-80), who were pummeled by visiting KC Royals, 13-2. The solo shot — his only hit in three at-bats (he also walked) — came in the fifth inning. It tied the game at the time, but the Royals scored four in the seventh and seven more in the eighth. In case you were wondering, Kinsler’s lifetime total is 227, fourth on the all-time Jewish list behind Hank Greenberg, Shawn Green, and Ryan Braun, who was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts as the Milwaukee Brewers (72-68) fell to the host Cincinnati Reds, 7-1.

Alex Bregman hit his 33rd double — his only safety in five at-bats, as the Houston Astros (86-53) beat the host Seattle Mariners (69-71), 5-3.  Danny Valencia did not appear for the Mariners.

Joc Pederson returned to Major League action last night, batting eighth and stroking a single in two at-bats as the flailing LA Dodgers (92-47) lost to the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks, 3-1. He came out of the game for a pinch-hitter in the seventh, but he did make this nice catch up against the centerfield wall to save at least one run.

Ryan Sherriff picked up his first Major League win by tossing two innings of relief for the St. Louis Cardinals (72-67), who beat the host San Diego Padres, 3-1. Sherriff, who took his first loss on Saturday to the San Francisco Giants, did not allow a hit, walked two, and struck out two.

Max Fried did not appear for the Atlanta Braves (61-77), who split a doubleheader with the Texas Rangers. Fried will become a full-time starter, at least for the remainder of the season, as the Braves go to a six-man rotation. I’m waiting for the time some maverick manager decides to start a different pitcher for each game, bringing someone up from the minors as the need arises. Think of the confusion for the opposing teams. What kind of scouting reports will there be? Plus you’re paying some of these guys the ML minimum. Anyway, Fried takes the ball on Saturday against the visiting Miami Marlins.

Kevin Pillar did not appear for the Toronto Blue Jays (64-76), who lost to the host Boston Red Sox, 6-1.

Craig Breslow did not appear for the Cleveland Indians (83-56), who won their 14th in a row by beating the host Chicago White Sox, 5-1.

Richard Bleier and the Baltimore Orioles (71-68) saw their game against the visiting NY Yankees postponed by rain.

 

 

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JML Update, Games of 7/5/17

Posted on: September 6th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Kevin Pillar had a single and double (#34) and scored a run in seven at-bats as the Toronto Blue Jays (64-75) lost to the host Boston Red Sox, 3-2, in 19 innings. The winning single was hit in Pillar’s direction but there was no superhuman effort in this story and his throw was unable to nab the game-winner at the plate. I was actually watching the last several innings, the product of insomnia.

Alex Bregman got the Houston Astros (85-53) on the scoreboard with a sacrifice fly in the third inning and was hitless in three official at-bats. The outfield fly didn’t miss being a rand slam by much in Justin Verlander’s debut for the Astros, who held off the host Seattle Mariners (69-70), 3-1. Danny Valencia did not appear for the Ms.

kinslerIan Kinsler (left) was 1-for-4 with a run scored as the Detroit Tigers (59-79) crossed the plate seven times in the second en route to a 13-2 drubbing of the visiting KC Royals. He came out for a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning. Kinsler’s future with the Tigers is up in their air. Reports are that he wants to be back in 2018, but the team seems to be willing to part with the 35-year-old second baseman as they rebuild. On the other hand, they could use his veteran leadership as they do. One also has to wonder about the future of manager Brad Ausmus, who has not had great success since he was hired.

Same box score line for Ryan Braun with a different result: the Milwaukee Brewers (72-67) lost to the host Cincinnati Reds, 9-2. He also walked and stole his ninth base. Braun remains one home run shy of the 300 mark.

Richard Bleier gave up an unearned run on one hit as the Baltimore Orioles (71-68) came back from a 6-1 deficit to beat the visiting NY Yankees, 7-6, on Manny Machado’s two-run walk off homer. It was his second long-ball of the night in a game that was delayed by rain for more than two hours because of rain.

Craig Breslow did not appear for the Cleveland Indians (82-56) who beat the host Chicago White Sox, 9-4, for their 13th consecutive victory. Ryan Sherriff did not appear for the St. Louis cardinals (71-67) in their 8-4 win over the host San Diego Padres. The meeting between the Texas Rangers and host Atlanta Braves was postponed by rain so nothing for Max Fried, who’s already being touted as the next Tom Glavine? Please.

The LA Dodgers (92-46) recalled beleaguered outfielder Joc Pederson yesterday. They lost, 3-1, to the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks, their fifth straight defeat and ninth in their last 10.

JML Update, Games of 9/4/17

Posted on: September 5th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Welcome back, folks. Hope you had a great Labor Day holiday despite weather conditions and sundry global events.

Since most teams begin a new series on Mondays, I’m going to dispense with the usual long-weekend wrap. Too complicated. However I just wanted to give a shout-out to Atlanta Braves pitcher Max Fried. He returned to the team after the September 1 call-up by which Major League rosters can expand to 40. Fried won his big-league first start by pitching five strong innings on Sunday against the first-place host Chicago Cubs. He gave up one run on a homer, one of four hits he allowed to go along with three walks and four strikeouts in a 5-1 victory.

Now on to our regularly scheduled program..

Ryan Braun had three hits, including his 14th home run (what, no clip?), as the Milwaukee Brewers (72-66) fell to the host Cincinnati Reds on a walk-off home run by Billy Hamilton. That puts Braun one shy of the 300 circuit milestone.

Alex Bregman drove in two runs with his 32nd double to help the Houston Astros (84-53) beat the host Seattle Mariners (69-69), 6-2. It was his only hit in five at-bats. He also scored a run. Danny Valencia was 0-for-3 for the Mariners and came out of the game for a pinch-hitter in the ninth.

Kevin Pillar was 1-for-5 with an RBI (#38), as the Toronto Blue Jays (64-74) beat the host Boston Red Sox. This clip erroneously credits him with a double, a solid blast off the Monster hit so hard it rebounded right to the leftfielder who was able to hold Pillar at first.

The Detroit Tigers (58-79) scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth, but it wasn’t enough to keep from losing to the visiting KC Royals, 7-6. Ian Kinsler was 0-for-4.

Craig Breslow did not appear for the Cleveland Indians (81-56), who beat the host Chicago White Sox, 8-5.

Richard Bleier did not appear for the Baltimore Orioles (70-68) who lost to the visiting NY Yankees, 7-4.

Ryan Sherriff did not appear for the St. Louis Cardinals (70-67) who shut out the host San Diego Padres, 2-0.

JML Update, games of 8/31/17

Posted on: September 1st, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Yesterday was the deadline for trades that would qualify players to appear in the post-season. The Detroit Tigers made a couple of big deals, parting ways with their ace Justin Verlander and outfielder Justin Upton, but Ian Kinsler remains mired with the last-place team, which was idle last night. There’s still a better-than-average chance that Kinsler will be dealt after the season.

Verlander joins Alex Bregman and the first-place Houston Astros (80-53), who beat the visiting Texas Rangers, 5-1. Bregman was 2-for-4 with two runs scored, an RBI, and his 15th stolen base. As noted on RotoBaller.com, “Bregman has had an excellent month of August, slashing .339/.392/.587 with three triples, four stolen bases, five home runs, six doubles, 13 runs scored and 19 runs batted in.”

Kevin Pillar drove in a pair with his 32nd double — his second hit of the game — as the Toronto Blue Jays (62-72) beat the host Baltimore Orioles (68-66), 8-6. Richard Bleier saw his eight-game scoreless streak come to an end, but only after he stopped the bleeding in the fifth when the Jays scored five times. He allowed one run on one hit in the sixth, but that was only because Mychal Givens, who relieved him, gave up a homer to Kendrys Morales, so not totally Bleier’s fault.

Ryan Braun joined the RBI parade, plating his on a sacrifice fly as the Milwaukee Brewers (70-64) beat the visiting Washington Nationals, 6-3. Braun had one hit in three official at-bats and scored a run.

September begins the month where rosters can expand to 40 players so teams generally promote their top prospects. Joc Pederson is in somewhat of a limbo and will not be rejoining the LA Dodgers, at least not immediately. But Maybe the Chicago White Sox and Atlanta Braves — two teams in the doldrums — will bring back pitchers Brad Goldberg and Max Fried, respectively. Neither of them enjoyed great success in their initial outings.

Shameless self-promotion time: My latest interview on the Hank Greenberg book, courtesy Nathan Bierma, host of the Tigers History podcast.

 

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JML Update, Games of 8/30/17

Posted on: August 31st, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Ryan Braun hit his 21st double in four at-bats as the Milwaukee Brewers (69-64) held off the visiting St. Louis Cardinals, 6-5. Keon Broxton made a home run-saving catch to end the game, but I think the announcers got a little too enthusiastic. The hit would have given the Cards (66-66) a 7-6 lead, but since the Brewers were the home team, they would have had one more shot at a victory, so calling the effort a “game-saver” is not necessarily so.

Ryan Sherriff did his job for St. Louis, retiring the only batter he faced to end the three-run rally in the sixth that gave the Brewers the lead.

Danny Valencia struck out as a pinch-hitter then struck out again when he remained in the game as the Seattle Mariners (68-66) dropped this one to the host Baltimore Orioles (68-65), 8-7. Richard Bleier retired the only batter he faced, picking up his second “hold” of the year. One of these days I’m going to opine on Keith Law’s excellent book, Smart Baseball: The Story Behind the Old Stats That Are Ruining the Game, the New Ones That Are Running It, and the Right Way to Think About Baseball to let you know how silly some of these categories are.

Craig Breslow completed the fine day by Jewish relievers, giving up one hit in one inning to help the Cleveland Indians (75-56) en route to a three-game sweep of the host NY Yankees, 9-4, in the first game of a regular doubleheader, i.e., not one of those two-admission money grabs that are the norm these days.

Kevin Pillar was 1-for-4 as the Toronto Blue Jays (61-72) lost to the visiting Boston Red Sox, 7-1.

Alex Bregman was o-for-4 for the Houston Astros (79-53), who lost to the visiting Texas Rangers, 8-1. Actually both teams are “visiting” Tropicana field in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Ian Kinsler did not appear for the Detroit Tigers (58-74) in their 6-2 win over the host Colorado Rockies.

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JML Update, Games of 8/29/17

Posted on: August 30th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Alex Bregman was 3-for-5 with an RBI as the Houston Astros (79-52) were sextupled by the Texas Rangers, 12-2. He also made this nice play at shortstop, where he started the game before moving to his usual position at third base. The Astros will be playing their home games at Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay — home of the Rays — for the foreseeable future due to the awful situation caused by the rain and flooding in the Houston area.

Kevin Pillar was 1-for-3 as the Toronto Blue Jays (61-71) were shut out 3-0 by the visiting Boston Red Sox. No fancy fielding today.

Ryan Braun was 1-for-4 as the Milwaukee Brewers (68-64) were quintupled by the visiting St. Louis Cardinals (66-65), 10-2. Ryan Sherriff continued his pleasant experience in the Majors by striking out one in a scoreless ninth inning of relief.

Danny Valencia won the “Golden Sombrero,” indicative of striking out in all four of his at-bats, as the Seattle Mariners (66-67) were shut out by the host Baltimore Orioles, 4-0. Richard Bleier did not appear for the Os (67-75).

Ian Kinsler was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts as the Detroit Tigers (57-74) lost to the host Colorado Rockies, 7-3.

The game between the NY Yankees and Cleveland Indians was postponed by rain so no Craig Breslow sighting.

JML Update, Games of 8/28/17

Posted on: August 29th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Monday. Need I say more?

Danny Valencia highlighted the doings for the few MOTs in action. He hit home run #14, good for one run, but the Seattle Mariners (66-65) lost to the host Baltimore Orioles (66-65), 7-6. Valencia, who played right field and first base (but not at the same time), also had a single and a walk. Richard Bleier did not appear for the Os.

Kevin Pillar  doubled (#31) and scored a run in four at-bats, but the Toronto Blue Jays (61-70) lost to the visiting Boston Red Sox, 6-5. He did contribute this great catch (HT to Scott Barancik for the clip).

Ian Kinsler was 1-for-4 for the Detroit Tigers (57-73) in their 4-3 win over the host Colorado Rockies. Manager Brad Ausmus is still bemused by his recent suspension in the aftermath of the Tigers-Yankees brawls last week.

And that’s all she wrote.

 

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JML Update, Weekend Edition (8/25-27/2017)

Posted on: August 28th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Let’s start with pitching for a change.

Welcome, Ryan Sherriff, who had a darned good debut for the St. Louis Cardinals (66-65) on Friday in a 5-1 loss to the visiting Tampa Bay Rays. Sherriff — who toiled in the minors for seven years — came on in the 7-3 loss, tossing three shutout innings, giving up two hits and a walk while striking out four. Sadly, there’s no clips from MLB.com to mark the occasion but there are these, including an interview with his mother, Renee.

 

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

And welcome back, Craig Breslow. The veteran lefty was called up by his new team, the Cleveland Indians (75-53) and pitched one inning (two strikeouts) in yesterday’s 12-0 win over the visiting KC Royals, completing a three-game sweep.

Richard Bleier appeared in all three games for the Baltimore Orioles (65-65), who completed a three-game sweep over the host Boston Red Sox. Bleier pitched one inning on Friday with one walk; retired the only batter he faced on Saturday; and walked the only batter he faced yesterday.

Now for the batters…

Ian Kinsler accounted for the Detroit Tigers’ only run in yesterday’s 5-1 loss to the host Chicago White Sox. His 14th of the season came to open the eighth inning and his only hit in three official at-bats ( he also walked). Kinsler was 1-for-8 with another RBI, run scored, and stolen base (#13) as the Tigers (56-73) dropped two of three to the Sox. Tigers skipper Brad Ausmus was one of the Tigers suspended for his part in the recent brawls with the NY Yankees and he’s not taking any guff from Joe Girardi.

Alex Bregman was 5-for-13 — all singles — with a run scored and his 14th stolen base as the Houston Astros (79-51) took two of three from the host LA Angels.

Kevin Pillar was 3-for-9 in the first two games as the Toronto Blue Jays (61-69) hosted the Minnesota Twins. His line also includes a run scored and an RBI.

Danny Valencia appeared in all three games for the Seattle Mariners (66-65) who dropped to of their three games to the host NY Yankees. He was 0-for-5, splitting time between first base and right field on Friday, in a 2-1, 10-inning win that was decided by a pinch-hit home run by Yonder Alonso, the man who basically replaced him in the lineup. Valencia entered the next game in the eighth as a pinch-hitter himself, doubling and scoring a run in a 6-3 loss. He was called out on strikes in the ninth to end the festivities. He also ended Sunday’s game, flying out as a pinch-hitter in a 10-1 loss abetted by five Mariners’ errors.

Ryan Braun was hitless over the weekend, 0-for-9 with three strikeouts as the Milwaukee Brewers (68-63) took two of three from the host LA Dodgers, who lost their first series since June. Funny how wrong this preview was about Ryan’s prowess at Dodger Stadium.

The Atlanta Braves sent down pitcher Max Fried, but he’ll probably be back soon. In the meantime, the Atlanta Jewish Times posted this article on his roots.

As you may know, the last three days was set up as “Players’ Weekend.” The teams had special uniforms that bore the nicknames of most of the athletes. Many had special cleats designed which will ostensibly be auctioned off as a fundraiser. Some were inspired, others not so much. Of course, the cynic in me cannot let this go without a snarky comment. IMO, this was just another money grab, as fans will no doubt flock to buy replica Jersey with these nicknames. These unis were not especially attractive either. It also gives a bit of marketing power to those companies who provide the cleats and other equipment for the players for this weekend.

Here’s a list of the nicknames for the JMLs, via MLB.com. Some names are missing either because they’re new to their team or, in the case of Joc Pederson and Scott Feldman, are not currently with theirs. :

Alex Bregman: “A-Breg”
Mashing up the first initial of a first name and first syllable of a surname are common these days, as Bregman shows.
Tribute patch: Brady — Brady is Bregman’s Godson, who has autism.

Kevin Pillar: “Pill”
Pillar’s usual “Superman” nickname was unavailable due to it being trademarked, so Pillar went with a variation of his name. He says he’ll still be able to wear Superman cleats for Players Weekend, along with cleats he intends to use to raise money for a charity cause of his choice.
Tribute patch: Mom, Dad — Pillar says his parents are a big reason he’s made the Majors, and he wanted to pay tribute to them.

Ryan Braun: “OCHO”
Fans of the film “Dodgeball” will recognize the reference to No. 8.
Tribute patch: Mom, Dad & Steve — Steve, his younger brother, was an infielder in the Brewers’ organization from 2008-10.

Danny Valencia: Last name
Valencia chose to use his last name, because he said he really doesn’t have a creative nickname.
Tribute patch: Mom and Dad
Valencia said that he will pay tribute to his Mom and Dad, as they paved a way for him and sacrificed to allow him to chase his dreams.

Richard Bleier: Using last name
Tribute patch: Mom and Dad
Bleier’s father, Lawrence, is from the Bronx and grew up playing stickball. His mother is named Kathy. Both had a major impact on his baseball career, which started at South Plantation High School in Plantation, Fla.

Ian Kinsler: “Bootsie”
Kinsler’s nickname comes from his 2007 season in Texas. He missed a month with a stress fracture in his foot, and when then-manager Ron Washington spotted him in a walking boot, he nicknamed him. “When I got here, we got David Price and then he started calling me that,” Kinsler said. “I don’t know how he found out about it.”
Tribute patch: Mom and Dad — Kinsler’s father got him into Little League baseball in Tucson, Arizona, when he was 9 years old. His parents drove him back and forth to games.

 

 

JML Update, Games of 8/24/17

Posted on: August 25th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Another light Thursday schedule.

This time it was the Detroit Tigers (55-71) that scored double-digit runs, beating the Yankees, 10-6. Ian Kinsler was hitless in five at-bats in a game that was marred by hit batsmen and brawls. Pretty intense stuff, as you can see from the video. Tigers skipper Brad Ausmus was one of those ejected.

Kevin Pillar was 0-for-4 as the Toronto Blue Jays were shut out, 2-0, by the host Tampa Bay Rays. His defensive counterpart and chief rival for top honors in center field, Kevin Kiermaier, was the one flashing the leather last night, making a couple of nifty grabs.

Alex Bregman had two singles and a double (#31) in five at-bats, but the Houston Astros (77-50) fell to the visiting Washington Nationals, 5-4 in 11 innings.

That’s it. I told you it was light. So since this entry is so thin, I’m taking the opportunity for a little shameless self-promotion by posting this story from the Cooperstown Crier about my recent presentation at the Baseball Hall of Fame.

https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/coopercrier.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/03/80362dd4-3a52-5a0e-982d-87a20a7cc11e/599e72cc41958.image.jpg

Bruce Markusen, manager of digital and outreach learning at the Baseball Hall of Fame, did a great job with the interview. Photo by Greg Klein/Cooperstown Crier

 

JML Update, Games of 8/23/17

Posted on: August 24th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

The descendants of Samson put on a power display last night with three of the five hits accrued going for home runs.

Alex Bregman hit his MOT-leading 16th — a three-run shot in the eighth inning to put the icing on the cake give the Houston Astros (77-48) a 6-1 win over the visiting Washington Nationals. Bregman, who also also singled, has gone yard in three of his last five games.

Kevin Pillar‘s #13 was indeed lucky. His only hit in four at-bats broke a 7-7 tie and gave the Toronto Blue Jays (60-66) an 8-7 win over the host Tampa Bay Rays. Somewhat shocked that MLB.com didn’t deem the blow worthy enough to include as a highlight clip for the game. What were they thinking? Pillar was still smarting from the previous game’s ejection.

Ian Kinsler matched Pillar’s total but it wasn’t lucky for the Detroit Tigers (54-71) who once again gave up double-digit runs to the visiting NY Yankees in a 10-2 loss. It was Kinsler’s only hit in four at-bats. He came out for a defensive replacement late in the laugher. At least it broke up the shut-out. Some are still talking about his ejection.

Not getting in on the fun: Ryan Braun, who was 0-for-4 for the Milwaukee Brewers (66-62) in their 4-2 loss to the host San Francisco Giants. Although he also has 13 “Braun blastsfor 2017 and is two shy of the “magic” 300 number, the Hammer has just one round-tripper since July 23. Not to worry, he still has his fans (read this story; it’s very charming).

Danny Valencia started in right field and batted cleanup for the Seattle Mariners (65-63) in their 9-6 win over the Atlanta Braves. He was 1-for-5 with a run scored. The Braves farmed out pitcher Max Fried, who had appeared in four games during since his MLB debut on August 8.

Richard Bleier walked the only batter he faced as the Baltimore Orioles (62-65) beat the visiting Oakland As in 12 innings, 8-7, on walk-off home run by Manny Macachdo.

And as I suggested recently, Scott Feldman is done for the year as he goes under the knife for knee surgery. He ends the season with a lot of sevens and ones in his record: 7-7 with a 4.77 ERA, giving up 21 home runs in 111.1 innings. He did manage to throw one shutout in there somehow.

Image result for Ryan SherriffFried and Chicago White Sox property Brad Goldberg may be gone, but there’s a new Sherriff in town: Ryan Sherriff to be precise. He was called up Tuesday by the St. Louis Cardinals. The 27-year-old, 6’1″, 215-pound lefty reliever from Culver City, California, was 5-1 with a 3.19 ERA in 48 appearances for the Memphis Redbirds. Mazel tov, Ryan.

Speaking of home runs…although the only MOT connection is that the LA Dodgers recently sent down Joc Pederson, they lost in stunning fashion after Rich Hill had pitched no-hit ball for nine innings, only to give up a walk-off, lead-off homer to Josh Harrison in the 10th for a 1-0 loss. The feat is worthy of a mention here, don’t you think? As the announcer said, “No-hitter gone, shut out gone, and now the game is gone.”

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