Archive for the ‘Jews and baseball’ Category


JML update, Weekend Edition (Games of Sept. 21-23)

Posted on: September 24th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

The Legend of Rowdy Tellez just keeps growing. On Saturday, he went 3-for-4 with his ninth double and third home run, driving in three runs in a 5-2 win by the Toronto Blue Jays (71-85, fourth in the AL East) over the visiting Tampa Bay Rays.

He was 1-for-8 in the other two games, both Blu Jays losses.

Kevin Pillar was 3-for-8 with a run scored in the second and third games after not appear in the first.

Ian Kinsler did not appear in Friday’s game for the Boston Red Sox (105-51, clinched first in the AL East) , a 7-5 win over the host Cleveland Indians. He was 0-for-6 in an 11-inning, 5-4 loss on Saturday and 0-for-5 yesterday, a 4-3 loss.

Ryan Braun was 1-for-2 with an RBI on Friday as the Milwaukee Brewers  (89-67, second in NL Central) beat the host Pittsburgh Pirates (78-76, fourth in the NL Central), 8-3. He was 1-for-4 on Saturday in a 4-3 loss and drove in a run with a pinch-hit walk in a 13-6 win.

The Pirates’ Ryan Lavarnway struck out as a pinch-hitter in the fifth inning yesterday, the first time he failed to get a hit in 2018, dropping his average to .750.

Joc Pederson doubled and scored a run on Friday in the LA Dodgers’ 5-3 loss to the visiting San Diego Padres (62-94, fifth in the NL West). he stayed in the game and was hitless in a subsequent at-bat. Pederson had his 24th home run and 26th double in the next game, a 7-2 win. The home run came on the second pitch of the game and the seventh time he’s led off the game thusly. He entered yesterday’s game as a defensive replacement and drove in a run on a ground out in a 14-0 romp. The Dodgers lead the NL West with a record of 87-69.

Robert Stock retired the only batter he faced all weekend. That came in Friday’s Padres’ win and earned him his fourth hold of the year.

Alex Bregman was 3-for-12 with two walks and two runs scored as the Houston Astros (98-57, first in the AL West) swept the visiting LA Angels. Oh, I’ve got to get me one of these:

Image result for alex bregman stare t-shirt

Max Fried picked up his first hold in his only appearance for the Atlanta Braves. That came Sunday in a 2-1 win over Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies. He gave up two hits, walked one, and struck out two in two innings. The Braves (88-68) took all three games to clinch first place in the NL East. The Phils (78-77) could slip to third before the end of the year, a disappointment considering they were in contention not that long ago.

JML update, September 21, 2018 (Games of Sept. 20)

Posted on: September 21st, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

The Boston Red Sox (104-49) clinched — finally — the AL East in style, scoring three runs in each the seventh and eighth innings to beat the host NY Yankees, 11-6. Ian Kinsler sat this one out, but in a piece from the NBCSports.com, he’s compared favorably with Mark Bellhorn and Dustin Pedroia, second baseman from the Sox’s previous World Series championships:

The Red Sox acquired Kinsler at the trade deadline to improve defensively at second base. Kinsler hasn’t made much of an impact at the plate yet in Boston, but he sure has with the glove. He’ll get the chance to have his own signature moment with the Red Sox in the postseason, just as Pedroia and Bellhorn did.

In the meantime, Kinsler was named to the Pima County Sports Hall of Fame.

The Legend of Rowdy Tellez continues to grow. His two-run homer in the second inning gave the Toronto Blue Jays (70-83) their opening runs and his opposite-field RBI double in the ninth ignited a seven-run, come from behind victory over the visiting Tampa Bay Rays, 9-8. Fun fact: Tellez’s first hit came in the first pitch he saw against the Rays. The home run here also came on the first itch he saw in the game. Kevin Pillar was 1-for-3. What does the future hold for the Jays’ longest-tenured player?

Max Fried did not appear for the Atlanta Braves (85-68) in their 8-3 win over the visiting Philadelphia Phillies (78-74), helmsed by Gabe Kapler.

No other MOT-related games. But here’s something about Ryan Braun‘s recent lack of playing time. And one on Joc Pederson and man’s best friend.

JML update, September 20, 2018

Posted on: September 20th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

L’shana tova, y’all. Hope you had an easy fast.

Just a quick recap of erev Yom Kippur: With the tying run on second,  Ian Kinsler hit into a game-ending 1-4-3 double play for the Boston Red Sox in their 3-2 loss to the host NY Yankees. Karma’s a bitch, ain’t it? Jump to about the 1:45 mark in the video.

On the other hand, Ryan Lavarnway had a walk-off pinch hit single to give the Pittsburgh Pirates a 2-1, 11-inning win over the visiting KC Royals.

None of the other MOTs who played that night did much of anything, so I won’t even mention them.

As far as last night goes…

Kinsler was 0-for-3 as the Yankees once again prevented the Sox (103-49) from clinching the East, this time by a more definitive, 10-1, score.

The Pirates (77-74) again defeated the Royals, 2-1, but this time in regulation and without the services of Lavarnway.

Alex Bregman continues to struggle, relatively speaking, going 0-for-2 with a walk as the Houston Astros (95-57) lost to the visiting Seattle Mariners, 9-0. Sure, he’s got his 30 HR, 100 runs scored, and 100 RBIs, but his batting average has “dwindled” to .289; he has just one hit in 17 official at-bats going back over the last week.

Kevin Pillar was 0-for-3 and Rowdy Tellez popped out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth as the Toronto Blue Jays (69-83) lost to the Baltimore Orioles, 2-1.

Robert Stock allowed two hits but no runs in his inning of relief for the San Diego Padres (61-92) in their 8-4 win over the visiting San Francisco Giants. Stock picked up his third hold, lowering his ERA to 2.15.

Joc Pederson popped out as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning as the LA Dodgers (85-68) beat the visiting Colorado Rockies, 5-2.

Ryan Braun did not play for the Milwaukee Brewers (87-66) in their 7-0 win over the visiting Cincinnati Reds. Evidently he’s still dealing with back issues.

Max Fried did not appear for the Atlanta Braves (84-68) in their 7-3 win over the visiting St. Louis Cardinals.

Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies (78-73) shut out the visiting NY Mets, 4-0.

Belated Happy Birthday to Danny Valencia — remember him? — who turned 34 yesterday. Still can’t understand how nobody thought enough of him to sign him after the Orioles let him go last month.

JML update, weekend edition (Games of Sept. 14-16, 2018)

Posted on: September 17th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Interesting game yesterday between the Toronto Blue Jays (67-82, fourth in the AL East) and host New York Yankees. The two Blue MOTS were “responsible” for the come-from-behind, 3-2 win. Trailing 2-1 in the eighth inning with runners on first and third — the former in the person of Kevin Pillar, who was serving as a pinch-runner — Rowdy Tellez stroked an opposite-field, game-tying pinch-hit. Pillar came around to score the eventual winning run on a double. Tellez was caught in a rundown; oh, well. The other two games in the series were an 11-0 loss and an 8-7 win. Pillar hit his 13th homer in that one, one of his two hits. He was 0-3 in Friday’s loss while Tellez was 1-for-4 as the starting first baseman. He did not appear in Saturday’s affair.

The Boston Red Sox (103-47, first in the AL East) took two of three from the visiting NY Mets (How is it Boston hasn’t clinched yet?). Ian Kinsler had two of his team’s four hits to go along with two stolen bases in an 8-0 loss on Friday. He was 1-for-6 with a walk and a run scored in the other two games.

Joc Pederson started all three games for the LA Dodgers (82-68, second in the NL West, second in the NL Wild Card spot), who took two out of three from the host St. Louis Cardinals. Pederson was 4-15 with a run scored.

Ryan Braun had a pinch-hit single on Saturday and was 0-for-8 in the two games he started. The Milwaukee Brewers (85-65, second in the NL Central, holding the first NL Wild Card spot) took two of three from the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates. Ryan Lavarnway did not appear for the Buccos (74-74, fourth in the NL Central).

Alex Bregman was just 1-for-7 with a run scored, but walked five times as the Houston Astros (94-55, first in the AL Central) won two of three over the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks. (More on Bregman.)

Robert Stock struck out the only batter he faced for the San Diego Padres (60-90, fifth in the NL West) in their 6-3 loss to the visiting Texas Rangers on Saturday. It was his only appearance for the weekend.

Max Fried gave up one run on a hit and a walk while striking out one in one inning of work in Saturday’s 7-1 Atlanta Braves’ loss to the visiting Washington Nationals. It was his only appearance for the weekend. The Braves are 83-66, first in the NL East.

Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies (76-72, second in the NL East) took two of three from the visiting Miami Marlins. They are five games back in the Wild Card race.

JML update, September 14, 2018 (Games of Sept. 13)

Posted on: September 14th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Very limited action last night…

Ian Kinsler and Kevin Pillar were each 0-for-3 with an RBI for the Boston Red Sox (101-46) and Toronto Blue Jays (65-81), respectively as the former beat the latter, 4-3. Kinsler’s ribbie came on a sacrifice fly for a 2-1 lead in the third inning, Pillar’s when he was hit by a pitch to tie the game at 3-3 in the eighth. Rowdy Tellez got into the game as a defensive replacement.

Joc Pederson did not appear for the LA Dodgers (80-67) in their 9-7 win over the host St. Louis Cardinals. Sure, he only homered in two straight games, so why should he play?

Jewish Baseball News announced their 2018 Minor-League Awards.

JML update, September 13, 2018 (Games of Sept. 12)

Posted on: September 13th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Remember when Joc Pederson hit all those home runs in June? Wonder how many he might have had if he played for the LA Dodgers (79-67) every day? Well, he’s back on a pace,” homering in his last two games. No. 21 came in the fourth inning against the host Cincinnati Reds to tie the game at 1-1. He also had a double and scored a second run in an 8-1 win.

Alex Bregman hit three milestones in last night’s 5-4 win by the Houston Astros (92-54) over the host Detroit Tigers. He hit his 50th double (to go along with a single), scored a run and drove in three to hit the century mark in both categories. History in the making.

The Boston Red Sox won their 100th game (against 46 losses), beating the visiting Toronto Blue Jays (65-80), 1-0. Rowdy Tellez was 1-for-3 with — you guessed it — another double, but I’m not sure if this record holds, since he appeared in one game as a pinch-hitter. Kevin Pillar struck out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth and remained in the game. Ian Kinsler did not play for the Sox.

By the way, from MLB.com in the article “Six MLB players who should replace Henry Cavill as Superman

Though he’s never worn it on Players’ Weekend, Pillar’s nickname is Superman. If he’s already known as Superman by teammates and fans, let’s just make it official. And, really, who’s to say that he can’t leap over a tall building? He’s just a cape away from being Superman already.

Robert Stock struck out the only batter he faced, picking up his second hold as the San Diego Padres edged the host Seattle Mariners, 5-4, to complete their season sweep.

Ryan Braun flied out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth as the Milwaukee Brewers (84-63) beat the host Chicago Cubs, 5-1.

Ryan Lavarnway did not appear for the Pittsburgh Pirates (72-73) in their 4-3 win over the host St. Louis Cardinals.

Max Fried did not appear for the Atlanta Braves (82-64) in their 2-1 win over the host San Francisco Giants.

Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies (74-71) lost to the visiting Washington Nationals, 5-1.

JML update, September 12, 2018 (Games of Sept. 11)

Posted on: September 12th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Mazel tov to the Boston Red Sox who clinched a playoff berth with their 99th win last night with a 6-2 decision over the visiting Toronto Blue Jays (65-79). Ian Kinsler was 1-for-4, a two-out single off the Monster to give the Sox a 6-2 lead in the eighth inning.

Like Kinsler, Kevin Pillar was 1-for-4 with an RBI. His two-out single in the sixth gave the Jays a 2-0 lead.

He also made a nice defensive play in the bottom of that frame.

Toronto rookie sensation Rowdy Tellez flied out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth.

Ryan Lavarnway made his first appearance of the season for the Pittsburgh Pirates (71-73), cracking a pinch-hit double and eventually coming around to score in the ninth inning of an 11-5 loss to the host St. Louis Cardinals.

Joc Pederson got a rare start and provided the only run for the LA Dodgers (78-67) in their 3-1 loss to the host Cincinnati Reds. The run came in the sixth on Pederson’s 20th home run of the year. He also singled in four at-bats, accounting for 40 percent of the Dodgers’ hits. It was their six loss to the woeful Reds this year.

Alex Bregman had his second hitless game in a row, going 0-for-4 as the Houston Astros (91-54) beat the host Detroit Tigers, 5-4. He had hit in 28 of his last 31 contests.

Ryan Braun was 0-for-3 as the Milwaukee Brewers (83-63) were shut out by the host Chicago Cubs, 3-0. He was robbed of a base hit in the ninth on this superb play by Addison Russel.

Robert Stock did not pitch for the San Diego Padres (58-88) in their 2-1 win over the host Seattle Mariners.

Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies (74-70) dropped a doubleheader to the visiting Washington Nationals, 3-1 and 7-6. They have lost eight of their last ten games and have dropped to 6.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves (81-64) , who beat the host San Francisco, 4-1, without the services of Max Fried.

YKD 2018

Posted on: September 12th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

As in “Yom Kippur Dilemma”…

It happens every year. We wonder if/hope that any of the Jewish Major Leaguers will mimic ancient heroes like Hank Greenberg and Sandy Koufax and refuse to play on the Day of Atonement which this year runs from Tuesday night, Sept. 18, through Wednesday, the 19th.

Image result for yom kippur , baseball  Image result for yom kippur , baseball

There are several teams in the hunt for a post-season berth. That could conceivably have an impact on yea-or-nay. Here’s the breakdown. All times are local:

The Boston Red Sox seem like a lock to finish in first place in the AL East so Ian Kinsler could take the time off. But wait: the Sox are scheduled to play the Yankees in New York at 1 p.m. Deference to the holiday? The Wednesday game takes place at 7:05 the next night. So his decision, if any, seems moot.

The first-place (AL West) Houston Astros play host to the Seattle Mariners at 8-ish on both Tuesday and Wednesday. The ‘Stros are currently three up on the second-place Oakland A’s. What will MVP candidate Alex Bregman do?

Ryan Braun and the Milwaukee Brewers are close in the NL Central. They host a night game on Tuesday against the visiting Cincinnati Reds.

Joc Pederson has seen limited playing time of late, so he could sit when the second-place LA Dodgers host a Tuesday night game against the Colorado Rockies, currently in front of them in the NL West.

The Philadelphia Phillies are still in contention for the top spot in the NL East (barely). Would manager Gabe Kapler consider handing the reigns over to a coach for the Tuesday night game against the visiting NY Mets?

With the expanded rosters, the Atlanta Braves — tops in the NL East — could do without the services of Max Fried for their games against the visiting St. Louis Cardinals.

The Toronto Blue Jays are out of it so their exciting rookie, Rusty Tellez, and wily veteran, Kevin Pillar, could get the time off without upsetting anything. Same for back-up catcher Ryan Lavarnway (Pittsburgh Pirates) and reliever Robert Stock (San Diego Padres).

Of course, none of the JMLs has shown any evidence of religious observance in the past, so there’s no need to get too excited. But it’s nice to dream.

JML update

Posted on: September 11th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Between the weekend and Rosh Hashana, this is the first chance I’ve had to do any sort of recap. Too much time has passed to do an individual thing, so here are the highlights:

  • Rusty Tellez continued to shine for the Toronto Blue Jays (65-78, fourth in AL East). He started out with four doubles in his first five at-bats, including one on the first pitch he saw as a pinch-hitter on Sept. 5. He had two more on Friday in five at-bats against the visiting Cleveland Indians. That tied a rookie record set by Joe DiMaggio for the most two-baggers in the in any three-game stretch in his rookie season (thanks to Bob Wechsler for the correction as I originally posted they came in Tellez’s first three games). Tellez finally hit his first single the next day, but only after he launched his first home run, giving him seven extra base hits to start his career. He went 0-for-4 on Sunday. According to Scott Barancik, Tellez’s homer was the 100th hit by MOTs this season. I’ll endeavor to see if this has ever been done before, but I’m guessing not.

  • Teammate Kevin Pillar hit his 12th home run on Friday and hit doubles #36 and 37 over the weekend. The homer had some extra “oomph,” since it won the game for the Jays in the 11th inning. Hard to believe it, but Pillar — now in his sixth season with Toronto — is the longest-tenured Blue Jay on the current squad.

  • Ryan Braun hit his 15th homer on Friday to start the scoring for the Milwaukee Brewers (83-62, second in NL Central, 1 GB) in their 4-2 win over the visiting San Francisco Giants. He was also involved in an interesting at-bat versus Madison Bumgarner the next day after the Hebrew Hammer. Braun was hit by a pitch in the sixth to load the bases, leading to an ejection for his manager, Craig Counsel, after the umpires issued a warning to both teams. (Braun had a game-tying double off the wall in the first, so maybe Bumgarner had some lingering resentment.) Anyway, that loaded the bases, but not for long: Jonathan Schoop followed with a grand slam in what ended as a 6-3 win for the Brew Crew.

  • Alex Bregman hit his 30th home run — his fifth in seven games — for the Houston Astros (90-54, first in AL West) against the host Boston Red Sox on Saturday. Barring any unforeseen catastrophe, he’s a lock for 100 RBIs (97 right now) and with little luck will finish with a .300 batting average. I know it’s not fashionable to make BA a big deal these days, but it’s still a nice number and certainly entitles him to MVP consideration.

  • Ian Kinsler will probably hold down second base for the Red Sox (98-46, first in the AL East) the rest of the season; Dustin Pedroia will not return from the DL in 2018. Kinsler was 2-for-12 in their series against the Astros.
  • Reliever Robert Stock made two appearances for the San Diego Padres, (57-88, fifth in NL West) tossing a total of three innings (no hits, two walks, three strikeouts).
  • Joc Pederson was 0-for-9 in his last three games for the LA Dodgers (78-6, second in NL West, 1.5 GB) in their series against the Cincinnati Reds and Colorado Rockies.
  • Ryan Lavarnway still has not appeared for the Pittsburgh Pirates (71-72, fourth in NL Central) . Same for Max Fried, back with the Atlanta Braves (80-64, first in NL East).
  • Gabe Kapler‘s Phildelphia Phillies (74-68, second in NL East, 5 GB) lost two of three to the host NY Mets and were rained out yesterday.

JML update, September 7, 2018 (Sept. 6)

Posted on: September 7th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Howdy, Rowdy! Rowdy Tellez has gotten off to an historic start for the Toronto Blue Jays with doubles in his first three at-bats. The first came as a pinch-hitter on Wednesday. He got the start yesterday, batting sixth behind Kevin Pillar. He doubled in the second inning then doubled again in the fourth driving in a run. He flied out in the sixth then doubled again in the eighth. So far, Tellez is 4-for-5, all two-baggers. His dad missed his debut because of flight delays, but he was in Toronto last night to kvell.


Pillar was hitless in four at-bats as the Blue Jays (63-77) lost to the visiting Cleveland Indians, 9-4.

Robert Stock gave up a hit in one scoreless inning of releief as the San Diego Padres beat the host Cincinnati Reds, 6-2.

The Atlanta Braves (77-63) recalled pitcher Max Fried but he did not appear in last night’s 7-6, 10-inning win over the host Arizona Diamondbacks.


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