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JML update, July 11, 2018 (Games of July 10)

Posted on: July 11th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Alex Bregman hit two solo homers to raise his season total to 19, but the main story is how he was involved in the bizarre way the Houston Astros (62-32) beat the visiting Oakland A’s, 6-5, in 11 innings. Bregman was 2-for-5 with a walk.

Kevin Pillar was 1-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI as the Toronto Blue Jays (42-48) beat the host Atlanta Braves (50-40), 6-2. Max Fried did not appear for the Braves.

Ian Kinsler was 1-for-5 with an RBI as the LA Angels (47-45) beat the visiting Seattle Mariners, 9-3.

Ty Kelly was 0-for-4 as the starting left fielder for the NY Mets (36-53) in their 7-3 loss to Gabe Kapler’s visiting Philadelphia Phillies (51-39).

Danny Valencia did not appear for the Baltimore Orioles in their 6-5 walk-off win over the visiting NY Yankees.

Joc Pederson did not appear for the LA Dodgers (49-42) in their 4-1 loss to the host San Diego Padres.

JML update, weekend edition (Games of June 29-July 1)

Posted on: July 2nd, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Another down and dirty:

MOT of the weekend has to be Max Fried, whom the Atlanta Braves (48-34, first in the AL East) brought up on Saturday to make the start against the St. Louis Cardinals. He struck out 11 in 6.2 innings, giving up four singles and walking three. He got credit for the win as the Braves topped the Cards, 11-4. He also cracked his first big-league hit and scored a run. Mazel tov, Max!

Alex Bregman, Houston Astros (55-31 , first in the AL West)

  • June 29: 1-for-3 with his 15th home run, good for the team’s only runs in a 3-2 loss to the host Tampa Bay Rays.
  • June 30: 1-for-4 with his 16th home run, good — once again — for all of the Astros’ scoring in the 5-2 loss. That made five in his last six games, eight in his last 15, and put him as the team leader.

  • July 1: 1-for-3 in a 3-2 loss .

Bregman’s 11 home runs in a month are the most by a MOT since Hank Greenberg hit 15 in July in 1938, the season he challenged Babe Ruth’s single-season mark of 60, which you can read about (shameless self-promotion) in my book.

Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers (48-35, first in the in NL Central)

  • June 29: 1-for-3 with a run scored in an 8-2 win over the host Cincinnati Reds
  • June 30: Did not play
  • July 1: 1-for-3 with his 10th home run. Like Bregman, his two-run shot (which came in the ninth inning to spoil a shutout) accounted for all of his team’s scoring in a loss, this one 8-2.

Ian Kinsler, LA Angels (43-42, fourth in the AL West)

  • June 29: 0-for-4 in a 7-1 win over the host Baltimore Orioles
  • June 30: 2-for-3 with his 15th double and a walk in a 5-2 win
  • July 1: 0-for-4 in an 8-2 loss.

Danny Valencia, Baltimore Orioles (24-59 , last in the AL East)

  • June 29: 0-for-3 in the loss to the Angels.
  • June 30: 0-for-3 in another loss
  • July 1: Did not play

Kevin Pillar, Toronto Blue Jays (39-44, fourth in the AL East)

  • June 29: 1-for-3  plus a walk in a 3-2 win over the visiting Detroit Tigers.
  • June 30: 1-for-3 with his 25th double in a 4-3 win.
  • July 1: 1-for-4 in a 9-1 loss.

Joc Pederson, LA Dodgers (44-39, second in the NL West)

  • June 29: Did not play
  • June 30: 0-for-4 win a 3-1 loss to the visiting Colorado Rockies
  • July 1: 3-for-4 in a 6-1 win.

So Bregman and Pederson each had 10+ home runs in the same month. Any two JMLs  ever done that before?

Robert Stack, San Diego Padres (37-49, last in the NL West)

  • June 29: Struck out 2 in one perfect inning of relief in a 6-3 loss to the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • June 30: DNP
  • July 1: Gave up one hit and retired the other batter he faced in a 7-5 loss.

Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies took two of three from the visiting Washington Nationals. They stand at 45-37, second in the NL East.



JML update, June 20, 2018 (Games of June 19)

Posted on: June 20th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy Jewishbaseballnews.com

Joc Pederson got the LA Dodgers off on the right foot when he knocked the second pitch of their first game of a twinbill with the host Chicago Cubs out of the park for a home run, his ninth of the season and eighth this month. It was his only hit in three at-bats (plus a walk) before coming out for a pinch-hitter in the ninth. The Dodgers (38-34) took the opener, 4-3. He entered the nightcap as a defensive replacement in the seventh inning and was walked intentionally when he came to bat in the ninth. The Cubs won 2-1 in 10.

In a weird coincidence, Ian Kinsler also hit a lead-off home run (on the third pitch) for an LA franchise. No. 10 on the year and seventh in June (joining Alex Bregman as the only MOTs in double digits) was the 48th such opener of his career and was the margin of difference as the Angels (39-35) held off the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks, 5-4. Like Pederson, the dinger was Kinsler’s only hit in three at-bats plus a walk, but he also had an additional run scored.

Alex Bregman drove in the only run for the Houston Astros (49-26) in their 2-1 loss to the visiting Tampa Bay Rays. His RBI in the third tied the game at 1-1 as he was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double. Bregman was 1-for-2 with two walks. The ‘Stros’ 12-game winning streak came to an end.

Kevin Pillar poked double #22, his only hit in four at-bats (run scored), as the Toronto Blue Jays (33-39) were chopped by the Atlanta Braves, 11-4.

Ryan Braun grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning as the Milwaukee Brewers (43-40) beat the host Pittsburgh Pirates, 3-2.

Danny Valencia was 0-f0r-3 with a walk and a run scored as the Baltimore Orioles (20-51) fell to the host Washington Nationals, 9-7. According to thesportsdaily.com, “Danny Valencia (119 wRC+), Adam Jones (108), and Mark Trumbo (103) join [Manny] Machado as the only players on the roster with an above-average wRC+ so far this season.” For the uninitiated among you, according the MLB.com’s glossary, “wRC+ takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for important external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.” Uh-huh. That clears that up, thanks.

Image result for wrc+

As was feared, Richard Bleier, who was having a fantastic season with a lousy team, is done for the year. He underwent “successful” surgery on Tuesday to repair an injured lat. Don’t mean to be a downer, but wouldn’t you have to wait until he tries throwing again to see if was truly successful?

Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies (38-33) lost to the visiting St. Louis Cardinals, 7-6.

JML update, Weekend Edition (Games of June 15-17, 2018)

Posted on: June 18th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Not quite the fireworks we had last weekend

One of the very few bright spots for the Baltimore Orioles, Richard Bleier is probably done for the year, the victim of a lat strain he suffered June 13. Here’s wishing him well.

But the show must go one. The O’s — with the worst record in the Majors at 20-50 (fifth/last in the AL East) — lost two of three to the visiting Miami Marlins. Danny Valencia was 0-for-3 in Friday’s 2-0 loss; had two singles and an RBI in four at-bats in Saturday’s 5-4 loss; and did not appear in yesterday’s 10-4 win.

Kevin Pillar was hitless in the first two games as the Toronto Blue Jays (33-38, fourth in the AL East) hosted the Washington Nationals. But he had two hits, including his 23 double, plus a run scored, an RBI, and his 10th stolen base in yesterday’s 6-5 win over the former Montreal Expos to complete a three-game sweep.

Ryan Braun was 0-for-4 on Friday as the host Milwaukee Brewers (42-29, first in the NL Central) beat up on Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies (37-32, third in the NL East), 13-5. He had two singles in four AB’s in Saturday’s 4-1 loss in which he also picked up the 200th stolen base of his career, making him a member of what I have to assume is one of those “elite clubs” with his 300 homers and 200 swipes, the third-highest in Brewers’ franchise history. Braun was o-for-2 yesterday as the Brewer’s dropped the rubber game, 10-9, coming up one run short when they scored four in the bottom of the ninth. Braun struck out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth and struck out. He remained in the game and fanned the following inning. This article on MLB.com cites Braun as “the Brewers’ unluckiest hitter.”

Joc Pederson was 0-for-3 out of the leadoff spot for the LA Dodgers in a 4-1 loss to the visiting San Francisco Giants yesterday, their only loss in the three-game series. Pederson appeared in the other two games as a defensive replacement. The Dodgers have quietly moved into second place in the NL West with their record of 37-33.

Ian Kinsler hit home run #9 on Friday, a solo shot in the fourth to help the LA Angels (38-34, third in the AL West) beat the host Oakland As, 8-4. After going hitless in four at-bats in Saturday’s 6-4 loss, he had a single and his 13th double in a 6-5, 11-inning loss yesterday.

Alex Bregman gets MOT of the Weekend honors. He was 5-for-13 including a double and two home runs (a solo shot on Friday and a three-run blast in the ninth on Saturday), making him the first JML to reach double figures in that category. He collected fivr RBIs and scored five runs in the three games as the Houston Astros swept the host KC Royals, extending their winning streak to 11 games. The ‘Stros have the best record in the Majors with a mark of 48-25 and lead the AL West.

You can catch up on the doings of the minor league MOTs here.

JML Update, June 15, 2018 (Games of June 14)

Posted on: June 15th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

In the only MOT player action yesterday, Alex Bregman, batting in the leadoff spot, was 0-for-4 with a walk and a run scored as the Houston Astros (45-25) completed a three-game sweep of the host Oakland As with a 7-3 win. In fact, it was the eighth straight win for Houston.

Baltimore Orioles reliever Richard Bleier, who left Wednesday’s game with lat injury, is listed as “day-to-day” (aren’t we all?), but I’m willing to be he’ll go on the disabled list soon.

Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies (35-31) beat the visiting Colorado Rockies, 9-3.

All the other boys had the day off. Here are a couple of articles about Joc Pederson‘s improvement over the last few weeks. But consistency is the key.

And finally, remember Nate Freiman?


JML update, June 4, 2018 (Games of June 1-3)

Posted on: June 4th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

The Hebrews were homer happy over the last few days.

Mazel of the weekend goes to  Joc Pederson who went 4-for-5 on Sunday with two solo home runs (three on the year) and a double in the LA Dodgers’ 12-4 win over the Colorado Rockies on Saturday, 12-4. He was unsuccessful as a pinch-hitter on Friday and 0-for-2 on Sunday as the starting leftfielder. The Dodgers swept the weekend to move to 29-20, third in the NL West.

The other LA Jew — Ian Kinsler of the Angels — also homered twice, but on successive days. The first one came with one on and two out in Friday’s 6-0 win over the visiting Texas Rangers (which ended on a weird note). The next came on Saturday to lead off the sixth, bouncing off the foul pole. He also had a single for three hits in 14 at-bats as the Angels (32-28, third in the AL West).

Alex Bregman was 3-for-13 for the Houston Astros (37-24, second in AL West) against the visiting Boston Red Sox, including his sixth home run (a two-run job in Saturday’s 5-4 loss). Houston lost two of three to the Sox.

Ryan Braun‘s only hit in 11 at-bats over the weekend for the Milwaukee Brewers (37-23, first in NL Central) against the host Chicago White Sox came in the first inning of Friday’s game, his sixth homer in an 8-3 loss.

The Baltimore Orioles (17-41, last in the AL East) were rained out of two of their four games with the visiting NY Yankees. Richard Bleier appeared in Friday’s game, giving up two hits but no runs in one inning in a 4-1 loss. Danny Valencia returned from the paternity list, cracking two doubles in four at-bats out of the eighth spot in the lineup on Saturday, with a run scored and an RBI in another loss, this time by a score of 8-5.

Kevin Pillar was 1-for-13 over the weekend with one run scored, dropping his batting average to .259, as the Toronto Blue Jays (26-33, fourth in AL East) lost two of three to the host Detroit Tigers.

Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies (31-26, third in the AL East) lost three in  row to the visiting San Francisco Giants.

According to CBSSports.com, the Chicago White Sox traded pitcher Brad Goldberg to the Arizona Diamondbacks for cash. Didn’t that use to be called a sale? Goldberg appeared in 12 games for the Sox last year to the tune of an 8.25 ERA.


JML update, May 28, 2018 (Games of May 25-27)

Posted on: May 28th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Ryan Braun entered Friday’s game for the Milwaukee Brewers (34-20, first in NL Central) against the visiting NY Mets as a defensive replacement at first base; he did not come to bat. He was the starting left-fielder, batting third in Saturday’s 17-6  blowout, going 1-for-4 with two runs scored, two walks, a stolen base (#5), and an RBI. Braun lined out as a pinch-hitter yesterday in an 8-7 win but had a single in a subsequent at-bat when he stayed in the game in left as the Brewers took their third straight against NY after losing the opening game in Thursday.

Kevin Pillar‘s 19th double drove in a run as the visiting Toronto Blue Jays (25-28, fourth in AL East) beat Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies (29-21, second in NL East) on Friday, 6-5. It was his only hit in four at-bats. He singled as a pinch-hitter the next day in a 2-1 loss and was hitless in four trips to the plate yesterday in a 5-3 win.

Richard Bleier picked up his fourth hold on Friday, tossing one inning of scoreless relief (one strikeout) as the Baltimore Orioles (17-37, fifth in AL East) shut out the host Tampa Bay Rays. It was his only appearance for the weekend. Danny Valencia did not play in that one, but was 1-for-3 in each of the next two contests (with a walk on Sunday), both losses. His triple on Saturday was one of only three hits for the O’s in the 5-1 downer.

Alex Bregman was 2-for-15 with three runs scored, two walks, and his 18th double as the Houston Astros (35-20, first in AL Central) lost two of the last three of a four-game set against the host Cleveland Indians.

Joc Pederson entered Friday’s game for the LA Dodgers (24-28, fourth in NL West) against the visiting San Diego Padres as a defensive replacement in a 4-1 win. He was 1-for-4 with an RBI the next day in a 7-5 loss and 0-for-1 after coming in as a defensive replacement in Sunday’s 4-1 win.

Ian Kinsler‘s struggles continue. He was a combined 0-for-10 as the LA Angels (29-24, third in AL West) dropped two of three from the host NY Yankees.

The Angels’ Ian Kinsler swings during batting practice before a baseball game against the Twins in Anaheim on May 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo/The Associated Press)

Finally, from John Harper’s Saturday column in the New York Daily News:


Remember Team Israel from the 2017 World Baseball Classic, a group that earned national attention by making it out of the qualifying stages and, as the 41st ranked team in the world, stunned the likes of Korea, Chinese Taipei, and the Netherlands to advance out of the round-robin round of the tournament?

A documentary was made of the team’s journey entitled, “Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel.” The award-winning doc makes its New York City debut on Tuesday at the JCC Manhattan.

MLB.com reporter Jonathan Mayo hatched the idea for the film about a group of Jewish major leaguers traveling to Israel to discover their roots. Except it became more than that when the team outplayed expectations.

“When we first began the project,” Mayo said. “we really thought it was going to be about all these Jewish baseball players exploring what it means to be Jewish by exploring Israel. While that’s obviously still a large theme in the movie, their run in the WBC made it much more about baseball and their Cinderella Story than any of us could have ever imagined.”

Former Met Ike Davis, who starred on Team Israel, will be among the players on hand at the screening in Manhattan.

JML Update, May 25, 2018 (Games of May 24)

Posted on: May 25th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Ian Kinsler was 1-for-5 with a run scored as the LA Angels (28-22) crushed the host Toronto Blue Jays, 8-1. The sole hit was his seventh double of the year. Kevin Pillar was o-for-2 with a walk for the Jays (23-27) who have lost seven of their last nine games.

Neither Danny Valencia nor Richard Bleier appeared for the Baltimore Orioles (16-34) who beat the hist Chicago White Sox, 9-3, behind a complete game from Dylan Bundy.

Ryan Braun was back for the Milwaukee Brewers (31-20), batting third and playing left field as they were shut out by the visiting NY Mets, 5-0. Braun — just reinstated from the disabled list with back tightness — singled in his first at bat, his only hit in four at-bats.

Alex Bregman doubled (#17) and homered (#5), the latter good for three runs to give the Houston Astros (33-18) a 3-2 lead over the host Cleveland Indians in the fifth inning. He added an RBI double (#17) in the the eight to close out the scoring in an 8-2 Astros win.

Joc Pederson and the LA Dodgers had the day off as did Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies.



JML Update, May 24, 2018 (Games of May 23)

Posted on: May 24th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Alex Bregman was 1-for-2 with two walks, his fifth stolen base, and a caught stealing as the Houston Astros (32-18) beat the visiting San Francisco Giants, 4-1.

Danny Valencia was 1-for-4 with a run scored as the DH, batting sixth for the Baltimore Orioles (15-34) who were crushed, 11-1, by the host Chicago White Sox. Richard Bleier did not appear for the O’s.

Ian Kinsler took an 0-for-5 collar as the LA Angels (27-22) beat the host Toronto Blue Jays, 5-4, scoring four runs in the top of the ninth. Kevin Pillar was 0-for-3 with a walk for the Jays. (23-26). Funny how there are articles about Pillar’s “sustaining his strong start” (when he’s having difficulties at the moment) and Kinsler’s struggles on the the same day.

Joc Pederson had a pinch-hit double in the seventh as the LA Dodgers 22-27) shut out the visiting Colorado Rockies, 3-0. Pederson remained in the game in left field without another at-bat.

The Milwaukee Brewers (31-19) are 7-2 since putting Ryan Braun on the disabled list on May 17 (retroactive to May 14), Last night, they beat the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks, 9-2. Braun is eligible to come off the DL today.

Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies (28-19) beat the visiting Atlanta Braves, 4-0.

JML Update, May 22, 2018 (Games of May 21)

Posted on: May 22nd, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Richard Bleier picked up his second hold in two straight games for the Baltimore Orioles (15-32) who held off the host Chicago White Sox, 3-2. He allowed one hit in one inning of work. Danny Valencia was 0-for-4 as the starting third baseman (batting fifth).

Joc Pederson was 0-for-4 as the leadoff batter and starting left fielder in the LA Dodgers’ (20-27) 2-1 loss to the visiting Colorado Rockies.

Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies (27-18) shut out the visiting Atlanta Braves, 3-0.

Ryan Braun remains on the disabled list for the Milwaukee Brewers (29-19) who beat the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks, 4-2. But he’s still managing to keep busy.

No game for Kevin Pillar and the T0ronto Blue Jays or Ian Kinsler and the LA Angels.



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