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

Posted on: September 13th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

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.


Are you ready for some football?

Posted on: September 12th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

Welcome to Week One in the JFL season…

Mitchell Schwartz made all 71 offensive plays at tackle for the KC Chiefs in their 38-28 win over the host LA Chargers.

Nate Ebner returned to action for the New England Patriots after missing most of last season. He appeared in 27 special teams plays, making one tackle.

Ali Marpet was in on all 66 as the center for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their 48-40 win over the host Houston Texans. Or was it left guard? The NFL Communications playbook has him down for both positions.

2018 Donruss Football Josh Rosen Rated Rookie #302Josh Rosen did not appear  for the Arizona Cardinals in their 24-6 loss to the visiting Washington Redskins. Will he start next week as his team visits the Los Angeles Rams in the city where he achieved his fame at UCLA? Stay tuned. And how about that card, eh? Very old school.


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

Posted on: September 12th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

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.


JML update, September 6, 2018 (Games of Sept. 5)

Posted on: September 6th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Rowdy Tellez cracked a pinch-hit double on the first Major League pitch he saw, driving in a run as the Toronto Blue Jays (63-76) crushed the visiting Tampa Bay Rays, 10-3.

Tellez got some nice write-ups because of the recent tragic loss of his mother, Lori.

Alex Bregman just keeps chugging along: he hit his 47th double and 29th home run and walked twice, driving in five runs as the Houston Astros (87-53) beat up on the visiting Minnesota Twins, 9-1. The home run came with a runner on and two out in the first and the double cleared the bases for the capper in the eight. As Scott Barancik notes, “Bregman has reached base safely in 33 straight games, the longest streak for an Astro since 2004.”  It was the fifth straight win for the Astros.

Ian Kinsler lined a game-tying pinch-hit single , part of a six-run eighth inning, as the Boston Red Sox (97-44) roared back to beat the host Atlanta Braves, 9-8. He remained in the game and struck out in a subsequent at-bat in the ninth.

Ryan Braun had a single and a walk in four plate appearances as the Milwaukee Brewers (79-62) lost to the Chicago Cubs, 6-4.

Joc Pederson was 0-for-3 with a walk as the LA Dodgers (76-64) — who managed just three hits — lost, 7-3, to the visiting NY Mets. There was some controversy when Mets’ third baseman Todd Frazier did or didn’t make a catch on this play. It was a topic of discussion on today’s Pardon the Interruption, with the argument that it wasn’t fair to the Dodgers if Frazier cheated on the play since they are still in the hunt for a post-season berth. What if they miss it by one game?

Ryan Lavarnway did not appear for the Pittsburgh Pirates (69-71) in their 3-2 win over the visiting Cincinnati Reds.

Robert Stock and the San Diego Padres were off.

Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies lost to the host Miami Marlins, 2-1.



JML update, September 5, 2018 (Games of Sept. 4)

Posted on: September 5th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Say hello to your newest JML: Ryan John “Rowdy” Tellez, a 6’4″, 225-pound first baseman called up by the Toronto Blue Jays yesterday. He had 22 doubles and 13 home runs with 50 RBIs in 112 games for AAA Buffalo before being promoted. he did not appear ion last night’5 4-0 loss to the visiting Tampa Bay Rays. The Jays (62-76) had only three hits, and none of the came off the bat of Kevin Pillar, who went 0-for-4. By the way, Pillar was the Jay’s nominee for the 2018 Roberto Clemente Award, given to “a player who best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.””

Alex Bregman moves closer to elite status. He had three hits last night — all doubles, giving him 46 — scored a run and drove the first and last runs of the game for the Houston Astros (86-53) in their 5-2 win over the visiting Minnesota Twins.

Ian Kinsler was 1-4 with a walk and a run as the Boston Red Sox (96-44) beat the host Atlanta Braves, 5-1.

Ryan Braun was 2-for-5 with a run scored out of the clean-up spot  as the Milwaukee Brewers drubbed the visiting Chicago Cubs, 11-1.

Joc Pederson was announced as a piunch hitter but was himself pinch-hit for as the LA Dodgers (76-63) scored six times in the seventh inning to bat the visiting NY Mets 11-4.

Tough outing to Robert Stock: he allowed three runs (two earned) on three hits and a walk with one strikeout in 1.2 innings of relief as the San Diego Padres (55-86) were shut out, 6-0, by the host Arizona Diamondbacks.

Ryan Lavarnway did not appear for the Pittsburgh Pirates (68-71) in their 7-4 win over the visiting Cincinnati Reds.

Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies (73-65) beat the host Miami Marlins, 9-4.


JML update, September 4, 2018 (Games of Sept. 3)

Posted on: September 4th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Hi-ho, boys and girls. Hope you all had a pleasant holiday. In the interest of saving time, I’m just going to cover the games played on Labor Day.

Alex Bregman hit a two-out home run (#28) to get the ball rolling for the Houston Astros (85-53) in their 4-1 win over the visiting Minnesota Twins. His teammates celebrated in style. He has a shot at 30 homers, 50 doubles, 100 RBIs, and just maybe a .300 batting average. MVP anyone?

Ian Kinsler led his team with three RBIs as the Boston Red Sox (95-44) beat the host Atlanta Braves, 8-2. Two of those runs came on a single with the bases loaded in the eighth to put the Sox up 5-2. He had already hit his 24th double of the year to drive in a run in the fifth.

Kevin Pillar was 1-for-3 with a walk as the Toronto Blue Jays (62-75) lost to the visiting Tampa Bay Rays, 7-1.

Joc Pederson was 0-for-4 as the lead-off batter as the LA Dodgers (75-63) lost to the visiting NY Mets, 4-2.

Ryan Braun was 0-for-3 with a walk as the Milwaukee Brewers (78-61) beat the visiting Chicago Cubs, 4-3.

Robert Stock did not appear for the San Diego Padres in their 6-2 win over the host Arizona Diamondbacks.

Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies (72-65) lost to the host Miami Marlins, 3-1.

Welcome back, Ryan Lavarnway. The Pittsburgh Pirates bought his contract from Indianapolis Indians where he hat batted .288 with nine homers and 33 RBIs in 77 games. The Braves are expected to bring back pitcher Max Fried soon.

Zei gezunt to Zack Weiss, released by the Cincinnati Reds on Sept. 1.

Speaking of Scott Feldman


JML Update, August 31, 2018 (Games of Aug. 30)

Posted on: August 31st, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Mazel tov to Robert Stock picked up his first Major League win by tossing shutout balls for the San Diego Padres (53-83) over the last three innings of their 4-3, 13 inning win over the visiting Colorado Rockies. He walked one and allowed one hit.

Ian Kinsler reached base four out of five times — three singles and a walk — and scored a run for the Boston Red Sox (43-42) in their 9-4 win over the host Chicago White Sox.

Alex Bregman was 1-for-4 with a run scored as the Houston Astros (82-52) lost to the visiting LA Angels, 5-2. And the kudos just keep coming.

Ryan Braun went o-for-5 as the Milwaukee Brewers (75-60) beat the host Cincinnati Reds, 2-1, in 10 innings.

Joc Pederson did not appear for the LA Dodgers (72-62) in their 3-1 loss to the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks.

No games for Kevin Pillar and the Toronto Blue Jays or Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies.


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