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JML Update, World Series Game Six

Posted on: November 1st, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

We have a record!

With his third home run of the Series, Joc Pederson becomes #1 in that category, taking over the top spot from Hank Greenberg, who slugged two in the 1934 fall classic. Hammerin’ Hank still holds the mark for RBIs in one Series — at least for now — with seven; Pederson has five.

His latest blast came as an insurance run in the LA Dodgers’ 3-1 win over the visiting Houston Astros for force Game Seven. It was Pederson’s only hit in three at bats (after the 13-12 slugfest the previous game, both teams combined for just 11 hits.)

In this clip, Pederson shares his thoughts with his brother, Champ. Sweet.

Alex Bregman was 1-for-4 for the Astros and made another sparkling play in the field.

 

Move over, Robert Downey Jr. There’s a new Iron Man

Posted on: October 31st, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Image result for mitchell schwartz chiefsImage result for iron manAccording to this UPI.com story, when Cleveland Browns tackle Joe Thomas had to come out of a loss to the Tennessee Titans last week, that made Mitchell Schwartz of the KC Chiefs the “Iron Man”at that position. Thomas, an 11-year veteran for former Teammate of Schwartz’s,  left the game with a torn triceps. Thomas played every offensive snap of his NFL career before the injury, spanning 10,363 snaps over 167 games since 2007.

Schwartz has played every snap of the first 87 games of his career for the Browns and Chiefs. His streak of 5,891 snaps puts him a little more than halfway toward Thomas’ mark. That pace puts Schwartz about 66 games away from matching the streak, or about four-plus seasons. Here’s hoping he stays healthy in general (unfortunately his brother Geoff suffered several injuries that eventually ended his career), but the record would be nice, too.

There is something of a resemblance, don’t you think?

 

JFL Update: Week Eight

Posted on: October 31st, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Defensive back Nate Ebner appeared in 21 special teams plays for the New England Patriots in their 21-13 win over the visiting Los Angeles Chargers. The Pats are 6-2, first place in the AFC East.

Ali Marpet took all 67 snaps at center for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. who lost to the visiting Carolina Panthers, 17-3 to fall to 2-5, fourth (last) in the NFC South)

Mitchell Schwartz was on the field at right tackle for all 62 of the KC Chiefs’ offense and played another six downs (22 percent) on special teams. The Chiefs beat the visiting Denver Broncos last night, 29-19 to improve to 6-2, first in the AFC West.

Image result for mike bercoviciFinally, the St. Louis Cardinals signed quarterback Mike Bercovici (right)  to their practice squad, the team announced Tuesday. Bercovici played at ASU from 2011-15 and was the team’s starter throughout his senior season. He was a member of the Chargers’ practice squad in 2016 and ’17, and he had a stellar preseason performance against the Cardinals in 2016.

In the college ranks, UCLA Bruin Josh Rosen was forced out of a 44-23 loss to the #12 Washington Huskies on Saturday. According to the LA Times,

The severity of Rosen’s injuries was not immediately known and he was scheduled to be re-evaluated Sunday. An absence of any duration would be crushing. Rosen missed the Bruins’ final six games last season with a shoulder injury and his team went 1-5.

Rosen entered the game leading the Pac-12 Conference in passing yards and total offense. He finished the game against the Huskies having completed 12 of 21 passes for 93 yards and a touchdown.

For what it’s worth, Rosen was listed as the best quarterback on Mel Kiper’s Big Board.

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In other JML news

Posted on: October 30th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Baseball does not live in the vacuum of the World Series. So here are some tidbits on some of the other fine fellows…

Image result for Gabe KaplerCongrats to Gabe Kapler, right, the latest MOT to be named manager in the majors. He will take the reigns of the Philadelphia Phillies in 2018. Kapler — who appeared in 1,104 games during his 12-year big league career — was a member of the Boston Red Sox when they had four Jews on the roster at the same time, back in 2006. Can you name the other three? (Answer below)

Where might Brad Ausmus end up, if anywhere? There are a number of teams still looking for new on-field leadership, including the NY Yankees, but I really doubt that will happen.

Ian Kinsler and Kevin Pillar were named Gold Glove finalists for second base and outfielder, respectively. Kinsler won the honors last year but Pillar has yet to match the feat. And it doesn’t look like he’ll do so this year, at least according to Jays Journal blogger Clayton Richer.

I would ask if Danny Valencia might join Kinsler on the Tigers but lots of wagging tongues don’t think Kinsler will be on the squad come spring training. If Valencia does change flannel, it will be his eighth team in nine seasons.

Atlanta Braves rookie pitcher Max Fried continues to impress in the Arizona Fall League.

(The other three were Kevin Youkilis, Adam Stern, and Craig Breslow.)

 

 

Jice Update, October 30, 2017

Posted on: October 30th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

An all-too-infrequent update about what the Chosen Frozen are up to:

  • Image result for luke kuninMichael Cammalleri, LA Kings (9-1-1, first place in the Pacific Division): nine games, two goals, three assists.
  • Jason Demers, Arizona Coyotes (0-10-1, eighth/last in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference): 11 games, one goal, three assists.
  • Josh Ho-Sang, NY Islanders (6-4-1, fourth in Metropolitan Division of Eastern Conference): six games, no goals, four assists. He was sent down to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (what a name) of the AHL on Oct. 24.
  • Zach Hyman, Toronto Maple Leafs (7-4-0, third place in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference): 11 games, four goals, two assists.
  • Luke Kunin, Minnesota Wild, debuted on Oct. 16  against the Columbus Blue Jackets and was promptly sent back down to the minors. The highly-touted 19-year-old returned for the Oct. 21 game against the Winnipeg Jets. He scored his first NHL goal on Oct. 26 against the Islanders. The Wild are 4-3-2, seventh/last in the Central Division of the Western Conference. That’s him — No. 19 — celebrating with his teammates in the 6-4 win.
  • Brendan Leipsic, Vegas Golden Knights (8-1-0, second in the Pacific Division): eight games, no goals, four assists.
  • Jason Zucker, Minnesota Wild, nine games, three goals, four assists.
 

Jewps report, Oct. 30, 2017

Posted on: October 30th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Way behind here. But since there’s only one Jewish player in the NBA at this point, it’s easy to catch up.

Image result for Omri casspi, warriorsOmri Casspi has already had a repeat of some of the health issues that have kept him down in the past few years. The 29-year-old Israeli import has missed three of the seven games played by his newest team, the Golden State Warriors, last year’s NBA Champions who are now just 4-3, sixth place in the Western Conference.

Kind of adorable how the Jerusalem Post kvelled about his “best game,” since that one was kind of default: on Friday, Casspi played 13 minutes, scoring eight points with three rebounds, one assist, one steal, and one blocked shot in a 120-117 win over the visiting Washington Wizards. He’s played just 19 minutes in the other tree games combined. The Post also noted that Casspi received “great praise” from his boss:

After the successful game, coach Steve Kerr referred to Casspi’s performance and complimented him on his hard work. “I can’t say enough about Omri, staying ready, hardly played him all year,” Kerr said. “I told him after the game, it’s just karma. You know you work that hard, you put that kind of effort in…he was the story of the game.”

That’s kind of like proud parents bragging to the neighbors about how well little Omri is doing in school. Cute. Then again, the Golden State of Mind blog on SB Nation also had nice things to say about him. Let’s hope he can stay healthy and make us all proud in the season ahead.

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JML Update: World Series wows

Posted on: October 30th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Who would have though that it would be two Jews among the leading hitters in the World Series in home runs?

That was the outcome by the end of Game Four in which Joc Pederson‘s three-run shot in the ninth put the icing on the cake in the LA Dodgers’ 6-2 win over the host Houston Astros. This was followed in the bottom of the inning by Alex Bregman‘s blast for his team’s final score. Both batters have two home runs, which is all the more remarkable when you think that it was a long shot that Pederson would even be on the roster.

Pederson’s three-run bomb gave the Dodgers the 6-1 lead.

Bregman answered with one of his own, but too little, too late. And it was one of only two hits his team could muster.

And for the piece de resistance, Bregman notched the first walk-off hit by a Jewish player in the World Series when his RBI single drove home Derek Fisher with the winner in a 13-12 extra inning wild one last night with the Dodgers scoring three runs in the first and holding a 4-0 lead going into the bottom of the fourth. The Astros tied it, then fell behind, 7-4. Then tied it again, 7-7. Then fell behind , 8-7. Then took the lead, 11-8. Then lost it when the the game was tied 12-12 after nine innings before Bregman’s heroics. He also singled and walked in six plate appearances, scoring twice. That walk — which too 10 pitchers — knocked Dodgers’ starter Clayton Kershaw out of the game.

The Astros lead three games to two as they head back to California.

Lots of clips…

Pederson walked as a pinch-hitter in the sixth last night and hit a towering one-out double in the eighth. He took a little heat for it for watching the shot to see if it would be another home run. He’s batting .364 with two doubles, two homers, and four RBIs. Bregman is now at .273 with a double and two home runs. He’s driven in one run in each of the five games so far.

Both of “our boys” are making us proud. Mazel tov. I wonder how they’ll do on the rubber chicken circuit (kids, ask your parents) in the off-season.

 

JML Update, Game Three scouting report

Posted on: October 27th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Joc Pederson will start Game Three for the LA Dodgers, as the venue moves to Houston Astros’ home. Now that he homered, how many will jump on the Jewish geography bandwagon?

Robert Wechsler, author of the new release, The Jewish Baseball Card Book, sent me an email noting the accomplishments of Peterson and the Astros’ Alex Bregman:

This was the first time two Jewish players drove in runs in a World Series game.

It’s rare that two Jewish players even appeared in the World Series together — the last time was 2011 when Ian Kinsler and Scott Feldman both got into a game for Texas. Kinsler drove in two runs in Game 6, but Feldman did not bat.

Teammates Sandy Koufax and Larry Sherry both pitched for the Dodgers in 1959. Another pitcher, Barry Latman, was on the White Sox roster, but did not to appear in the Series.

Jason Marquis of St. Louis and Gabe Kapler of Boston played in the 2004 Series, but neither one had an RBI. (Kapler only had two at-bats.)

Hank Greenberg‘s Tigers faced Cy Block‘s Cubs in 1945 and Morrie Arnovich‘s Reds in 1940. Both Block and Arnovich only appeared as pinch runners in games in which Greenberg had RBIs.

Joc Pederson smashes a solo home run in the fifth inning to tie the game at 1–1.

Kevin Youkilis had two doubles in nine at-bats for the Red Sox in the 2007 WS, too.

 

JML Update: World Series, Game Two

Posted on: October 26th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Well, that was exciting: the visiting Houston Astros came back from a 3-1 deficit in the ninth inning to tie Game two at 3-3. They scored twice in the 10th, but so did the Dodgers, so 5-5. Then George Springer hit a two-run homer in the top of the 11th and the Astros held off the hosts for a 7-6 win to tie the fall classic at one game apiece.

Home runs galore. The Astros hit two in the top of the 10th for a two-run lead. The Dodgers tied it up again on a lead-off homer by Yasiel Puig and a single by Enrique Hernandez before Springer’s capper in the final frame. History: the game set a record for most home runs in a WS game (eight) and it was the first WS win for the Astros; they were  swept by the Chicago White Sox in 2005.

So we go 43 years without a home run by a Jew in the World Series, then we have them in back-to-back games? Wild. On Wednesday it was Alex Bregman going long. Last night it was Joc Pederson, crushing Justin Verlander to tie the game in the fifth inning after Bregman had given the Astros a 1-0 lead in the third.

Bregman — 2-for-6 with a run scored and an RBI — lined a single with men on in the third that bounced off the cap of the diving center-fielder Chris Taylor that took lucky a lucky careen right to Pederson, playing left, to prevent additional runs from scoring.

Two innings later with two down, Pederson ended Verlander’s no-hitter and shut out with one swing of the bat. Think he was a little pumped? He struck out in his other two trips to the plate and came out of the game on a defensive switch in the eighth.

With the Astros down 3-1 in the eighth, Bregman led off with a ground rule double which bounced off the glove of a diving Puig and into the stands. Bregman came around to score two batters later.

Bregman also made an error on a throw, but then there was this play for the second out in the bottom of the 11th.

Next game: tomorrow night in Houston.

 

JML Update: World Series, Game One

Posted on: October 25th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

He’s beginning to talk like a man. On the other hand, what kind of a match would that be with a poor tailor?

On the other hand, he is an honest, hard worker.

But on the other hand, he has absolutely nothing.

On the other hand, things could never get worse for him, only better.

Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof regarding a marriage proposal for one of his many daughters.

This is what I thought of when I learned that the LA Dodgers had beaten the Houston Astros, 3-1. On the one hand, the Houston Astros lost to the LA Dodgers. On the other hand, Alex Bregman was the standout player for his team, relatively speaking. Not surprised that Clayton Kershaw was on his game, striking out 12 in seven innings while holding the opposition to the lone run on just three hits. But one of those hits — and the run — came courtesy of  Bregman, who parked one over the fence in the fourth inning to temporarily tie the game at 1-1.

 

Bregman also started this double play in the fifth inning…

And Sandy Koufax was in the house!

Joc Pederson did not appear in the game for the Dodgers.

Fun facts: Bregman became the youngest player since 1995 to hit a home run in the fall classic. Let’s hope this pronouncement by Dayn Perry doesn’t turn out to be a curse of the Astros’ third baseman. The last Jew to hit a home run in the World Series was pitcher Ken Holtzman as a member of the 1974 Oakland As. His blast came in the fourth of the five-game series, won by the As over the LA Dodgers. He hit only two in the regular season in his 15-year career. According to my quick research, the only other MOT to homer in the World Series was Hank Greenberg, who hit five: one each in 1934, 1935, and 1940, and two in 1945.

 
 
   
 

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