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JML Update, May 11, 2018 (Games of May 10)

Posted on: May 11th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

Maybe moving down in the lineup helped: Ian Kinsler was 3-for-4 including his second homer of the year, as the LA Angels (23-14) beat the visiting Minnesota Twins, 7-4. The two-run blast put the Angels on the scoreboard in the second inning.

Kevin Pillar hit is 16th double of the year and scored a run as the Toronto Blue Jays (20-18) lost to the visiting Seattle Mariners, 9-3. It was his only hit in three at-bats. Pillar came out for a pinch-hitter in the ninth.

Ryan Braun was 0-for-5 as the Milwaukee Brewers (22-16) topped the host Colorado Rockies, 5-2.

Joc Pederson was 0-for-2 with a walk and a run scored as the LA Dodgers(16-21) lost the the suddenly improved visiting Cincinnati Reds, 4-1. He came out of the game for a pinch-hitter in the seventh.

Neither Richard Bleier nor Danny Valencia appeared for the Baltimore Orioles (10-27) in their 11-6 win over the visiting KC Royals.

Alex Bregman and the Houston Astros had the day off.

Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies improved to 22-15 by sweeping their series against the visiting San Francisco Giants with a 6-3 victory.

By the way, Pillar and Bleier (middle and far right in the photo below) were named in tan article on MLB.com, “Here are 5 unsung heroes in the AL East.” Jack R. sent an email to JewishBaseballNews.com, which forarded it to me for your interest. As Jack noted, “40% Jews!”

Here’s the lowdown for both MOTs:

Blue Jays OF Kevin Pillar
Why you should know about him: Despite never having won a Gold Glove Award, Pillar is generally regarded as one of the top defensive outfielders. His Superman dives have become his own personal trademark across Canada, and he makes frequent appearances on the highlight reels.

Why you don’t: Pillar has never really offered much beyond his glove. Entering Wednesday, he had a career on-base percentage of .306, but surprisingly enough, it’s his bat that deserves some praise during the early stages of 2018. Pillar has moved into the heart of Toronto’s lineup, and he entered Wednesday tied for the Major League lead with 15 doubles. He also led the Blue Jays in hits (42), average (.309) and slugging percentage (.537).

What they’re saying: “When you look at him, his pitch selection has been good. He has been laying off some tough pitches and putting the ball in play. You hope he keeps on this run. He’s moved up into the middle of the order, and that’s a good thing. … He was playing pretty well and doing some things in Spring Training that carried into the season. That’s pitch selection and putting the barrel on the ball.” — Blue Jays bench coach DeMarlo Hale

Orioles LHP Richard Bleier
Why you should know about him: It’s tough to envision a reliever having a better start to a year than Bleier, who entered Wednesday with a 0.44 ERA in 20 2/3 innings. He’s allowed one earned run over 16 outings with a 0.92 WHIP, as he has quickly become Baltimore’s most reliable reliever.

Why you don’t: The Orioles are in last place in the AL East and entered Wednesday with the worst record in the Majors. Plus, Bleier doesn’t strike out a lot of guys and isn’t overpowering. Who can forget the bases-loaded spot in which he retired Judge and Giancarlo Stanton at Yankee Stadium last month? Bleier’s entire arsenal is under the radar.

What they’re saying: “He’s still under the radar a little bit, I think, because the strikeouts aren’t glaring at you. When you look at the peripheral stuff and don’t understand how Richard pitches, you may not be that impressed with it. But there’s a lot of parts about it that should get your attention. He’s not an Andrew Miller approach. But you’re seeing a guy really come into, ‘Here’s who I am, and here’s what I need to do to be successful.” — O’s manager Buck Showalter

Mazel tov, boys.

 

 

JML Update, May 10, 2018 (Games of May 9)

Posted on: May 10th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

Richard Bleier picked up his third win against no losses as the Baltimore Orioles (9-27) beat the visiting KC Royals, 5-3. Bleier tossed two more shutout innings, giving up two hits and lowering his ERA to 0.40. Danny Valencia was 0-for-4 as the third baseman, batting seventh. The win broke a seven-game losing streak for the O’s.

Kevin Pillar was 2-for-4 with an RBI as the Toronto Blue Jays (20-17) beat the visiting Seattle Mariners, 5-2. He was thrown out trying to stretch that RBI single into a double.

Ian Kinslerdropped from leadoff to sixth in the lineup — was 1-for-4 with an RBI as the LA Angels (22-14) shut out the host Colorado Rockies, 8-0.

Alex Bregman was 1-for-4 as the Houston Astros (24-15) beat the host Oakland A’s, 4-1.

Ryan Braun did not appear for the Milwaukee Brewers (21-16) in their 6-2 loss to the visiting Cleveland Indians.

Joc Pederson did not appear for the LA Dodgers (16-20) in their 6-3 win over the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks.

Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies (21-15) beat the visiting San Francisco Giants, 11-3.

 

JML Update, May 9, 2018 (Games of May 8)

Posted on: May 9th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

For the second time in less than a week, a MOT was involved in a no-hitter. First it was Joc Pederson in a May 4 game in which four LA Dodger pitchers combined to stymie the San Diego Padres, 4-0. This time on the wrong end was Kevin Pillar who went 0-for-3 as the Toronto Blue Jays (19-17) met their fate at the hands of Seattle Mariners’ James Paxton (coincidentally, born in Canada). In watching the clips, Paxton was lucky — as you have to be for such an event — because there were a number of sloppy plays that were turned into outs. But the one made by third baseman Kyle Seager — a former Gold love winner — off Pillar in the seventh inning, saving at least a double, was stellar. Final score: 5-0.

Alex Bregman hit his third home run as the Houston Astros (23-15) beat the host Oakland A’s, 4-2. The opposite-field blast was his only hit in four at-bats and tied the game at 1-1 in the second inning.

Danny Valencia was the star of the game for the woeful Baltimore Orioles (8-27) who lost to the visiting KC Royals, 15-7. Valencia — playing third and batting seventh — was 3-for-4 with his fourth home run. He also had a sac fly. Richard Bleier tossed another inning of scoreless relief (two hits), lowering his ERA to 0.44.

Ryan Braun — playing first base in this one — hit his eighth double in four at-bats as the Milwaukee Brewers (21-15) held off the visiting Cleveland Indians, 3-2.

Joc Pederson was 0-for-5 with a walk as the Dodgers (15-20) lost to the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks, 8-5, in 14 innings

Ian Kinsler was 0-for-4 in the LA Angels’ (21-14) 4-2 loss to the host Colorado Rockies.

The St. Louis Cardinals optioned reliever Ryan Sherriff to the minors.

Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies (20-15) beat the visiting San Francisco Giants, 4-2.

Scott Feldman on the NY Yankees? How cool would that be?

 

JML Update, May 8, 2018 (Games of May 7)

Posted on: May 8th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

The usual light schedule for a Monday…

Alex Bregman had two doubles and a walk in six trips to the plate as the Houston Astros (22-15) crushed the host Oakland A’s, 16-2. Bregman drove in the last of his team’s two runs. He also had two more errors, both coming on wild throws.

Ryan Sherriff had a tough outing, giving up two runs on four hits, striking out one in one inning as the St. Louis Cardinals (20-13) were shut out by the visiting Minnesota Twins, 6-0.

Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies (19-15) mauled the visiting San Francisco Giants, 11-0.

 

JML Update, May 7, 2018 (Games of May 4-6)

Posted on: May 7th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Alex Bregman hit his second home run of the season yesterday, his only hit in four at-bats and the only run for the Houston Astros (21-15, second in AL West) in their 3-1 loss to the host Arizona Diamondbacks. He also made his fifth error of the season when he was called for obstruction on this play. At first I thought it was a bit unfair to rule it that way, but at the end you can see Bregman stick out his leg. For the rest of the weekend, he was 2-for-7 with a double (#9) and two walks. The Astros — 4-6 in their last 10 games — lost two of three to the D’backs.

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 1: Kevin Pillar #11 of the Toronto Blue Jays hits a single in the fifth inning during MLB game action against the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre on April 1, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)Kevin Pillar was 3-for-12 with two more doubles (#15), both coming in yesterdays’ 2-1 win over the host Tampa Bay Rays in which he scored the eventual winning run on a wild pitch. The Jays (19-16, third in AL East) had lost the first two games of the series.

Ryan Braun struck out as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game for the Milwaukee Brewers (20-15, second place NL Central) but he redeemed himself the next inning when his two-run double proved to be the winner in a 5-3 decision over the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates. The hit came with two out and a 2-2 count. Braun — still hampered with nagging injuries — struck out as a pinch hitter on Friday in a 6-4 loss and fanned three time in four at-bats in yesterday’s 9-0 shutout defeat.

Ian Kinsler managed just one single in 16 at-bats for the LA Angels over the weekend . He also walked once and scored twice. His batting average has dropped to .198 but the Angels are in first place in the AL West with a record of 21-13 after taking two of three from the host Seattle Mariners. Mazel tov to Albert Pujols, who got his 3,000th hit on Friday in the Angels’ 5-0 win. He becomes just the fourth player to amass 3,000 hits and 600 home runs, joining Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Alex Rodriguez in a very exclusive club.

Joc Pederson entered Friday’s game for the LA Dodgers (15-19, fourth in NL West) against the host San Diego Padres as a pinch-hitter (strikeout) in the sixth. He remained in the game, playing left and center (not at the same time, of course), as four LA hurlers combined for a no-hitter. Pederson was hitless in a subsequent at-bat. He started the next day, playing center and batting sixth, going 2-for-4 with his fourth double and a run scored in a 7-4 loss. He singled as a punch hitter yesterday in a 3-0 loss. That run on Saturday came on an unusual play.

Richard Bleier‘s only appearance for the Baltimore Orioles came on Friday in a 6-4 loss to the host Oakland A’s. he allowed one hit an struck out a batter to end the eighth inning, lowering his ERA to 0.46. Danny Valencia started that game, playing third and batting seventh. He was 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. He struck out the next day as a pinch-hitter iun the 11th inning of a 2-0 loss in 14. He did not appear yesterday. The Orioles — who were swept by the A’s — are 8-26, tied with the Cincinnati Reds for the worst record in the Majors.

Ryan Sherriff — recalled on Friday — tossed two innings on Saturday for the St. Louis Cardinals (20-12, first place NL Central) in their 8-6, 10-inning walk-off win over the visiting Chicago Cubs. He allowed one run (coming on a homer), one of two hits he gave up. He also struck out a batter. It was his only appearance on the weekend in which the Cards swept their rivals.

The Atlanta Braves  (19-14, first place N East) — who lost their three-game series to the visiting San Francisco Giants — optioned pitcher Max Fried to the minors on Saturday. He was 0-2 with an ERA of 6.00 in four appearances since his April 24 season debut.

Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies lost two of three to the host Washington Nationals but maintain second place in the NL East with a record of 18-15.

 

JML update, May 4, 2018 (Games of May 3)

Posted on: May 4th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

The Toronto  Blue Jays (18-14) and host Cleveland Indians played a wild doubleheader yesterday. The Jays won the opener, 13-11 in 14 innings, scoring four times in the last frame. The Indians came up just short, putting two over in their last ups. In the nightcap, though, the Indians prevailed in a more conventional 13-4 win. Kevin Pillar was 2-for-6 in the first game with his 13th double, a run scored, an RBI, and his sixth stolen base. He had a single in four at-bats in the second game.

Ian Kinsler doubled (#3) and walked in five plate appearances, scoring a run as the LA Angels (19-12) beat the visiting Baltimore Orioles (6-23), 12-3. Richard Bleier extended his scoreless streak, adding another 1.1 innings in which he allowed two hits and struck out two. Danny Valencia got into the game as a defensive replacement and did not come to bat. Kinsler was involved in this weird double play.

Alex Bregman was 1-for-3 with a run scored as the Houston Astros (20-13) lost to the visiting NY Yankees, 6-5, thanks to a three-run ninth by the Bombers.

Joc Pederson entered the game for the LA Dodgers (14-17) in the eighth inning as a defensive replacement. He struck out to end the ninth as the Dodgers beat the host Arizona Diamondbacks, 5-2.

Max Fried lowered his ERA to 6.75 based on one inning of work in the Atlanta Braves’ 11-0 win over the host NY Mets. Fried allowed one hit, walked one, and struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth. The Braves now lead the NL East with a record of 19-11, a game and a half over the suddenly struggling Mets.

Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies had the day off, as did Ryan Braun and the Milwaukee Brewers.

 

 

JML update, May 3, 2018 (Games of May 2)

Posted on: May 3rd, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Kevin Pillar had one-third/3 of the Toronto Blue Jays’ offense, going 2-for-3 with a walk in a 4-0 loss to the host Minnesota Twins. It’s been a long time since we were treated to a defensive highlight from Pillar, but here you go:

You just have to hope he didn’t hurt himself on the play. The Jays are 17-13.

Alex Bregman was 1-for-4 as the Houston Astros (20-12) were shut out by the visiting NY Yankees for the second night in a row by the score of 4-0.

Joc Pederson was 0-for-3 with a walk as the leadoff batter in the LA Dodgers’ (13-17) 2-1 win over the host Arizona Diamondbacks.

Ian Kinsler was 0-for-3 with a walk as the LA Angels (18-12) beat the visiting Baltimore Orioles (8-22), 10-7. He came out of the game for a pinch-hitter in the eighth with the Angels leading, 9-4. Baltimore scored five tuns in the ninth to make things a little tense. Danny Valencia was the starting third baseman for the O’s, batting fifth. He was 1-for-three with a run a scored. Richard Bleier did not appear in the game.

Ryan Braun came out of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers (19-13) and host Cincinnati Reds in the bottom of the sixth with calf tightness. He had been 0-3 in the Brewers’ 3-1 win. Given his injuries over the past few seasons, I guess Milwaukee fans are justified in asking if he’s worth his salary?

Max Fried did not appear for the Atlanta Braves (18-11), who took over first place by beating the host NY Mets, 7-0.

Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies (17-13) beat the host Miami Marlins, 6-0.

 

Hank Greenberg in 1938: May 2

Posted on: May 2nd, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Since this is the 80th anniversary of Hank Greenberg’s challenge to Babe Ruth’s single-season home run record of 60 which the Bambino set in 1927, I thought I’d engage in a little SSP (shameless self-promotion) with a daily “update” of the games during that season to give you a taste of my book on the topic. Not exactly sure where this will lead or even if I’ll see it through, but on this date in 1938

Image result for harry eisenstatThe host Cleveland Indians scored 10 runs in the fourth inning to maul the Tigers, 11-3. Most of the runs came off  Harry Eisenstat, making his second appearance of the season. He came in with two runners on base, allowed both of them to score, and then gave up five runs of his own, retiring just one batter before he was pulled with an ERA of 23.14.

Greenberg was 1-for-3 with a walk.

Click on the book above to visit the Amazon page for Hank Greenberg in 1938.

 

JML update, May 2, 2018 (Games of May 1)

Posted on: May 2nd, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Kevin Pillar had two more doubles (12), an RBI on a sacrifice fly, and a run scored as the Toronto Blue Jays (17-12) beat the host Minnesota Twins, 7-4, in 10 innings. His latest two-bagger led off in the final inning. He immediately stole third base and scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch. Pillar also had a walk in his four plate appearances. His great start has caused some to wonder if this is his break-out year.

Ryan Braun‘s sixth double of the year was good for two runs and gave the Milwaukee Brewers (18-13 ) a 5-3 lead in the fifth. They went on to beat the host Cincinnati Reds, 8-6. It was Braun’s only hit in four at-bats. He also made this nice catch in left.

Ian Kinsler had a double (#2) and single in five at-bats as the LA Angels (17-12) beast the visiting Baltimore Orioles (8-21), 2-1. Richard Bleier pitched 1.1 perfect innings (o.50 ERA) for the Orioles; Danny Valencia did not appear in the game.

Joc Pederson was 0-for-2 with two walks batting out of the two-hole as the LA Dodgers (12-17) fell to the host Arizona Diamondbacks, 4-3.

Alex Bregman was 0-for-4 for the Houston Astros (20-11), who were shut out by the host NY Yankees, 4-0.

Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies (16-13) lost to the hot Miami Marlins, 2-1.

Ryan Sherriff is doing well in his rehab assignment for the St. Louis Cardinals.

 

Hank Greenberg in 1938: May 1

Posted on: May 1st, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Since this is the 80th anniversary of Hank Greenberg’s challenge to Babe Ruth’s single-season home run record of 60 which the Bambino set in 1927, I thought I’d engage in a little SSP (shameless self-promotion) with a daily “update” of the games during that season to give you a taste of my book on the topic. Not exactly sure where this will lead or even if I’ll see it through, but on this date in 1938

Greenberg was 1-for-5 with a a double, striking out twice in another loss, this time 4-3 to the host Cleveland Indians.

Click on the book above to visit the Amazon page for Hank Greenberg in 1938.

 
 
   
 

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