Let’s start with pitching for a change.
Welcome, Ryan Sherriff, who had a darned good debut for the St. Louis Cardinals (66-65) on Friday in a 5-1 loss to the visiting Tampa Bay Rays. Sherriff — who toiled in the minors for seven years — came on in the 7-3 loss, tossing three shutout innings, giving up two hits and a walk while striking out four. Sadly, there’s no clips from MLB.com to mark the occasion but there are these, including an interview with his mother, Renee.
And welcome back, Craig Breslow. The veteran lefty was called up by his new team, the Cleveland Indians (75-53) and pitched one inning (two strikeouts) in yesterday’s 12-0 win over the visiting KC Royals, completing a three-game sweep.
Richard Bleier appeared in all three games for the Baltimore Orioles (65-65), who completed a three-game sweep over the host Boston Red Sox. Bleier pitched one inning on Friday with one walk; retired the only batter he faced on Saturday; and walked the only batter he faced yesterday.
Now for the batters…
Ian Kinsler accounted for the Detroit Tigers’ only run in yesterday’s 5-1 loss to the host Chicago White Sox. His 14th of the season came to open the eighth inning and his only hit in three official at-bats ( he also walked). Kinsler was 1-for-8 with another RBI, run scored, and stolen base (#13) as the Tigers (56-73) dropped two of three to the Sox. Tigers skipper Brad Ausmus was one of the Tigers suspended for his part in the recent brawls with the NY Yankees and he’s not taking any guff from Joe Girardi.
Alex Bregman was 5-for-13 — all singles — with a run scored and his 14th stolen base as the Houston Astros (79-51) took two of three from the host LA Angels.
Kevin Pillar was 3-for-9 in the first two games as the Toronto Blue Jays (61-69) hosted the Minnesota Twins. His line also includes a run scored and an RBI.
Danny Valencia appeared in all three games for the Seattle Mariners (66-65) who dropped to of their three games to the host NY Yankees. He was 0-for-5, splitting time between first base and right field on Friday, in a 2-1, 10-inning win that was decided by a pinch-hit home run by Yonder Alonso, the man who basically replaced him in the lineup. Valencia entered the next game in the eighth as a pinch-hitter himself, doubling and scoring a run in a 6-3 loss. He was called out on strikes in the ninth to end the festivities. He also ended Sunday’s game, flying out as a pinch-hitter in a 10-1 loss abetted by five Mariners’ errors.
Ryan Braun was hitless over the weekend, 0-for-9 with three strikeouts as the Milwaukee Brewers (68-63) took two of three from the host LA Dodgers, who lost their first series since June. Funny how wrong this preview was about Ryan’s prowess at Dodger Stadium.
The Atlanta Braves sent down pitcher Max Fried, but he’ll probably be back soon. In the meantime, the Atlanta Jewish Times posted this article on his roots.
As you may know, the last three days was set up as “Players’ Weekend.” The teams had special uniforms that bore the nicknames of most of the athletes. Many had special cleats designed which will ostensibly be auctioned off as a fundraiser. Some were inspired, others not so much. Of course, the cynic in me cannot let this go without a snarky comment. IMO, this was just another money grab, as fans will no doubt flock to buy replica Jersey with these nicknames. These unis were not especially attractive either. It also gives a bit of marketing power to those companies who provide the cleats and other equipment for the players for this weekend.
Here’s a list of the nicknames for the JMLs, via MLB.com. Some names are missing either because they’re new to their team or, in the case of Joc Pederson and Scott Feldman, are not currently with theirs. :
Alex Bregman: “A-Breg”
Mashing up the first initial of a first name and first syllable of a surname are common these days, as Bregman shows.
Tribute patch: Brady — Brady is Bregman’s Godson, who has autism.
Kevin Pillar: “Pill”
Pillar’s usual “Superman” nickname was unavailable due to it being trademarked, so Pillar went with a variation of his name. He says he’ll still be able to wear Superman cleats for Players Weekend, along with cleats he intends to use to raise money for a charity cause of his choice.
Tribute patch: Mom, Dad — Pillar says his parents are a big reason he’s made the Majors, and he wanted to pay tribute to them.
Ryan Braun: “OCHO”
Fans of the film “Dodgeball” will recognize the reference to No. 8.
Tribute patch: Mom, Dad & Steve — Steve, his younger brother, was an infielder in the Brewers’ organization from 2008-10.
Danny Valencia: Last name
Valencia chose to use his last name, because he said he really doesn’t have a creative nickname.
Tribute patch: Mom and Dad
Valencia said that he will pay tribute to his Mom and Dad, as they paved a way for him and sacrificed to allow him to chase his dreams.
Richard Bleier: Using last name
Tribute patch: Mom and Dad
Bleier’s father, Lawrence, is from the Bronx and grew up playing stickball. His mother is named Kathy. Both had a major impact on his baseball career, which started at South Plantation High School in Plantation, Fla.
Ian Kinsler: “Bootsie”
Kinsler’s nickname comes from his 2007 season in Texas. He missed a month with a stress fracture in his foot, and when then-manager Ron Washington spotted him in a walking boot, he nicknamed him. “When I got here, we got David Price and then he started calling me that,” Kinsler said. “I don’t know how he found out about it.”
Tribute patch: Mom and Dad — Kinsler’s father got him into Little League baseball in Tucson, Arizona, when he was 9 years old. His parents drove him back and forth to games.