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Posts Tagged ‘Craig Breslow’

 

JML Update, Weekend Edition (9/8-9/10/17)

Posted on: September 11th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

It was a weekend of highs and lows for several of the boys.

Kevin Pillar experienced both: He hit into a triple play in the sixth inning of Friday’s game for the Toronto Blue Jays (66-77) in a 5-4 loss to the visiting Detroit Tigers (60-82). He was o-for-4 in that one. But baseball is said to be a game of redemption: Kinsler was 4-for-4 on Saturday with home run #15 as Jays turned the tables with a 5-4 victory of their own. On Sunday, Pillar had two more hits and another RBI in another Toronto win, this time by a more comfortable margin of 8-2.

Ian Kinsler was in the middle of that triple play, making the throw to first to nip Pillar. His home run in that one proved to be the difference. His 17th provided all the runs for the Tigers yesterday and was the first time all season that he went deep with a runner on base.

Also on the ups: Ryan Braun, who cracked career home run #300 in the first inning on Friday, providing all the runs the Milwaukee Brewers would get in their 2-0 shutout over the host Chicago Cubs. The Brewers (75-69) swept their three-game set to move two games behind the first place Cubbies. Braun was 0-for-3 on Saturday and 1-for-4 on Sunday with stolen base #10 for the year and 191 for his career which, combined with the 300 HRs, puts him in some sort of exclusive 300/180 club to hear the announcers in the clip talk. (I probably should have led with Braun’s milestone, but I had the early shift at work and I’m too tired and lazy to rearrange.)

Max Fried did not fare too well in his second start for the Atlanta Braves (64-78). He allowed four runs (three earned) in 3.2 innings against the visiting Miami Marlins, giving up six hits  — including Giancarlo Stanton’s 54th home rune — and walking one while striking out three. The Braves won on a walk-off walk so Fried was not saddled with a loss. By the way, the Braves won the next night on a three-run walk-off home run, which allowed the Washington Nationals to clinch the NL East title.

Ryan Sherriff picked up the first hold off his career on Friday, giving up a hit and striking out one in two-thirds of an inning as the St. Louis Cardinals (75-68, tied with the Brewers) beat the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-1. It was his only outing of the weekend.

Richard Bleier pitched twice for the Baltimore Orioles (71-72), who got caught in the Cleveland Indians rip saw. The Tribe (87-56) has won 18 in a row, including this weekend’s sweep of the visiting O’s. Bleier totaled 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up a hit and striking out one. Craig Breslow picked up his first hold of the year, retiring the only batter he faced in the middle game of the series.

As well as the Indians have been playing, the LA Dodgers (91-52) have been that bad. They lost their tenth straight and fifteenth out of the last 16 by dropping their series to the visiting Colorado Rockies. Joc Pederson started two consecutive games for the first time in a while, but he was 0-for-7 with a two walks (including one as a pinch-hitter yesterday). It’s only because of the huge success they had early on that the Dodgers still have the best record in the Majors.

The Houston Astros (86-57) have also struggled over the past several weeks, but not to the Dodgers’ extent. They dropped their four-game series (including a Saturday double-header) to the Oakland As with Alex Bregman sitting out Friday’s contest as he nursed a hamstring injury which some thought would mean the end of his season. But he came back for the next three, going 3-for-11 with a double, a walk, a run scored, and two RBIs.

Danny Valencia appeared in only the middle game of the Seattle Mariners’ meetings with the visiting LA Angels. He was 0-for-3 with a walk. The Mariners (71-72) took two of the three games.

 

 

JML Update, Games of 9/7/17

Posted on: September 8th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Only two MOTs in action last night. Both of their teams were involved in streaks of one sort or another.

Craig Breslow pitched a scoreless inning of relief for the Cleveland Indians (84-56), who won their 15th in a row by beating the lowly Chicago White Sox, 11-1. Breslow worked the ninth, giving up a walk and striking out one in what was obviously a non-save situation.

No even the great Clayton Kershaw could prevent the LA Dodgers (92-48) from dropping their seventh straight, succumbing to the visiting Colorado Rockies, 9-1. Joc Pederson was 0-for-1 with a walk before coming out for a pinch-hitter in the seventh.

Richard Bleier did not appear for the Baltimore Orioles (71-69) in their 9-1 loss to the visiting NY Yankees. Max Fried did not appear for the Atlanta Braves (62-77) in their 6-5 win over the visiting Miami Marlins. Ryan Sherriff did not appear for the St. Louis Cardinals (72-68) in their 3-0 shutout at the hands of the host San Diego Padres.

JML Update, Games of 8/30/17

Posted on: August 31st, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Ryan Braun hit his 21st double in four at-bats as the Milwaukee Brewers (69-64) held off the visiting St. Louis Cardinals, 6-5. Keon Broxton made a home run-saving catch to end the game, but I think the announcers got a little too enthusiastic. The hit would have given the Cards (66-66) a 7-6 lead, but since the Brewers were the home team, they would have had one more shot at a victory, so calling the effort a “game-saver” is not necessarily so.

Ryan Sherriff did his job for St. Louis, retiring the only batter he faced to end the three-run rally in the sixth that gave the Brewers the lead.

Danny Valencia struck out as a pinch-hitter then struck out again when he remained in the game as the Seattle Mariners (68-66) dropped this one to the host Baltimore Orioles (68-65), 8-7. Richard Bleier retired the only batter he faced, picking up his second “hold” of the year. One of these days I’m going to opine on Keith Law’s excellent book, Smart Baseball: The Story Behind the Old Stats That Are Ruining the Game, the New Ones That Are Running It, and the Right Way to Think About Baseball to let you know how silly some of these categories are.

Craig Breslow completed the fine day by Jewish relievers, giving up one hit in one inning to help the Cleveland Indians (75-56) en route to a three-game sweep of the host NY Yankees, 9-4, in the first game of a regular doubleheader, i.e., not one of those two-admission money grabs that are the norm these days.

Kevin Pillar was 1-for-4 as the Toronto Blue Jays (61-72) lost to the visiting Boston Red Sox, 7-1.

Alex Bregman was o-for-4 for the Houston Astros (79-53), who lost to the visiting Texas Rangers, 8-1. Actually both teams are “visiting” Tropicana field in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Ian Kinsler did not appear for the Detroit Tigers (58-74) in their 6-2 win over the host Colorado Rockies.

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JML Update, Weekend Edition (8/25-27/2017)

Posted on: August 28th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

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.

 

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

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.

 

 

JML Update, Weekend Edition (Games of 8/4-8/5, 2017)

Posted on: August 7th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Kevin Pillar was 3-for-9 in two games (he missed Friday’s opener) with two runs scored as the Toronto Blue Jays (52-59) lost two of three to the host Houston Astros (71-40). Alex Bregman had one hit in each game, all for extra bases: his 13th home run on Friday, 28th double on Saturday, and third triple yesterday. The homer — a two-run shot to the opposite field — was part of a nine-run eruption by the ‘Stros in the fourth inning. Bregman’s record for the weekend included three walks, two runs scored, and four RBIs.

Danny Valencia also hit lucky #13. His two-run bomb opened the scoring in the first game of a doubleheader yesterday which was necessitated by a rainout on Saturday against between his Seattle Mariners (57-56) and the host KC Royals (he sat out the nightcap). He also had his third triple and a single in this one, so he was just one double shy of a cycle. On Friday, Valencia was 0-for-2 with two sac flies. Is he in danger of losing playing time now that the Mariners have acquired Yonder Alonso?

Ian Kinsler was 4-for-12 with a double and a run scored as the Detroit Tigers (51-59) lost two of the last three games in a four-game set to the host Baltimore Orioles (55-56). Three of those hits came in yesterday’s 12-3 loss. Richard Bleier had another scoreless outing in that one, going 2.1 innings and allowing two hits. In his last 10 appearances, Bleier has given up just two earned runs (three total) in 17 innings.

Ryan Braun split his time between left field and DH as the Milwaukee Brewers (59-54) took two of three from the host Tampa Bay Rays. Braun had two singles in 11 at-bats with two Ks and a walk. The two teams combined for just eight runs over the three meetings with the Brewers winning the first two by shutouts.

Joc Pederson was 0-for-6 as the LA Dodgers (79-32) swept the host NY Mets, a series that also included two shutouts. He walked twice in the Friday game and stole just his second base of the season. Pederson is hitless in his late eight games.

Brad Goldberg did not appear for the Chicago White Sox (41-68) who suffered a four-game sweep at the hands of the host Boston Red Sox .

Used to be, years ago, that we would read about these things in the “agate” section of the sports page, the tiny fonts that gave us information about who was traded or injured or released. In the on-line version we have the Oakland As designated Ryan Lavarnway for assignment late last week. Lavarnway — a pillar of Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic — had two cups of coffee for  the As: 11 at-bats over six games with two singles, a double, and two RBI. Here’s hoping he lands somewhere soon, especially since today is his 30th birthday!

Looks like Craig Breslow may have found a new home: The Cleveland Indians signed him to a minor league contract over the weekend. Mazel tov! And Scott Feldman will supposedly be returning soon to the Cincinnati Reds.

In another agate move, the Atlanta Braves called up pitcher Max Fried, one of those “highly touted” prospects who finds himself struggling in the pros. The 23-year-old lefty was just 2-11 with a 5.32 ERA in 19 starts for the team’s Mississippi affiliate in the Southern League (AA) where he walked 43 and struck out 85 in 86.2 innings. Fried has yet to appear in a major league game and until he does he’s not official.

I wonder if the Mets will bring up Cody Decker? The heart and soul of Team Israel is with their AAA affiliate, the Las Vegas 51s after spending some time with their AA club in Binghamton. Don’t know how I feel about this description from AmazinAveue.com, announcing a recent accomplishment in a game against the Oklahoma City Dodgers on Saturday: “The new pitcher, Jacob Rhame, left a big fat one for Cody Decker down and away, and the Jew bid adieu to that miscue, socking it over the left field wall for a game-tying three-run homer.” Between the two teams, Decker has 10 doubles and 10 homers in 68 games.

JML Update, Weekend Edition (Games of July 28-30)

Posted on: July 31st, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Kevin Pillar hit his 12th home run on Sunday in one of the great comebacks in memory as the Toronto Blue Jays scored seven times in the bottom of the ninth to beat the visiting LA Angels, 11-10. Pillar’s long knock came with one man on base and decreased the deficit to 10-6. The Jays (49-56) pulled of the accomplishment with a walk-off grand slam by Steve Pearce, his second walk-off grand salami in four days. It was Toronto’s only win in three games. Pillar had one other hit in the game and the pair accounted for his weekend total in seven at bats (he appeared as a defensive substitute in Saturday’s meeting).

Alex Bregman‘s solo shot (#11) accounted for the only run for the Houston Astros (68-36) in their 13-1 loss to the host Detroit Tigers. He was 2-11 for the three games, two of which were won by the Tigers (46-56). Bregman is recouping from a recent hamstring injury but managed to avoid going on the DL.

Ian Kinsler was 2-9, missing yesterday’s finale, including his 17th double, 29th RBI, and eighth stolen base.

Ryan Braun just missed a two-run homer in the Milwaukee Brewers’ 2-1 win over the visiting Chicago Cubs on Friday. He singled, doubled (#14), walked twice, and drove in the Brewers’ only run the next day in a 2-1 loss and was 0-for-4 yesterday in another defeat. The Brewers  (55-52) have lost seven of their last ten games and are 14-15 since Braun returned from the disabled list on June 27, falling out of first place and trailing the Cubs by two and a half.

Ryan Lavarnway got the start on Friday and responded by going 2-for-3 including a two-run double in the Oakland As’ 6-3 loss to the visiting Minnesota Twins. He appeared in the other two games as well, hitless in two at-bats with a walk. The As — 46-59 — took two of the three games.

The Twins made it official, releasing veteran lefty reliever Craig Breslow after designating him for assignment recently. Here’s hoping someone picks him up.

Danny Valencia was 2-for-11 with an RBI as the Seattle Mariners ( ) took two of three from the visiting NY Mets.

Joc Pederson was 2-for-6 with a double (#16) as the LA Dodgers (74-31) swept the visiting San Francisco Giants. And here’s another example of why Pederson is a mensch.

Richard Bleier struck out three batters and gave up a hit in two scoreless innings of work on Friday as the Baltimore Orioles (50-56) lost to the host Texas Rangers, 8-2. They took the series two games to one but the big news was Rangers’ third baseman Andre Beltre becoming the 31st player to get 3,000 hits. Mazel tov, Andre.

Brad Goldberg did not appear for the Chicago White Sox (40-62) who lost two of three to the visiting Cleveland Indians.

According to this report, Cincinnati Reds pitcher Scott Feldman is coming along nicely and may not need any rehab games.

 

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JML Update, Weekend Edition (July 21-23, 2017)

Posted on: July 24th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Alex Bregman hit his ninth home run of the year. The solo blast came in the Houston Astros (65-33) 8-4 win on Friday over the host Baltimore Orioles (47-51). It was one of his two hits in 11 at bats (plus a walk) as the Astros took two of the three games. Richard Bleier appeared for the Birds that night and was roughed up a bit: two earned runs on six hits (including a home run, although not by Bregman) in 2.2 innings. Maybe they’re pushing him a bit to see how he might do as a starter.

Ryan Braun did not start for the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday but more than made up for his absence the next day with a 3-for-3 performance against the host Philadelphia Phillies that include his 12th double, good for two runs; his 12th homer (a two-run shot in the fifth); a single; a walk; a stolen base (#6); and four RBI. He came out of the game in the seventh with the Milwaukee Brewers up 8-1, but the Phillies fought back, pushing over four in the seventh and three in the eighth to tie the score. The Brewers (53-48) won in their finals ups, 9-8. Braun was 1-3 on Sunday with a run-scoring double (#13) in a 6-3 loss as the Phils took two of the three matches.

Kevin Pillar joined the home run festivities, hitting #11 for the only run in yesterday’s 8-1 loss by the Toronto Blue Jays (44-54) to the host Cleveland Indians. In total, Pillar had two hits in 11 at-bats as the Jays lost all three games.

So that’s three MOTS with double-digit home runs already (including Danny Valencia) with three more (including Bregman) sitting on nine. Barring a catastrophe, that means all six “regulars” will have 10 or more, which has to be a record. I’ll do the research (unless someone else volunteers). I’m also guessing it will be a new high-mark for total Jewish home runs in a season, and that includes Hank Greenberg’s 58 in 1938. Hey, someone should write a book about that.

As for the rest of the gang…

Ian Kinsler was 4-for-13 with a double (16) two runs scored, and two RBI as the Detroit Tigers (45-52) took two of three from the Minnesota Twins (49-48). Might he join Braun on the Brewers (assuming Milwaukee doesn’t trade their Jewish slugger)? Craig Breslow appeared and not very well. On Friday he gave up two hits and a run in one inning in a 6-3 loss and yesterday he walked one and gave up a hit and allowed to inherited runners to score in 2/3 of an inning in a 9-6 loss. So the Twins designated the veteran lefty for assignment.

Chicago White Sox (38-57) reliever Brad Goldberg also had a tough time of it. He gave up a home run in his only appearance, the eighth inning of a 9-2 loss to the host KC Royals on Saturday. On the positive side, he did fan Alex Gordon to end the frame, his first strikeout as a Major Leaguer.

Danny Valencia was 2-for-12 with a run, an RBI, and six strikeouts as the Seattle Mariners (49-51) lost two of the final three games in their four-game set to the visiting NY Yankees.

Joc Pederson was 1-for-7 (he did not start the first game) as the LA Dodgers (68-31) took two of three after the visiting Atlanta Braves broke their 11-game winning streak on Friday.

Scott Feldman remains on the disabled list for the Cincinnati Reds.

 

JML Update, Games of July 18, 2017

Posted on: July 19th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Ian Kinsler continued his hot hitting, going 2-for-t with a double (#14) and a run scored as the Detroit Tigers (43-49) beat the host KC Royals, 9-3. And kudos for being named the Tigers’ 2017 recipient of the Heart and Hustle Award for the second year in a row. The award given by the MLB Players Alumni Association honors active players who “demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit and traditions of the game.”

Kevin Pillar had two singles in six at bats as the Toronto Blue Jays (43-50) lost 5-4 to the Boston Red Sox in 15 innings on a walk off home run by Hanley Ramirez. Pillar also made a nice running catch in the fourth.

Ryan Braun singled and scored a run but the Milwaukee Brewers (52-44) fell to the host Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-3.

Alex Bregman was 1-for-2 with a walk and a run scored as the Houston Astros (63-31) beat the visiting Seattle Mariners (47-48), 6-2. Danny Valencia was hitless in four trips to the plate for the losers.

Joc Pederson struck out in two of his three at-bats and came out for a pinch hitter in the eighth as the LA Dodgers (65-29) held on to the only run of the game — scored in the first inning — over the host Chicago White Sox.

Welcome back, Craig Breslow. The lefty-reliever gave up a hit and a walk in his one-third of an inning for the Minnesota Twins (47-46) but he did strand his inherited runner in a 6-3 loss to the visiting NY Yankees.

Richard Bleier did not appear for the Baltimore Orioles (44-49) in their 12-1 dismantling of the visiting Texas Rangers.

Scott Feldman is on the disabled list (knee inflammation) for the Cincinnati Reds. They lost, 11-2, to the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks.

And, sorry, but why is the fact that Wrigley Field will now offer kosher cuisine a thing these days? Chicago is a major metropolis with the fourth largest Jewish population in the U.S. according to the 2014 American Jewish Yearbook.

And speaking of Chicago, looks like the White Sox are giving Brad Goldberg — he of the 108.00 ERA for giving up four runs in 1/3 of an inning in his Major league debut (and only game) — another shot. Here’s hoping he can stick around a little longer this time.

Finally, is this the end of the baseball road for Super Sam Fuld? Sad to think that’s all for this fan favorite and defensive wiz but he hints at that possibility in this interview with the Cape Cod Times. (HT to Scott Barancik of the Jewish Baseball News site for the last two items.)

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JML Weekend Update (Games of July 14-16)

Posted on: July 17th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Welcome back. Hope you had a nice long All-Star Break. For me the actual ASG was kind of meh. Call me old-fashioned but what I didn’t like was the on-field interview (interviews? I only saw one) during the game (albeit in-between innings) and that business with the batter giving the catcher his cell phone to take a photo with the umpire. Yes, I know this is an exhibition game, but if I want to see that kind of stuff, I’ll watch the celebrity softball game.

Anyway, back to business…

Ryan Braun must have felt rested. He launched a grand slam on Friday to cap an eight-run inning in a 9-6 win for the Milwaukee Brewers over the visiting Philadelphia Phillies. All told, Braun was 3-for-10 for the weekend. The home run — his sixth career grand salami — was his 11th of the year. He also stole his fifth base. The Brewers took two of three to move 10 games over .500 at 52-42.

Danny Valencia was 3-13 as the Seattle Mariners (46-47) swept the host Chicago White Sox. All three were extra bases hits: two doubles (14) and his 10th home run which was good for three RBIs to tie yesterday’s game in the fourth inning.

https://cdn.fansided.com/wp-content/uploads/getty-images/2017/07/811515928-detroit-tigers-v-cleveland-indians.jpg-850x560.jpgIan Kinsler walked to lead of the game for the Detroit Tigers (41-49) vs. the visiting Toronto Blue Jays (42-49) yesterday. He then stole second and scored the team’s first run, en route to a 6-5, 11-inning contest. That was the highlight of the weekend for Kinsler, who was 1-for-8 with two walks in two games (he did not appear in Friday’s 7-2 loss). With the Tigers falling farther and farther, trade rumors have picked up but since he’s been slumping so much, who would be interested?

Kevin Pillar was 1-for-10 with two runs scored and an RBI for the Jays.

Scott Pederson was 4-for-10, including two doubles (14) as the LA Dodgers (64-29) swept the host Miami Marlins. Pederson entered Sunday’s game as a pinch hitter in the seventh and flied out. He had one subsequent at-bat.

Alex Bregman was 2-for-10 with his 22nd double as the Houston Astros (62-30) took two of three from the visiting Minnesota Twins (46-45). Bregman also walked twice, scored twice, and drove in his 28th run. Craig Breslow made another rehab appearance, striking out one of the two batters he faced yesterday for the Rochester Red Wings in a loss to the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.

Richard Bleier gave up a hit and struck out one in 2.1 innings on Friday as the visiting Chicago Cubs chased starter Kevin Gausman after just three innings. Could the O’s — who lost all three games to fall to 42-27 — be considering making Bleier a starter? According to a story on MASN.com (HT to Bob Wechsler for this one)

[Manager Buck] Showalter confirmed that the Orioles have considered the idea of stretching out Richard Bleier as a starter. Bleier’s ERA is down to 1.38 in 32 2/3 innings.

“Certainly it crosses your mind because he can defend himself against right-handed hitters, but I don’t know for sure how that would play right now,” Showalter said. “He’s doing such a good job in that role, I’d hate to mess with it.”

Bleier is getting a decent amount of swings and misses on his cutter and he’s incorporating a changeup.

“He’s deceptive,” Showalter said. “If you watch his delivery, he’s one of the few guys who lands on his toes on the ball of his foot and doesn’t come off it. Most people go toe-heel. He goes toe and stays on it. That’s really unusual. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pitcher do that, but it works.”

Though Bleier worked 2 1/3 innings last night, Showalter said it wouldn’t surprise him if the left-hander insisted that he could pitch tonight if needed.

“We’d like to stay away from Richard, but one of the things that’s been attractive about him is he’s pretty resilient,” Showalter said. “I bet he’s going to stay that he can give us a hitter or two tonight, but I’d rather not.”

“Stalwart” Scott Feldman gets the start for the Cincinnati Reds today against the visiting Washington Nationals, who have won the first three games of the series. He might make a good pick-up for a team looking for some veteran pitching, perhaps one who scores well to overcome all the runs he gives up.

JML Update: A “Mid-Season” Review

Posted on: July 11th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Put in quotes because it’s technically not the midseason, but close enough for government work.

First of all, a correction: there have been 11 MOTs in the Majors this year, not 12. I had inadvertently counted names rather than players in included Scott Feldman twice since he appears on the JewishBaseballNews box score as a pitcher and a batter.

So, on with the show. Stats courtesy Baseball-Reference.com.

If you don’t have your health…

Ryan Braun has missed more than half of the Milwaukee Brewers’ 91 games so far. All things being equal — a phrase I love to use — he could be among the league leaders in home runs. If nothing dramatic happens in the second half, he’ll join Hank Greenberg and Sean Green as the only Jews with 300 or more home runs. A bit tougher will be the 40 RBIs he needs for 1,000. He was placed on the 10-day DL (which is a misnomer, since he spent a lot more than 10 days there the second time) twice in May for a calf strain that stills bothers.

 

 

Alex Bregman is going through some growing pains for the Houston Astros. You may recall he got off to a horrendous start as a rookie before catching fire. This season, he’s probably been somewhat of a disappointment to himself and the team. Fortunately, the Astros are doing so well, few seem to be worried about him. And with a good second half he could wind up with 20 homers and 20 stolen bases. Knock wood, he’s been one of the healthy ones.

 

 

Ian Kinsler spent some time on the DL with a hamstring issue. His absence was more notable because the Tigers are doing so poorly. His name has popped up in trade rumors. Always a streaky guy, he had a little string of three games with home runs (June 20-22) and only one since. He has a way to go before joining Greenberg, Ryan, and, presumably, Braun, in the 300 club.

Last but least, there’s Brad Goldberg of the Chicago White Sox. he made his only Major League appearance — maybe for his career — on June 3 against the Tigers in which he gave up four runs on a walk and three hits (including a home run) in just one-third of an inning for an ERA of 108.00 and a whip of 12.000.
 

 

Ryan Lavarnway, one of the favorites for Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic, got a brief call-up by the Oakland A’s when catcher Josh Phegley went on paternity leave. Lavarnway was 0-for-2 in his only game and was designated for assignment on July 8.

 

 

Joc Pederson was a head case for the LA Dodgers, placed on the DL for a concussion he suffered when he collided with Yasiel Puig on a play in the field. Despite his obvious power and superior defensive skills, he’s missed a fair amount of games for righty-lefty reasons.

 

 

Kevin Pillar didn’t miss time because of a physical injury he received, but rather an emotional and societal one he inflicted when he uttered a homophobic remark at an opposing player. That caused quite a reaction outside the normal baseball rank and file, as one might expect. The Toronto Blue Jays have no questions about his glovework, but his offense is extremely inconsistent. At one point before his suspension, Pillar was hitting .303; now it’s .256. The team has shuffled him all over the lineup, mostly in the leadoff spot where he had an on-base percentage of just .306, but also sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth. That’s a big difference in responsibilities. Pillar has a good shot at the “20/20” club … if he can stay healthy.

 

 

Danny Valencia has been brilliant and disappointing. He’s enjoyed several multi-hit games for the Seattle Mariners — his seventh team in eight seasons — including four each of four and three hits. And his 43 RBIs leads all Jewish players. Knock wood, he hasn’t been on the DL and could set career-highs in most offensive categories.

 

 

So quickly summing up the batters, apart from Lavarnway, every one of the batters should reach 10 home runs easy, maybe even 15. Twenty might be asking a lot.

Richard Breier has to be the most pleasant surprise among the JMLs. The lefty reliever for the Baltimore Orioles has appeared in 25 games and has acquitted himself most admirably. Okay, so he’s not blowing anyone away with just 14 strikeouts, and yes he does have a relatively high WHIP (walks + hits per inning pitched), but he gets the job done much more often than not.

 

 

Craig Breslow was going along swimmingly until his last few games when he just seemed to fall apart. On May 28, he had an ERA of 1.47. The next day it rose to 2.89 after he gave up three runs in just one-third of an inning. A blip, perhaps, since he pitched scoreless ball in his next two outings. But since June 11, Breslow as given up 11 earned runs in just eight innings. And he ended up on the disabled list. Here’s hoping for a full recovery and a trip to his usually reliable self.

 

 

Scott Feldman has always been an anomaly to me. One game he’s great, the next he’s terrible. He’s always given up his share of home runs (153), so there’s little margin for error, especially with a team like the Cincinnati Reds who are last in the NL Central. As the saying goes, he pitches just well enough to lose. As the only pitcher who gets to bat on a regular basis, Feldman is just 1-for-31 with 15 strikeouts, a far cry from his season with the Cubs in which he hit .176 with two doubles, his only home run, and eight RBIs. He also could wind up being trade bait.

   
 

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