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JML Update, Games of July 26, 2017

Posted on: July 26th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

No home runs last night. In fact, Jewish batters went just 4-for-21.

Alex Bregman had been relatively unscathed this year but that ended when he injured his hamstring running out a triple (#2) in his only at bat as the Houston Astros (67-33) shut out the host Philadelphia Phillies, 5-0. That came as the Astros’ first hit of the game in the top of the third. Bregman came around to score on a sacrifice fly but did not return to the field for the bottom of the third. According to Astros’ manager A.J. Hinch, “He got back to the dugout and complained a little bit of some tightness…. Nowadays that’s an immediate removal the way the situation is and our depth. He’s day to day.”

Joc Pederson had a double (#15) and a walk in four plate appearances for the LA Dodgers (70-31) in their 6-2 win over the visiting Minnesota Twins. Pederson scored two runs and drove the game-tying run so he accounted for half of the team’s production. He was also a hand in the field, too.

Ryan Braun was 1-for-5 as the Milwaukee Brewers  (54-48) shut out the Washington Nationals, 8-0. He also scored and had an RBI.

Danny Valencia was  1-5 with three strikeouts as the Seattle Mariners (51-51) scored two in the bottom of the 13th to beat the visiting Boston Red Sox, 6-5. He came out of the game for a pinch-runner in the 10th.

Kevin Pillar was 0-for-4 for the Toronto Blue Jays (46-54) in their 4-1 win over the visiting Oakland A’s.

Ian Kinsler was 0-for-3 with a walk as the Detroit Tigers (45-54) lost to the visiting KC Royals, 3-1. This is what gets me this time of year: the sports pundits keep harping about the trade deadline. They started even earlier this year, trying to generate excitement. Not really interested in all the rumors, tho I can see where some find it fun. But don’t tell me so-and-so tried to make a deal. Thy didn’t. case closed.

Richard Bleier did not appear for the Baltimore Orioles (48-52) in their 5-4 loss to the host Tampa Bay Rays. Brad Goldberg did not appear for the Chicago White Sox in their 7-2 loss to the host and cross-town rivals, the Cubs. No word on the status of Craig Breslow, who was designated for assignment earlier in the week by the Twins. With the trading deadline coming up, I’m sure he’ll end up somewhere, despite his recent struggles.

Scott Feldman remains on the disabled list for the Cincinnati Reds, who lost to the host NY Yankees, 4-2. When you allow a run to score on a triple play, you almost deserve to lose.

JML Update, Games of July 24, 2017

Posted on: July 25th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

The home run parade continues. Joc Pederson and Alex Bregman joined the double-digit club last night.

Bregman hit #10 — a solo job — along with two doubles in five at-bats as the Houston Astros (66-33) 13-4 over the host Philadelphia Phillies. Pederson cracked his tenth — similarly good for one run — to tie the game at 2-2 and help the LA Dodgers (49-31) beat the visiting Minnesota Twins, 6-4. It was his only hit in three trips to the plate.

Ian Kinsler was 2-for-6 in six at-bats as the Detroit Tigers (45-53) lost to the visiting KC Royals in 12 innings, 5-3. Still subject of trade rumors.

Danny Valencia drove in his 50th run of the year with a double (#16)  in the fourth inning to finish the scoring for the Seattle Mariners (50-51) in their 4-0 shutout over the visiting Boston Red Sox.

Kevin Pillar was 0-for-4 but the Toronto Blue Jays (45-54) beat the visiting Oakland A’s, 4-2.

Richard Bleier tossed one inning of scoreless relief for the Baltimore Orioles (48-51) in their 5-0 win over the host Tampa Bay Rays.

Brad Goldberg did not appear for the Chicago White Sox (39-57) in their 3-1 win over the host Chicago Cubs. Ryan Braun and the Milwaukee Brewers had the day off. Scott Feldman remains on the disabled list for the Cincinnati Reds. No one has picked up Craig Breslow yet. He was designated for assignment yesterday by the Twins.

Here’s the “Minor-League Monday” entry from JewishBaseballNews.com.

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

Posted on: July 24th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

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 7/20/17

Posted on: July 21st, 2017 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Ian Kinsler hit his 15th double on a two-out, 0-2 pitch to drive in two runs for the Detroit Tigers (43-51) in their 16-4 loss to the host KC Royals. Kinsler has a modest five-game hitting streak going on.

Danny Valencia was 2-for-4 as the Seattle Mariners (48-49) lost to the visiting NY Yankees, 4-1.

Joc Pederson was 0-for-4 as the LA Dodgers’ (66-30) 11-game wining streak came to a  end at the hands of the visiting Atlanta Braves, 6-3.

Ryan Braun flied out as a pinch-hitter as the Milwaukee Brewers (52-46) dropped a four-game set to the host Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-3.

Kevin Pillar entered the game between the Toronto Blue Jays and host Boston Red Sox as a defensive replacement. The Jays (44-51) grabbed that one, 8-6.

Richard Bleier did not appear for the Baltimore Orioles (46-49), who beat the visiting Texas Rangers, 9-7.

Scott Feldman is on the DL for the Cincinnati Reds (40-55) who lost to the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks, 12-2.

All the other MOTs and their teams had the day off.

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JML Update, Games of July 19, 2017

Posted on: July 20th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Baby steps: Brad Goldberg lowered his ERA from 108.00 to a mere 36.00 by tossing scoreless relief for 2/3 of an inning as the Chicago White Sox (3854) lost to the LA Dodgers (66-29), 9-1, in a game that ended in the eighth because of rain. Joc Pederson entered the game as a defensive replacement was hitless in one trip to the plate — against Brad Goldberg.

Danny Valencia was 1-for-4 with a run scored as the Seattle Mariners (48-48) continue their hot play (relatively speaking) with a 4-1 win over the host Houston Astros (63-32). Alex Bregman was 2-for-3 with a walk and his ninth stolen base for the ‘Stros.

Kevin Pillar was 1-for-4 as the Toronto Blue Jays (43-51) lost to the host Boston Red Sox, 5-1. Sorry, no defensive highlights to see here.

Ian Kinsler was 1-for-5 with a run scored as the Detroit Tigers (43-50) lost to the host KC Royals, 4-3.

Ryan Braun — dealing with wrist and calf issues — had the game off as the Milwaukee Brewers (52-45) lost to the host Pittsburgh Pirates, 3-2, in 10 innings.

Craig Breslow did not appear for the Minnesota Twins (48-46) in their 6-1 win over the visiting NY Yankees. Richard Bleier did not appear for the Baltimore Orioles (10-2) in their 10-2 win over the visiting Texas Rangers. Scott Feldman is on the DL for the Cincinnati Reds (40-54). They beat the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks, 4-3, in 11.

And this is a few days late, but here’s the Minor-League Monday entry from Jewish Baseball News.

JML Update, Games of July 18, 2017

Posted on: July 19th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

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 update, Games of July 17, 2017

Posted on: July 18th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

A pretty good night overall as every batter notched at least one hit. Scott Feldman doesn’t count because he never had a chance to come to the plate. He allowed five runs in one inning as the Cincinnati Reds (39-53) lost to the host Washington Nationals, 6-1. He gave up five hits including a two-run homer and a solo shot, walked one, and struck out none. It was later revealed that Feldman (7-7) has been dealing with a knee issue all season so guess what? He was placed on the disabled list. So much for the opportunity to be picked up by a contending team as the trading deadline approaches.

Now the good news. Richard Bleier earned his second win as the Baltimore Orioles (43-49) beat the visiting Texas Rangers, 3-1. Bleier pitched one prefect inning but it came at the right time. HT to Jack Wiener and Scott Barancik of the JewishBaseballNews site who point out that Bleier leads all AL pitchers with 30 or more innings in ERA (1.34) this season.

Ian Kinsler was the star hitter of the MOTs. He had two triples (3) and a double (14) to help the Detroit Tigers (42-49) crush the host KC Royals, 10-2. He also drove in his 24th run. You gotta love the rumor mill: could it be that Kinsler will be returning to the Texas Rangers? If memory serves, he didn’t leave on such good terms.

Or maybe the trophy should go to Danny Valencia, who continues to impress. He hit a double (15) and homer (11) in the Seattle Mariners’ (47-47) 9-7, 10-inning win over the host Houston Astros. Valencia’s solo blast accounted for his team’s final run. He also made a nice play on a hot shot at first.

Alex Bregman did not hit a double, but he did have two hits for the Astros (62-31).

Kevin Pillar hit his 24th double in four at-bats as the Toronto Blue Jays (43-49) held off the host Boston Red Sox, 4-3. He also had an assist to nab a runner at the plate, his sixth of the season.

Ryan Braun was 1-for-5 as the Milwaukee Brewers (52-43) lost to the host Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-2. Not to get too philosophical, but this headline caught my eye: “Brewers: Ryan Braun considered day-to-day for rest of season.” Aren’t we all really just day-to-day?

Joc Pederson and the LA Dodgers had the day off.

Craig Breslow remains off the roster for the Minnesota Twins (47-45), who beat the visiting NY Yankees, 4-2.

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JML Weekend Update (Games of July 14-16)

Posted on: July 17th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

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.

JML Update, Weekend Edition (Games of July 7-9, 2017)

Posted on: July 10th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Ryan Braun served as the designated hitter in the Milwaukee Brewer’s 9-4 win over the host NY Yankees on Friday. Evidently his calf is still give him problems and the Brewers probably didn’t want to tax him too much right before the All-Star break. Braun hit his 11th double, walked, and scored two runs. He did play left field in the following game, going 0-for-4 at the plate as the Yankees won on a walk-off home run. And sure enough, he came out of that one with a cramp. Braun was excused from Sunday’s rubber game, won by the Brewers (50-41), 5-3.

Alex Bregman had two hits in 11 at-bats for the Houston Astros in their weekend against the host Toronto Blue Jays (the two teams began their series on Thursday) and both went for doubles, giving him 21 on the year. The latter came in the Astros’ 19-1 laugher. He also walked twice and scored three runs. Kevin Pillar was also 2-for-11, but only one of those was a double, his 23rd. He did make another nifty catch on an otherwise dismal Sunday. The Astros, at 60-29, how have the second-best record in the Majors (see below).

Danny Valencia stroked three hits —  a double (#12) and two singles — on Friday for the Seattle Mariners in a 7-2 win over the visiting Oakland As. They were his only hits in 10 at-bats over the weekend. He scored four times as the Mariners (43-47) split their four-game series with the A’s (39-50). Ryan Lavarnway started Friday’s game behind the plate and went 0-for-2 before coming out for a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning. He was designated for assignment the next day.

Joc Pederson hit a two-run homer on Saturday (his ninth) to get the LA Dodgers — who sport baseball’s best record at 61-29 — on the scoreboard in their 10-inning, 5-4 win over the visiting KC Royals. He also nailed a runner at the plate in a Statcast-worthy clip. It was one of two hits he had on the day. He had gone 1-for-4 on Friday and did not play in Sunday’s game, as the Dodgers completed the sweep.

Ian Kinsler drove in the first run for the Detroit Tigers (39-48) who held off the host Cleveland Indians for a 5-3 win on Sunday. Overall, Kinsler was 3-for-11 with a walk and a run scored as the Tigers lost two of their three-game set.

Richard Bleier finally gave up a run in 2.2 innings as the Baltimore Orioles (42-46) beat the Minnesota Twins (45-43), 11-5, on Sunday. It was the first run he’s allowed first since June 22 and it was unearned. In fact, Bleier  has given up just one earned run in his last 20 appearances. According to TwinsDaily.com, “Craig Breslow made his first rehab appearances and saw a runner score after he gave up a walk and a double with two outs.”

Scott Feldman did not appear for the Cincinnati Reds (39-49) who took two of three from the host Arizona Diamondbacks.

As we head into the All-Star break, there have been a dozen MOTs who have appeared in a Major League game this season. Unfortunately, many of them have spent time on the disabled list for one reason or another. I’ll go into that in more detail in tomorrow’s entry. Shalom, y’all.

   
 

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