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JML Update, Playoff edition

Posted on: October 16th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

Once again, the NY Yankees find themselves in a 2-0 deficit following losses in Houston to start the American league Championship Series. Alex Bregman, batting eighth in the lineup, got one of the Astros’ six hits on Friday in their 2-1 win. The next day he was 0-for-2 with a walk as Houston won by the same score, this time snatching the victory in the bottom of the ninth behind the outstanding pitching of Justin Verlander, who went old school tossing a complete game five-hitter (Houston also manged just five hits) and striking out 13.

The venue changes to the Big Apple beginning tonight.

Meanwhile, the LA Dodgers added Joc Pederson to their roster following the sidelining of Cory Seeger. Pederson, who missed the NLDS, appeared as a defensive replacement in Saturday as the Dodgers beat the visiting Chicago Cubs, 5-2. Same thing the next day, only he had a chance to come to bat and produced a sacrifice in a 4-1 win thanks to a walk-off home run by Justin Turner. That series now moves to the Windy City.

In non-playoff news:

JML Update, Weekend Edition (September 29-October 1, 2017)

Posted on: October 2nd, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Note: This entry covers just the last weekend of the 2017 season. I’ll be spouting off on the entire JML season in greater detail in the days ahead.

Well, this was a letdown. Only three JMLs participated in their teams’ final games on Sunday: Max Fried, Joc Pederson, and Alex Bregman.

Fried started the game for the Atlanta Braves. He pitched — mixed. On the one hand, he struck out seven batters in just 4.1 innings. On the other hand, he pitched just 4.1 innings, giving up four runs on six hits. But just two of those were earned and the Braves (72-90, third in the NL East) beat the host Miami Marlins, 8-4. But Because Fried threw just 4.1 innings, he did not qualify for the win. He was 0-for-2 at the plate. P.S. Giancarlo Stanton did not homer in the finale, so he ended the season with 59. Kudos just the same.

Pederson entered the game for the LA Dodgers (104-58, first in the NL West) in their 6-3 win over the host Colorado Rockies as a defensive replacement in the bottom of the third. He had pair of RBI doubles in three-at bats.

Bregman was a pinch-runner in a 4-3 Houston Astros (101-61, first in the AL West) win over the host Boston Red Sox. He was 0-for-2 as he stayed in the game for the DH, Carlos Beltran. On Thursday, Bregman singled, doubled, and homered (#19 to tie Ian Kinsler for most among MOTs), driving in all three of the Astros’ runs in their 3-2 win. He was o-for-4 in a 6-3 loss but in his last seven games, Bregman was 12-for-31 (.387) with three home runs and 11 RBI. Fun fact: These two teams ended the regular campaign with a four-game series and will now play each other in the first round of the post-season, setting up the possibility for nine straight games. I’m guessing that’s never happened before in pro-sports.

As for those who did not appear:

  • Ian Kinsler did not appear for the Detroit Tigers (64-98, last in the AL Central and tied for the worst record in MLB; the worst team gets the first pick in the following year’s amateur draft, so it will probably be a coin flip) in their 6-4 loss to the host Minnesota Twins. That’s because outgoing skipper Brad Ausmus named him “manager for a day,” a practice sometimes given as a show of respect for veterans. Kinsler’s last game as a player came in Friday’s 6-3 loss in which he was 1-for-4 with a run scored and a walk. Also worth noting: Kinsler reached 600 plate appearances, so his option for 2018 kicks in. Don’t know what that means as far as where he’ll actually be playing . (Bonus Fun Fact: on Saturday, Andy Romine became the fifth Major Leaguer to play all nine positions in a single game. Makes for an interesting line in the box score.)
  • Kevin Pillar had a great reason for missing the last three games for the Toronto Blue Jays (76-86, fourth in the AL East): the birth of his child. The Jays dropped two of three to the host NY Yankees.
  • Ryan Braun, as the Milwaukee Brewers (86-76) beat the host St. Louis Cardinals, 6-1. He doubled twice in five at-bats the previous night in a 7-6 loss, driving in a run. On Thursday, Braun was hitless in four trips to the plate, grounding into two double plays in a 5-3 win. The Brewers just missed a wild card slot, finishing second in the NL Central.
  • Ryan Sherriff appeared for the Cardinals (83-79, third in the NL Central) in that one. He picked up his second win of the year, tossing one scoreless inning, giving up a hit, and striking out one. Sherriff did not pitch on Thursday.
  • Richard Bleier threw 1.2 innings of scoreless relief on Friday in the Baltimore Orioles’ 4-3 loss to the host Tampa Bay Rays. Bleier gave up a hit and struck out one for the O’s, who finished last in the AL East with a record of 75-87. That outing was enough to push his ERA to 1.99.
  • Danny Valencia missed the Seattle Mariners’ 6-2 loss to the host LA Angels. He was 0-for-3 with a walk in their 6-5 loss on Friday and did not not appear in Saturday’s 6-4 win. The Mariners finished 78-84, tied for third in the AL West.
  • Craig Breslow did not appear for the Cleveland Indians (102-60, first in the AL Central) in their 3-1 in over the visiting Chicago White Sox. In fact. he did not pitch in any of the three final games. One has to wonder if he has a place on the post-season roster.
  • Ausmus got his fair share of criticism, but could he end up as the Mets manager next year? Stay tuned.

 

JML Update, Games of Sept. 25, 2017

Posted on: September 26th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Max Fried made his third start and didn’t do too badly. He gave up one earned run (two total) on seven hits in 5.1 innings, striking out two and walking one while taking the first loss of his Major League career as the Atlanta Braves (71-85) fell to the host NY Mets, 3-2, in the nightcap of a doubleheader. Fried was also 0-for-2 at the plate.

Ryan Sherriff fared a bit better in his relief outing for the St. Louis Cardinals, giving up a hit and striking out two in two frames. Unfortunately, the Cards (81-75) were clobbered by the visiting Chicago Cubs, 10-2, falling two-and-a-half games back in the standings for the second Wild Card spot.

Alex Bregman was 2-for-3 with his 37th double as the Houston Astros beat the host Texas Rangers, 11-2. Bregman also scored a run and drove one in on a sacrifice fly. That put the Astros on the scoreboard and got the ball rolling, as they scored eight runs in the top of the fourth.

Kevin Pillar was o-for-4 as the Toronto Blue Jays (74-83) beat the host Boston Red Sox, 6-4.

Joc Pederson struck out as a pinch hitter and remained in the game as the centerfielder as the LA Dodgers finally won their 100th game by beating the visiting San Diego Padres, 9-3. There was a time when it looked like they had a chance to break the all-time ML win record of 116, set by the Chicago Cubs in 1906 (in a 154-game season, although they actually played 155 that year) and tied by the Seattle Mariners in 2001.

Danny Valencia did not appear for the Seattle Mariners (76-81), who beat the host Oakland As, 7-1. If the Ms win their remaining five games, they will finish at the .500 mark. Hey, it’s better than my Mets can do.

All other Jewishly-populated teams had the day off.

Sure enough, the Yom Kippur “dilemma” is starting to make the rounds in the Jewish media. Here’s a story from the LA Jewish Journal on how Sandy Koufax’s decision in 1965 continues to impress.

JML Update, Weekend Edition (Games of 9/22-24/17)

Posted on: September 25th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Can it really be that we’re down to the last week of the regular season? Where did the time go?

Ian Kinsler picked a bad time to get hot. Over the weekend, the second baseman was four-13, with a double (#35) and two home runs (#22), four RBIs, and three runs scored. But the Detroit Tigers (62-94) remained true to form for the season and dropped all three games to the visiting Minnesota Twins. Friday’s shot was another solo blast but his most recent came with two out in the bottom of the ninth yesterday, a — gasp — two-run shot to make the final score 10-4. Was this Kinsler’s last hurrah in a Tigers uni?

Oh, and that talk about Brad Ausmus returning in 2018? Forget it. But the NY Mets will be looking for a new skipper… Just sayin’. Can’t really blame the front office. He was given a good team a few years ago but things never really gelled, between poor performances and injuries. Of course, those happen to every team. The evidence of a good manager is dealing with it and still managing to win. Ausmus did a nice thing here by defending Kinsler’s disappointing season.

Alex Bregman was 2-for-10 with his 17th home run, a two-run blast in yesterday’s game that gave the Houston Astros (95-60) a temporary 2-1 lead in a game they would lose to the visiting LA Angels, 7-5. It was their only loss in the three-game set.

Ryan Braun was 4-for-13 with two doubles (26), two runs scored and an RBI as the Milwaukee Brewers (82-74) hurt their post-season chances by dropping two of three to the visiting Chicago Cubs. What does the future hold for him?

Kevin Pillar was 2-11 with his 37th double and 15th stolen base as the Toronto Blue Jays (73-83) took two of three from the visiting NY Yankees, winners of one of the AL Wild Card spots.

Joc Pederson was 1-for-1 with two walks as the LA Dodgers (99-57) beat the visiting San Francisco Giants yesterday, 3-1, taking two of their three games. It was his only outing on the weekend. He also stole his fourth base of the year.

Danny Valencia entered the Saturday game between his Seattle Mariners (75-81) and the visiting Cleveland Indians as a pinch runner, remaining in the game to play right field and first base (not at the same time). He was 0-for-1 with a walk in the 11-4 loss, his only appearance in the series, which concludes today

Richard Bleier appeared in back-to-back-to-back games for the Baltimore Orioles in their series against the Tampa Bay Rays, combining for 2.1 innings, two runs (unearned), three hits, and two strikeouts as the Os (75-82) lost two of three.

Ryan Sherriff‘s only appearance: 9/22 in which he gave up a run on one hit in one-third of an inning, recording a “K” for the out the St. Louis Cardinals (81-74) held off the host Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-3.

Craig Breslow did not appear for the Cleveland Indians (98-58) in their weekend set against the Mariners. He did get into a game on the 20th, walking the only batter he faced against the Angels. Prior to that, Breslow had not been on the mound since Sept. 9.

Max Fried gets the start tonight for the Atlanta Braves who visit the Mets. He has not been in a game since Sept. 16, where he struck out two of the three batters he faced in a perfect inning against the Mets in Atlanta.

 

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

Posted on: September 11th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

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 9/6/17

Posted on: September 7th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Ian Kinsler hit home run #15 to break a four-way tie for most among MOTs. It was one of the few highlights for the Detroit Tigers (59-80), who were pummeled by visiting KC Royals, 13-2. The solo shot — his only hit in three at-bats (he also walked) — came in the fifth inning. It tied the game at the time, but the Royals scored four in the seventh and seven more in the eighth. In case you were wondering, Kinsler’s lifetime total is 227, fourth on the all-time Jewish list behind Hank Greenberg, Shawn Green, and Ryan Braun, who was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts as the Milwaukee Brewers (72-68) fell to the host Cincinnati Reds, 7-1.

Alex Bregman hit his 33rd double — his only safety in five at-bats, as the Houston Astros (86-53) beat the host Seattle Mariners (69-71), 5-3.  Danny Valencia did not appear for the Mariners.

Joc Pederson returned to Major League action last night, batting eighth and stroking a single in two at-bats as the flailing LA Dodgers (92-47) lost to the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks, 3-1. He came out of the game for a pinch-hitter in the seventh, but he did make this nice catch up against the centerfield wall to save at least one run.

Ryan Sherriff picked up his first Major League win by tossing two innings of relief for the St. Louis Cardinals (72-67), who beat the host San Diego Padres, 3-1. Sherriff, who took his first loss on Saturday to the San Francisco Giants, did not allow a hit, walked two, and struck out two.

Max Fried did not appear for the Atlanta Braves (61-77), who split a doubleheader with the Texas Rangers. Fried will become a full-time starter, at least for the remainder of the season, as the Braves go to a six-man rotation. I’m waiting for the time some maverick manager decides to start a different pitcher for each game, bringing someone up from the minors as the need arises. Think of the confusion for the opposing teams. What kind of scouting reports will there be? Plus you’re paying some of these guys the ML minimum. Anyway, Fried takes the ball on Saturday against the visiting Miami Marlins.

Kevin Pillar did not appear for the Toronto Blue Jays (64-76), who lost to the host Boston Red Sox, 6-1.

Craig Breslow did not appear for the Cleveland Indians (83-56), who won their 14th in a row by beating the host Chicago White Sox, 5-1.

Richard Bleier and the Baltimore Orioles (71-68) saw their game against the visiting NY Yankees postponed by rain.

 

 

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JML Update, Games of 7/5/17

Posted on: September 6th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Kevin Pillar had a single and double (#34) and scored a run in seven at-bats as the Toronto Blue Jays (64-75) lost to the host Boston Red Sox, 3-2, in 19 innings. The winning single was hit in Pillar’s direction but there was no superhuman effort in this story and his throw was unable to nab the game-winner at the plate. I was actually watching the last several innings, the product of insomnia.

Alex Bregman got the Houston Astros (85-53) on the scoreboard with a sacrifice fly in the third inning and was hitless in three official at-bats. The outfield fly didn’t miss being a rand slam by much in Justin Verlander’s debut for the Astros, who held off the host Seattle Mariners (69-70), 3-1. Danny Valencia did not appear for the Ms.

kinslerIan Kinsler (left) was 1-for-4 with a run scored as the Detroit Tigers (59-79) crossed the plate seven times in the second en route to a 13-2 drubbing of the visiting KC Royals. He came out for a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning. Kinsler’s future with the Tigers is up in their air. Reports are that he wants to be back in 2018, but the team seems to be willing to part with the 35-year-old second baseman as they rebuild. On the other hand, they could use his veteran leadership as they do. One also has to wonder about the future of manager Brad Ausmus, who has not had great success since he was hired.

Same box score line for Ryan Braun with a different result: the Milwaukee Brewers (72-67) lost to the host Cincinnati Reds, 9-2. He also walked and stole his ninth base. Braun remains one home run shy of the 300 mark.

Richard Bleier gave up an unearned run on one hit as the Baltimore Orioles (71-68) came back from a 6-1 deficit to beat the visiting NY Yankees, 7-6, on Manny Machado’s two-run walk off homer. It was his second long-ball of the night in a game that was delayed by rain for more than two hours because of rain.

Craig Breslow did not appear for the Cleveland Indians (82-56) who beat the host Chicago White Sox, 9-4, for their 13th consecutive victory. Ryan Sherriff did not appear for the St. Louis cardinals (71-67) in their 8-4 win over the host San Diego Padres. The meeting between the Texas Rangers and host Atlanta Braves was postponed by rain so nothing for Max Fried, who’s already being touted as the next Tom Glavine? Please.

The LA Dodgers (92-46) recalled beleaguered outfielder Joc Pederson yesterday. They lost, 3-1, to the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks, their fifth straight defeat and ninth in their last 10.

JML Update, Games of 9/4/17

Posted on: September 5th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Welcome back, folks. Hope you had a great Labor Day holiday despite weather conditions and sundry global events.

Since most teams begin a new series on Mondays, I’m going to dispense with the usual long-weekend wrap. Too complicated. However I just wanted to give a shout-out to Atlanta Braves pitcher Max Fried. He returned to the team after the September 1 call-up by which Major League rosters can expand to 40. Fried won his big-league first start by pitching five strong innings on Sunday against the first-place host Chicago Cubs. He gave up one run on a homer, one of four hits he allowed to go along with three walks and four strikeouts in a 5-1 victory.

Now on to our regularly scheduled program..

Ryan Braun had three hits, including his 14th home run (what, no clip?), as the Milwaukee Brewers (72-66) fell to the host Cincinnati Reds on a walk-off home run by Billy Hamilton. That puts Braun one shy of the 300 circuit milestone.

Alex Bregman drove in two runs with his 32nd double to help the Houston Astros (84-53) beat the host Seattle Mariners (69-69), 6-2. It was his only hit in five at-bats. He also scored a run. Danny Valencia was 0-for-3 for the Mariners and came out of the game for a pinch-hitter in the ninth.

Kevin Pillar was 1-for-5 with an RBI (#38), as the Toronto Blue Jays (64-74) beat the host Boston Red Sox. This clip erroneously credits him with a double, a solid blast off the Monster hit so hard it rebounded right to the leftfielder who was able to hold Pillar at first.

The Detroit Tigers (58-79) scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth, but it wasn’t enough to keep from losing to the visiting KC Royals, 7-6. Ian Kinsler was 0-for-4.

Craig Breslow did not appear for the Cleveland Indians (81-56), who beat the host Chicago White Sox, 8-5.

Richard Bleier did not appear for the Baltimore Orioles (70-68) who lost to the visiting NY Yankees, 7-4.

Ryan Sherriff did not appear for the St. Louis Cardinals (70-67) who shut out the host San Diego Padres, 2-0.

JML Update, Games of 8/23/17

Posted on: August 24th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

The descendants of Samson put on a power display last night with three of the five hits accrued going for home runs.

Alex Bregman hit his MOT-leading 16th — a three-run shot in the eighth inning to put the icing on the cake give the Houston Astros (77-48) a 6-1 win over the visiting Washington Nationals. Bregman, who also also singled, has gone yard in three of his last five games.

Kevin Pillar‘s #13 was indeed lucky. His only hit in four at-bats broke a 7-7 tie and gave the Toronto Blue Jays (60-66) an 8-7 win over the host Tampa Bay Rays. Somewhat shocked that MLB.com didn’t deem the blow worthy enough to include as a highlight clip for the game. What were they thinking? Pillar was still smarting from the previous game’s ejection.

Ian Kinsler matched Pillar’s total but it wasn’t lucky for the Detroit Tigers (54-71) who once again gave up double-digit runs to the visiting NY Yankees in a 10-2 loss. It was Kinsler’s only hit in four at-bats. He came out for a defensive replacement late in the laugher. At least it broke up the shut-out. Some are still talking about his ejection.

Not getting in on the fun: Ryan Braun, who was 0-for-4 for the Milwaukee Brewers (66-62) in their 4-2 loss to the host San Francisco Giants. Although he also has 13 “Braun blastsfor 2017 and is two shy of the “magic” 300 number, the Hammer has just one round-tripper since July 23. Not to worry, he still has his fans (read this story; it’s very charming).

Danny Valencia started in right field and batted cleanup for the Seattle Mariners (65-63) in their 9-6 win over the Atlanta Braves. He was 1-for-5 with a run scored. The Braves farmed out pitcher Max Fried, who had appeared in four games during since his MLB debut on August 8.

Richard Bleier walked the only batter he faced as the Baltimore Orioles (62-65) beat the visiting Oakland As in 12 innings, 8-7, on walk-off home run by Manny Macachdo.

And as I suggested recently, Scott Feldman is done for the year as he goes under the knife for knee surgery. He ends the season with a lot of sevens and ones in his record: 7-7 with a 4.77 ERA, giving up 21 home runs in 111.1 innings. He did manage to throw one shutout in there somehow.

Image result for Ryan SherriffFried and Chicago White Sox property Brad Goldberg may be gone, but there’s a new Sherriff in town: Ryan Sherriff to be precise. He was called up Tuesday by the St. Louis Cardinals. The 27-year-old, 6’1″, 215-pound lefty reliever from Culver City, California, was 5-1 with a 3.19 ERA in 48 appearances for the Memphis Redbirds. Mazel tov, Ryan.

Speaking of home runs…although the only MOT connection is that the LA Dodgers recently sent down Joc Pederson, they lost in stunning fashion after Rich Hill had pitched no-hit ball for nine innings, only to give up a walk-off, lead-off homer to Josh Harrison in the 10th for a 1-0 loss. The feat is worthy of a mention here, don’t you think? As the announcer said, “No-hitter gone, shut out gone, and now the game is gone.”

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JML Update, Weekend Edition (Games of 8/18-8/20, 2017)

Posted on: August 21st, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Ian Kinsler was 2-for-10 with his 20th double, three walks, and a stolen base as the Detroit Tigers (54-69) dropped two of three to the visiting LA Dodgers (87-35). Despite the token handshake with umpire Angel Hernandez, as well as a fine, Kinsler stood by his comments that the arbiter might do better in another line of work. Steve Phillips, former GM of the NY Mets, criticized the ballplayer, saying on his MLB Network radio show that, “An umpire can’t say that a guy should be sent to the minor leagues to find a new job, that he’s not good enough to play in the league. It would be completely inappropriate.” I’m just putting that out there for the oppositionist point of view. Hernandez’s associates wore wristbands in solidarity:

“This week, a player publicly and harshly impugned the character and integrity of Angel Hernandez — a veteran umpire who has dedicated his career to baseball and the community,” the World Umpires Association (WUA) said in a statement. “The verbal attack on Angel denigrated the entire MLB umpiring staff and is unacceptable.”

Kinsler, speaking after the Tigers’ 3-0 loss to the Dodgers in Detroit on Saturday, said he didn’t care much at all about the umpires’ protest.

“I really don’t think too deeply into it. I hope they wear the white wristbands for the rest of their careers. I don’t care. I said what I felt and what I thought. If they take offense to that, that’s their problem.”

Joc Pederson started the first game of that series, going 1-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI. It was his only appearance since the team sent him to the minors when they acquired Curtis Granderson from the NY Mets. Disappointing but understandable: Pederson was hitting just .215 with 11 homers and 33 RBIs in 87 games. Hope to see him back soon.

Alex Bregman had himself a fine weekend: 5-for-13 with home runs in Friday’s and Saturday‘s games (15 on the year) along with his 30th double as the Houston Astros (76-48) took two of three from the visiting Oakland As. He drove in one run in each contest, bumping him up to 48. He also made a couple nice defensive moves on Friday.

Kevin Pillar also had a fine time with two hits in each game of the Toronto Blue Jays’ set against the host Chicago Cubs. Like Bregman, Pillar drove one across the plate in each game (32), but the Jays (59-65) lost all three games. He had two double’s in Friday’s loss, matching him with Bregman’s total.

Danny Valencia played in two of the three games between his Seattle Mariners (63-62) and the host Tampa Bay Rays. He was two-for-seven with his 61st RBI.

Ryan Braun started all three games for the Milwaukee Brewers (65-60) against the host Colorado Rockies, going 2-for-11 with a walk and two RBI (39). An article about a deal that was almost made with the Dodgers reminded me of a joke my boss told when a colleague of mine tried to alibi his way out of a situation: “And if my mother had wheels, she’d be a bus.” You had to be there.

More bad news for Scott Feldman: the Cincinnati Reds (53-72) put him back on the DL after just one appearance. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was done for the year.

Max Fried allowed a run on two hits in an inning of an 8-1 win by the Atlanta Braves (55-67) against the Reds yesterday for his only showing of the weekend.

After a couple of shaky outings, Richard Bleier appeared twice for the Baltimore Orioles (60-64) against the visiting LA Angels over the weekend: .2 innings with a walk in a 9-7 win on Friday followed by 1.1 innings the next day when he pitched a full scoreless inning in a 5-1 loss.

The Chicago White Sox (47-74) keep giving Brad Goldberg opportunities and he’s not making the best of them. His only appearance added to his ugly record: one run on one hit and two walks in Saturday’s 17-7 loss to the host Texas Rangers. Goldberg has a horrible WHIP (walks plus hits per inning) of 2.53. In 10.2 innings, he’s given up 13 hits and 14 walks while striking out just two. Sorry to say, but I know if I was on his team and saw him coming in from the bullpen, I would not be too happy.

 

   
 

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