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Posts Tagged ‘Richard Bleier’

 

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 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.

JML Update, Games of July 6, 2017

Posted on: July 7th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Ryan Braun hit his 10th homer of the season to help the Milwaukee Brewers (48-40) destroy the host Chicago Cubs, 11-2. He also walked twice before coming out for a pinch-hitter in the seventh. That two-run shot was part of the seven the Brewers put up in the third inning.

Danny Valencia hit #9 (#9, #9…Beatles reference), a three-run blast in the ninth, but the Seattle Mariners (41-46) lost to the visiting Oakland A’s, 7-4. Ryan Lavarnway did not appear in the game for the A’s (38-48).

Alex Bregman had two doubles (19) and a single in three at-bats (plus a walk) and scored twice but the Houston Astros (58-28) still lost to the host Toronto Blue Jays, 7-4. Kevin Pillar hit his 22nd two-bagger and singled in four at-bats for the Jays (40-45), who scored five of those runs in the fifth inning. Yesterday I mentioned that all the regular JML position player could wind up with double-digit home runs, but could Pillar end up in the 20/20 club?

Ian Kinsler continues his months-long slump. His 0-for-4 night dropped his batting average to .239. The Detroit Tigers (38-46) beat the visiting San Francisco Giants, 6-2.

Joc Pederson walked  as a pinch-hitter in the ninth and scored a run as the LA Dodgers put up a four-spot in their last at-bat to beat the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks, 5-4.

Richard Bleier pitched another scoreless inning of relief for the Baltimore Orioles (40-45), who lost to the host Minnesota Twins (44-41), 6-4. He struck out one and allowed two hits.  Craig Breslow was scheduled to do a bullpen session then reporter to Rochester for a rehab game on Sunday.

Scott Feldman did not appear for the Cincinnati Reds (37-48) in their 6-3 win over the host Colorado Rockies.

 

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JML Update, Games of July 3, 2017

Posted on: July 4th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Danny Valencia had another multi-hit game, going 3-for-4, but the Seattle Mariners (41-43) still lost to the visiting KC Royals, 3-1. In fact, Valencia accounted for 75 percent of his team’s hit total

Ryan Braun was 1-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored as the Milwaukee Brewers (45-40) beat the visiting Baltimore Orioles (40-42), 8-1. Richard Bleier threw the final inning for the O’s, giving up a hit and striking out one.

Kevin Pillar had a pinch-hit double (#21) that drove in a run and he also scored one, but the Toronto Blue Jays (37-45) lost to the host NY Yankees, 6-3.

Scott Feldman did not appear for the Cincinnati Reds (35-47) in their 5-3 loss to the host Colorado Rockies.

Craig Breslow remains on the disabled list for the Minnesota Twins. They beat the host LA Angels last night, 9-5.

 

JML Update, Weekend Edition (June 30 – July 2, 2017)

Posted on: July 3rd, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Scott Feldman had another fine performance on Friday, shutting out the visiting Chicago Cubs for seven innings on just two singles while striking out seven and walking no one in the Cincinnati Reds’ 5-0 victory. Feldman improved to 7-5 and lowered his ERA to a very respectable 3.78. The Reds are 35-46.

The LA Dodgers (55-29) took two of three from the host San Diego Padres with Joc Pederson contributing two hits in four at bats. He entered Friday’s game as a defensive replacement and was 1-for- and did not play on Saturday. Dodgersway.com gave him a A- for the month of June.

A pretty lost weekend for Kevin Pillar. He went hitless in 12 at bats, striking out four times as the Toronto Blue Jays (37-44) were swept by the visiting Boston Red Sox, losing the final game by an embarrassing 15-1 score.

Alex Bregman was 0-for-9 as the Houston Astros (56-27) took two of three from the host NY Yankees. He only got into the Sunday game as a defensive replacement, going hitless in his only turn at bat.

Things weren’t much better for Ian Kinsler of the Detroit Tigers (36-45) who had a single in nine at-bats in a Saturday doubleheader with the visiting Cleveland Indians necessitated by a Friday rainout. The teams split, but Cleveland won on Sunday, a game that did not include Kinsler’s appearance.

Danny Valencia was 1-for-10, striking out half the time, as the Seattle Mariners (41-42) took two of three from the host LA Angels. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer gave him a B+ grade in a recent mid-season report card, commenting “Valencia was an unmitigated bust through the first month of the season, but since then he’s batting over .300 with an OPS over .800 since.”

After sitting out Friday’s game for the Milwaukee Brewers (44-40), Ryan Braun was 2-for-9 with his eighth double. The Brewers took two of three from the visiting Miami Marlins.

Richard Bleier struck out both batters he faced on Friday in the Baltimore Orioles’ 6-4, 10-inning loss to the visiting Tampa Bay Rays. He allowed two hits the next day in one inning in another loss, as the Rays took two of the three contests. The Orioles are 40-41.

Craig Breslow remains on the disabled list for the Minnesota Twins.

Former JML Ike Davis might return…as a pitcher? Only a little bit far fetched. After all, he did make two relief appearances in 2015 in a couple of blow-out losses by the Oakland A’s. He retired the side in order on just nine pitches in his debut against the LA Angels on April 21 and  gave up a walk and a hit while striking out on on August 16 against the Baltimore Orioles. Davis is batting just .183 for the Oklahoma City Dodgers this year with three home runs and 11 RBI. He has not appeared as a pitcher, however. And like many of his Major League brethren, he has spent time on the disabled list.

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JML Update, Weekend Edition (June 23-25, 2017)

Posted on: June 26th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Dropping Kevin Pillar in the batting order seems to be working, for now. The Toronto Blue Jays outfielder had five hits, including his 19th double and ninth home run over the weekend. But all that didn’t prevent the Jays (36-39) from dropping two of three to the host KC Royals. Summing up: Pillar had five hits in 13 at-bats (he was even better when you throw out his 0-for-3 performance in the series opener) with three runs scored, one RBI, and two walks. His batting average over the last seven games is a nice .308.

Joc Pederson also had a nice weekend. He hit his sixth home run on Saturday and was 3-for-4 with two doubles yesterday as the LA Dodgers (51-26) swept their series against the visiting Colorado Rockies to extend their winning streak to 10 and take a two-and-a-half game lead in the NL West. Could he be “turning a corner?” We’ve been teased like this before.

Alex Bregman was just 2-for-11 over the weekend, but one of those hits was his eighth home run of the season. It didn’t prevent the host Seattle Mariners (39-39) from putting a 13-3 hurt on the Houston Astros on Friday. The ‘Stros (52-25) won the next two contests though, so all is well. Could a trade be in his immediate future?

Danny Valencia had two RBI in that drubbing, going 4-for-5 with two runs scored and … that was it; he did not appear in the other two games because of a sore wrist.

Ian Kinsler had just one hit — his 12th double — in 11 at bats and it came in the only win the Detroit Tigers (33-42) could muster against the host San Diego Padres. His lone run proved to be the game-winner as the Tigers scored twice in the ninth for a 7-5 victory.

We got the “good” Scott Feldman this weekend: he allowed two runs on seven hits with two walks and five strikeouts in beating the host Washington Nationals, 6-2. The Reds (31-43) scored five in the first while Feldman (6-5) quelled a Nationals threat by fanning Anthony Rendon with two down and runners on second and third in the opening frame.

Richard Bleier made one appearance for the Baltimore Orioles (37-38), who took two of three from the host Tampa Bay Rays. He threw one inning of scoreless relief in yesterday’s 8-5 win, giving up a hit and striking out one.

Craig Breslow did not appear in any games for the Minnesota Twins (39-34) who swept the host Cleveland Indians. (Kind of odd how both the Indians and Cubs are struggling so much after appearing in the World Series last year.) Is Father Time catching up with Breslow?

Ryan Braun is on his rehab tour. So far, so good. And good again.

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