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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 9/28/17

Posted on: September 29th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Alex Bregman had just one of the 17 hits by the Houston Astros (99-60) but it went for his 18th home run in a 12-2 pasting of the host Boston Red Sox, a possible opponent in the post-season. The shot over the Green Monster was good for two runs in the second inning. He also walked and scored an additional run.

Ryan Braun was 1-for-4 and drove in a run in a must-win game for the Milwaukee Brewers (84-75), 4-3, over the visiting Cincinnati Reds.

For his second straight outing, Cleveland Indians reliever Craig Breslow was the victim of poor relief. He came in for the top of the ninth with one out and gave up a single to Max Kepler for the Minnesota Twins (who secured a wild card spot the night before despite losing to the Indians). Breslow then struck out Robbie Grossman before being replaced by Nick Goody who hit the next batter and then gave up a triple. So Breslow gets charged with an earned run, pushing that stat — undeservedly — to 5.09. (By the way, the Indians came out on top of this one anyway, 5-3, picking up their 100th win.) Two days earlier, Breslow retired the first two batters he faced in the eighth inning before giving up a double. His replacement gave up an RBI single and, again, the run was charged against Breslow. So he gets the punishment for other relievers not doing their jobs? Where’s the justice in that? Have to get back to Keith Law’s engaging 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.

Ryan Sherriff allowed one hit and struck out one in an inning of relief for the St. Louis Cardinals (82-77) who lost to the visiting Chicago Cubs, 2-1, in 11 innings.

Posting late and getting ready for Yom Tov so I’ll just say no other MOTs played last yesterday.

For those of you who observe, have an easy fast.

 

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, Games of 9/19/17

Posted on: September 20th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Ryan Braun had two singles and a walk as the Milwaukee Brewers (81-70) once again shut out the host Pittsburgh Pirates, this time by a score of 1-0 thanks to a Domingo Santana home run in the fourth inning. The Brewers are now one game behind the Colorado Rockies for the second NL Wild Card spot.

Alex Bregman hit his 36th double to drive in what proved to be the winning run as the Houston Astros (92-58) beat the visiting Chicago White Sox, 3-1. It was his only hit in three at-bats in a game that was played in a tidy two hours and forty-seven minutes.

Ian Kinsler hit his MOT-leading 20th home run to put the Detroit Tigers (62-89) on the scoreboard in what would be a 9-8 loss to the visiting Oakland As. No surprise, it was another solo shot. Wonder where he’ll wind up next year?

Kevin Pillar matched Bregman by hitting his 36th double — his only hit in three at-bats — as the Toronto Blue Jays (71-80) beat the visiting KC Royals, 5-2. Pillar also scored one of the Jays’ runs.

Danny Valencia was 0-for-1 with a walk as the Seattle Mariners (74-77) lost to the visiting Texas Rangers, 3-1. Valencia came out of the game for a pinch-hitter in the seventh. Wouldn’t be too surprised if he wound up playing for his eight team in nine years in 2018.

Ryan Sherriff allowed a hit and walked one in 1.1 scoreless innings of relief for the St. Louis Cardinals, who beat the host Cincinnati Reds, 8-7, in 10 innings.

Joc Pederson did not appear for the LA Dodgers (96-55) in their 6-2 loss to the host Philadelphia Phillies. Richard Bleier did not appear for the Baltimore Orioles (73-79) in their 1-0, 11-inning loss to the visiting Boston Red Sox. Max Fried did not appear for the Atlanta Braves (67-82) in their 4-2 loss to the visiting Washington Nationals. Scott Breslow did not appear for the Cleveland Indians (94-57) in their 6-3 win over the host LA Angels.

Here’s a bit of catching up with former Tiger and WBC Team Israel pitcher Josh Zeid via Bob Wechsler:

The Durham Bulls are my hometown team, so I’m glad they won the Triple-A championship game against the PCL champion Memphis Redbirds on Tuesday night.

The win came at the expense of Josh Zeid.

Memphis led 3-1 heading into the bottom of the fourth when Zeid came on to pitch his one inning. All three outs were strikeouts, but in between he hit a batter, gave up a single and a walk and then a two-out grand slam to Kean Wong.

Zeid (9-5, 5.49) had a long season, beginning with Team Israel in the WBC and ending in late September in the playoffs.

Lastly, I will not be posting during Rosh Hashana so I’ll see you all on Monday as the regular season winds down. Shan tova to all, and to all a good night.

JML Update, Weekend edition (9/15-9/17, 2017)

Posted on: September 18th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

NOTE: In the case of four-game series that began on Thursday, the numbers here cover only the games played Friday-Sunday.

Star honors for the weekend go to Ryan Braun, who was 5-for-13 with his 16th homer. He also had two doubles (24) and his second triple of the year. He drove in two, scored three, and walked twice as the Milwaukee Brewers (79-70) took two of three from the host Miami Marlins.

Ian Kinsler was 3-for-11 with two walks and two runs scored and his 14th stolen base as the Detroit Tigers  (62-87) split their four-game series with the visiting Chicago Cubs. Among the hits was his 23rd double of the year.

Kevin Pillar had just one hit in nine at-bats for the Toronto Blue Jays (70-80) but it was a home run (#16) and put his team on the scoreboard in an eventual 4-3 win over the host Minnesota Twins. Pillar also walked twice in that one and scored another run. All told, he struck out four times over the weekend. Now, I haven’t seen every great defensive play of the year, but I have a hard time believing none of Pillar’s web-gems were not worthy for consideration in this made-up award orgy.  Getting a bit tire of every single thing being “brought to you” or sponsored by some business entity.

Alex Bregman was 1-for-14 but  the Houston Astros (91-58) swept the visiting Seattle Mariners. Perhaps he’s still hobbled by that nagging hamstring injury. Danny Valencia‘s only appearance came as the starting first baseman in the middle game in which he was 0-for-1 with a walk before being lifted for a pinch-hitter.

Joc Pederson struck out two of the three times he came to bat between Friday’s and Saturday’s games. The LA Dodgers (96-53) won two of their three games against the host Washington Nationals.

Richard Bleier had a so-so weekend for the Baltimore Orioles (73-77), who lost three of four to the host NY Yankees. Bleier appeared twice, tossing two scoreless innings on Friday (two hits, including a home run, and two strikeouts) and retiring the only batter he faced on Sunday to earn his third hold.

Ryan Sherriff retired the only batter he faced for the St. Louis Cardinals (77-72) against the Chicago Cubs on Saturday. The Cubs swept the three-game series.

The Cleveland Indians saw their winning streak stopped at 22 at the hands of the visiting KC Royals on Friday. Craig Breslow did not appear in that one. In fact, he hasn’t pitched since Sept. 9.

Max Fried did not appear for the Atlanta Braves (67-81), who dropped two of three to the visiting NY Mets.

JML Update, Games of 9/13/17

Posted on: September 14th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Ian Kinsler was 0-5 as the Detroit Tigers (60-85) went into the record books as the team that gave the host Cleveland Indians (90-56) their 21st straight win,  5-3. In fact it was Kinsler who made the final out of the game, lining to left in the record-setting event. Craig Breslow did not appear for the Indians. Manager Brad Ausmus was ejected again, this time in the third inning for trying to come to the aid of his catcher, James McCann, who was tossed for arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire Quinn Walcott.

St. Louis Cardinals’ rookie pitcher Ryan Sherriff had his first bad outing of his young career, he allowed to inherited runners to score, along with two of his own, by giving up a grand slam to the Cincinnati Reds’ Eugenia Suarez in the fifth inning of a 6-0 loss. The Cards are 76-9.

Danny Valencia was 1-for-4 and drove in a run on a sac fly as the Seattle Mariners (73-73) beat the host Texas Rangers, 8-3. He also made his 11th error of the season.

Alex Bregman was 1-for-4, splitting his time between thirds and second base defensively, as the Houston Astros (87-58) lost to the host LA Angels, 9-1.

Kevin Pillar was 1-for-4 as the Toronto Blue Jays (68-78) lost to the visiting Baltimore Orioles (72-74), 2-1. He struck out with the tying run on base to end the sixth inning and was smart not to throw the bat in disgust, thereby earning himself an ejection. Richard Bleier did not appear for the Orioles.

Ryan Braun did not appear for the Milwaukee Brewers (77-69) in their 8-2 win over the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates. Joc Pederson did not appear for the LA Dodgers (92-56), who beat the host San Francisco Giants, 4-1.

Max Fried did not appear for the Atlanta Braves (66-78) in their 8-2 win over the host Washington Nationals.

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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 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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