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MLB Regular Season Thread  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Wed May 18th, 2016 05:10 pm
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lobo316



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This isn't the best way to learn about losing your job.

Fredi Gonzalez, who was fired by the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday after nearly six seasons managing the club, learned of his firing late Monday night by accident after a loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He found out thanks to an email from an airline confirming his Tuesday flight back to Atlanta, according to Dave O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Braves are scheduled to be in Pittsburgh through Thursday, so Gonzalez quickly put two and two together. By the end of that evening, the 52-year-old confirmed with Braves officials that he had been let go.

Gonzalez was more concerned with the timing of his firing than how he found out about it. With the rebuilding Braves struggling at every facet of the game, the move didn't surprise him. He was just glad it didn't drag on for longer.

"I think if you're going to do it, you do it now," Gonzalez told O'Brien. "If you're not going to be here (as manager) in 2017, you'd rather do it sooner than later, for me. I'm OK with that.

"What would have sucked is if you'd dragged it all the way out to the weekend before the season ended, and then got whacked," he continued. "There's no perfect timing, but in this situation I think sooner than later was better."

Gonzalez also defended his record with the Braves, which included a pair of playoff berths in his first three seasons running the club before two straight sub-.500 finishes - plus this year's horrendous 9-28 start - as the club shifted into rebuilding mode.

"I'm really proud of my record, and it took a beating these last two years going through this," he said.

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 Posted: Wed May 18th, 2016 05:25 pm
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lobo316



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How do you hit Clayton Kershaw?

There's no answer here, really. Best thing to do is probably close your eyes, swing, and pray.

The Los Angeles Dodgers ace was nearly untouchable on the mound once again Tuesday, striking out 11 and walking none over eight innings to defeat the crosstown rival Angels 5-1.

The 28-year-old became just the fifth pitcher ever to record six consecutive games with double-digit strikeouts, joining Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, Nolan Ryan, and Chris Sale. Only three Angels who hit on Tuesday - Albert Pujols, Johnny Giavotella, and Shane Robinson - avoided striking out, while Kershaw sat Mike Trout down twice.

Kershaw also walked zero batters for the fourth time in five games. He's only walked four batters on the season to his league-best 88 strikeouts, and his strikeout-to-walk ratio is now an outrageous 22.00. That's almost double the major-league record for a single-season - 11.625, set by Minnesota Twins hurler Phil Hughes just three years ago.

For the month of May, Kershaw leads all pitchers in ERA (0.82), WHIP (0.58), strikeout-to-walk ratio (48.00), and wins (4). His next chance to build on those numbers will come Sunday, when the San Diego Padres have the honor of trying to crack the Kershaw code.

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 Posted: Wed May 18th, 2016 05:27 pm
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lobo316



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NEW YORK -- Noah Syndergaard seems to thrive on the big stage, whether that's buzzing and then beating the Kansas City Royals in Game 3 of the World Series last October, or topping Max Scherzer in a battle of National League East powers, as he did Tuesday night.

Syndergaard tossed seven scoreless innings and struck out 10 in the New York Mets' 2-0 win against the Washington Nationals in the series opener at Citi Field.

"I've just been able, my entire life, to tune out whatever is going on around me," Syndergaard said.

Said manager Terry Collins: "I think Noah's one of those kind of guys. You see what he did last fall when I put him in a position he's never been in before. He wasn't fazed by it and pitched brilliantly. I think he rises to the challenge."

Syndergaard coaxed an inning-ending double play from Wilson Ramos with runners on the corners in the second inning. And when Jayson Werth had a two-out single in the sixth, Syndergaard challenged and struck out Bryce Harper for the second time in the game.

Down 3-0 in the count, Syndergaard threw a sinker for a called strike. He then threw "one of the finer changeups I threw all night" for strike two. Then he struck out Harper with a backdoor slider.

Syndergaard said there was no thought of pitching around Harper entering the game.

"Not at all," Syndergaard said. "He's an unbelievable ballplayer, a great athlete. He's very talented. You can see why a lot of people have been walking him. But I go out there, and I was pitching to my strengths and just went right after him."

Syndergaard improved to 4-2 with a 2.19 ERA. In his two losses, the Mets scored one total run.

As for facing Scherzer, who allowed solo homers to Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto in 6⅓ innings, Syndergaard said: "It just adds that much more great atmosphere to the game right there. He threw an unbelievable ballgame. Honestly, I couldn't see anything he was throwing up there. I don't know how anybody hits that guy. I'm just really fortunate we came out on top."

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 Posted: Wed May 18th, 2016 08:31 pm
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lobo316



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Lenny Dykstra, the three-time All-Star who once proclaimed himself a "pioneer" for performance-enhancing drug use, admitted Tuesday he used to spike his breakfast with illicit substances throughout his 12-year career, too.

During a candid interview with FOX Sports' Colin Cowherd, the 53-year-old - who was named in the Mitchell Report in 2007 and later confessed he used PEDs to "protect (his) job" - said he had put human growth hormone in his cereal back in the day.

"I put (HGH) in my cereal man. It was in my cereal," Dykstra said. "We're talking about the good stuff ... We're talking about the difference of making $30 million or getting a real job and working and making $60,000. What, do you want the guy next to you taking them and you're not going to take them?"

Dykstra, who helped the New York Mets to a World Series title in 1986 and carried the Philadelphia Phillies to a National League pennant seven years later, previously offered insight into his PED use in a 2010 book by former Forbes magazine bureau chief Randall Lane.


"You gotta understand, there were only 28 people who had my job in the whole world," Dykstra told Lane. "And thousands of people wanted those jobs, and every year, there were guys trying to take my job.

"So I needed to do anything I could to protect my job, take care of my family. Do you have any idea how much money was at stake? Do you?"

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 Posted: Thu May 19th, 2016 12:15 am
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lobo316 wrote: "So I needed to do anything I could to protect my job, take care of my family. Do you have any idea how much money was at stake? Do you?"
And he wound up pissing it all away anyway.



____________________
This thread was great before AA ruined it.
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 Posted: Thu May 19th, 2016 12:54 am
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"Big Sexy" is getting his own clothing line, apparently.

New York Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon has filed for the trademark to his "Big Sexy" nickname, which he intends to use on shirts, pants, and hats, according to ESPN's Darren Rovell.

WWE Legend Kevin Nash, who also goes by the nickname "Big Sexy," might have an issue with that.

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 Posted: Thu May 19th, 2016 12:57 am
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lobo316



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This is why the Jays got rid of this guy.




Steve Delabar was at a loss for words after his horrific performance Tuesday at Progressive Field, where the Cincinnati Reds' newly recalled reliever issued five walks - four of them, with the bases loaded - while retiring just one batter in a 13-1 drubbing courtesy of the Cleveland Indians.

Summoned to replace starter Alfredo Simon with one out in the fifth, bequeathed an 8-0 deficit and runners on first and third, Delabar promptly issued a walk to Jason Kipnis to load the bases. Though he came within an out of ending the frame after fanning Francisco Lindor in the following at-bat, the 32-year-old proceeded to issue four straight free passes, becoming the first pitcher since 1974 to walk four consecutive hitters with the bases loaded, according to Fangraphs' August Fagerstrom.

"I really can't explain what happened," Delabar told MLB.com. "I came in … five walks, it's unexplainable and unacceptable. I got a text from my wife. It had to be a dream. It didn't seem like it even happened. After I came in … a loss for words."

Delabar, an All-Star in 2013 who signed with Cincinnati after being released by the Toronto Blue Jays in March, now owns a 7.71 ERA with a 2.00 WHIP in six appearances with the Reds and has walked nine of the 36 batters (25 percent) he's faced in 2016.

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 Posted: Thu May 19th, 2016 12:59 am
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Justin Verlander has joined the 2,000 strikeout club.

The Detroit Tigers' righthander became the 76th pitcher in baseball history to reach the mark when he did so against the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday.

Aside from being a workhorse, Verlander has always been one to strike batters out, even when he doesn't have his best stuff. Over 12 seasons, he went five consecutive seasons (2009 to 2013) with more than 200 strikeouts.

Coming into Wednesday's matchup, Verlander averaged 9.1 strikeouts per nine innings.

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 Posted: Thu May 19th, 2016 01:05 am
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lobo316



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This looks painful.
Cameron Monger, an outfielder for the Sioux Falls Canaries of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, made a spectacular catch during an exhibition game Tuesday that sent him crashing through the bullpen door.








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 Posted: Thu May 19th, 2016 02:50 am
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lobo316



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NEW YORK - Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner has backed manager Joe Girardi and his coaching staff and has blamed players for the team's slow start.

With New York last in the AL East at 16-22, Steinbrenner singled out Mark Teixeira, Chase Headley, Michael Pineda and Luis Severino for criticism.

Speaking Wednesday outside Major League Baseball's offices, Steinbrenner says ''the first five weeks were disappointing, frustrating, particularly looking at the offense. Clearly not living up to their potential. ... When you look at a guy like Mark Teixeira, clearly he's not playing to his potential with the bat.''

He says Pineda's decline is ''concerning'' and it is up to the pitcher to figure out. Severino, he adds, has ''to learn how to push through that downturn.''

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 Posted: Thu May 19th, 2016 02:51 am
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lobo316



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The already struggling Toronto Blue Jays bullpen took another hit Wednesday, as an MRI revealed injured left-hander Brett Cecil suffered a torn lat muscle that will keep him out for at least one month, according to Sportsnet's Shi Davidi.

Cecil was placed on the disabled list Sunday, and underwent the MRI on Monday in Florida. He told reporters the MRI was "just for peace of mind and precautionary reasons."

The 29-year-old was expected to be one of Toronto's key bullpen weapons, but has struggled to start 2016, owning a 5.23 ERA across 16 games pitched.

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 Posted: Thu May 19th, 2016 02:52 am
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After blowing his fourth save of the campaign Tuesday night in Oakland on a walk-off grand slam from Khris Davis - his second blown save in as many outings - Shawn Tolleson wasn't exactly caught off guard when the Texas Rangers removed him from the closer's role on Wednesday.

"It wasn't anything that surprised me," Tolleson told Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Sam Dyson, the hard-throwing right-hander who leads all Rangers relievers in innings pitched (19), WAR (0.3), and ERA (1.89) this year, will replace Tolleson as closer for the time being, manager Jeff Banister said.

"We will make that change in the interim," Banister said, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. "I continue to look at the body of work. Tolleson, going back to last year, was effective, efficient in that spot. Even now he is on top (tied with two others) of the American League in saves."

Thrust into the ninth-inning job last May, Tolleson converted 35 saves in 37 chances in 2015 while crafting a 2.99 ERA over a career-high 72 1/3 innings, but the 28-year-old has stumbled to a 9.20 ERA with a 1.91 WHIP in his first 18 appearances of 2016, allowing 23 hits - including five homers - in 14 2/3 innings.

"It's not uncommon for guys to go through rough patches," Tolleson said. "It's part of the game. I'm mature enough to know this will happen. I also know that through tough times, you learn perseverance and character, and you have hope. I'm mature enough to realize a lot of good can come out of this."

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 Posted: Thu May 19th, 2016 05:11 pm
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lobo316



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Just after I drafted him yesterday for my fantasy team, he gets injured. WTF ?




The injuries continue to pile up in Anaheim.

Los Angeles Angels catcher Geovany Soto has been placed on the disabled list after tearing his right meniscus, and will be out four-to-six weeks after undergoing surgery, general manager Billy Eppler told reporters Wednesday.

The 33-year-old becomes the 10th Angels player on the major-league disabled list, joining C.J. Wilson, Garrett Richards, Andrew Heaney, Huston Street, Andrelton Simmons, Cliff Pennington, Daniel Nava, Cory Rasmus, and Craig Gentry.

"I did everything in my power to stay healthy," Soto said, according to MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez. "I’m in great shape, working hard. It’s just one of those things where it’s bad luck.

Soto has hit .283/.338/.483 over 67 plate appearances in 2016 while splitting duties behind the plate with Carlos Perez.

Catcher Jett Bandy was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake.

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 Posted: Thu May 19th, 2016 05:12 pm
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In a revealing interview with ESPN, Ozzie Guillen recalled how he became the manager of the Chicago White Sox, a team he would lead to a World Series title just two seasons into his tenure.

Forgive him, though, if he doesn't remember every detail of the interview that landed him the job.

Guillen, the outspoken Venezuelan whose major-league career as a player and manager spanned more than three decades, shared Tuesday the improbable story of how he was extremely hungover during his interview with White Sox general manager Kenny Williams for the club's vacant managerial position. Ever the entertainer, Guillen's storytelling is well worth the visit to ESPN to watch the interview in its entirety.

During the candid exchange, Guillen - who, at the time, was the third-base coach for the 2003 World Series-winning Florida Marlins - recalls how he, Miguel Cabrera, Alex Gonzalez, and others partied like champions at Ivan Rodriguez's Miami-style beach home into the early hours of the morning. There was just one problem: He was scheduled to fly to Illinois the next morning to interview with Williams.

"I slept a little bit before my interview but when you have a very nice night, your next morning is going to be miserable," Guillen said. "The alarm started ringing, my wife woke me up, and I said, 'Nah, I don't want to go.' (Finally) I jumped in the limo, but I was in very bad shape."

Guillen says he remembers very little of what happened next.

"I don't know what kind of questions he asked me, and I don't know what kind of answers I gave him," he said. "I didn't even eat. We're sitting in a restaurant and I had black coffee and club soda water because I was afraid my stomach would get upset."

Memory notwithstanding, Guillen won the job and his run in Chicago was a memorable one for many reasons, the least of which included his two first-place titles and a World Series ring over eight seasons.

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 Posted: Thu May 19th, 2016 05:16 pm
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Jackie Bradley Jr.'s productive doubleheader Wednesday inched the Boston Red Sox center fielder two hits closer to the halfway mark of Joe DiMaggio's hallowed record. Given the impossible task of hitting in 56 straight games, it's an achievement in itself.

Bradley extended his MLB-best streak to 24 games when he took Kansas City Royals starter Edinson Volquez deep to left-center field during the second inning of Wednesday's twin bill night cap at Kauffman Stadium. The solo blast - Bradley's seventh of the season - gave him the longest streak by a Red Sox player since Dustin Pedroia's 24-gamer in 2011.

Bradley's impressive run has coincided with the 75-year anniversary of DiMaggio's mark, which began Sunday and lasted until July 17, 1941. During Bradley's streak, the 26-year-old is batting .407 with eight walks, seven homers, and 17 extra-base hits.

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