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MLB Regular Season Thread  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Wed May 25th, 2016 10:55 pm
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lobo316



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New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey is apparently tired of talking about his struggles. Unfortunately for him, his bosses are just getting started.

Harvey declined to speak with the media Tuesday after the beleaguered right-hander stumbled through yet another underwhelming start, his third straight outing in which he's allowed at least five earned runs in fewer than six innings. Facing the Washington Nationals for his second start in a row, Harvey began to unravel during his second trip through the order, serving up back-to-back homers in the fourth and getting chased after offering up a pair of runs in the fifth.

The disappointing outing came on the heels of the worst start of his career - a nine-run disaster at Citi Field last week that prompted manager Terry Collins to mull skipping Harvey amid a marked drop in velocity and mechanics, which the pitcher admitted are getting progressively worse. On Tuesday, he struck out just one batter - a career-low.

''We've got to think what's not just best for Matt, but what's best for us moving forward at the moment,'' Collins told reporters. ''There are a lot of things to consider. We're not going to make any rash judgments tonight. We're going to sleep on it.''

Collins added that he'll huddle up with pitching coach Dan Warthen and general manager Sandy Alderson to discuss whether Harvey will make his next start, tentatively scheduled for Monday against the White Sox.

"I'm really surprised," Collins said. "This guy's too good. He's just way too good to continue like this."

The abbreviated start saw Harvey's career-high ERA rise to 6.08 and his WHIP balloon to an inflated 1.69 after he allowed eight hits and two walks over five innings. Entering Tuesday's game, opposing hitters posted a .784 OPS in their second time up against Harvey, while slashing .500/.569/.700 in their third plate appearance.

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 Posted: Wed May 25th, 2016 10:56 pm
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lobo316



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The Cleveland Indians proved Chris Sale is human after all.

After starting the season 9-0, the Chicago White Sox hurler saw his bid for 10 wins cut short early, when he was knocked out of the game in the fourth inning.

Sale was beat up for six runs on seven hits and four walks in his worst outing of the season, picking up his first loss in the process.

Sale's quick exit stunted him from becoming just the second pitcher since 1920 to win his first 10 starts of the season. His ERA climbed to 2.26, which is still indicative of how good he's been this season.

Coming into Tuesday's start, Sale was pitching to a 1.58 ERA, going at least seven innings in each of his nine starts except one, where he left after 5 1/3.

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 Posted: Wed May 25th, 2016 11:12 pm
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lobo316



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Yasiel Puig took a moment to admire his handiwork after stroking a long drive to right field in Tuesday night's game at Chavez Ravine - a homer, for sure, he thought - so the 25-year-old wasn't able to advance to second after his shot clanged high off the wall.

Dave Roberts, now two months into his first season as Los Angeles Dodgers manager, wasn't impressed. As such, Puig got to watch the last three innings of his club's 8-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds from the bench.

"In my opinion, he should have been on second base," Roberts told MLB.com's Chad Thornburg after the game. "When we talk about playing the game the right way, we've got to be accountable. So that was the decision that I made."

Having had his work ethic called into question in the past, Puig - who did end up scoring in the bottom of the sixth, somehow making it home from second after Joey Votto booted a grounder at first base - took full responsibility for his actions.

"I should have run out that ball," Puig said through a translator. "It was a bad decision on my part. It was a good decision on the manager's part. It shows not only myself, but the rest of my teammates that you have to run out every single ball."

Puig, incidentally, isn't the only player to get yanked from a game this week for dogging it. On Monday night, Philadelphia Phillies leadoff man Odubel Herrera was removed from his club's eventual loss to the Detroit Tigers for not running out a grounder in the seventh, even after recording three hits in his first three at-bats.

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 Posted: Wed May 25th, 2016 11:14 pm
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lobo316



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The Texas Rangers are going to ease Yu Darvish back into the bigs.

Pitching coach Doug Brocail told reporters Tuesday that upon Darvish's much-anticipated return on Saturday against the Pirates, the Rangers will limit him to 85-90 pitches.

"That would be a good pitch count," Brocail said. "It all depends on how he looks during the game and how many pitches he has. We're not going to have him go out there and throw 150 pitches."

This will mark Darvish's first major-league start since undergoing Tommy John surgery on March 17, 2015. He hasn't pitched in the bigs since 2014.

Darvish has made five rehab starts, hitting the 87-pitch mark in his final outing. Brocail added that because the Rangers have the day off Thursday, the club will have the whole bullpen available to relieve Darvish on Saturday.

Almost two months into the season, Brocail isn't overly concerned with an innings limit unless the Rangers get deep into the postseason. But even then, Darvish will be monitored as the season wears on.

"It would be pretty close, but that's if he goes out and throws seven innings every time out," Brocail said. "Every guy is different. We'll listen to him and make a determination of what he says and what we see.

"There is a long way to go. We're not worried about it now."

Darvish will join a Texas rotation that is already one of the best in the majors, owning a 3.37 ERA, good for third in the league.

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 Posted: Wed May 25th, 2016 11:17 pm
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lobo316



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With Lucas Duda out indefinitely due to a stress fracture in his lower back, the New York Mets are getting creative to fill their void at first base.

Wilmer Flores, a middle infielder with just two games at first base since making his MLB debut in 2013, is poised to become the club's regular first baseman upon his return from the disabled list, according to MLB.com's Anthony DiComo. The Mets are optimistic Flores - who hasn't played since May 10 due to a left hamstring strain - will be back Friday when he first becomes eligible to come off the DL.

Flores, who went 2-for-3 for Double-A Binghamton on Tuesday in his first rehab game, will have some big shoes to fill when he gets to Queens. After stumbling through the first two weeks of the 2016 campaign, Duda managed an .834 OPS with seven homers in his last 28 games before landing on the disabled list Monday.

"He's a huge piece of our team," Collins told Maria Guardado of NJ.com after placing Duda on the DL. "This guy is a legitimate big bat in the middle of our lineup. Somebody's got to step up and pick up some of that load. We don't have that kind of a guy that's going to hit 25 to 30 (home runs), but we've got to space it out amongst everybody else."

Though the Mets are ready to hand Flores the reins, the 24-year-old didn't exactly enjoy the most auspicious start to his season. In 19 games before hurting his hamstring, the 24-year-old hit just .180/.255/.280 with one home run and two doubles.

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 Posted: Wed May 25th, 2016 11:24 pm
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lobo316



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Jackie Bradley Jr. didn't have to wait long to extend his MLB-best hitting streak to 28 games. That's a good thing, because the hard part is just beginning.

Bradley reached the halfway point of Joe DiMaggio's hallowed "56" Tuesday when he doubled off the Green Monster at Fenway to lead off the second inning, becoming the sixth player in franchise history to record a hit in at least 28 straight games. The Boston Red Sox center fielder is just two games shy of notching the majors' first 30-game hit streak since 2011, and needs to hit in six more consecutive games to match DiMaggio's brother Dom for the longest in team history.

For Bradley, things are starting to get real.

"It's truly amazing," he said of DiMaggio's famed 1941 streak, according to MLB.com's Ian Browne. "It's one of those numbers where it stood for a long time. There's a reason why it's there and why it's lasted so long."

Bradley's run, which began with a pair of hits April 24 in Houston, has, ironically, been fueled by a patient approach. He's batting .412 with eight doubles, three triples, and eight homers during the streak, but, perhaps more impressive, according to Red Sox hitting coach Chili Davis, has been Bradley's .487 on-base percentage.

"The other day, he walked twice," Davis said. "He could have easily gone up there and just swung at anything. He was very patient at the plate, got a pitch he could hit and hit it hard. Even with the streak on the line, he's not wasting the at-bats. He's not throwing them away. He's getting pitches he can hit and he's aggressive to those pitches."

Bradley said the attention is starting to pick up as he closes in on some bigger numbers. After Tuesday's 8-3 win, teammate David Ortiz joked that he's capable of running the streak to 70.

"I'm just being reminded about it a lot. Just swinging," Bradley said. "Having fun."





Red Sox hitting streaks

RANK     PLAYER            STREAK  YEAR


1     Dom DiMaggio          34      1949

T2 Nomar Garciaparra     30      1997


T2 Tris Speaker              30      1912


4 Johnny Damon            29      2005


T5 Wade Boggs              28     1985


T5 Jackie Bradley Jr.      28     2016

Last edited on Wed May 25th, 2016 11:27 pm by lobo316

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 Posted: Wed May 25th, 2016 11:30 pm
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lobo316



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NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees are at .500 in large part because they traded Luis Severino's terrible starts for Ivan Nova's strong ones.

Nova, who is on the mound Wednesday night as the Yankees look for their seventh straight win, has started three games, which all were Yankees victories.

Another good start on Wednesday should cement his place in the Yankees' rotation. With 20 games in 20 days, the Yankees are toying with adding a sixth starter at some point, according to Joe Girardi, which could mean Severino's return from the DL might put him in the majors.

But Severino -- who has his first rehab start Sunday after being placed on the DL with a triceps strain -- had been awful, going 0-6 with a 7.46 ERA and pitching like one of the worst starters in baseball.

If the Yankees go for a sixth starter, they might move Richard Bleier, a 29-year-old lefty, to the 40-man and promote him for a shot over Severino. Bleier has a 2.57 ERA in five Triple-A starts, and Yankees officials have been impressed.

Meanwhile, Nova is 2-0 with a 1.65 ERA in his three starts, which has helped the Yankees rip off 14 wins out of their last 20 games. The Yankees have six straight quality starts, which allows them to properly set up their bullpen each day. By tacking on some insurance runs during Tuesday's 6-0 win over the Blue Jays, they only had to use Dellin Betances of the Big 3.

As for Nova, he appeared to be a strong sleeper candidate to have a solid season. He is a year removed from Tommy John surgery, which is typically when pitchers return to top form. He is due to be a free agent, which is often a motivator for players. His up-and-down career seemed ready to go back up after a few years down.

Nova just needed the chance. He nearly won the fifth starter spot out of spring, but instead the job was given to CC Sabathia moreso due to Sabathia's superior resume than any spring training sign that he looked very good.

As it turns out, Sabathia and Nova are combining to form a pretty good No. 4-5 combination -- really the 3-4 slots when you consider how Michael Pineda has pitched. Sabathia is 3-2 with a 3.41 ERA, while Nova is 3-1 with a 3.26 ERA.

Nathan Eovaldi and Masahiro Tanaka have combined to be a bit more consistent at the top of the rotation, which has allowed the Yankees to go to their Big 3 relievers during their winning streak.

Eovaldi (5-2) threw a six scoreless innings Tuesday as his ERA ducked just under four.

The fact the Big 3 is fully available Wednesday works perfectly for Nova, who is really a two-pitch guy these days. His fastball-curveball combination can maybe get him through orders twice, which can take him through the fifth, maybe even the sixth.

"That's all you need," Nova said. "Those three guys in the bullpen have been amazing."

In Nova's last start, Girardi took him out after six innings of one-run ball, even though he just had 62 pitches. Girardi had the Big 3 available, so he was going to use them.

The whole formula for the Yankees is predicated on being able to start well enough so they can get to their finishers. By trading in Nova for Severino, the Yankees have been able to do that more for the last few weeks.

Nova has been a big reason why the Yankees are 22-22 and possibly on the way up.

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 Posted: Wed May 25th, 2016 11:31 pm
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Saw this crazy stat yesterday that Jackie Bradley now has the longest hitting streak in MLB history for a player that hit .250 or less the previous season. Reminds me of the time some stat guy said that Larry Bird was currently leading the NBA in free throw percentage in road games following a loss. :tongue:



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 Posted: Wed May 25th, 2016 11:40 pm
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srossi

 

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lobo316 wrote: NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees are at .500 in large part because they traded Luis Severino's terrible starts for Ivan Nova's strong ones.

As someone who's watched almost every game, that's pretty absurd.  Of course it helps, but the starting pitching across the board has been fantastic with something like 7 quality starts in a row.  Plus they've added Chapman so they can pull starters after 6 innings frequently and go to any combination of the Big 3 (and Girardi does this way too often, even when guys are cruising like Eovaldi was last night, and he's going to tire them out).  And the hitting has been a LOT better and more timely.  It's certainly not "in large part" to Severino or any other one player.   

Last edited on Wed May 25th, 2016 11:40 pm by srossi



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 Posted: Thu May 26th, 2016 03:12 am
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lobo316



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The Toronto Blue Jays will welcome back a familiar face to their roster Wednesday in New York, as the club has activated second baseman Devon Travis following a nine-game minor-league rehab stint, the team announced.

Travis, who hasn't appeared in an MLB game since last July due to recurring shoulder problems that prompted offseason surgery, wasn't expected to be activated until after Toronto's current road trip, but will now rejoin the Blue Jays in the Bronx after just five games with Triple-A Buffalo. In five games with Buffalo, the 25-year-old hit .273 with a pair of doubles after going 5-for-14 (.357) with two doubles in four games with High-A Dunedin.

Acquired last winter from the Detroit Tigers, Travis earned a spot on Toronto's roster out of spring training and was installed as the Blue Jays' leadoff hitter less than two weeks into his MLB career. Though his shoulder problems limited him to just 62 games in 2015, Travis made quite an impression in an injury-riddled rookie season, hitting .304/.361/.498 (133 OPS+) with eight homers and 18 doubles, while finishing tied for third among American League rookies with 2.3 WAR.

For a Blue Jays team mired in last place in the American League East and scarcely resembling the club that pounded out 891 runs a year ago, Travis' return is no doubt a welcome sight. Not only does Toronto rank 11th in the AL in runs per game and eighth in park-adjusted offense, but the Blue Jays have also received less value from second base than all but three clubs through the first two months of 2016, with Ryan Goins, Darwin Barney, and newcomer Jimmy Paredes combining for a .585 OPS and -0.5 WAR.

To open up a spot for Travis on the 25-man roster, the Blue Jays optioned ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte to Buffalo.

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 Posted: Thu May 26th, 2016 03:17 am
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lobo316



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When Nomar Mazara got the call from the Texas Rangers in early April, Joey Gallo - his teammate at Triple-A Round Rock and another one of the club's top prospects - looked around the visitor's clubhouse in Des Moines, Iowa and confidently announced: "He ain't coming back here."
Now you know why.
On Wednesday afternoon, the 21-year-old rookie crushed the longest home run of the 2016 campaign to date (and the longest homer in Globe Life Park history), tattooing a Hector Santiago offering an estimated 491 feet, according to StatCast. Before Mazara's mammoth blast, the longest round-tripper of the year was Giancarlo Stanton's comparatively measly 475-foot shot off Hector Neris on May 6.
Mazara, who was named AL Rookie of the Month for April, now has eight homers through his first 39 games with the Rangers, and carried a robust .317/.364/.483 line (126 OPS+) into Wednesday's series finale in Arlington.










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 Posted: Thu May 26th, 2016 03:18 am
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lobo316



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The New York Yankees will soon have their designated hitter back.

Manager Joe Girardi told reporters that Alex Rodriguez will return to the team for Thursday's series finale against the Toronto Blue Jays.

The 40-year-old has been sidelined since the beginning of May with a strained right hamstring. He was hopeful of returning earlier this week but had it pushed back after the Yankees sent him for a rehab stint in Double-A Trenton.

"Hamstrings are always tricky," Rodriguez said prior to his rehab assignment beginning. "The key for me is to be patient and be smart when I come back. When I come back, I want to come back for good and be ready to help the team win."

Rodriguez went 2-for-4 with an RBI during Tuesday's rehab appearance in Trenton. He told reporters he'll make two more plate appearances in Trenton on Wednesday before returning to New York.

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 Posted: Thu May 26th, 2016 07:43 pm
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lobo316



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For years, Wade Boggs was persona non grata in Boston, having left the Red Sox after the 1992 campaign to sign with their most hated rival in a move that crushed the goodwill he generated with his .338 batting average and eight All-Star nods over the 11 prior seasons.

On Wednesday, Boggs was finally welcomed back to Boston and was honored in a pregame ceremony celebrating the 30th anniversary of the 1986 club that won the American League pennant, but certain fans regretted the gesture after seeing what the 57-year-old wore to the festivities.

As he stood on the Fenway infield with his teammates from the '86 club, on the eve of having his No. 26 retired by the Red Sox, Boggs was seen sporting his World Series championship ring he earned with the New York Yankees in 1996. It didn't go over so well on Twitter.

Hey, Wade Boggs, when the #RedSox are honoring you, don't be wearing your Yankees World Series ring.

— NEB (@IbeNEB) May 25, 2016
Wade Boggs wearing his NYY title ring to the '86 team reunion. Classless. Glad JBJ moved past him on the hit streak list. #SoxHomecoming

— Sean (@kanafitz) May 26, 2016
So mad @RedSox are retiring 26 for Wade Boggs. Classless Boggs wears his Yankees ring to Sox ceremony. What a joke! pic.twitter.com/fDB9Su8MEU

— JD Wylkes (@jdwylkes) May 26, 2016
wade boggs wearing his @yankees world series ring while '86 @redsox are being honored is why we'll never let it go, man. #gosawx

— timothy davis (@iamtimothydavis) May 26, 2016
In a recent interview with the Yankees' TV network, though, Boggs explained that he wears his World Series ring every day.

"I'm not one of those guys to put it in a drawer and say that this part of my history is never going to be looked at," Boggs said. "I like sharing it with people. People ask me about it all the time and it has a story. It’s part of my legacy and it will always be there."

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 Posted: Thu May 26th, 2016 07:44 pm
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lobo316



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For two decades, he was the Captain. Now he wants to be the boss.

Derek Jeter, the New York Yankees icon whose storied, 20-year career came to a ceremonious end back in 2014, said Wednesday his "ultimate goal" is to own a Major League Baseball team.

"In my mind, this is the greatest sport in the world," Jeter said during an appearance on CNBC's Squawk Box.

Jeter, who reportedly explored buying the NFL's Buffalo Bills when the club went up for sale in 2014, suggested baseball's popularity is waning among youths and noted that a key motivation for purchasing an MLB club would be to help the game grow.

"I think baseball is taking somewhat of a back seat to some of the other sports," Jeter said. "Some of the other sports are the sexy sports."

"I think kids, nowadays they look at players playing in college and the next year they're in the NFL or the NBA," he said. "Baseball, you sort of get lost, because you have to play in the minor leagues for a little bit. Kids in this generation are into instant gratification."

Jeter, now 41, has undertaken a number of different business ventures in recent years - he started a publishing imprint, Jeter Publishing, founded The Players' Tribune, and serves as a brand development officer for Luvo, Inc. - but owning a ballclub remains his top post-playing career objective.

"Baseball in my opinion mimics life," Jeter said. "It's every day. It's 162 games, plus 30 games in spring training, plus the postseason. There's a lot of work that goes into it."

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 Posted: Thu May 26th, 2016 07:45 pm
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Adam Lind doing double damage tonight with a pair of dingers. pic.twitter.com/0g91g0GxgS

— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) May 26, 2016
Adam Lind had quite a night for the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday, as his club unleashed some offensive fury against the Oakland Athletics in a 13-3 victory.

The first baseman became one of only four Mariners in franchise history with at least four hits, one double, two home runs, and six RBIs in a game.

Lind joined Jay Buhner, Bret Boone, and Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. in accomplishing the impressive feat.

"I said to (hitting coach Edgar Martinez), it's great we're winning, but it's nice to participate, too," Lind told MLB.com's Greg Johns. "Tonight I had a chance to do that."

The six-RBI performance was the fifth of Lind's career, which also includes an eight-RBI night against the Texas Rangers on Aug. 31, 2009, when he was a member of the Toronto Blue Jays.

"He's capable of carrying a club for a few weeks," said manager Scott Servais. "He's got that kind of offensive ability. It was great to see. He needed one of those nights and good for him."

Lind came to the Mariners in an offseason deal with the Milwaukee Brewers, and is hitting .242 with five home runs and 18 RBIs as the left-handed part of a first-base platoon also featuring Dae-Ho Lee.

"It's tough," Lind said of starting over in a whole new environment. "I did it last year (after being traded from Toronto to Milwaukee last offseason), but we stunk. So I was just talking to some of my close people and I really don't want to screw this up. I'm finally on a good team and I'd like to contribute and be a part of the success of this team. It's time. It's time for me to do something to help this team win."

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