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 Posted: Wed Sep 27th, 2017 01:41 am
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lobo316



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The seven-game winning streak of the Oakland Athletics came to an end on Monday after a 7-1 loss to the Seattle Mariners and included among the disappointment was another potential loss of one of the team's best hitters.

Rookie sensation Matt Olson was diagnosed with a Grade 2 strain of his hamstring, which means he's likely done for the season, Athletics manager Bob Melvin told Jane Lee of MLB.com.

The Athletics first baseman was removed from a game Sunday after tweaking his hamstring while stretching for a throw.

Olson took the American League by storm this season, hitting 24 home runs and driving in 45 runs across 59 games for the Athletics.

The 23-year-old hit 13 homers in September and set a franchise record for most home runs through 66 career games - surpassing Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco - on Sept. 19.

UPDATE: Most home runs through 66 career games in A's history:

Matt Olson - 23
Mark McGwire - 22
Jose Canseco - 16 pic.twitter.com/Smvb90rctG

— Oakland A's 🌳🐘⚾️ (@Athletics) September 19, 2017

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 Posted: Wed Sep 27th, 2017 09:27 pm
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The San Francisco Giants' 2017 season may be lost, but every win they do earn this season is only pushing Bruce Bochy closer and closer to Cooperstown.

On Monday night, Bochy earned his 900th win as Giants manager when his team defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 9-2. With that victory, the 62-year-old became the first manager in history to have won 900 games with two different franchises.

The first manager in MLB history to have 900 wins from two different teams. Congrats, Bruce Bochy! #WeAreSF | #SFGiants pic.twitter.com/GBMBk1lRxJ

— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) September 26, 2017
Bochy began his managerial career in 1995 with the San Diego Padres, and he won 951 games over 12 seasons in the Friars' dugout. He also led the Padres to four playoff appearances and was at the helm of their 1998 squad that won a franchise-record 98 games en route to the National League pennant. He remains the winningest manager in Padres history.

Bochy moved up the coast to San Francisco in 2007, where he's led the Giants to their three most recent World Series titles in a six-year span, and four total playoff appearances. His 900 wins with the Giants are the most in the team's San Francisco era; only the legendary John McGraw won more games for the Giants as a skipper.

In 23 total seasons as a major-league manager Bochy owns a 1851-1852 record. He ranks 15th all-time in managerial wins, and is 10 behind Washington's Dusty Baker for the most wins among active managers.

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 Posted: Wed Sep 27th, 2017 09:28 pm
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.@BringerOfRain20 solo home run(32) his third career home run off Chris Sale https://t.co/1THszALwGQ #bluejays pic.twitter.com/JnfcYZ53fH

— christine (@christine_luv21) September 26, 2017
Josh Donaldson might have hit the most cathartic home run of the Toronto Blue Jays' season on Tuesday.

The former AL MVP drilled a Chris Sale slider over the Green Monster to give the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead over the Boston Red Sox in the top of the first inning. It was the first time this season that Sale has relinquished a single run to the Blue Jays over 22 innings pitched across three starts.

The dinger is Donaldson's 15th first-inning home run in 2017. He's hit 32 altogether, meaning only 17 bombs from innings two through extras.

Sale, likely unhappy about the long ball, managed to record all three outs of the inning by way of strikeout.

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 Posted: Wed Sep 27th, 2017 09:29 pm
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It finally happened. Andrew McCutchen hit a grand slam.

Grand slam#CutchHappens pic.twitter.com/3SedvCGkve

— Pirates (@Pirates) September 27, 2017
Back in June, the Pittsburgh Pirates superstar made it clear that hitting a grand slam was at the top of his baseball bucket list.

Entering Tuesday, he'd amassed 201 career home runs and not one of them had come with the bases loaded. That made him just the sixth player in MLB history to require 200 or more long balls before finally cranking one with the bases juiced.

On this evening, McCutchen smacked a 95-mph fastball from Baltimore Orioles right-hander Kevin Gausman deep into the night at PNC Park. That gave McCutchen five RBIs out of the Pirates' six runs through two innings of play, following a run-scoring double in the first.

GRANNYYYYY TIME! @TheCUTCH22 with his FIRST CAREER SLAM!!! pic.twitter.com/9Bm26xFyjq

— Pirates (@Pirates) September 26, 2017
He wasn't done there. After opening the game 3-for-3 with three runs scored, McCutchen came to the plate again in the bottom of the sixth with two runners on base, and he did this:

Just your regular 8-RBI night from @TheCUTCH22, NBD. pic.twitter.com/a30AwmwbS7

— MLB (@MLB) September 27, 2017
Apparently, he didn't want to hit a triple for the cycle.

With the three-run jack, McCutchen became the first Pirates player since Jason Bay in 2004 to drive in eight runs in a single game, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune's Rob Biertempfel.

One thing that does remain on McCutchen's to-do list is to steal a home run from an opponent with a dazzling outfield play - something that's also eluded him through all 1,342 games he's played since his 2009 rookie campaign.

McCutchen, who was a perennial top-5 finisher in NL MVP voting from 2012 through 2015, kicked off the current season in horrible fashion. He was batting .203/.274/.360 with six home runs on May 24, but has since been a .300 hitter and has swatted 22 home runs - including the pair of dingers on Tuesday.

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 Posted: Wed Sep 27th, 2017 09:29 pm
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A power surge has come from an unexpected source for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Teoscar Hernandez didn't make his Blue Jays debut until Sept. 1, and he didn't hit his first home run until the 10th. But after blasting two long balls Tuesday night against the Boston Red Sox - including one against the often unhittable Chris Sale - he's clubbed five in as many games.

Hernandez's second of the night raised his monthly total to seven, which just so happens to be a franchise rookie record for the month of September, according to Sportsnet.

For the season, Hernandez is batting .274/.308/.644 with seven bombs and 18 RBIs across only 22 games since being acquired alongside Norichika Aoki from the Houston Astros for lefty Francisco Liriano.

He was only just able to retain his rookie status after appearing in 41 games with the Astros in 2016.

The 24-year-old Hernandez may have slugged his way into the Blue Jays' 2018 starting outfield, especially if Jose Bautista leaves in free agency.

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 Posted: Wed Sep 27th, 2017 09:30 pm
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With their 6-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays Tuesday night, the New York Yankees clinched home-field advantage in a potential American League Wild Card Game, to be played next week against a to-be-determined opponent.

New York won the right to host the game at Yankee Stadium thanks to holding the better head-to-head record against its probable opponent, the Minnesota Twins. In six games against Minnesota this year New York went 4-2, a run that was highlighted by a three-game sweep of the Twins in the Bronx only one week ago.

The Twins defeated Cleveland 8-6 Tuesday, dropping their magic number to clinch a playoff spot to one while ensuring themselves of at least a tie with the Los Angeles Angels for the second wild-card spot. Los Angeles defeated the Chicago White Sox 9-3 Tuesday, keeping their slim playoff hopes alive for another day and preventing the Twins from officially punching their postseason ticket.

While the Yankees clinched home field in a potential one-game wild-card clash, the win also kept them in the hunt for the AL East crown. They now sit just three games back of Boston - who lost to the Blue Jays Tuesday - with five games left in the regular season.

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 Posted: Wed Sep 27th, 2017 09:31 pm
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When you’re on the mound, don’t make a mistake – all @JDMartinez14 does is rake. https://t.co/tDlhZvr25U #PapaSlam pic.twitter.com/z9S82UMsr2

— MLB (@MLB) September 27, 2017
You can't stop J.D. Martinez. You can only hope to contain him.

The Arizona Diamondbacks slugger continued his torrid two-month run in the desert Tuesday by lacing a long grand slam off San Francisco's Matt Moore in the second inning that put his team up 8-0.

With the D-Backs having clinched home-field for the wild-card game on Sunday, all that's left for them to do is chase individual marks - and Martinez is in good shape to pad his own statistics. The slam was his 27th homer in just 57 games with Arizona since being traded to the club in July. In addition, it was his 15th big fly in the month of September, moving him within one of tying the month's homer record set by Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner in September 1949, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

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 Posted: Wed Sep 27th, 2017 09:33 pm
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BOSTON (AP) Chris Sale has had a few setbacks as Boston has rolled down the stretch and back toward the postseason.

Tuesday was another one of those nights.

Sale matched a career worst by giving up four home runs in a playoff tuneup, including a pair to Josh Donaldson, and the Red Sox lost 9-4 to the Toronto Blue Jays.

''You can't have a good day at work every day,'' Sale said. ''Unfortunately, what I do is amplified because we're here and we're in the thick of it. To survive, you've got to win games. I'm not doing that, and I'm as frustrated as anybody on the planet about that.''

Teoscar Hernandez hit one of his two homers off Sale, and Kendrys Morales had the other against Boston's ace lefty. Sale (17-8) allowed five runs in five innings and surrendered multiple homers for the third time in five starts. Sale last allowed four homers in a game Aug. 23, 2013 against Texas.

''You throw some bad pitches that get hit hard. I throw a lot of strikes. I've just got to be a little bit more careful with where I'm throwing them,'' Sale said.

Boston's magic number over the Yankees in the AL East is three with five games remaining. New York beat Tampa Bay 6-1.

After winning six straight, Boston has lost two in a row - a first since dropping three consecutive games from Sept. 2-4. Houston won later Tuesday, ensuring the AL East winner will open the playoffs on the road.

Sale did have eight strikeouts, giving him 308 for the season - five shy of Pedro Martinez's club record set in 1999. The AL Cy Young Award candidate has a 2.90 ERA with one scheduled start remaining. Sale's spot in the rotation comes up again Sunday, when the Red Sox host Houston in the regular-season finale. It's not certain that Sale will make that outing, though.

''I think it's probably too early to answer that definitely,'' manager John Farrell said. ''We just have to see how these final five games play out. We know where we stand, we know what's ahead of us.''

J.A. Happ (10-11) pitched seven strong innings for the last-place Blue Jays, holding Boston to a run and four hits with nine strikeouts.

Donaldson homered in the first inning for the second straight game, then led off the third with his 33rd this season. The latter shot cleared the bullpen and reached the right-field seats to put Toronto ahead 2-1. Hernandez led off the fifth with a homer to left, and Morales added a two-run shot later that inning.

Boston was missing three injured starters in Dustin Pedroia, Mookie Betts and Eduardo Nunez, and it struggled against Happ. Xander Bogaerts led off the game with a single and scored on Chris Young's double, but Happ got the next 16 batters in a row and kept the Red Sox off the bases until Bogaerts' one-out single in the sixth.

''I felt like it's definitely a good one to potentially end on,'' Happ said.

Toronto added four runs in the eighth, two of them on Hernandez's two-run shot to left that nearly cleared the Green Monster, and the Blue Jays led 9-1.

Sandy Leon led off the eighth with a homer, and Young hit an RBI triple for Boston in a three-run eighth.

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 Posted: Wed Sep 27th, 2017 09:34 pm
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The Machine may be running on fumes, but he can still drive in runs when needed.

Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Albert Pujols became only the second player in MLB history - joining Alex Rodriguez - to register 100 or more RBIs in 14 different seasons with a two-run single in the seventh inning of Tuesday's game against the Chicago White Sox.

Pujols has lumbered through his sixth campaign with the Angels, batting just .242/.288/.389 across 143 games. He's the first player ever to drive in 100 runs in a season while recording an on-base percentage below .290 and a slugging percentage worse than .390, according to the Los Angeles Times' Pedro Moura.

Never before in his career has Pujols failed to reach base on at least a .300 clip. In fact, throughout his tenure with the St. Louis Cardinals, he only had an OBP below .400 twice in 11 seasons.

Despite that, the future Hall of Famer continues to stack up accolades. In addition to tying A-Rod's yearly mark, Pujols matched Eddie Murray for 10th on the all-time RBI list at 1,917. He's also now within five of Jimmie Foxx (1,922) for ninth.

With four more seasons left on his contract, it's not out of the realm of possibility that Pujols could break Hank Aaron's all-time record of 2,297 RBIs that has stood since 1976. Pujols' diminishing skills (-1.8 Fangraphs WAR this season) may prevent him from making it, but he's still delivering for now.

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 Posted: Wed Sep 27th, 2017 09:36 pm
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Clinching at least home-field advantage in the American League wild-card game wasn't the only piece of excitement from the New York Yankees' 6-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night.

With Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez at the dish, home-plate umpire Dan Bellino stopped play to have a fan removed from the stadium. The fan in question was apparently telling Sanchez the location of Rays reliever Austin Pruitt's pitches, according to NJ.com's Brendan Kuty.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi told ESPN he thought the fan was "rightfully" ejected from the game.

"(T)he first time I heard it I didn't think much of it and the second time I heard it and that's when the umpire went back there," Girardi said.

"That shouldn't happen and they were removed from the park."

Maybe it worked anyway, because Sanchez wound up singling in the at-bat.

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 Posted: Thu Sep 28th, 2017 02:17 am
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In June, with their season already in disarray, New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson declared that longtime pitching coach Dan Warthen was "part of the solution." That may no longer be the case.

Following a disastrous summer in which Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, Seth Lugo, and Zack Wheeler each spent considerable time on the disabled list, the Mets are now preparing to notify Warthen that he won't be retained for the 2018 campaign, industry sources told Mike Puma of the New York Post.

Warthen, who has served as the Mets' pitching coach since 2008, is the longest-tenured member of the club's field staff, landing his position three years before Terry Collins took over as manager. Incidentally, Collins isn't expected to be back with the Mets next year, either, and could be notified as early as Monday that his contract won't be renewed for the 2018 campaign.


This season, amid an unrelenting spate of injuries, the Mets fielded one of the least effective pitching staffs in the majors, their patchwork group combining for the third-worst ERA (5.01) and second-worst WHIP (1.49) in baseball. The Mets used a dozen different starters in 2017, too, and were one of just two teams - along with the Cincinnati Reds - to have only one pitcher throw at least 120 innings.

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 Posted: Thu Sep 28th, 2017 02:18 am
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With the Texas Rangers officially eliminated from playoff contention, manager Jeff Banister announced Wednesday that veteran third baseman Adrian Beltre has been shut down for the remainder of the season, per Jeff Wilson from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Hampered by lingering discomfort in his hamstring since returning from the disabled list Sept. 13, Beltre had served exclusively at designated hitter for the past two weeks until making an unexpected start at third base in Tuesday's fate-sealing, 14-3 loss to the Houston Astros. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Beltre was lifted for pinch-hitter Will Middlebrooks, effectively ending his season.

Limited to just 93 games in 2017 due to a litany of injuries, Beltre, a four-time All-Star, admitted following Tuesday's game that this season - the first in a two-year, $36-million extension - didn't go as planned.

"I wasn’t able to be on the field enough to help these guys out," Beltre told reporters, including Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "I was able to come back and play well enough to contribute and then had another injury and I was really disappointed. So, no doubt, you can say it's my most disappointing season."

When healthy, Beltre was his usual, superb self this year, hitting .311/.382/.533 (134 OPS+) with 17 homers, 22 doubles, and 3.1 WAR. Had he been on the field more, he said the Rangers may well have made it to the postseason for a third straight year.

“If I was able to be on the field it’d be a different case," he said. "Who knows if me and a couple other guys didn’t get hurt for quite a bit of time, it would have been different."

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 Posted: Thu Sep 28th, 2017 02:20 am
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The Detroit Tigers dipped into the international market Wednesday, signing 17-year-old third-base prospect Pedro Martinez Jr., son of the former major-league starting pitcher, the team confirmed.

Martinez Jr. was one of the 120 prospects at the International Prospect Showcase in Santo Domingo, D.R. In contrast to his father, who's listed at 5-foot-11, the younger Martinez stands at 6-foot-2 and also has the ability to play first base.

"I'm taller than him," he said of his father in a 2016 interview with Cody Pace of MLB.com. "He probably will not admit that."

"... I don't really like pitching. I've been keeping up with the bat so far. I don't feel any need to change."

Martinez Jr. joins a long list of prospects whose fathers have played in the majors. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Cavan Biggio (son of Craig), Bo Bichette (son of Dante), and Kacy Clemens (son of Roger) all play in the Toronto Blue Jays' system, while Fernando Tatis Jr. and Cal Quantrill (son of Paul) play with the San Diego Padres' affiliates.

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 Posted: Thu Sep 28th, 2017 02:21 am
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MLB owners unanimously approved the sale of the Miami Marlins to an ownership group led by former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and American businessman Bruce Sherman, the league announced Wednesday.

"I wish the best to (previous owner) Jeffrey Loria and (outgoing team president) David Samson," commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement.

"During their tenures, the Marlins won the 2003 World Series, hosted this season's successful All-Star Week at spectacular Marlins Park and eagerly supported our efforts to grow the game internationally. I congratulate Mr. Sherman on receiving approval from the Major League Clubs as the new control person of the Marlins and look forward to Mr. Jeter's ownership and CEO role following his extraordinary career as a player."

The approval is dependent on the completion of the sale, which is expected to be made official within the next week.

Statement from Jeffrey Loria: pic.twitter.com/r4Qho5DJ4J

— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) September 27, 2017
Jeter reportedly called Samson - who is reportedly set to be replaced - to fire special assistants Jeff Conine, Andre Dawson, Tony Perez, and Jack McKeon because he didn't want to do it himself.

There's also been speculation that Jeter wants to cut the Marlins payroll to as low as $55 million, contingent upon the team finding a trade partner for MVP candidate Giancarlo Stanton.

Loria purchased the Marlins in 2002. The team won the World Series the next year, defeating Jeter's Yankees in four games.

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 Posted: Thu Sep 28th, 2017 02:22 am
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San Francisco Giants right-hander Matt Cain is calling it quits after 13 years in the big leagues, as the three-time All-Star announced Wednesday he will retire at the end of the 2017 campaign, according to Alex Pavlovic from NBC Sports.

Cain, who turns 33 on Sunday, will make his final start Saturday against the San Diego Padres at AT&T Park and then pack it in, he said.

"I think Saturday will be the last time I put on the Giants uniform, and I can't see myself going to play somewhere else," Cain told reporters, including Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Selected by the Giants with the 25th pick in the 2002 draft, Cain was once among the National League's most dominant starters, crafting a 3.30 ERA with a 1.18 WHIP while averaging 213 innings per season from 2006-2012. He helped the Giants to a pair of World Series titles during that span, too, and threw the 22nd perfect game in MLB history on June 13, 2012 against the Houston Astros.

Regression befell Cain in 2013, however, and the Alabama native couldn't get his career back on track in the years that followed. Plagued by myriad injuries, he didn't throw more than 90 1/3 innings in any season from 2014-2016, and though he was mostly healthy this year, Cain stumbled to a 5.66 ERA over 22 starts and four relief appearances. Over the past five seasons, Cain - now in the final year of an $139.75-million extension - managed a 4.86 ERA (77 ERA+) over 544 innings, averaging just 19 starts per campaign.

Still, despite his struggles in recent years, Cain will retire with three World Series rings and his name penciled onto several of the Giants' all-time leaderboards, including WAR (10th), games started (sixth), strikeouts (fifth), strikeout-to-walk ratio (eighth), and win probability added (eighth).

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