Archive for the 'MLB' Category

A sellout for Yankees/Red Sox in London

Friday, December 7th, 2018

For those of you thinking of buying tickets for the Yankees/Red Sox in London - forget it. The game is a sellout. As would be expected for all Yankee/Red Sox games the June 29/30 game in London was a sellout. Ticket prices ranged from as high as 385 pound ($491) to 30 pound ($38). The game is being played at the Olympic Stadium in London. While the stadium can seat 80,000, for baseball the stadium was reconfigured to hold 55,000.

The collective bargaining agreement allows an extra $60,000 to each player who participate in the trip. Now that is a big per diem. Major league baseball will also play games in London in 2020.

Diamondbacks Take Risk with Kelly

Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

Merrill Kelly has not played any major league baseball. Yet the Arizona Diamondbacks signed the righthander to a two year S5.5 million contract. There are also two club options that would extend the contract to $9.5 million or a $500,000 buyout if they do not want to exercise those options.

The Diamondbacks are hoping the three years Kelly pitched in the KBO transfers well to the major leagues. Miles Mikolas had success with the Cardinals last year after pitching in Japan. The Brewers got some contributions from Eric Thames after he destroyed KBO pitching for a couple years. The Diamondbacks are hoping for some success from Kelly, who last pitched outside of Korea in the minor leagues for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Kelly pitched for the SK Wywerns the last three years. In three seasons he started 90 games and finished with a 3.80 ERA. When you consider what a hitters league the KBO is those are pretty good numbers. This past season the Wyverns won the KBO championship with Kelly going 16-7 with a 3.60 ERA. He had his best season that year, striking out 189 hitters in 190 innings, though he has given up more than a hit per inning pitched in all three years.

His stuff is not overpowering, but he could have some success at the back end of the rotation. The Diamondbacks are a little short in the rotation after losing Patrick Corbin to free agency, Taijuan Walker to Tommy John and Shelby Miller to ineffectiveness. They are also trying to trade the contract of Zack Greinke. If Kelly can provide them 30 average starts he has done his job.

Pearce Leads Red Sox to World Series Victory

Monday, October 29th, 2018

As myworld focused on pointing out players who would be the most unlikely heroes in these playoff games, one was voted the MVP of the World Series. Steve Pearce hit two homeruns yesterday to lead the Red Sox to a 5-1 win. He hit three homeruns in the World Series and drove in eight runs. Released by the Orioles three times and traded during mid season to the Red Sox by the Toronto Blue Jays, Pearce becomes our most unlikely hero that actually became a hero.

David Price also pitched a great game. Price has had a history of struggling in the playoffs, but in this post season he pitched mostly solid games. Last night he gave up just three hits, one of them a first inning solo shot from David Freese to lead off the Dodgers at bat. That turned out to be the only run of the game.

Clayton Kershaw continued his post season struggles, though he went seven innings. The Red Sox touched him for three homeruns, Steve Pearce with a two run blast in the first and Mookie Betts with a solo shot in the sixth and J.D. Martinez with a solo in the seventh. Kershaw only allowed four other hits, but it was the homerun ball that killed him. Steve Pearce slugged his second homerun of the game and the fourth for the Red Sox in the eighth inning, a solo shot off Pedro Baez.

Joe Kelly and Chris Sale closed out the game with one inning of splendid relief work each. They faced six hitters and struck out all six. Kelly was another World Series rock, appearing in five games and not giving up a run. When he was struggling during mid-season and Alex Cora was questioned for continuing to bring him in during tight games Cora’s response was “We’re going to need Kelly”. That proved very prophetic.

The 119 wins by the Red Sox for the 2018 season have only been topped by the 1998 New York Yankees (125) and the 2001 Seattle Mariners (120). Puerto Rico has to be proud with rookie manager Alex Cora guiding this 119 win team to a World Series championship. It was their fourth championship in the last 15 years, three more than the New York Yankees have won during that time. That has to irk some Yankee fans.

Red Sox Rally to Win Game Four

Sunday, October 28th, 2018

The Dodgers had just gotten a three run homer from Yasiel Puig in the bottom of the sixth. Rich Hill was in cruise control through the first six innings. A walk in the seventh and Dave Roberts came out. Despite chants from the crowd to leave Hill in Roberts took him out. The Red Sox brutalized the Dodger bullpen for nine runs in the next three innings to win 9-6. A most unlikely hero Steve Pearce was instrumental in the rally with his four RBIs.

The two starting pitchers, number four starters in their rotation at best, Eduardo Rodriguez and Rich Hill were in a pitcher’s duel. Rodriguez was the first to break down when he gave up four in the bottom of the sixth, including the big three run blow to Yasiel Puig. Dave Roberts, having witnessed the break down of Rodriguez in the sixth did not want to see the same thing happen to Hill in the seventh. He pulled Hill after a one out walk, hoping the bullpen would preserve the shutout.

Things got ugly after that. Scott Alexander walked the one batter he faced, Brock Holt. In came Ryan Madson. He retired pinch hitter Jackie Bradley on a popup. Keith Moreland pinch hit for the pitcher’s spot and he took Madson deep. It has not been the best of seasons for Ryan Madson. Madson has now inherited seven runners on base in this World Series and allowed all of them to score.

He got out of the eighth and it was time for Kenley Jansen to get the two inning save. He failed the night before giving up a solo blast to Jackie Bradley in the eighth to begin the marathon game. He failed last night giving up a solo blast to Steve Pearce to tie the game. Both teams were hoping that a marathon game would not follow.

Roberts turned to Dylan Floro to pitch the ninth. The RBI man Rafael Devers, who in his previous start ended his consecutive RBI streak at eight games started another streak with a pinch hit RBI single to give the Red Sox a 5-4 lead. Steve Pearce then assaulted pitcher Kenta Maeda with a bases clearing double to drive in three runs.

Those three runs proved crucial when Enrique Hernandez hit a two run homerun off the Red Sox struggling closer Craig Kimbrel in the bottom of the ninth. Like Kenley Jansen, it seems like Kimbrel gives up a run each time he comes in to pitch. With a 9-4 lead it was probably an inning the Red Sox did not need Kimbrel. After throwing 28 pitches in both games three and four he may not be too fresh for game five.

Game five will be Clayton Kershaw and David Price, two pitchers maligned for their post season starts.

Manny Machado seems to be making a habit of stepping on the legs of first basemen. He did it again last night, stepping on the foot of Steve Pearce when he grounded out for the second out in the ninth. Against the Brewers he appeared to kick the leg of Jesus Aguilar when crossing the bag. It appears his dirty play and lack of hustle post season performance could cool teams wanting to bid top dollar for Machado. A lot of teams may fear that once he gets his money he will dial it back and cruise through the rest of his career.

Orioles Still Working with that Confederate Money

Saturday, October 27th, 2018

When Syd Thrift was the general manager of the Orioles back in the early 2000s he had trouble signing free agents. He made the comment that these free agents were treating their offers “like we have Confederate money, it’s no good.” It was probably their futility in winning ball games that scared free agents away from Baltimore.

Cuban free agents are treating the Orioles international dollars as Confederate money now that Baltimore has chosen to compete in the international market. The Mesa brothers did not sign with them. And now Sandy Gaston a pitcher with a good fastball is another player who ignored the dollars the Orioles put in front of him, instead signing with the Rays for an estimated $2 million.

The Orioles now have an estimated $6 million in international cap money but there are no players out there for them to sign. All the top international players have already signed shortly after the July signing period with other major league teams. They had negotiated and agreed to many of those contracts prior to the Orioles even considering entering the international market place. In other words, the Orioles got into the market too late. They were hoping the six million would be enough to sign the Mesa brothers. It was not.

There is still Wang Po-Jung, the Taiwan superstar outfielder who is being posted by his team. The Orioles would be competing with the Japanese teams in addition to the major league teams for his service. And paying more than $2 million for him probably would not be wise. It’s not like the Orioles would be spending money given to them. It is still there money to spend that can be used elsewhere. But it is a market advantage that they will lose if they do not spend it.

Dodgers Win Marathon

Saturday, October 27th, 2018

Myworld lasted until the 13th inning before crashing. The game lasted seven hours before ending. That is past 3 A.M. Eastern time. It was the longest game in World Series history, lasting longer than the four games combined that were played in the 1939 World Series.

Max Muncy, released last year by the Athletics and turning into a slugger for the Dodgers put an end to the game with his walk off solo shot off Nathan Eovaldi in the bottom of the 18th. Nathan, released by the Yankees was working his seventh inning of relief. His pitch count was in the 90s. Muncy almost ended the game earlier, hitting one out in the 15th but it went foul. His uniform number 13 is giving him some luck.

Rookie Walker Buehler was unhittable for the Dodgers. The Red Sox mustered just two hits off him. The game would have ended 1-0 Dodgers if Roberts had not pinch hit for him in the seventh. He brought on Kenly Jansen to put together a two inning save. Jackie Bradley put an end to that notion with his two out solo shot in the eighth.

Joc Pederson had homered off Rick Porcello in the third to give the Dodgers an early 1-0 lead. For Joc it was his fourth World Series homer in nine World Series games. He has a World Series homerun every seven official at bats.

Ian Kinsler made an error in the bottom of the 13th with the Red Sox up 2-1. Ian is one of three finalists being considered for a Gold Glove at second. He was trying to get Yasiel Puig at first but threw it past the first baseman. That Muncy kid scored from second. Kinsler had entered the game as a pinch runner in the 10th. He was almost picked off at first, overran the bag at third and almost tagged out. The third time was the charm with Cody Bellinger gunning him down at home.

The Red Sox got their run in the top of the 13th on a throwing error by pitcher Scott Alexander that allowed Brock Holt to score from second. So the two teams matched solo shots and throwing errors to allow a runner to score from second to score their first two runs. Both runners who scored from second on the throwing errors got on base via a walk.

The Red Sox threw four of their starting pitchers in an attempt to win the game. Rick Porcello started the game. Eduardo Rodriguez got one out in the ninth. David Price got two outs in the ninth but also gave up a single and walk. Nathan Eovaldi is probably out after his six innings to close out the game. The Red Sox have chosen Eduardo Rodriguez to start game four.

Red Sox Steal Another Game

Thursday, October 25th, 2018

Myworld had a busy day yesterday. We were conked out after the fourth inning of last night’s game. The last we remember the Dodgers were up 2-1. When we awoke the Red Sox had won 4-2.

David Price pitched well. He went six innings allowing just two runs. The bullpen of Joe Kelly, Nathan Eovaldi and Craig Kimbrel went perfect with one inning each for the last three. The Dodgers offense managed only three hits off Price, going 0 for 16 after they scored two runs in the fourth.

In this new game of relying on the bullpen, Hyun-Jin Ryu may have been left in one inning too long. He gave up three runs in the fifth, enough to give the Red Sox the win. Ryu retired the first two hitters in the inning but the number nine hitter Christian Vazquez ripped a single to keep the inning going. That brought the top of the Red Sox order and should have singled to Roberts that it was time to go to the pen. Mookie Betts got the second of his three hits and Andrew Benintendi walked to load the bases.

The Dodgers brought in Ryan Madson, a batter before J. D. Martinez. He walked Steve Pearce to tie the game. J.D. Martinez does what he does best, slicing a single to right field to break the tie and give the Red Sox a 4-2 lead.

Rafael Devers failed to drive in a run, ending his consecutive RBI streak at eight games. With an RBI he would have broken the record he now has to share with Lou Gehrig, Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Howard of post season consecutive game RBI streak with eight.

The series now goes to Los Angeles where the Dodgers will try to change their fortune at home.

Red Sox Strike First in World Series Win Over the Dodgers

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

These two teams have not met in a playoff game since 1916. Babe Ruth pitched in that World Series game. Clayton Kershaw, another pretty good lefty had never pitched at Fenway. His struggles in the playoffs continued as the Red Sox treated his first visit rudely with five runs in just four innings of work. Chris Sale, the ace of the Red Sox staff was only able to survive four innings before departing with three runs allowed.

The Red Sox bullpen was pretty sharp, limiting the Dodgers to just one run in the last five innings. If that is the Red Sox achilles heel it is the bullpen. Craig Kimbrel was pretty sharp for once, retiring the Dodgers in order with two whiffs. Andrew Benintendi had a good day with four hits, all against lefthanded pitchers.

Tough to find an unlikely hero. Rafael Devers got the start at third. If you had to identify one it would be Eduardo Nunez. He pinch hit for Devers in the seventh with the score a precarious 5-4 and hit a three run homerun. That put the game safely on ice for the Red Sox.

Mookie Betts gave the nation an opportunity for free tacos at Taco Bell with his stolen base in the first inning. You have to get the taco on November 1 between 2-6 PM local time. J.D. Martinez got a big hit with his RBI double off the wall in center field to give the Red Sox a 3-2 lead. He could have had a triple if he had not stumbled rounding second.

Rafael Devers RBI single in the seventh gave him RBIs in eight consecutive post season starts. He now joins an esteemed group led by Lou Gehrig, Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Howard for the longest RBI streaks in post season history.

And finally the villain of these playoffs, Manny Machado drove in three of the four runs for the Dodgers. He had an RBI single, RBI ground out and sacrifice fly to drive in the three runs but it was not enough.

The Orioles Lose Out to the Victors

Sunday, October 21st, 2018

There were two teams with the international bonus money competing for two Cuban prospects, Victor Victor Mesa and Victor Mesa Jr. They were the Orioles and the Marlins. The Marlins will have a press conference on Monday and it is expected that this press conference will announce the signings of the two Mesa brothers.

The Two Mesa brothers were considered to be a package duo, not unlike the Gurriel brothers when they defected from Cuba a couple years ago. The Mesa brothers are sons of a superstar in Cuban international baseball, who played for Cuba before there were defections, Victor Mesa, who also played with the father of the Gurriels, another superstar in Cuban baseball Lourdes Gurriel. They were dominant in winning international baseball events, but never really got the opportunity to play against major leaguers. Now their sons will get to show off their talents.

It may be too late for Yuli Gurriel, who shows he belongs in the major leagues but at 33 his time is short. His younger brother Lourdes looks to be a solid player. Now it will soon be the opportunity for the Mesa brothers to show off their skills.

Victor Victor Mesa is the oldest at 22 and the most talented of the two. It is rumored he will get a $5 million bonus. His younger brother Victor Mesa Jr. is only 17 and is not blessed with the skills of his older brother, but they could develop. He is expected to sign for a $1 million bonus. The father of the two couldn’t be prouder and now richer with their sons bonus money. You are not going to earn that amount of money playing baseball in Cuba.

Now that the Marlins have eaten up most of their international bonus money, the Orioles can focus on signing another Cuban prospect, Cuban righthanded pitcher Sandy Gaston. Gaston is a 6′0′ 17 year old with a fastball that can hit high 90s. The pitches are there but it will take him time to develop.

Puig Leads Dodgers to the World Series

Sunday, October 21st, 2018

Yasiel Puig has lost his ability to be the center of attention and that is probably a good thing. Now he just blends in. Until he hits a three run homerun to lead the Dodgers to a 5-1 win. That is also probably a good thing.

It was actually a two run homerun from Cody Bellinger in the second inning that gave the Dodgers a 2-1 lead. He was voted the MVP of the World Series despite only hitting .200. It was clutch catches, clutch running (beating out a DP grounder prior to the Puig Homeruns) and clutch hitting that got him the vote.

Puig extended that lead with a three run bomb off of the unlucky Jeremy Jeffress. Jeffress had a couple unlucky outings in which he gave up big homeruns, his first to Justin Turner, a two run shot in the eighth inning of the second game that erased a 3-2 Brewer lead.

Rookie Walker Buehler did his best impression of Clayton Kershaw in his 4.2 innings of work. He struck out seven and only allowed a solo shot to Christian Yelich in the first. The only problem with that impersonation is Buehler throws righthanded and Kershaw sometimes struggles in the playoffs as a starting pitcher.

Kershaw did come on in the ninth to close out the game, putting an exclamation point to the victory, striking out two of the three hitters he faced. Striking out the last hitter and receiving the catcher’s hug is always a cool experience. Normally starting pitchers are not in that long to feel that initial celebratory vibe. Kershaw got to experience it.

The unsung hero may be Ryan Madson. He is not used to having regular season ERAs over 5.00. That does not matter when you enter the playoffs. He got five outs in game seven and finished with a playoff ERA of 1.80. Those are the kind of numbers he is used to seeing. He also was credited with the game seven win.

Now the World Series the networks were hoping to televise, the Red Sox versus the Dodgers. No back to back champs this year. You have to go back to 2000 for the last back to back champ. That was the year the New York Yankees won their third consecutive World Series. For the Dodgers though, they are going back to back in the World Series, and three appearances in the last four. But this time they hope to finish as a World Series winner, something they have not done since 1988.