Monthly Archives: July 2017

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The trade market remains flush with bullpen options, though Wednesday night’s trade that sent All-Star Pat Neshek from the Phillies to the Rockies might just be the domino that gets the reliever market moving.

Colorado sent three Minor League players to Philadelphia for the right-hander, adding Neshek to a bullpen that ranks 13th out of 15 teams in the National League, with a 4.53 ERA.
Neshek was the ninth reliever traded since the All-Star break, joining David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle, David Phelps, Sean Doolittle, Ryan Madson, Anthony Swarzak, Brandon Maurer and Ryan Buchter.
More than a half-dozen teams are still seeking bullpen help: the Nationals, Dodgers, D-Backs, Red Sox, Brewers, Astros, Cubs and Rays have all been connected to at least one of the available relievers. Even after dealing for Neshek, the Rockies could still be in the market for another bullpen arm.
Black on acquiring Neshek
Black on acquiring Neshek
Rockies manager Bud Black discusses the acquisition of Pat Neshek and how he will fit in the team’s bullpen
So who are the top arms left and where could they be headed? Let’s take a look.
Addison Reed, Mets
The right-hander has appeared in 47 games this season, and while his overall numbers are solid, he’s allowed one run in each of his past two appearances. The Brewers, Red Sox and Rays have all shown interest in the 28-year-old, though a source said the D-backs are intrigued by the possibility of bringing the impending free agent back to Arizona.
Justin Wilson, Tigers
The Brewers and Rockies had been connected to the left-hander before Colorado acquired Neshek, though there would surely still be a spot available for Wilson if the Rockies were able to land him. Wilson has another year of control and is quite affordable, making him one of the most appealing arms available.
Brad Hand, Padres
Wilson is nice, but Hand is the most desirable reliever on the market. He’s in the midst of a breakout season, has two full years of control remaining and is making only $1.375 million this season. Padres chairman Ron Fowler told a local radio station Wednesday, “Other things being equal right now, I don’t see us moving him, because we value him more than what’s being offered.” That’s not to say those offers won’t improve, especially as Monday grows closer.
AJ Ramos, Marlins’s Jon Paul Morosi reported Wednesday that the Rockies had been talking to the Marlins about Ramos prior to the Neshek trade, though it seems Colorado had been in contact with just about every team shopping a reliever. Miami has already traded Phelps and figures to move Ramos before Monday. The Nationals and Cubs have expressed the most interest to date.
Ramos retires Mazara to end game
Ramos retires Mazara to end game
A.J. Ramos gets Nomar Mazara to fly out to Giancarlo Stanton in right-center field to end the game, securing the Marlins’ 4-0 win
Zach Britton and Brad Brach, Orioles
The Dodgers are said to be interested in pairing Britton with closer Kenley Jansen to form an unhittable duo in the eighth and ninth innings, but it remains unclear whether the Orioles will actually move Britton. The same goes for Brach, who like Britton, has a year of control remaining. If Baltimore decides to trade Britton, it should get a big haul back for the left-hander.
Bud Norris, Angels
Teams have called the Angels about their closer — as well as fellow right-handers David Hernandez and Yusmeiro Petit — but sources say nothing has developed. Once the rest of the relievers begin to move, Angels GM Billy Eppler might find some buyers for his bullpen pieces.

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BOSTON — Making his 18th career start on the road against the Red Sox, CC Sabathia came away with his first scoreless line at Fenway Park, helping the Yankees win consecutive games for the first time in more than a month.

The veteran lefty held the Red Sox to two hits and worked around five walks over a solid six-inning performance that led the Yankees to a 3-0 victory in Game 1 of a day-night doubleheader on Sunday. Sabathia is 8-3 with a 3.54 ERA this season.
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“It just shows you a lot about this team, how tough we are,” said Sabathia, who was not originally scheduled to start in this series. “The core of this team are tough guys. We go out there and leave everything out on the field every night, and it shows up.”
Tyler Clippard, Chad Green and Aroldis Chapman each worked scoreless innings in relief, with Chapman securing his ninth save. New York had not won consecutive games since June 11-12, when it began its slide from first place.
Chapman locks down the save
Chapman locks down the save
Aroldis Chapman gets Mookie Betts to ground out to record the save as the Yankees shut out the Red Sox for a 3-0 victory
“It’s been a long, long time,” manager Joe Girardi said. “Especially after the difficult loss that we had on Friday night, to be able to respond the way they did, it’s really good.”
Meanwhile, the Red Sox continued their perplexing trend of being unable to produce in key situations against the Yankees in 2017.
In the eight rivalry games, Boston is 2-for-51 with runners in scoring position, including Sunday’s 0-for-11 performance. The Red Sox didn’t have an extra-base hit in Saturday’s 16-inning loss.
“We’re in a little bit of a dry spell, I think that’s pretty apparent” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “Particularly in the first couple of innings, I thought we had a chance to break through, put a couple of points on the board. The two-out base hit in those spots hasn’t been there.”
Farrell on loss to Yankees
Farrell on loss to Yankees
Red Sox manager John Farrell discusses his team’s recent offensive struggles after a 3-0 loss to the Yankees
The Yankees have taken six of the first eight games between the clubs, and they now trail the Red Sox by just 2 1/2 games in the American League East.
In a battle of former Cy Young Award winners, Sabathia got the best of this one.
Red Sox righty Rick Porcello, who had a strong finish to a frustrating first half, turned in a quality start, giving up nine hits but just one earned run. An error by shortstop Xander Bogaerts on a grounder by Clint Frazier led to the Yankees scoring two unearned runs in the fourth, and Didi Gregorius took Porcello out to right for a solo homer in the fifth.
“The changeup to Didi was a terrible pitch,” said Porcello. “It was elevated up in the zone and he did what he does with that. Other than that, though, it was just a tough game, and we will get them tonight.”
Didi’s chip-shot homer: Gregorius had the perfect placement on his solo shot to right in the fifth that padded New York’s lead to 3-0. He lofted one down the line and curled it just inside Peksy’s Pole, which is 302 feet from home plate. According to Statcastâ„¢, the homer had an exit velocity of 93.3 mph. It was No. 11 on the season for Gregorius and the final run allowed by Porcello.
“It has not been clicking for a while, but I felt good yesterday,” Gregorius said. “I kept the same approach and keep putting good swings. I’ve been doing everything the same way. Why try to change? It has been working fine. Everybody goes through ups and downs.”
Gregorius’ solo homer
Gregorius’ solo homer
Didi Gregorius rips a solo home run to right field to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead in the 5th inning
Early squanders set tone: The first two innings were indicative of the way things have been going for Boston. After Mookie Betts and Bogaerts led off the first with walks against Sabathia, the Red Sox didn’t score. Andrew Benintendi hit into a fielder’s-choice grounder and Chris Young grounded into a 4-3 double play. In the second, Sabathia made a nifty play to cut down Sam Travis at home plate.
“Any time you can save a run, especially early in the game, I felt like that was a big play,” Sabathia said.
Sabathia gets the out at home
Sabathia gets the out at home
CC Sabathia makes the stop on a chopper back to the mound and fires home to retire Sam Travis in the 2nd inning
“It’s in there. I have to wait to use it. I tried to throw a couple hard at the end of the game today. It’s just max effort, though, so I can’t pitch like that.” — Sabathia, on being clocked as high as 95.6 mph on Sunday
“Yeah, I’m going to go in there, get a little rest now, see if I can get ready for the next game.” — Betts, confirming he would use the team’s sleep room between games of the doubleheader
Yankees: The Yankees are back on the field at 8:05 p.m. ET on Sunday, sending Masahiro Tanaka (7-8, 5.47) out for his 19th start of the season. Tanaka stumbled in his last outing, surrendering five runs and six hits over 4 1/3 innings to the Brewers. He threw a three-hit shutout to beat the Sox at Fenway on April 27.
Red Sox: Lefty David Price, who finished strong in the first half, gets the nightcap for the Red Sox. He will try to reverse his recent struggles against the Yankees. Since coming to Boston for the start of the 2016 season, Price is 1-4 with an 8.31 ERA in six starts against New York.

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MLB batters rewrote the record books on Friday night, setting a new mark for the most home runs hit in a single month in history.

June had seen 1,068 homers entering the night, one shy of the mark set in May 2000. It didn’t take long for this month to move into the top spot. The Giants’ Denard Span smacked a leadoff homer against the Pirates’ Gerrit Cole at PNC to tie the record, and the Blue Jays’ Justin Smoak went deep off the Red Sox’s Doug Fister in the bottom of the first at Rogers Centre to break it.
This month didn’t come out of nowhere, simply continuing a trend of rising homers since the 2015 All-Star break. There were 863 homers hit by the end of this April, second-most all-time behind 2000. There were 1,060 more in May, second-most for any month all-time behind the 1,069 from May 2000.
Span’s leadoff home run
Span’s leadoff home run
Denard Span crushes a leadoff home run to right-center field on the second pitch of the game from Gerrit Cole
Now this June holds the record, despite the month only having 30 days. It obliterated the previous high for June, which was 1,012, set just last year.