Sept 23 (The Sports Xchange) – Highlights of Friday’s Major League Baseball games:
Dodgers 4, Giants 2
Rookie Cody Bellinger hit his 39th homer as the Los Angeles Dodgers clinched their fifth straight NL West
Posted: September 23, 2017, 7:09 am
Since I last checked in on the playoff picture, the probability of pandemonium in both the American and National Leagues has been reduced significantly. Boston’s magic number to clinch is eight, but they own neither the tiebreaker (the Yankees won the season series 11–8) nor the easier remaining schedule. The Yankees don’t have any remaining games against teams .500 or better as they sandwich a pair of three-game series against the 71–82 Blue Jays (in Toronto this weekend, and at home for the final one) around a makeup game against the Royals (75–77) and then three against the Rays (74–79), all at home.
Posted: September 22, 2017, 5:08 pm
Rookie right-hander Sal Romano will carry some extra motivation to the mound on Friday night when he and the Cincinnati Reds face the Boston Red Sox in the opener of a three-game series at Great American Ball Park. Romano is focused on winning a game for the Reds and helping further solidify his spot in the rotation for 2018. Romano’s beloved Bronx Bombers trail the Red Sox by three games in the American League East standings.
Posted: September 22, 2017, 6:44 am
Cubs executives bet on Jon Lester because they had so much inside information from their time together with the Boston Red Sox and believed he would age gracefully with his fluid left-handed delivery, imposing physical presence and competitive personality. The Cubs also went into it with their eyes wide open, knowing the history of nine-figure contracts for pitchers and how those megadeals usually lead to a crash. “I think it’s way too early to talk about that,” general manager Jed Hoyer said Thursday at Miller Park, where Lester’s mysterious struggles overshadowed the beginning of a four-game showdown against the Milwaukee Brewers that could decide the National League Central race. The night before at Tropicana Field, Lester got rocked in an 8-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, leaving him with a 5.91 ERA in four September starts since coming off the disabled list.
Posted: September 22, 2017, 5:16 am
Last week’s Twitter spat between Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch — with Denny Hamlin also chiming in — raised the excitement level for fans prior to the playoff opener at Chicagoland. Not only did Busch and Keselowski provide great entertainment with their back-and-forth disses, fans not only welcomed what both drivers had to say, but many also took sides, as well. It also started fans, drivers, media and others mulling about how the sport needs more rivalries — and race day animosity between drivers to further amp up the edge — which would likely further boost the attention and excitement of the sport.
Posted: September 21, 2017, 11:36 pm
BOSTON — Drew Pomeranz may not actually be the No. 2 starter for the Red Sox in this year’s presumed American League Division Series. Maybe the Sox will mix in a right-hander between Pomeranz and Chris Sale. Still, everyone knows which pitcher, in spirit, has been the second-most reliable for the Red Sox. A day after Chris Sale notched his 300th strikeout and on the final off-day of the regular season, it’s worth considering the importance of the other excellent lefty on the Sox, and how much he’s meant to a team that’s needed surprise performances because of the lineup’s drop-off. Per FanGraphs’ wins above replacement, Pomeranz is the second-most valuable lefthanded starter among those qualified
Posted: September 21, 2017, 10:32 pm
BOSTON Red Sox chairman Tom Werner doesnt seem to be the biggest fan of the the Yankees, MLB disciplinarian Joe Torre, and players who cant take criticism from broadcasters. In a spot Thursday with WEEI, Werner made clear David Prices handling of Dennis Eckersley was unprofessional. Boston is a tough place to play, Werner said on WEEIs Ordway, Merlonia and Fauria.
Posted: September 21, 2017, 9:08 pm
BALTIMORE — Roaring from behind and then finally winning in extra innings, the Boston Red Sox did more than merely maintain their lead in the AL East. They showed their mettle, a characteristic that should come in handy during the postseason. Andrew Benintendi hit a two-run single in the 11th inning, Mookie Betts had four RBIs and Boston beat the Baltimore Orioles 10-8 Monday night for their ninth win in 12 games. Xander Bogaerts homered and scored three runs for the Red Sox, who remained three games ahead of the second-place Yankees in the AL East and reduced to four their magic number for clinching a playoff berth. Boston erased a five-run deficit with a six-run fifth inning and needed 10
Posted: September 21, 2017, 3:30 pm
Sure, the second wild card in the American League is a mess, and kind of an embarrassing one, even. However, we did get some kind of progress in the postseason chase on Wednesday, as the Red Sox finished off their sweep of the Orioles while the Angels lost to the Indians. This officially clinched a postseason spot of some kind for Boston, and that’s a positive if you’re the Red Sox or one of their fans, because there is still no guarantee they’re going to win the AL East. The Yankees also won on Wednesday, defeating the Twins — the team that holds the second wild card as of this writing — keeping pace with the Sox. New York is three games back of Boston, and have hovered around that mark for
Posted: September 21, 2017, 1:25 pm