Astros Force Game Seven

Altuve

Photo Credit: Marco Torres

Last night the Houston Astros offense came to alive as they defeated the New York Yankees 7-1. It looked as if the Astros were on the verge of losing the series after their bats went dead. The Astros won the first two games of the series and looked to be pulling away. The series changed however when the series shifted to New York as the Yankees won games 3-5. The Astros bats were held in check as before yesterday the most runs they scored in a game in this series was four. With their season on the brink of ending the Astros key players stepped up when needed the most.
At this year’s trade deadline, the Astros surprised many by trading for Tigers long time ace Justin Verlander. He has been nothing short of amazing in the playoffs. In the first game of this series Verlander pitched a complete game while only allowing one run. Last night when the Astros needed him the most he delivered. He went seven innings while only allowing one run and struck out eight. The Astros offense backed their ace as Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, and Brian McCann all came up big.
Altuve who may win the AL MVP award had two hits including a homerun. Bregman who has been clutch for the Astros during the playoffs had two runs batted in including a double in the eight as the Astros pounded David Robertson. McCann who had been quiet in the series up to this point also had an RBI double in the eight off Robertson. During the regular season the Astros were known for their offense because of their deep lineup. In their first-round matchup against the Red Sox the Astros again displayed their potent offense. Against the Yankees their offense had been kept in check until last night. With their season on the line the Astros offense came alive behind the man on the mound has been nothing short of extraordinary. Tonight, the Astros place the ball and their season in the hands of Charlie Morton. Game seven is where legends are born and tonight for both these teams legends will be made.

Written By: Jamie Gatlin

#Astros

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David Price Proves His Critics Wrong

 

david

Photo Credit: Jason Miller/ Getty Images

In December of 2015 the Red Sox signed David Price to a seven year contract worth 217 million dollars. The deal at the time was the largest contract ever given to a pitcher. Since signing that deal Price has received heavy criticism and clashed with the media in Boston. He hasn’t put up the spectacular numbers he did prior to arriving in Boston and has continued to struggle in the postseason until this past week. This year Price has dealt with elbow problems which placed him on the disabled list for the majority of the second half of the season forcing the Red Sox to use him as a reliever for the playoffs. In the opening round against the Houston Astros Price is pitching like the pitcher the Red Sox thought they were getting. As a starter Price is 0-8 in the postseason and in his only  postseason start last year against the Cleveland Indians he did not pitch well. Yesterday Price changed the narrative and saved the Red Sox season.

So far in this series against the Astros the Red Sox starting pitching has gotten destroyed. That didn’t change yesterday as the Red Sox starter Doug Fister only lasted one inning. Price entered the game in the fourth inning after two scoreless innings of relief from Joe Kelly and stunned the Fenway faithful. Facing the most potent offense in baseball Price delivered four innings of scoreless relief. The Sox bats followed suit as they came alive for the first time of the series and scored ten runs. The offensive explosion included homeruns by Jackie Bradley  and rookie Rafael Devers. The Red Sox needed some sort of jolt and it came from Price.

Many people have been critical of the starter this year. He needed a defining moment in a Red Sox uniform and he got that yesterday. Price may never pitch again this series depending on if the Red Sox can complete a comeback and win this series. Regardless of how this series ends Price stepped up when the Sox needed him the most and finally began to justify the contract Boston gave him.

Written By: Jamie Gatlin

#MLB #RedSox

Dodgers The Best Team in Baseball?

 

Cody Bellinger, Yasiel Puig, Justin Turner

Photo Credit: AP Photo/ Mark J. Terrill

Last night the Los Angeles Dodgers won their 80th game of the season. The Dodgers have lost only 33 games this season and now have a 15.5 game lead over the Rockies for first place in the National League West. The Dodgers have the best record in baseball because of their young stars and talented veterans. At the trade deadline this team only got stronger as they acquired Yu Darvish from the Texas Rangers. Darvish joined an already formidable rotation that included Clayton Kershaw and Alex Wood. This team has been the best in the majors because of it’s depth and the moves made during the season to improve this team.

One big storyline for the Dodgers this season has been the production they’ve received from their young stars most notably Cody Bellinger. The young first baseman has taken the league by storm in his rookie year. Through his first 345 plate appearances in the majors he already has 33 homeruns and is on pace for 43. That means that Bellinger will fall six short of the rookie record which is held by Mark McGwire who hit 49 in his rookie season. The Dodgers are also receiving stellar performances from other young players such as Corey Seager  who is becoming one of the best young shortstops in baseball.  Seager is unique because he is not only an above average fielder but also an above average hitter.

The Dodgers have not only been an offensive force but their pitching has been equally impressive. Kershaw is having another great year but the biggest surprise has been Alex Wood. He was once a promising young starter for Atlanta but has yet to reach his potential as he has dealt with injuries that have hindered his career. So far this year Wood has been healthy and a difference maker as through 20 starts he has 14 wins and 1 loss. With Wood’s emergence and the addition of Darvish the Dodgers have a formidable top three and don’t have to put any pressure on fellow starter Hyun- Jin Ryu who has is 2-1 since returning from an injury.

Before the season the Dodgers were the favorite in the National League. They have the deepest rotation in the majors and if the playoffs were to start today their fifth best option would be Rich Hill who has 8 wins and only four losses. They have a great mix of veterans such as Justin Turner and Chase Utley to guide their young studs. Their biggest strength however is their young stars who are making major league pitching look easy. This team is built for a deep run and it seems like the only question is who they will play in the World Series

Written By: Jamie Gatlin

#Dodgers #Baseball #MLB

Red Sox Make a Statement

Killer B's

Photo Credit: Billie Weiss/ Boston Red Sox/ Getty Images

Yesterday was the trade deadline for Major League Baseball and while teams such as the Yankees and Dodgers added high impact pieces the Red Sox made one move. They acquired set up man Addison Reed from the New York Mets to improve the bullpen. The Red Sox did not add any offensive pieces other than Eduardo Nunez who they acquired last week. While many people wanted the Sox to acquire a high impact bat the improvement on offense needs to come within. The Sox young core has struggled this season which is why the Red Sox rank near the bottom of almost every offensive category. A return to form from their young core Is better than any possible trade the Sox could have made at the deadline. Last night the Sox rewarded Dombrowski’s faith as they broke through in one of the biggest games of the year.

Last night the Red Sox beat the Cleveland Indians in a rematch of last years playoffs. The sox sent Doug Fister to the mound who has struggled mightily in a Red Sox uniform. Yesterday  when the Sox needed Fister to step up he did exactly that. No one was expecting him to give this team a chance to win and he did exactly that and more. Fister held the Indians scoreless for seven innings before giving up two runs in the eighth. His terrific start was backed by the awakening of the Red Sox offense. The Sox were lead by Mookie Betts who appears to have broken out of his mini slump. Betts was the runner up for the AL MVP last year and showed why last night as he drove in three of the Sox six runs. The Sox offense was also fueled by the rookie Rafael Devers who had four hits. Devers was the Sox top ranked prospect and is showing why the team was against involving him in any trade. Devers has ten hits in his first twenty four at bats in the majors including two homeruns. Eduardo Nunez continued his hot start in a Red Sox uniform as he had three hits raising his average with the Red Sox to .317.

Last night the Sox showed the offensive team that they’re capable of being. In order for the Red Sox to be successful they need to consistency play like they did last night.  The Red Sox have all the pieces to be a contender they just need to show it. If the Sox can play up to their capabilities then a deep playoff run is in store and the only thing stopping them from that possibility is themselves.

Written By: Jamie Gatlin

#RedSox

Bogaerts Becoming Truly Elite

Xander

Photo Credit:  Dan Orencole

Xander Bogaerts is becoming one of the best players in baseball. The young shortstop came into the league with lofty expectations and struggled early on. In Bogaert’s first two years in the majors he failed to hit above .250.  Bogaerts followed that with a breakout 2015 campaign in which he hit .320. Bogaerts followed that up with an even greater campaign in 2016 in which he hit a career high 21 homers but only hit .290. This year Bogaerts is of to a tremendous start as he is hitting .319 and already has set a new career high in triples with 4.  Bogaerts is becoming one of the best shortstops in baseball not only because of his offense but his defense as well. This young superstar  is not without his faults.

Scouts have always seen Bogaerts as an elite hitter with good pop. He was not expected to hit 30 homeruns every year however 20 homeruns a year would not have surprised people. Bogaerts currently has four homeruns on the season and in his first four years in the majors he has hit more than ten homeruns only once.  This year the young shortstop is showing why that may not detrimental.  This year the Red Sox offense hasn’t been as potent as it was last year. This a result of all the young studs the Red Sox have finding their way and the fact that they are playing their first season without their franchise icon  David Ortiz who retired last year.

Bogaerts may not be the power hitter many envisioned but that may be okay. Even without his power your left with a shortstop who will drive in eighty runs while hitting over .300 and playing stellar defensive. The Red Sox are a team full of young stars in the form of Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, and Jackie Bradley Jr. to name a few. Bogaerts is showing why scouts have  always been so high on him regardless of the lack of power: he just can’t stop getting on base.

Written By; Jamie Gatlin

#RedSox #Boston

Should The Rockies Be Taken Seriously In the West?

 

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies

Photo Credit: Kevin Henry

The Colorado Rockies are off to a hot start with a record off 31-17. They have a two game lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks for first in the National league West division. The Rockies are usually a team that gets off to a hot start. However a baseball season is 162 games and they usually tend to cool down just as people start believing this year is different.  This team is trying to write a new narrative and this year may in fact be different. There are multiple reason’s why including their young pitching which is usually their Achilles heels and their improved play on both the road and at home. This Rockies team is attempting to change the narrative and seem well on their way.

The Rockies have been struggling to produce young talented pitchers for years. This is a result of their player development and the fact that their stadium Coors Field is a hitter friendly ballpark due to its spacious dimensions. This means Rockies pitchers must get used to that when called up to the show or else they will fail.  This year the Rockies rotation has excelled which is surprising considering two of their five starting pitchers are rookies and only one of the other three starters have more than one year of experience in the majors. The Rockies are relying on their youth at a position when many growing pains are expected as a pitcher makes the transition to the majors. The Rockies pitchers however seem unfazed and give the Rockies a chance to win every night. They also have a talented bullpen as a result of offseason signings Greg Holland and Mike Dunn.

Even though the Rockies young pitchers are getting a lot of the attention their offense is as dangerous as ever. Their third baseman Nolan Arenado is one of the brightest stars in the game and is coming of a year in which he drove in a hundred and thirty three runs.   They are also tremendously good up the middle as their starting shortstop Trevor Story is coming off his rookie season in which he hit 27 homeruns. They also have perennial all stars in the outfield in Charlie Blackmon and Carlos Gonzalez.

This is a team built with young talent and mix of veterans who are tired off starting out hot only to miss the playoffs. If they can continue their play which they show no signs of stopping. For the first time in a while the Dodgers and Giants won’t be the talk of the National league come playoff time it could be the boys from Colorado.

#Rockies #MLB

Written By: Jamie Gatlin

Are The Yankees Legit?

dadda

Photo Credit: Noah K. Murray-USATI

When the Yankees began their rebuild two years ago it was a shocking admission of defeat from arguably one of the most storied franchises in not just baseball, but all of sports. Many said the Yankees wouldn’t be able to contend until the 2018 season. These Yankees  have appeared to disregard that and look like a team poised to surprise the world. These Yankees are not lead by Jeter, Posada, or Rivera. They are not lead by a free agent that the Yankees outbid everyone to sign like in the past. They are lead by a nucleus of young players prepared to restore the franchise to its glory days. These young players include Aaron Jude and Gary Sanchez and veterans such as Chase Headley and Matt Holiday . The Bronx Bombers currently sit atop the AL East one game ahead of the Baltimore Orioles. Baseball, however, is a long season and a lot can change between now and the end of the season.

It is hard to ignore what the Yankees have done so far. The young players are making an impact right away. Aaron Judge is not your prototypical baseball player. He looks like a man meant for football, but watching him crush a baseball is a thing of beauty no matter what team you root for. Veterans and young players who have been disappointing the last few years including Chase headley, Luis Severino, and Aaron Hicks look like completely different ballplayers. This Yankees team could very well crash and burn. Injuries could mount and their young players could start to comeback to earth. Until then no matter what team you root for you can’t help but smile. On the night The Yankees retired Derek Jeter’s number the glory days of the Yankees are remembered again with their future bright.

Written By:  Jamie Gatlin

#Yankees