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1) Message boards : Number crunching : Matt Holliday recorded a sacrifice fly on a deep fly ball (Message 702)
Posted 206 days ago by elvafeng
As he leaned back against a padded folding chair, Lorenzo Cain covered his mouth with his left hand and shook his head. It was late Wednesday night inside the visitors clubhouse at Yankee Stadium, moments after the Royals’ 3 0 loss to the New York Yankees, and Cain, the Royals’ center fielder, needed a moment to compose his thoughts.

Cain had just seen a firebolt in the form of a 6 foot 2, 215 pound starter named Luis Severino. He had seen a 99 mph fastball, a sharp slider, and a tidy little change up that disappeared against left handed hitters. He did not wish to see more.

“I don’t know where they found that guy,” Cain said. “But he’s pretty darn good, I’ll tell you that.”

Before Wednesday, few in this room had seen Severino, a 23 year old starter who had just completed his 31st major league start. They had watched video to prepare. They studied his tendencies and scouting report. But in the moments after Severino recorded eight scoreless innings and seven strikeouts in a dominating performance, they were left with a prevailing thought The video does not do 99 mph justice.

“You can look at film all day,” Cain said. “But once you step in that box, it’s a whole other world.”

For eight innings, the Royals were handcuffed by Severino, the Yankees’ precocious Wade Davis Jersey, flame throwing starter, who yielded just five base runners.

The Royals 19 27 dropped back to eight games under .500 as the calendar pushed toward June. After being shut out for a fifth time, they are now 2 4 on this 10 game road trip http://www.royalsfanaticsjersey.com/danny-duffy-jersey-c-2.html, which will conclude with three games in Cleveland, and they must win Thursday afternoon to salvage a series split here in the Bronx. Rookie Miguel Almonte will make his first career start for the Royals.

After the month of April was torpedoed by a nine game losing skid, the Royals have settled for mediocrity in May. Following Wednesday’s loss, they are now 12 11 in their last 23 games, treading water in last place in the American League Central.

Severino, a former top prospect, entered the evening with a 3.64 ERA in eight starts, a promising stretch after a year of problems in 2016. On Wednesday, he locked up the Royals with a fastball that touched 99 mph, an 88 mph slider and an occasional change up.

“His slider was really impressive,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.

The Royals, once one of the best fastball hitting teams in baseball, mustered just four hits as Severino lowered his ERA to 3.11. The offensive output wasted a solid outing from starter Jason Hammel http://www.royalsfanaticsjersey.com/dillon-gee-jersey-c-4.html, who rebounded after consecutive clunkers.

When the Royals signed Hammel to a two year, 16 million contract in early February, they envisioned performances like this one six innings, three earned runs, a quality start at Yankee Stadium. That it mattered little offered a neat synopsis of the season thus far. Still, it offered a moment of relief for Hammel.

“It’s definitely something to build on,” he said.

In his previous two starts, Hammel allowed 13 earned runs, served up four homers and had been forced to soak up innings to save a depleted bullpen. The last performance came eight days ago in a 7 1 loss to the Yankees at Kauffman Stadium. When that night was over, his ERA had settled in at 6.20.

In the days that followed, Hammel settled in with pitching coach Dave Eiland, looking to diagnose the problem. Gifted three extra days after a rain out in Minnesota shook up the rotation schedule, Hammel went to work. He sought to open up his delivery and harness the command of his fastball.

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After adding bulk to his frame, Royals’ Whit Merrifield displaying pop at the plate

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Nathan Karns to the DL, Miguel Almonte to make his first start
“It really helped a lot with just my direction,” Hammel said of the change. “And everything else fell in line. Just trying to stay square with home.”

For six innings, he better resembled the back end starter who posted a 3.83 ERA in 30 starts for the Chicago Cubs in 2016. He surrendered just six hits while striking out seven. His command problems were under control. He worked ahead during the early innings.

The first blemish surfaced in the bottom of the third inning, when Yankees shortstop and Royals killer Didi Gregorius deposited a 92 mph fastball into the seats in right field. But Hammel responded with scoreless frames in the fourth and fifth, keeping his team in the game.

“You got to keep the ball in the yard,” Hammel said. “No matter what the other guy is doing on the other mound, you can give up hits, but if you keep giving up hits that leave the yard, that’s still points for the bad guys. It is what it is I’ll take it as a step forward. A loss is never good. But it’s something we can build on.”

The Yankees stretched their lead to 2 0 in the sixth, taking advantage of a soft Royals defense. Gary Sanchez opened the inning with a single to left, stole second on the glacial Hammel, and then scampered to third base after catcher Salvador Perez bounced the throw to second and Whit Merrifield whiffed on the pick. Moments later, Matt Holliday recorded a sacrifice fly on a deep fly ball to right center field.

Hammel had logged six solid innings. Yost sent him out for a seventh. Gregorius greeted Hammel with a ground rule double to right center field. Yost emerged from the dugout and called on reliever Matt Strahm. Moments later, Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner drove in the run after a suspect call on what would have been strike three.

“We had Strahm warmed up before the inning thinking, ‘OK, Gregorius is so tough against lefties, let’s see if we can buy an out or two,’” Yost said. “He just hit it perfectly.”

In that moment http://www.royalsfanaticsjersey.com/brian-flynn-jersey-c-3.html, the score was 3 0. It would stay like that for the rest of the night. For Hammel, the night represented a decent step forward. With Severino on the mound, throwing 99 mph fastballs and bending off speed stuff, it would not matter.

“When you’re facing 100 with a never before seen curveball,” Hammel said, “that’s tough.”
2) Message boards : Number crunching : Things to know about sideline reporter Julia Morales (Message 701)
Posted 206 days ago by elvafeng
There is a mild Internet kerfuffle involving Dave Raymond, the former Astros radio broadcaster who now calls Rangers games for Fox Sports Southwest.
In an interview on KRLD 105.3 FM , the Rangers flagship station http://www.astrosfanaticsjersey.com/michael-feliz-jersey-c-3.html, Raymond was asked to assess the Rangers recent resurgence and, in the process, noted the early season euphoria that seized Houston fans after the Astros quick start.
WHERE IT RANKS Where the Astros hot start ranks among baseball s all time bests
Two weeks ago, three weeks ago, the Astros had won the division, they were already in the World Series and they were planning the parade, Raymond said. It was laughable the Chris Devenski Jersey way people were reacting in Houston. And they were talking about burying the Rangers. Oh they re done. If we beat the Rangers in this series, in Houston, oh my God they re done. They ll be like, nine games out.
Well, yeah, OK, we the Rangers were nine games out. Now we re what, 5 ½? And there s a long, long way to go, and, they just saw their ace and former Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel go on the disabled list for 10 days. And who knows if he comes off in 10 days.

Heading into Wednesday night s games, the Astros have a seven game lead over the Rangers in the American League West.
Raymond s remarks were picked up by The Dallas Morning News website, and the laughable comment http://www.astrosfanaticsjersey.com/mike-fiers-jersey-c-4.html drew a mildly arch reply from a local reader.
ASTROS REPORTER Things to know about sideline reporter Julia Morales
Raymond s reply Point was not to dis Astros. Only that teams shouldn t be buried after 25 games . Kinda like Tombstone of 05 when the Chronicle declared the Astros dead and buried en route to the National League pennant .
Happy for fans, actually. Story got twisted a bit. Astros are very good. Fans should be pumped. Rangers are okay, too. Long season.
Raymond was busy Wednesday replying to Astros fans who were piling into his Twitter mentions. Raymond has clarified that he wasn t trying to take a dig at the Astros or their fans, more about the folly of counting out another team so early in the season.
Raymond did Astros radio for seven years , including some of the team s more unfortunate years, while working with Brett Dolan alongside the late Milo Hamilton. He s now the lead TV voice in D FW http://www.astrosfanaticsjersey.com/scott-feldman-jersey-c-2.html, so things are improving for him , as they are, in recent weeks, for the Rangers.
3) Message boards : Number crunching : shoulder and Happ elbow could return (Message 700)
Posted 206 days ago by elvafeng
The six week pile up of injuries that has left the Toronto Blue Jays on the brink of the abyss finally reached the point of absurdity last Thursday. Outfielder Darrell Ceciliani, called up from the minors two days earlier as a fill in http://www.jaysfanaticsjersey.com/russell-martin-jersey-c-13.html, swatted a home run, but immediately grabbed his shoulder and circled the bases in obvious pain. He had dislocated the shoulder on his home run swing. The next day he went on the disabled list, which nowadays is a more illustrious group than the one the Blue Jays are putting on the field.

“Injuries are a part of baseball, and every team has them,” Blue Jays Manager John Gibbons said over the weekend, with a tinge of gallows humor. “But you kind of hope they’re spaced out a little bit.”

At one point this weekend, the Blue Jays had 44 percent of their Opening Day lineup and 40 percent of their starting rotation on the disabled list at the same time — and that’s not to mention the two games they played without center fielder and leadoff man Kevin Pillar, who was suspended for using a homophobic slur against an opponent.

Even with four time all star Russell Martin coming off the DL on Saturday, the nine Blue Jays who remain there have a combined 10 all star appearances, those belonging to shortstop Troy Tulowitzki five , third baseman Josh Donaldson three , left hander Francisco Liriano one and right hander Aaron Sanchez one . Lefty J.A. Happ, also on the disabled list http://www.jaysfanaticsjersey.com/marcus-stroman-jersey-c-11.html, doesn’t have an all star appearance R.A. Dickey Jersey, but he had a 20 win season in 2016.

All of them, however, could be back on the field in the next four weeks or so — which begs the question Do the Blue Jays still stand a chance in the loaded American League East, or have they already played themselves out of it? Entering Monday, they held the second worst record in the AL, at 19 26, and were in last place in the East, eight games behind first place New York and 3½ games behind fourth place Tampa Bay.

“We’re not happy with where we’re at,” said Gibbons, who signed a three year contract extension just before Opening Day. “But with everything we’ve been through, we’re not upset about it, either. We dug ourselves a pretty good hole, but we think there’s still time to get out of it. We could sure use some reinforcements.”

Most experts projected the Blue Jays, coming off back to back trips to the AL Championship Series, to be a playoff contender again in 2017, after they brought back the bulk of the team that swept Texas in the Division Series last fall, with the only major change being swapping in Kendrys Morales for Edwin Encarnacion at designated hitter.

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None Cleveland Indians designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion, a longtime Blue Jay, talks with injured Toronto shortstop Troy Tulowitzki before a May 8 game. Nick Turchiaro/USA Today Sports
But the injuries started almost immediately. Closer Roberto Osuna didn’t even make it to Opening Day, landing on the DL the day before the opener. Donaldson, the 2015 AL MVP, lasted just nine games before being lost to a strained calf. Sanchez, a 15 game winner in 2016, is already on his third trip to the DL.

Ten games into the season, the Blue Jays were 1 9 and already being eyeballed hungrily by opposing GMs, hoping the Jays would give up and start unloading veteran pieces. But that hasn’t happened, and somehow the Jays have played over .500, 18 17 http://www.jaysfanaticsjersey.com/pat-venditte-jersey-c-12.html, since that awful 10 game start, including an 11 4 stretch from late April to mid May.

“I think we’ve done a great job of grinding it out without those [injured] guys,” veteran reliever Jason Grilli said. “We’ve managed to hover around to where, if we get them back, we can get super hot and really get this thing going.”

The reinforcements are on their way. Tulowitzki hamstring and Donaldson calf , who combined for 61 homers last year, could be back in a week or so. Liriano shoulder and Happ elbow could return in early June, along with outfielder Steve Pearce calf .

That doesn’t mean the Blue Jays will be able to climb back into an AL East race in which the other four teams are all at .500 or better entering Monday. But it means they aren’t quite ready to give up on 2017. We can’t rightly call the Blue Jays a good team at this point, but as long as they keep getting healthier, they are a dangerous one.
4) Message boards : Number crunching : whole experience was exciting and something (Message 699)
Posted 206 days ago by elvafeng
Pleasanton resident Norman Pacheco experienced a thrill earlier this month that only a few baseball fans have the chance to enjoy.

A longtime Oakland Athletics fan, Pacheco threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the A s matchup against the rival Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on May 8.

When I walked out to the mound, I thought of all of the pitchers who have pitched off that mound like Blue Moon Odom http://www.athleticsfanaticsjersey.com/andrew-triggs-jersey-c-12.html, Catfish Hunter and Vida Blue, the 76 year old said looking back on his experience at the Oakland Coliseum.

Pacheco, who has lived in Pleasanton with his wife Joyce since 1971, got the opportunity after his daughter Sheryl tweeted A s president Dave Kaval and asked if her father could throw a first pitch. She said she told Kaval about her father s love of the green and gold and his deep connection to Oakland.

Pacheco grew up there, pitched for Fremont High School in Oakland as a teenager and worked for the city s recreation department. When he was 11 and 12 http://www.athleticsfanaticsjersey.com/marc-rzepczynski-jersey-c-11.html, he won back to back Abe Rose Sporting Goods Store City of Oakland pitching contests at the Oakland Oaks Stadium against thousands of other kids his prizes included getting photographed with Hall of Famer Mel Ott http://www.athleticsfanaticsjersey.com/matt-mcbride-jersey-c-13.html, who managed the Oaks at the time.

The A s president soon tweeted back to Sheryl and got the ball rolling on Pacheco s first pitch.

Pacheco said the whole experience was exciting and something he d never forget.

He threw to former A s player and current team bench coach Mark Kotsay, got to speak with A s legend Rickey Kendall Graveman Jersey Henderson as he walked off the field and exchanged high fives with team members and fans.

He may have even brought the A s some luck, as they beat the Angels that night 3 2 on a walkoff home run in the 11th inning.

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