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Tag:Jacoby Ellsbury
Posted on: August 4, 2011 1:28 am
Edited on: August 4, 2011 10:59 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Might Casey strikes thrice

Casey McGehee

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Casey McGehee, Brewers: In his last 63 games, the Brewers third baseman had just one home run and none since July 6. In the series finale against the Cardinals, McGehee had three homers off of St. Louis starter Edwin Jackson, leading the Brewers to a 10-5 victory and extending their lead in the National League Central to 3 1/2 games.

Dan Uggla, Braves: It didn't take long for the Braves second baseman to extend his hitting streak to 25 games, reaching on an infield single in the first inning of the Braves' 6-4 victory over the Nationals on Wednesday. Not content with just an infield single, Uggla added a three-run homer in the fifth inning, helping end the Nationals' four-game win streak. He now has 11 homers during his streak and 23 on the season. Oh, while we're talking about Braves and hitting streaks, a note that Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman extended his hitting streak to 18 games with two hits.

Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox: The day after his first career walk-off hit, Ellsbury delivered his second. This time it was a two-out solo homer off the Indians' Joe Smith in the ninth inning of a tie game. The homer was Ellsbury's 18th of the season. He had just 20 homers in his career before this season, with nine in 2008 and eight in 2009.


Pittsburgh Pirates: Pittsburgh wasted a good outing by Charlie Morton as the offense managed just four hits, all singles, against Cubs starter Matt Garza, losing 1-0. The Pirates fell below .500 for the first time since June 21. Ryan Ludwick, added at the trade deadline to give the team some offense, is 0 for 8 since donning a Pirate uniform. Pittsburgh has lost 10 of its last 13 and is 7-11 since the All-Star break.

Jason Marquis, Diamondbacks: The right-hander didn't exactly impress in his Arizona debut, allowing 10 hits and eight runs (seven earned) in four-plus innings against the Giants. Marquis came into Wednesday's game with a track record of success against San Francisco, pitching in 12 games against the Giants and starting 11 with a 5-3 record and 2.47 ERA. However, the Giants had some additions as well -- Carlos Beltran had three hits and an RBI, while another new Giant, Orlando Cabrera, drove in three.

Brian Bruney, White Sox: It's not that Bruney gave up two hits to the only two batters he faced and both runners came along to score. No, it was the fact that Bruney was in the game to eat innings as the White Sox trailed the Yankees 13-7 in the seventh inning. Instead, he let his emotions get to him and was ejected by first base umpire Marvin Hudson after the ump ruled Brett Gardner safe at first on an infield hit. So with Burney out of the game, Ozzie Guiellen needed three more pitchers to finish out the game, a 18-7 Yankees victory.

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Posted on: July 31, 2011 11:15 am
Edited on: July 31, 2011 11:24 am
 

On Deck: Verlander/Weaver highlights deadline day

On Deck

By Evan Brunell


Join Eye on Baseball for a live chat on Sunday, starting at 2 p.m. ET!

WeaverVerlanderBEST MATCHUP: A fantastic matchup is set to take place amid trade deadline hubbub, with AL Cy Young Award favorite Justin Verlander toeing the mound. Verlander has 14 wins, just like opponent Jered Weaver, but has a higher ERA at 2.34. Weaver is at an eye-popping 1.79, but Verlander has the inside track on the award thanks to his no-hitter, plus a fantastic 4.97 K/BB ratio, with Weaver at 3.62  -- still no slouch. This is a battle between the likely No. 1 and No. 2 finishers for the Cy Young, in some order. Detroit will have reliever David Pauley, just acquired from the Mariners along with Doug Fister, to back up Verlander, but the Angels have yet to make a move at the trade deadline. Angels vs. Tigers, 1:05 p.m. ET

PiratesPhilliesNEW FACES: Hunter Pence already made his Phillies debut, but he's still a new face as he prepares for his second career game as a Phillie, and will do so against a familiar face as Jeff Karstens draws the start for Pittsburgh. Karstens' 2.41 ERA came out of nowhere and is obviously over his head, but he is pitching better this year than he ever has. He'll do so with a new first baseman, as Derrek Lee was dealt from the Orioles over to Pittsburgh late on Saturday. Karstens is opposed by rookie Vance Worley. (Sadly, Lee won't join the Pirates until Monday, so the team gets one more day of Lyle Overbay at first.) Pirates vs. Phillies, 1:35 p.m. ET

EllsburyNEW STREAK: Dustin Pedroia's attempt to run his hitting streak to 26 games the other day was snapped, but another Red Sox player is ready and willing to start getting attention for his own hitting streak. Jacoby Ellsbury is at 19 games, continuing what has been a breakout season for the center fielder. Baltimore's Nick Markakis and Kansas City's Alex Gordon are also working on 19 straight. In other news, Boston is searching high and low for a new starting pitcher to replace Andrew Miller, who draws the assignment Sunday despite a lousy 17/24 K/BB ratio. The White Sox bring their own lefty to the mound in Mark Buehrle, whose 2.45 ERA since the start of May ranks in the top 10 of baseball. Red Sox vs. White Sox, 2:10 p.m. ET

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Posted on: July 28, 2011 1:28 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Mauer power on display

Mauer

By Evan Brunell


Joe Mauer, Twins: The first home run of the season for Joe Mauer came Wednesday night in the first inning. With two out, he launched a solo home run to right field, a 383-footer. He had a 2-for-4 night with three runs, two RBI and a walk. Now hitting .288/.357/.350, Mauer is heating up, and has been for some time. With this new power, he might be ready to carry Minnesota to a shocking first-place finish. (At six games back, it really might happen.)

Zack Greinke, Brewers: Greinke's appeared in the 3 Down space more than once this season, but we always talked about his astounding strikeout-to-walk rate, now at an impressive 123-21, and said that his ERA -- which was 5.56 four starts ago -- would have to drop. It has, all the way to 4.50, as he's pitched 25 2/3 innings over those starts, giving up four unearned runs and none on Wednesday to the Cubs.

Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox: Have you noticed what Ellsbury's up to lately? He's hit eight home runs in his last 17 games and now has 17 on the year, tying him with Adrian Gonzalez for second most on the team. The leader? David Ortiz, who banged his 20th on the night, adding Boston's first grand slam of the year. Ellsbury scored three, drove in two and was 3-for-4 with a walk, pushing his line to .325/.383/.528 on the year. He also stole his 29th stolen base, which is rather low for him but with the added power, the Sox don't mind. Boston's never had a 25 HR/25 SB player, by the way.


James Shields, Rays: We're going to spend this edition of 3 Down yelling at pitchers who made poor starts. Let's kick things off with Shields, who somehow gave up 10 earned runs to the Athletics -- yes, the Oakland Athletics -- in four innings, with his ERA going from 2.53 to 3.03. The A's scored one in the third but it all exploded in the fourth with nine scored, with Hideki Matsui's three-run home run the biggest blow. He walked and struck out two apiece and will now attempt to banish this game from his mind as he tries to stay in the AL Cy Young race.

Bronson Arroyo, Reds: Arroyo hasn't been doing great lately, accentuating Cincinnati's need for starting pitchers that much more acute. Arroyo, usually as steady as they come for over 200 innings and an average ERA of 4.00, has the ERA all the way up to 5.58 after allowing five runs (one unearned) in six innings. Arroyo has been shockingly consistent as to giving up four or five runs over six innings, but he's given up an inordinate amount of home runs this season, giving up his 30th on Wednesday to Lucas Duda. He's usually good for 30 an entire season.

Colby Lewis, Rangers: Lewis wasn't bad like Shields, but he wasn't great either. He danced around danger, giving up eight hits and two walks, allowing four earned runs. He gave up two homers, one each to Mauer and Michael Cuddyer. Lewis has actually been trying to come back from a very up-and-down season, his ERA resting at 5.70 after April, driving it down to 3.48 over the next month, then getting rocked in two starts to send it way back up to 4.97.  And on it went, him working it down to 3.93, before this latest outing has him an even 4.00.

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Posted on: July 21, 2011 7:56 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 8:24 pm
 

Red Sox want to talk extension with Ellsbury

Ellsbury

By Evan Brunell

Earlier on Thursday, Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein admitted the club has tried to lock up center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury to a long-term deal, only to come up short.

"It's not a secret we sat down and tried in the past to lock Jacoby up, and I hope we'll sit down in the future and try to do it once more at the appropriate time," Epstein told the Dennis & Callahan Show on WEEI.

Ellsbury missed all but 18 games last season. He was called out by players, media and fans alike for a perceived inability to push through injury and stay on the field. This year, finally healthy, he's seen a remarkable power spike and has played in all but one game, contributing a .316/.375/.509 mark in 431 plate appearances with 15 home runs. This after totaling 20 in the four previous seasons, racking up 1,510 at-bats. With 28 stolen bases, he's been a threat on the basepaths and appears a lock for a 20/20 season, and 30/30 can't be ruled out in future years.

The 27-year-old says he isn't doing anything different and was focused first and foremost in the offseason on coming back from injury. Manager Terry Francona told the Boston Globe it all has to do with discipline.

“It’s knowing the strike zone and knowing the league," Francona said. "He’s probably turning into a better hitter. Confident.”

Ellsbury is earning $2.4 million in 2011, a figure that will skyrocket in arbitration given the season he has had and the fact that he will be in his second year of arbitration for 2012. Ellsbury has been referred to as a "core member of the organization," and Epstein says he wants him to stay with the club. That will be difficult with new agent Scott Boras, who replaced Joe Urbon last season as Ellsbury's agent.

Boras prefers his clients to get to free agency as fast as possible. He often recommends to players -- and they tend to follow his advice -- that they not sign extensions with the original club, and doubly so if the extension is in any way tilting to the team's favor. (Carlos Gonzalez is an exception, overruling Boras to ink a seven-year, $80 million deal with the Rockies in the offseason.)

"We have certain organizational standards that have to be met, but we worked hard and were able to meet those standards with the [Dustin] Pedroias, with the [Kevin] Youkilis' and the [Jon] Lesters of the world, so we would love to one day announce that Jacoby is going to stick around this organization for a really long time. This is where he should be."

Epstein is referring to getting a club option attached onto any long-term deal agreed to with young players who have yet to hit free agency. Pedroia, in the third year of a six-year, $40.5 million deal, has a club option for 2015, and Youkilis has one for 2013. Lester, meanwhile, has one for 2014. David Ortiz's and Josh Beckett's previous deals also came with club options.

While Epstein may still be able to corral Ellsbury into an extension before he hits the market, it's doubtful there will be any type of hometown discount. Boston is one of the few teams that can afford to ink Ellsbury, discount or no discount. But if the center fielder does hit free agency, he would be in hot demand. This is one player Epstein may not be able to sign, at least not without Ellsbury testing free agency.

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Posted on: July 3, 2011 12:24 pm
Edited on: July 3, 2011 1:24 pm
 

American League pitchers and reserves

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The biggest notable name that's not on the list is Yankees' starter CC Sabathia, who is scheduled to start next Sunday, so he wouldn't be eligible to pitch in the game anyway. He also said he was happy not to go, instead using his time off to take a mini-vacation.

American League

Pitchers

Chris Perez, Indians (players' pick)

Jose Valverde, Tigers (manager's pick)

Aaron Crow, Royals (manager's pick)

Josh Beckett, Red Sox (players' pick)

Mariano Rivera, Yankees (players' pick)

Gio Gonzalez, Athletics (manager's pick)

Felix Hernandez, Mariners (players' pick)

Justin Verlander, Tigers (players' pick)

Brandon League, Mariners (player's pick)

David Price, Rays (managers' pick)

James Shields, Rays (players' pick)

Jered Weaver, Angels (players' pick)

C.J. Wilson, Rangers (managers' pick)

Reserves

C Matt Wieters, Orioles (manager's pick)

OF Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox (players' pick)

OF Carlos Quentin, White Sox (players' pick)

SS Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians (players' pick)

1B Miguel Cabrera, Tigers (players' pick)

2B Howie Kendrick, Angels (players' pick)

OF Michael Cuddyer, Twins (manager's pick)

C Russell Martin, Yankees (players' pick)

OF Matt Joyce, Rays (players' pick)

3B Adrian Beltre, Rangers (players' pick)

IF Michael Young, Rangers (players' pick)

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Posted on: June 21, 2011 3:49 pm
Edited on: June 21, 2011 3:57 pm
 

No changes in AL All-Star voting

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Josh HamiltonThis time of year, Major League Baseball releases All-Star voting totals every week, and at some point it becomes white noise -- especially when there's no change in the voting.

In the American League update released Monday, the top three at each position remained unchanged.

Of the nine positions fans get to vote for in the AL, eight are currently occupied by American League East players, with Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton the lone exception. And even the reigning MVP is getting some heat from Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury. Hamilton is third in outfield voting (trailing Toronto's Jose Bautista and New York's Curtis Granderson) with 2,400,408 votes, and Ellsbury now has 2,249,323 votes. Fellow Sox outfielder Carl Crawford is fifth.

The infield is dominated by Yankees -- catcher Russell Martin, second baseman Robinson Cano, third baseman Alex Rodriguez and shortstop Derek Jeter. First-baseman Adrian Gonzalez and DH David Oritz of the Red Sox lead at their positions.

Voting runs through June 30, and the teams are announced July 3. 

The complete voting is available on MLB.com.

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Posted on: May 10, 2011 6:12 pm
Edited on: May 10, 2011 6:15 pm
 

On Deck: Aces Halladay, Johnson battle

Halladay, Johnson
On Deck

By Evan Brunell

BEST MATCHUP: Get excited. Tuesday night's best matchup pits Roy Halladay against Josh Johnson. In the earlier going, JJ has been the better pitcher with a 1.68 ERA, while Halladay will look to push his ERA under 2 from 2.19. Johnson is coming off a 7 1/3 inning, 5-run effort against the Cardinals in which he drew his first loss of the year while Halladay coughed up two in seven innings to beat the Nationals. Last season, Halladay's perfect game came against Johnson on May 29, and this is the first time Halladay will toe the mound in Miami since. There's a bit of a mentor-mentee relationship as Johnson has spoken at length about how much he looks up to Halladay and was able to watch one of Halladay's bullpen sessions last season. Phillies at Marlins, 7:10 p.m. ET (Watch live)

GONE STREAKING: Jacoby Ellsbury will look to push his hitting streak to 19 as the Red Sox hit the road with a trip to Toronto before the first Red Sox-Yankees series of the year will dominate the media. Meanwhile, Jon Lester looks to win his fifth straight start which will propel Boston to .500 for the first time all season. It will have been the latest in a season the Red Sox reach .500 since 1996, when it took until Aug. 22. Lester will be opposed by rookie Kyle Drabek. Red Sox at Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m. ET (Watch live)

BIG Z DOMINATION: Chris Carpenter has been one of the best pitchers in the game over the past decade, but he can't seem to solve Carlos Zambrano and the Cubs. The Cubs are 5-2 in Carpenter-Zambrano tilts and haven't lost a game since July 22, 2005, as the Chicago Tribune reports. Weird, right? That trend may very well continue Tuesday night as Big Z is 4-1 on the year with a 4.23 ERA while Carpenter is searching for his first win amid two losses and a 4.19 ERA. Oh, and Cardinals shortstop Ryan Theriot returns to his old stomping grounds after saying he was finally "on the right side of the rivalry" and being threatened with a knockdown pitch. Cardinals at Cubs, 8:05 p.m. ET (Watch live)

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Posted on: May 1, 2011 1:43 am
Edited on: May 1, 2011 1:51 am
 

3 up, 3 down: Shields, Halladay baffle batters

Shields

By Evan Brunell

3 UP

James Shields, Rays -- Shields delivered a dominating performance and may be on the way back towards being an ace. However, Shields is an inconsistent player, so we'll have to see how he performs more. Still, he twirled a beautiful start against the Angels, going eight strong with an eyebrow-raising 12 strikeouts against one walk, six hits and an earned run. He combined to strike out the first three batters of the game six times, holding them to 1 for 13 with a walk. This game pushes Shields' ERA down to 2.14.

Roy Halladay, Phillies -- What else do you expect? Halladay rivaled Shields for best pitching performance as he pitched a complete game seven-hitter, allowing a walk and punching eight out. The Mets -- especially Jason Bay in an 0-for-4 night with three whiffs -- were helpless as Philly squeaked out a 2-1 victory. That offense is starting to run a little cold in Philadelphia, who were lifted by reserve outfielder John Mayberry Jr.'s first home run of the year plus a sac fly by Placido Polanco. Carlos Beltran did have two hits, continuing a nice return from knee problems.

Michael Brantley, Indians -- The league's best hitting performance that also directly won the game for Cleveland by Brantley, who sparked the team to victory by first tying the game at two-all in the sixth by ripping a solo home run and then scoring the winning run on an Orlando Cabrera single. All in all, the leadoff man who was playing center as Grady Sizemore took a breather, stepped up to the plate with a 3-for-6 night (so did Cabrera), scoring those two runs and driving in himself on the homer to edge the Tigers 3-2. Top Indians pitching prospect Alex White got throw his start by throwing six innings and allowing just two runs despite coughing up four walks and six hits -- two home runs -- and whiffing four.

3 DOWN

Matt Thornton, White Sox -- Ozzie Guillen must be furious. In his house, that is, as he was suspended two games for his comments about the umpiring earlier in the week and then tweeting about it. Matt Thornton was called in by bench coach Joey Cora to keep the ChiSox in the game as they trailed 2-1 in the eighth. Phil Humber had a two-run, seven-inning start, calling into question whether he should be demoted when Jake Peavy returns. Against the Orioles, Thornton went as such: single, stolen base, strikeout plus Pierzynski error allowing a run to score and batter to reach, single, wild pitch, walk, infield RBI single, sacrifice fly, and -- that was it for Thornton as Jerry Gray sandwiched two outs around a hit by pitch. Not a good day at the park for Chicago's closer at the beginning of the season who has already lost his job.

Red Sox offense -- What can the Red Sox offense do for you? Well, it can mount a seven-hit attack on Doug Fister, walk six times, and ... leave 11 men on base in a 2-0 defeat. Awesome. David Ortiz want 0-for-4 with two whiffs, coming up in a key situation that could have changed the complexion of the game. The Red Sox left the bases loaded in the first (yes, really) and fourth, with Jacoby Ellsbury ending the threat in the fourth by getting doubled off second in a mistake. Oh, and no Mariners game is complete without a Milton Bradley ejection. The mercurial outfielder delivered a RBI double in the second to send Seattle up 1-0 then argued with the second base umpire about a play in which Miguel Olivo grounded to first and got the heave-ho. Skipper Eric Wedge was in the process of leaving the field after mounting his own complaint, but he didn't get tossed.

Kyle Drabek, Blue Jays -- Drabek got a little lesson in humility Saturday night, lasting just 2 1/3 innings. Drabek has been a bit up and down in his first full major-league season, but was still doing decently enough. Now his ERA rests at 4.45 after giving up five runs on seven hits, four walks and four strikeouts against the Yankees. He was dinked to death, but those runs count and can be even more deflating than a single big blow. You can attribute giving up a grand slam to one misplaced pitch, but you can't justify any of your stuff when everything is being rifled. Oddly enough, no Yank had more than one hit, but everyone did sans Derek Jeter (all together: when will he be demoted to No. 8 in the lineup? -- hey, look a reunion of the top two in the order from last season... at the bottom).

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