Here is an unexpected plot twist as a season full of surprises narrows to its final days. If the Athletics make it to the postseason in the mad scramble that is the American League Wild Card chase, they will be armed and dangerous. And Jeff Samardzija is a big reason.
After Adam Wainwright picked up his 20th victory on Monday night, manager Mike Matheny said all you really need to know about why the Cardinals are as dangerous as any team in the National League. “He’s right where we need him to be,” Matheny said.
Buoyed by an awakening offense against the Cubs, Adam Wainwright captured win No. 20 with seven dominant innings and the Cardinals cruised to an 8-0 victory, lowering their magic number to clinch the NL Central title to four.
With two outs in the seventh inning Monday, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly unsuccessfully challenged a safe call at first base vs. the Giants.The call came on a pickoff attempt by catcher A.J. Ellis with Juan Perez at first.
Francisco Liriano struck out seven over six shutout frames and Andrew McCutchen went deep as the Bucs reduced their magic number to two with a 1-0 win over the Braves on Monday at Turner Field.
Dodgers starter Dan Haren now holds a $10MM player option for next season after notching his 180th inning on the year. By reaching that mark, he also triggered a $500K bonus (on top of $1.5MM in innings-pitched and games-started bonuses already met). Haren, who just turned 34, joined the Dodgers on a one-year, $10MM deal that was filled with a variety of incentives. He has now achieved most of them, including the most valuable: the $10MM player option for next year. At one point, 180 innings seemed like a long shot, but Haren fought through a mid-season swoon and re-emerged as a much-needed piece of an injury-riddled rotation
Jose Pirela set a Yankees franchise record just by stepping into the batter’s box on Monday, and he then made his Major League debut in style by ripping a run-scoring triple in his first at-bat.
The Pirates are closing in on a postseason berth while the October-bound Cardinals try to sew up the National League Central. The Royals are right there in a tough American League Central race, and the A’s are still on target for an AL Wild Card berth.
A 2015 postseason appearance for the Yankees will likely hinge on improvements from costly middle-of-the-order hitters like Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann, and Mark Teixeira, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Barring a surprise, last year’s big spending leaves the club with few options to add significant run production to its lineup, explains Sherman. Here’s more from the American League: Rays outfielder Matt Joyce says that he believes he will be dealt in the offseason, as Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. The 30-year-old is entering his final year of arbitration eligibility after earning $3.7MM this season. “I think there’s a good chance [of a trade], just knowing the organization and how they operate and how many young guys that they have in the outfield and coming up through the system,” said Joyce. The left-handed hitting outfielder owns a .252/.348/.379 slash over 477 plate appearances this year, continuing a trend of declining power numbers since he broke into the league. The top offseason priority for the Twins will be the rotation, GM Terry Ryan tells Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Twitter link). Of course, that seemed to be the case last year, when the team made significant commitments to free agent hurlers Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes, and Mike Pelfrey.
Buoyed by an awakening offense against the Cubs, Adam Wainwright captured win No. 20 with seven dominant innings and the Cardinals cruised to an 8-0 victory with four as the magic number to clinch the NL Central title.