No Magic for Royals’ Closer;

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Hi all.  Here’s how I see baseball on this Saturday, Sept. 2.

In 2015 the Royals’ bull pen of Holland, Herrera and Davis was tougher than the Siegfried Line of WWII fame.  However, The Royals’ closer Wade Davis might want to change his name to Roy, considering what the Tigers did to him last night. Miguel Cabrera drove home the pivotal  runs  in what would prove to be a Tigers’ 7-6 win in Kansas City.  They scored 2 in the 9th to pin a rare loss on Davis. This was his first game back after a stint on the DL.  He hit the first man he saw, Ian Kinsler, after which Jose Iglesias doubled, putting men on second and third. With 9 wins in 11 games the Tigers are tied with the Orioles for a wild card spot.  The Orioles held their ground by destroying the Yankees 8-0. The Royals tought the game was theirs after a two-run single by Paulo Orlando in the 8th which made it 6-5. It was the first lead they had held in the game but Davis didn’t have it in the 9th. All told Cabrera had 3 hits and 4 RBIs on the  evening. Just an average day for Miggy.

While the O’s whitewashed the Yanks 8-0, the game itself meant little to Yankee fans.  One of their good young pitchers, Chad Green left with obvious pain in his elbow, and that was the focus from there on out. It even camouflaged the fact that he had given up 4 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks before exiting stage right in the second inning. In what should have been long relief Nick Goody wasn’t a goody at all, giving up 2 runs on 3 hits including  2 home runs and barely surviving the third inning. Kirby Yates pitched the 4th and 5th giving up 2 more runs. Rookies Jonathan Holder, Luis Severino and Blake Parker all hurled scoreless innings. But the focus is on whether or not the starter will need Tommy John surgery.

The earliest game, at 2:20 PM Eastern today is what would have been called either a dilly or a doozy 50 years ago.  The visiting Giants send out Madison Bumgarner, the best they have against Jake Arrieta of the Cubs who is about the best there is in all of baseball while Clayton Kershaw is injured. Bumgarner didn’t have a great August with a  3-2 record, while everything wasn’t exactly Jake for Arrieta his last time out.  He gave up 6 runs but the team won 8-7 in extras. Ivan Nova starts for the Pirates at home against the Brewers.  He looks nothing like the Ivan Nova who the Yankees were only too eager to get rid of. He’s 4-0 with a 2.87 ERA and 22 strikeouts with but one walk.  If he’d given that kind of effort while wearing pinstripes he’d still be in the Bronx.  A.J. Burnett did the same thing-pitched poorly throughout his Yankee years, then flourished with the Pirates. Tonight is a rematch of Sunday’s game in the Bronx when Kevin Gausman shut out the Yanks and CC Sabathia.  This time the game is in Baltimore, where the Inner Harbor will be calling the Yankees’ starter. Whatever fans turn out at what should still be Jacobs Field will see Jose Fernandez of the Marlins who has been brilliant his last couple of times out of the gate.  He faces the Indians’ Trevor Bauer. Rick Porcello who has 18 wins for Boston faces Oakland’s Daniel Mengden, just back from AAA after only going 1-5 with Oakland earlier this year.

While more call-ups are expected around baseball, over the last couple of days most teams have added 4 to 6 players to their rosters.  Notably, Matt Adams who recently turned 28 was activated by the the Cardinals from the DL. The Mets only brought up one man, outfielder Michael Conforto as of now.  With Steven Matz and possibly Noah Syndergaard done for the year, more pitchers will be needed if they can be found.

Luis Gonzalez, who drove in the winning run in game 7 of the 2001 World Series is 49 today. The Tampa native was the Astros’ 4th-round pick in the 1988 draft and first reached the show two years later. He lasted until the end of 2008. In that time he hit .283 and just missed 2600 hits. His best years were in Arizona between 1999 and 2006. He was an All-Star 5 times, all as a member of the D-Backs. In just their second season of existence they barely lost a playoff series to the Mets. Can you imagine the 1963 Mets making the playoffs in their second year of existence? While he hit 57 home runs in 2001 it was a bloop single off Mariano Rivera to win the World Series. He was doing color commentary for Fox on playoff games as early as 2006 and in recent years he has been heard on ESPN-radio coverage of playoff games.

Eddie Stanky was born this day in 1916 and died in June of 1999. Of his second baseman with both the Dodgers and Giants,  Leo Durocher said, “he can’t hit, he can’t run and he can’t field. All he can do is win.  I wouldn’t trade him for (Rogers) Hornsby in his prime.” Besides playing for a decade Stanky managed the Cards, White Sox and Rangers. He was an All-Star 3 times between 1947 and 1950.

At five-eight and 170 he was small even in his prime. Presenting a small strike zone he walked 100 or more times in 6 different seasons and walked 140 or more times twice. In 1950, over 2 games he walked 7 times in 7 appearances at the dish. He was in the 1947, 1948, and 1951 World Series but all 3 of his teams lost. After his 3 MLB managerial stints he coached the Jaguars of University of South Alabama for almost 15 years, taking them to 5 NCAA baseball tournaments. The Jags’ baseball stadium is now called Eddie Stanky Field.


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