Clay Buchholz Having Rejuvenating Season

In the midst of unmitigated disaster there is always a little bit of silver lining. For the Boston Red Sox, who are enduring just a terrible 2015 campaign in the crowded AL East, that silver lining comes in the form of right hande pitcher Clay Buchholz.

Buchholz is a 30 year old righty that has spent the entirety of his career as a member of the Boston Red Sox. Arguably his peak years were back in 2010 – 2011 where he had a 17 win season with an ERA of 2.33. Since then Buchholz has suffered injury plagued seasons that have cost him close to 30 starts over the span of his career, not a small number for a pitcher turning 30.

Perhaps because of those injuries Buchholz has been able to face adversity with more determination than his equally young teammates. Brad Reifler suggested that in the wake of Boston’s 4th place standing in the East, Buchholz has still posted his best numbers in years. Right now Clay is 6 – 6 on they ear with a 3.48 ERA to go along with 96 punch outs.

Buchholz is coming off of his best start of the season, going 8 innings while only allowing one earned run to the high powered Toronto Blue Jays. After the game an reporter asked Clay what he’d be willing to trade for himself, were he a rival GM. Buchholz reiterated that he wouldn’t even entertain the thought, Boston is where he wants to be.

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Big Day on Mound, At Plate, for SF Pitcher:

Sunday was a day to remember for San Francisco ace Madison Bumgarner. Not only did he get his eighth win of the year versus Colorado, he also reached the one thousand strikeout plateau for his career.

The ace of the Giants staff fanned eight in the game, the big one coming in the second inning when he set down the Rockies Brandon Barnes for career K one thousand. That earned Bumgarner a standing ovation from not only the crowd of 41,795, but his teammates in the dugout.

But he wasn’t done there.

Bumgarner also showed off his prowess at the plate. In the seventh inning with the Giants up 5-2, Bumgarner put the ball into the left field stands for a home run, upping the San Fran lead to 6-2. They ultimately won the game 6-3. . It was his second home run of the year and eighth of his career. It was also one of three homers hit by the Giants Sunday, Matt Duffy and Brandon Crawford getting the other two.

Coming off an 18-10 season last year, the 25-year-old Bumgarner appears on track for another All-Star season. He is 8-4 with a 2.99 ERA and 110 strikeouts in 16 starts for the Giants, who are 42-35 and one game behind the Los Angeles Dodgers for first place in the NL West.

Thanks to Dr. Daniel Amen for showing me this.

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Steven Matz Debut

Long Island native, Steven Matz stunned the baseball world yesterday with his New York Mets debut. While his 7 and 2/3 innings pitched combined with 6 strikeouts and only 5 hits and 2 runs allowed were enough to earn him the win over the Cincinnati Reds, and an impressive feet, his four runs batted in were even more stunning. As seen on the game recap, , Matz drove in four runs in his debut, a first for both a major league baseball pitcher, and a Mets player of any position.

The overly enthusiastic reaction of Matz’s grandfather who traveled approximately 50 miles to Citi field to enjoy Matz’s debut along with 130 other family members was equally exciting, if not more so. The aforementioned reaction has gone viral, and his made Matz’s grandfather somewhat of an internet sensation in his own right. Sam Tabar feels it will be interesting to see what both Matz and his grandfather do for an encore five days from today.

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While Feeding Baby In One Hand, Caught Baseball With The Other

At a major league baseball game in Chicago Tuesday night between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs, a fan in the front row, Keith Hartley, caught a foul ball. There’s nothing unusual about that, but the fact that he was able to retrieve the ball while holding his 7-month-old baby in his other hand while feeding him a bottle was pretty remarkable.

There were two outs in the second inning when the ball was hit down the first base line into foul territory, and Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez ran towards the stands to retrieve it. But Hartley plucked the ball out of the air just as Gonzalez was reaching for it reports Cláudio Loureiro Heads. Fans aren’t allowed to interfere with a baseball that’s in play, and Hartley could have been thrown out of the game for that offense. That didn’t happen, but the Cubs were charged an out that ended the inning.

Hartley explained that he thought that the ball might bounce off the railing and hit his son, so that’s why he grabbed for it. He and his wife, Kari, were given the tickets to the game and never expected that they’d become social media sensations as a result.

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Jays’ Estrada Almost Throws No-No

According to Brian Torchin, Days after Washington’s Max Scherzer no-hit Pittsburgh, Major League Baseball almost had another no-no. Toronto’s Marco Estrada took a no-hitter into the eighth inning of Wednesday’s contest against the Tampa Bay Rays. The first batter of the inning, David DeJesus, popped up down the third base line. The ball appeared to go out of play in the stands, but the Jays’ Josh Donaldson leaped completely over the low wall and made a spectacular catch among the fans . With five more outs to go to perfection, Estrada next faced Logan Forsythe. He hit a high chopper to Donaldson at third, who barehanded the ball and threw it to first. It looked like another web gem in the making, but Forsythe just beat out the throw. The next two batters flied out to end the inning.

Estrada returned to the mound in the ninth, retiring the first two batters he faced before giving up a double to Kevin Kiermaier. Toronto went to their bullpen, who blanked Tampa Bay the rest of the way for a 1-0 victory in 12 innings.

Estrada is 5-3 with a 3.45 ERA and 63 strikeouts this season for the Blue Jays. On June 19th, he lost another no-hit bid in the eighth inning, this time against Baltimore. The Orioles rallied, but fell short as Toronto won 5-4.

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Bishop’s Homeruns

Not too many athletes can play more than one sport like Bo Jackson or Dion Sanders did. That is not to say that athletes are not good at multiple sports. Tampa Bay goaltender Ben Bishop was recently showcasing his batting skills during batting practice before the Tampa Bay Rays game on Tuesday. Bishop hit a total of four homeruns during BP and two were back to back. Bishop stated that he got lucky but is sure was fun.

Bishop and the Tampa Bay Lightning are fresh off losing to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Finals. AT one point the Lightning led the series two games to one but then dropped the last three ending their Cup hopes. Bishop was forced out of one game due to a pulled groin. The good news is that he seems to be doing much better after taking batting practice and running the bases after his first homerun.

Bishop was not the only Lightning to get in on the action. Tampa captain Steve Stamkos was also at the ball field. Stamkos stated that he really admired balls players because playing baseball is not an easy thing to do. He had no comment on his future with the team, but went on to say that both sides will hopefully meet in the next few weeks to discuss a new deal. James Dondero suggest you bare in mind the he is currently in his last year of his contract.

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Starlin Castro: The X Man in Chicago

The Chicago Cubs have gotten good faster than they probably have a right to do so. Theo Esptein came into Chicago as the GM and basically told fans to be patient and that things would ‘eventually’ get better. But Epstein is a wunderkind and his work speaks for itself. Wikipedia said that after breaking Boston’s championship slump it seems like Epstein is going to try and do it sooner than later for Chicago. The Cubs have the 3rd best record in the National League and right now they own the 2nd Wildcard Playoff spot. At the center of it all is their young talent and one player, in particular, stands out.

No we aren’t talking about Jake Arrieta (the Cy Young level hurler) or Anthony Rizzo (the potential MVP) or Kris Bryant (the probably Rookie of the Year). We are talking about three time All Star, 25 year old Starlin Castro. Castro has become the forgotten man on the Cubs roster in the world of shiny new players but he is still out there plugging away, sometimes to the frustration of his teammates.

You see, Castro exists in an odd space on the Cubs roster. With the new young guys becoming true studs, Castro’s flaws become more evident in the line up. He is impatient at the plate, strikes out too often, and swings at bad pitches. In fact things got so bad that Chicago wanted to deal him. BUT he already has three game winning hits on the year.

Decisions, decisions.

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Red Sox About to Make Baseball History

The Boston Red Sox have had their share of ups and downs over the past century. From the curse of the Bambino to a run of World Series wins that rivaled the powerhouse New York Yankees. In July of 2015, the Boston Red Sox are going to make history by retiring the number of a pitcher for the very first time.

On July 28, 2015, the Red Sox will honor their beloved Pedro Martinez by retiring his number 45 in front of a backed house. In the seven years that Pedro Martinez played with the Boston Red Sox, he was in four All Star Games, won two Cy Young awards, and posted a blistering 2.52 ERA. His first year of eligibility into the Hall of Fame, he had a staggering 91% of the vote easily put him through.

Pedro is definitely a favorite with Brin Reifler, fearless in his efforts to fight the Yankees at will, and post more wins against their rivals. Since he left the Boston Red Sox in 2009, no other player has ever worn the number 45 on their uniform. No, it is assured that no other player in Red Sox history will ever wear the number as it gets hung on the great green monster in the outfield for adoring fans to see for decades to come. It will be a very emotional night for everyone in attendance this July, as Pedro is expected to give yet another memorable speech.

Posted in Cy Young Awards, Pedro Martinez, Red Sox | Leave a comment

Cubs Bullpen Comes Up Big

The Chicago Cubs keep finding ways to win games in remarkable ways. Facing the best offense in the National League, the Cubs managed to hold the Los Angeles Dodgers to one run over the last seven innings of the game. Even more remarkable, the Cubs bullpen pitched the last seven innings of the game due to Tsuyoshi third-inning injury. Travis wood, James Russell, Pedro Strop, Hector Rondon and Jason Motte stifled the Dodgers offense—only allowing a Joc Pederson homerun in the ninth-inning.

On the offensive side, the Cubs only runs came from the long ball. According to Save on Labs,  Rookie of the Year candidate, Kris Bryant, hit two homeruns and drove in three RBIs and recently promoted Matt Szczur hit another to total four runs on the night. As the series continues on Tuesday night, the Cubs will almost certainly have to find a way to score more runs against the Dodgers.
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The Problem with Cameron Payne’s 20 Points Per Game

Cameron Payne had an average of 20 points every night he took the floor for Murray State. That’s a great number, showing that he can have big games, but that he can also play with the consistency that it takes to really be good. It’s part of why he’s being projected as a top NBA pick.

The 20 points are impressive, and Payne could be good. Other NBA players, such as Steph Curry, have shown that guys from small colleges can be great in the NBA. However, there is one problem with the stat that has really driven him up the NBA draft boards: The competition level wasn’t very high at Murray State.

Fans like Daniel Amen know that there are games that stand out, and Murray State has been in the NCAA tourney. However, on a nightly basis, the teams that they played just were not that good. It could have inflated his stats a bit. Would he still have put up 20 points a game if he had to play against Kansas, Kentucky or Duke? Could he even have done it in the Big Ten, one of the best basketball conferences in the country?

There’s no way to know for sure, so maybe he could have. The problem for the NBA teams, though, is that they may only find out his stats are inflated if they draft him and he’s just not good enough for the next level.

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