MLB In Full Bloom – Is Jacob deGrom The New Mets Ace? – 9/16/2014

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Matt Harvey is coming back to the Mets next year, but he may have competition for the role of team ace. Jacob deGrom is doing his best to take that honor, adding to his incredible rookie season with a dazzling display on Monday night. He struck out the first eight batters he faced and 13 overall while allowing three runs over seven innings Monday in a no-decision against the Marlins. DeGrom broke Pete Falcone’s Mets record of six straight strikeouts to start a game and tied Jim Deshaies’ modern-day record. Pitching for the Astros, Deshaies struck out eight consecutive Dodgers in 1986. With a chance to set the modern record for consecutive strikeouts to start a game, deGrom gave up a single to opposing starter Jarred Cosart in the third, ending his streak. DeGrom’s 13 strikeouts were the most by a Met since Harvey had 13 on June 18, 2013 in Atlanta.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • The Baltimore Orioles magic number is down to 1 after the O’s defeated the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night at Camden Yards. The Orioles can wrap up the American League East tonight with a victory over the Jays and end a 17-year droubt since winning their last AL East title. Monday’s victory puts the Orioles a season-high 30 games over .500 with Ryan O’Flaherty being the hero with a two-run fourth-inning homer to pad the lead.
  • The Kansas City Royals pulled off a magical ending to defeat the Chicago White Sox on Monday night to win 4-3. Trailing 3-2, the Royals’ ninth began with right-hander Jake Petricka retiring Omar Infante. Mike Moustakas drilled a double down the left-field line and Jerrod Dyson went into run for him. Alcides Escobar bounced into the second out and then trouble enveloped Petricka. Dyson, took off and running on the first pitch to Nori Aoki. Petricka’s pitched turned out to be a wild pitch and Dyson came all the way around to score. Moments later Aoki doubled and Terrance Gore came into run for Aoki. And to finish off this magical win, Lorenzo Cain hit a ball that bounced over the pitcher’s mound and Gore was able to run all the way around from second base to score the winning run!
  • The Washington Nationals are on the brink of wrapping up the National League East tonight when they face the Atlanta Braves. Like the Baltimore Orioles, the Nationals magic number is 1. Stephen Strasburg blanked the Braves for seven innings, striking out seven, in a victory Monday. Strasburg walked none for the fourth straight start. He had been 3-7 with a 4.61 ERA against the Braves in his career, including a loss last Wednesday, but he had an easy time with the Braves last night.
  • Michael Morse (oblique) should be ready to return by Friday. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said that Morse was “tentative” during batting practice Monday, so it will likely take him another couple of days to swing with full intensity. The 32-year-old has been sidelined since late August with a strained left oblique.
  • Bryce Harper (flu) is dealing with the flu. The flu bug is being passed around the Nationals’ clubhouse and apparently caught Harper. He was lightheaded during Monday’s game which forced him to leave early. Consider him day-to-day.
  • Andrew Cashner spun a two-hit shutout on Monday in a 1-0 win versus the Phillies. Cashner struck out seven and walked one, needing only 92 pitches to finish off the Phillies. The 27-year-old right-hander remains hot, having gone 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA in his last five starts coming into tonight. Now 4-7 with a 2.20 ERA, Cashner hosts the Giants on Saturday.
  • Giancarlo Stanton took to Instagram “selfie” on Tuesday to show fans how far he has come since taking a fastball to the face in a game last week. Stanton has a doctor’s appointment today as the Marlins are still hopeful their MVP candidate can return this season.
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MLB In Full Bloom – A Scary Moment for Stanton – 9/12/2014

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The baseball world stood still for a few moments on Thursday night. No, we weren’t watching another one of Giancarlo Stanton’s home runs travel through gravity. Instead, we saw Stanton take an 88 mph fastball off the left side of his face from Brewers right-hander Mike Fiers in a terrifying scene at Miller Park in Milwaukee. Stanton sustained facial lacerations which required stitches, multiple fractures in his face and dental damage when he was struck by a pitch and bloodied in Thursday’s 4-2 loss to the Brewers. After being carted off the field and taken to a local hospital in Milwaukee fans and many people in and around the game began an outpouring of support for Stanton on social media. The most important thing is Stanton’s health and well-being, so baseball is ultimately secondary here, but it’s still a shame to see his season end this way. Stanton is batting .288 over 145 games and leads the National League with 37 home runs, 105 RBI, and a .950 OPS.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

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MLB In Full Bloom – King Felix Outduels Jon Lester – 9/4/2014

MLB In Full Bloom is featured on Buehler’s Day Off on Team 1010 KXPS in Palm Desert, CA.

Felix Hernandez was, well, Felix Hernandez again and when he’s like that the Mariners don’t lose very often, particularly to the Oakland Athletics. Hernandez tossed eight innings, allowing just one run on three hits and the Mariners got just enough offense against Jon Lester — back-to-back solo homers from Kyle Seager and Corey Hart — to pull out a 2-1 win. As a result, the Mariners took two of three from the wild-card leading A’s. Hernandez improved to 14-5 this season and is 6-0 with a 1.98 ERA in his last 11 starts at O.co Coliseum, dating to 2011. In his career, he’s 19-7 with a 2.35 ERA in 35 starts against the A’s. Hernandez’s lone mistake came in the fourth inning to Adam Dunn. He left a 3-2 fastball on the inside half of the plate. Dunn turned on it and belted a towering solo homer to right field. It was his second homer in three games since joining the A’s. King Felix will enjoy a two-start week next week, with the first coming Monday against the Astros.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

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MLB In Full Bloom – Jose Altuve Is an MVP Candidate – 9/3/2014

MLB In Full Bloom is featured on Buehler’s Day Off on Team 1010 KXPS in Palm Desert, CA.

If the Houston Astros were in contention for a playoff spot this year, second baseman Jose Altuve, who leads the major leagues with a .340 average, would be my choice for American League MVP. On Tuesday night, Altuve went 4-for-5 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored in the Astros’ 8-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels.  This was Altuve’s ninth career four-hit game and second in as many nights. The home run was Altuve’s seventh of the year, tying a career high, and he also stole his American League-best 50th base. For good measure, Altuve now has a 10-game hitting streak going. Altuve leads all of baseball with 193 hits and he is on pace to have 220+ hits. The second-baseman has MVP numbers, but unfortunately he plays for the Astros.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Clayton Kershaw threw eight innings of one-run ball in Tuesday’s victory over the Washington Nationals to become baseball’s first 17-game winner this season and notched his fifth consecutive victory. The left-hander racked up eight strikeouts and allowing only three hits. Kershaw allowed only a seventh inning  Bryce Harper homer. Kershaw has given up more than three earned runs just once all season. Kershaw allowed one run in a start in March, missed April, had a 4.08 ERA in May, a 0.82 ERA in June, a 1.07 ERA in July, and a 1.80 ERA in August. Kershaw is a heavy favorite to win his third Cy Young Award, and is also a strong MVP candidate. Overall, he’s 17-3 with a 1.70 ERA.
  • Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-run home run, his 35th of the season, as the Marlins lost to the Mets on Tuesday. Stanton went 2-for-4 while breaking the 100-RBI plateau for the first time in his impressive career. Stanton continues to bolster his MVP resume as the Marlins fight to remain in the playoff hunt, posting a monstrous .293/.401/.561 slash with 85 runs, 35 home runs and 101 RBI over 137 games this season.
  • Jarrod Dyson stole three bases and scored the game-winning run as the Royals edged the Rangers 2-1 on Tuesday. The steals gave Dyson 33 stolen bases on the season. Owners desperately looking for steals in the season’s final month could do worse than adding Dyson to their roster.
  • Billy Hamilton went 2-for-4 with a walk and stole his 55th base, setting a Reds rookie record, in Tuesday’s loss to the Baltimore Orioles. Hamilton wasted no time stealing the base after reaching on an infield single in the first inning, then swiping second base. He then went for stolen base number 56 but was thrown out at third base.
  • Anthony Rizzo (back) is out indefinitely and would be on the disabled list if the rosters didn’t expand at the start of September. Rizzo left last Tuesday’s game with lower back tightness, and his return date has been pushed back multiple times. His availability for the remainder of the season in doubt. Chris Valaika has taken on the duties at first base in his absence, and should continue to do so until he returns.
  • Cory Spangenberg hit a pinch-hit, walk-off homer in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s 2-1 win against the Diamondbacks. Spangenberg, promoted from Double-A San Antonio on Tuesday, rapped a two-run single in his major league debut Monday to push the Padres to a 3-1 victory over the D’Backs. In so doing, he became the third player in club history to have multiple RBI in his debut. Twenty-four hours later, he took veteran Brad Ziegler deep to end the game. The 23-year-old, the 10th overall pick in 2011, posted an impressive .331 batting line earlier this year in the minors. Everyday playing time isn’t guaranteed, but he is worth a flier in all NL-only formats.
  • The Milwaukee Brewers had been in first place for 132 days until falling out of the top spot a couple days ago. After a 7-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night, the Brewers now trail the St. Louis Cardinals by 2 games in the National League Central. The Brewers are tied with the San Francisco Giants for the Wild Card lead in the NL.
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MLB In Full Bloom – Phillies Group Effort No-Hitter – 9/2/2014

MLB In Full Bloom is featured on Buehler’s Day Off on Team 1010 KXPS in Palm Desert, CA.

Cole Hamels had no-hit stuff Monday. He just didn’t have the pitch count to go with it. Seven of the first eight pitches Hamels threw on a sweltering Labor Day start at Turner Field landed out of the strike zone. Five of the first 12 batters he faced reached base with a free pass or were being hit by a pitch. The only thing rising quicker than the first-pitch temperature in Atlanta on Monday afternoon was Hamels’ pitch count. Hamels had thrown 108 pitches as he stood in the on-deck circle in the seventh inning of a two-run game. But he also hadn’t allowed a run. But the 30-year-old was still part of history as one of four pitchers to combine to no-hit the Braves in the Phillies 7-0 win. Jake Diekman, Ken Giles, and Jonathan Papelbon followed Hamels with clean innings in the seventh, eighth and ninth. The no-hitter was the fourth this season, and the first combined no-hitter since the Mariners used six pitchers to complete the feat in 2012. It was the first Phillies no-hitter since Roy Halladay’s domination of the Reds in the NLDS in 2010.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  •  Miguel Cabrera hit two home runs and finished 4-for-5 in the Tigers’ 12-1 win over the Indians on Monday. Cabrera was in one of his scary zones on Labor Day. He hit a two-run homer in the first inning and book-ended that with a solo shot in the eighth. In between the home runs, he hit a couple singles. Cabrera has only hit 19 long balls this year and he had only hit three in the second-half coming into Monday.
  • Adam Dunn went 2-for-3 including a homer and he drove in two in his first game with the A’s on Monday. He got things going in style, hitting a two-run homer off of Mariners’ starter Chris Young in the first inning. The home run was Dunn’s 21st of the year. The Athletics are in need of an offensive shake-up and hope Dunn can revitalize their struggling offense in the dogfight that is the AL West. Dunn batted clean-up in this one. For the year, he’s owns a .224 batting average.
  • David Price threw seven innings of one-run ball in Monday’s win over the Indians. He walked just two and struck out eight while scattering eight hits. Price was facing off with Indians’ ace Corey Kluber, but what looked like a fun pitching match-up quickly fell apart as Kluber was rocked for 5 runs in 2 2/3 innings. Price has had his ups and downs with the Tigers, but starts like Labor Day’s are the reason why they acquired him.
  • Denard Span had his second career multihomer game on Sunday. He finished the game 2-for-5 with two home runs and three RBI. His first multihomer game came back in September 2008. Span is batting .360 in 43 games since the All-Star break.
  • The Houston Astros relieved Bo Porter as manager of the club on Monday with a month to go in his second season. There are reports that Porter and general manager Jeff Luhnow did not see eye-to-eye on the direction of the team moving forward. Luhnow refused repeatedly to get into more detail about why Porter was let go as he fielded questions for almost 25 minutes on Monday afternoon. He did say that he had been mulling the move for a few weeks and that he made the final decision on Sunday. Porter was never given a team that could contend and it appears that he was just a fill-in during the Astros rebuilding project. Expect Luhnow to bring in a manager with more experience. Tom Lawless will take over for Porter for the final weeks of the season.
  • FINALLY! Joc Pederson was recalled by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday from Triple-A Albuquerque. Pederson will make his long-awaited arrival to the majors, a promotion that’s been long overdue. Unfortunately for the 22-year-old prospect, the Dodgers outfield still remains jam-packed, likely forcing Pederson to settle in as an overqualified pinch-hitting in the final weeks of the season. He’ll likely enter 2015 as one of the top hitting prospects in baseball, after supplying 33 homers and stealing 30 bases over 121 games for Albuquerque.
  • The race for the American League Central and the National League Central crown is up for grabs. In the AL Central, the Kansas City Royals, Detroit Tigers, and the Cleveland Indians are separated by 4.5 games. In the NL Central, the St. Louis Cardinals finally took over first place on Monday after the Milwaukee Brewers spent 132 days at the top of the division. The Pittsburgh Pirates are just two games behind the Cardinals.
  • Cody Ross (calf) was activated from the 15-day disabled list on Monday after being sidelined with a right strained calf. Ross has hit .238 with two homers and 11 RBIs in 66 games this season.
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MLB In Full Bloom – Cubs To Recall Jorge Soler – 8/26/2014

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The Chicago Cubs are ready to give everyone another glimpse into their future just a few weeks after they recalled Javier Baez. The Cubs are set to recall Jorge Soler and he will join the team on Wednesday in Cincinnati. In what amounts to a walk-off homer, Soler hit a three-run bomb in his final minor league at-bat Monday night in Tacoma off Taijuan Walker before being removed from the game to begin his journey to the majors. Heading into Monday’s game, the 22-year-old was batting .338 with 14 home runs and 54 RBI through 61 games across three minor league levels this season. His most recent stop was Triple-A Iowa, where Soler hit .282 with eight home runs in 32 games. That power is what prompted the Cubs to give Soler a nine-year, $30 million contract in 2012, and it’s what he’ll offer for fantasy owners in his September cameo.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

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MLB In Full Bloom – Victor Martinez Collects 5 RBI In Tigers Win – 8/25/2014

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It should not be this difficult for the Detroit Tigers, but that has been the feeling the past couple months for this team. And so it was again this weekend, even as they did an about-face against the Twins, rebounding from a pair of losses to the Minnesota Twins over the weekend to gain a split in Minneapolis to keep pace with the Kansas City Royals. The Tigers should be thankful to give up 42 runs in a four-game series and somehow win twice. They hadn’t given up that many runs in any four-game stretch since 1996, and they hadn’t split a four-game stretch allowing 40 or more runs since 1994. Victor Martinez went 3-for-6 with a home run and four RBI to help the Tigers pound the Twins 13-4 on Sunday. The Tigers racked up 18 hits to go along with the 13 runs. Martinez hit his 25th home run, a two-run shot, in the sixth inning, and he added two more RBI in the game. His 84 RBI are seventh-most in the American League, as are his 25 homers. His .328 average, which ranks second-best in the league as he continues his stellar season. Max Scherzer (15-5) didn’t dominate in this one, but he made big pitches at big times and benefited from the offensive explosion.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Lucas Duda went 3-for-5 with two home runs and five RBI in the Mets’ 11-3 victory over the Dodgers on Sunday. Duda completed quite the week with Sunday’s performance. In his past six games, Duda is batting .348 (8-for-23) with five home runs, 11 RBI and seven runs scored. His 26 home runs are third-most in the National League, and he’s also among the league leaders in RBI and OPS. It’s definitely been a breakout year for the him.
  • Yasmani Grandal homered and had four RBI, and the Padres beat the Diamondbacks 7-4 on Sunday. Grandal drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the first inning before he hit a three-run homer in the fifth inning, which was his 11th of the season. Despite the occasional power, it’s been a forgettable year for Grandal, who owns a .204 BA.
  • Robinson Cano (flu) expects to play Monday in the Mariners’ series-opener against the Rangers. Cano left Sunday’s series finale against the Red Sox after experiencing some light headedness in the top of the third inning. Cano told reporters Sunday night that he felt like he had the flu and felt dizzy. He should be good to go today.
  • The Seattle Mariners swept the Boston Red Sox at Fenway on Sunday which sent the Sox to their 8th straight loss. The Mariners have won 14 of their last 18 games to put themselves a season-best 13 games over .500 at 71-58, maintaining a one-game lead over the Tigers in the chase for the American League’s final Wild Card berth.
  • Sean Doolittle (oblique) was placed on the 15-day disabled list by the Athletics with a strained right intercostal muscle. Doolitte is expected to need just the minimum trip on the disabled list, but side injuries can tend to linger. The A’s are planning to use Eric O’Flaherty as their primary closer in Doolittle’s absence. Fantasy owners should add O’Flaherty in all formats.
  • Rusney Castillo and the Boston Red Sox officially agreed to a seven-year, $72.5 million contract on Saturday. Castillo chose the Red Sox over a number of other teams — 28 teams were represented at Castillo’s workout in July, and a handful of teams were believed to be serious contenders for the 27-year-old in the days leading up to his decision. Castillo’s addition leaves things in the Red Sox outfield muddled to say the least. With Castillo expected to make his debut sometime next month, the Sox have Yoenis Cespedes, Allen Craig, Brock Holt, Daniel Nava, Jackie Bradley Jr, Shane Victorino, and now Castillo for three spots.
  • Jackie Robinson West’s rally on Sunday against South Korea fell shot on the scoreboard. History will say it was 8-4 in favor of the Little League Baseball World Series champions from South Korea. History also will say Jackie Robinson West was the best in the U.S. in Little League Baseball. Thirteen boys from the South Side of Chicago fell short of becoming the first all-African-American team to win a Little League World Series in front of 28,671. Jackie Robinson West became the first team from Chicago since North Roseland in 1967 to qualify for the championship game, and the fourth team from Illinois.
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MLB In Full Bloom – Alex Cobb Outduels David Price – 8/22/2014

MLB In Full Bloom is featured on Buehler’s Day Off on Team 1010 KXPS in Palm Desert, CA.

Thursday’s return to Tropicana Field could not have gone much better for David Price. He allowed only one unearned run and one hit in an eight-inning outing that was as dominant as he ever had in a Tampa Bay uniform. Price retired the final 23 Rays he faced, but he came up short as Alex Cobb out-dueled him. Cobb and two relievers hung on for a 1-0 victory that meant more to them than any bragging rights over their former ace. Cobb allowed no runs on two hits and two walks, while striking out six in seven innings to earn his ninth win of the season at the expense of Price. It was the first time in the Rays’ 17-season history that they won with only one hit, and it came at an opportune time. They snapped a four-game losing streak, improved to 62-65 and moved back within seven games of the second American League wild-card spot as they open a stretch of 26 straight games versus AL East rivals.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

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MLB In Full Bloom – Rebuilding Keeper Rosters – 8/15/2014

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It’s the middle of August and if you participate in a keeper league and your roster is not in contention, it’s time to look forward to next year. There is plenty of things you can do in the final weeks of this season to improve your 2015 team. Let’s face it, fantasy football grabs the majority of people’s attenti0n and there are productive players to be had on the free agent wire with top prospects being called up in September when MLB clubs can expand rosters. The Chicago Cubs have already brought of Javier Baez and the San Diego Padres recently called up outfielder Rymer Liriano. Both these top prospects will see significant opportunity to contribute in 2015. We have seen several injuries to top talent since the All-Star break, headlined by Troy Tulowitzki, Paul Goldschmidt, and Carlos Gonzalez just to name a few. Since these guys are not helping their owners for the stretch run, you may be able to trade for them now. Be aware of any upcoming changes to your league format such as new rules, new owners, and scoring changes because this should all factor into your decisions. Finish strong over the final six weeks and don’t take these final two months off. If you do, you will end of regretting it in March 2015!

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • John Lackey allowed just two runs over seven innings and bounced back from a disastrous start in in previous outing, but he got a no-decision in Thursday’s win against the Padres. Lackey gave up nine runs in five innings on Saturday, which was his second start with his new club. Last night, Lackey was so much better as he allowed five hits and struck out five. In 19 innings with the Cardinals, Lackey has a 6.16 ERA. He’ll face the Reds on Tuesday at home in his next start.
  • Stephen Strasburg pitched seven strong innings, allowing only one unearned run en route to his ninth win as the Nats won on Thursday. It was a nice bounce-back start after getting rocked by the Braves in his previous start. Strasburg gave up only three hits and a pair of walks while striking out eight. The Mets only run came in the fourth after Ian Desmond allowed Daniel Murphy to advance to second on a fielding error. Strasburg now has a 3.53 ERA and he’ll face the D’Backs at home in his next start on Tuesday.
  • Carlos Gonzalez (knee) will undergo season-ending surgery Monday, but he’s expected to be ready for spring training. The expected rehab time for this type of surgery is 5-6 months, which means Gonzalez will be rounding into form right at the beginning of spring training. Drew Stubbs will likely see the day-to-day action in center field.
  • Max Scherzer threw eight shutout innings and struck out 14 Pirates on Thursday afternoon. He allowed just three hits and two walks in the victory. The big strikeout total helped Scherzer leapfrog Felix Hernandez and Stephen Strasburg for No. 2 in strikeouts across the league with 196. Scherzer hasn’t been quite as masterful this year as he was last season, but he’s been on fire lately with double-digit strikeout totals in three of his last five outings. The right-hander will look to keep it going in his next start against the Rays on Tuesday.
  • Dustin Pedroia had a productive night at the plate, going 3-for-5 with a two-run ground-rule double in Thursday’s win against the Astros. Pedroia capped off a seven-run sixth inning by knocking in Will Middlebrooks and Jackie Bradley, Jr. with a double to right field. He had singled and scored previously in the inning. This performance was Pedroia’s fourth multi-hit game in his last six games and he now owns a .285 BA with five home runs and 45 RBI.
  • Mike Fiers struck out 14 Cubs over six scoreless innings Thursday in the Brewers’ 6-2 victory. Fiers joined Max Scherzer in striking out 14 today, but hi day was more impressive because he was given the chance to get just 18 outs total. In fact, Fiers is just the eighth pitcher ever to strike out 14 in an outing of six innings or less. Fiers is expected to get at least one more start with Kyle Lohse’s next turn in doubt.
  • Thursday was the Opening Day of the Little League World Series and a great story is already beginning to take shape. The day belong to a team representing the state of Illinois and so much more. Jackie Robinson West is a team of little leaguers from Chicago’s south side and the first all black team to make the World Series in over a decade and these guys can hit! This team is part of the urban initiative program that the little league began 15 years ago which was a big priority considering only 8% of major leaguers are African American. The first batter of the game, Pierce Jones put Illinois on top 1-0 with his first of three home runs! Jones finished going 4-for-4 with 3 HR and a triple for a total of 15 bases. Jackie Robinson West defeated Washington 12-2 and will face Nevada on Sunday.
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MLB In Full Bloom – Tulowitzki’s Season Is Over – 8/14/2014

MLB In Full Bloom is featured on Buehler’s Day Off on Team 1010 KXPS in Palm Desert, CA.

Troy Tulowitzki is scheduled to undergo season-ending surgery for a labrum injury in his left hip on Friday. The Rockies made the announcement late Wednesday night that their star shortstop will miss the remaining 42 games on the Rockies schedule. Tulo was putting himself in a nice position for his first National League MVP prior to injuring his hip on a groundout in late July and was placed on the 15-day disabled list. He owns a .340 batting average with 21 home runs, 52 RBI, and 71 runs scored in 91 games. Josh Rutledge will finish out the season as the Rockies’ primary shortstop. Unfortunately, the hits just keep on coming for Tulo and the Rockies and this injury continues a trend that clearly he is unable to stay healthy as he played in just 91 games this season, which is his second lowest total since becoming an everyday player in 2007. He has played in 150 games a season just twice in his career in 2007 and 2009 and both years the Rockies made the playoffs.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Carlos Gonzalez (knee) is probably done for the season along with Troy Tulowitzki. CarGo underwent a follow-up MRI on his left knee earlier this week and the news wasn’t good There was more irritation in his knee than there was when Cargo had an MRI earlier this year. There’s no reason at this point for the Rockies to push it with him since they are out of contention. Gonzalez played in just 70 games this year.
  • Ervin Santana allowed just two runs over six innings and improved to 12-6 on Wednesday against the Dodgers. Santana and the Braves behind 2-0 after allowing a pair of runs in the second, but he was able to keep the Dodgers scoreless from there. He allowed eight hits, walked two and struck out nine in the effort. Now with a 3.66 ERA, Santana will look to keep it going when he takes on the Pirates on the road next Monday.
  • Rymer Liriano hit his first major league home run in the Padres’ win over the Rockies on Wednesday. He made his big league debut on Monday, and hit his first career big league home run in his third game. The home run hit the top of the fourth inning was a blast that landed at the top of the Western Metal Supply Company building at Petco Park. Liriano has an impressive set of tools and he has already been putting them on display in his first 12 plate appearances.
  • Adam Jones hit a tie-breaking three-run home run in the eighth inning and the Orioles came back to grab victory out of the Yankees’ hands on Wednesday. Jonathan Schoop tied the game with a solo home run earlier in the eighth inning, and Jones knocked in three with his homer to left-center with two outs in the inning. It was Jones’ only hit in four at-bats. He owns a .287 BA with 23 home runs and 75 RBI on the year.
  • Justin Masterson threw seven shutout innings on Wednesday as the Cardinals’ got a 5-2 victory over the Marlins. This was a bit of a surprise after the right-hander struggled mightily in his first two starts after being traded to St. Louis. Masterson allowed only three Miami singles and did not walk a batter while inducing 15 groundball outs. Masterson will face the Reds at home for his next start.
  • The new MLB home plate collision rule, 7.13, erupted in controversy again in San Francisco in a game between the White Sox and the Giants. With runners on first and third, the Giants’ Joe Panik hit a dribbler up the first-base line that Jose Abreu fielded well and threw to Sox catcher Tyler Flowers, who estimated he caught the ball with seven feet to spare as pinch-runner Gregor Blanco slid into home and was tagged out easily. The Giants called for a review and after 4 minutes, 55 seconds the ruling came back that Blanco was safe because Flowers was blocking the plate before he had possession of the ball. Catchers are allowed to block the plate only once they have control of the ball. White Sox manager Robin Ventura went into an epic rant as he yelled at umpires and kicked dirt over home plate.
  • The Baltimore Orioles swept the two games with the Yankees in a rain-shortened series with a 5-3 win Wednesday night. The Orioles have been red hot and now have a 7 1/2 game lead over the Toronto Blue Jays and a 8 game lead over the Bronx Bombers. The Orioles have dominated the Yankees this season as their 8-3 against New York, which is a .727 winning percentage. The O’s are now 69-50, which is the third best record behind only the Athletics and the Angels.
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