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The Yankees Could Go Into 2014 with a Lineup Averaging More Than 33 Years Old

New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles

Pop quiz: on Opening Day 2013 whom did New York Yankees supervisor Joe Girardi pencil in because the designated hitter in his lineup? Don’t cheat. Don’t go to Baseball-Reference or Retrosheets. Attempt to consider the answer your self.

Are you on your 18th guess?

The right reply is … (the immortal) Ben Francisco.

Brian Cashman isn’t about to enter 2014 going through an analogous state of affairs. Much like the last time the Yankees missed out on the playoffs in 2008, the Bombers are spending big cash to restock and reload their roster. In mild of the signings of Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran together with Robinson Cano’s surprising departure to Seattle, New York is taking a look at nearly a entirely totally different opening day lineup from 2013 to 2014.

Assuming CC Sabathia gets the ball because the beginning pitcher, the one different holdover from April would possibly be outfielder Brett Gardner, if he isn’t traded. That is considerably of a quirk for the reason that Yankees began 2013 with 4 key players on the disabled checklist: Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson.

This was the lineup Girardi wrote to face the Purple Sox on April 1, 2013:

  1. Brett Gardner, CF
  2. Eduardo Nunez, SS
  3. Robinson Cano, 2B
  4. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
  5. Vernon Wells, LF
  6. Ben Francisco, DH
  7. Ichiro, RF
  8. Jayson Nix, 3B
  9. Francisco Cervelli, C

Let’s examine to a hypothetical April 1, 2014 lineup when the Yankees open up in Houston to play the Astros.

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Derek Jeter, SS
  3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
  4. Carlos Beltran, RF
  5. Alfonso Soriano, DH
  6. Brian McCann, C
  7. Kelly Johnson, 2B
  8. Brendan Ryan, 3B (maybe A-Rod?)
  9. Brett Gardner, LF

Some sort of agency resolution in A-Rod’s pending suspension makes the state of affairs rather a lot clearer. It’s onerous to see Ryan — signed as Jeter insurance — playing third regularly, which might open up more at-bats for Nunez.

There’s also the difficulty of age, which you’ll hear about ad infinitum as we zero in on Spring Coaching. The common age of the 9 gamers listed above is 33.5 — it bumps up to over 34 if Rodriguez is included. This doesn’t factor in a pitching employees with Sabathia (33) and Hiroki Kuroda (39) or reserve outfielders Vernon Wells (35) and Ichiro (forty).

The age challenge is likely to be overblown, however in the case of the Yankees it could’t be fully glossed over, mainly for the reason that team is heading into 2014 with a 40-yr-previous shortstop, who’s a sure-fireplace first-poll Halll of Famer, but additionally coming off injuries that restricted him to sixty three at bats in 2013. Anticipate the Yankees DH spot to be handed round like a blunt at a Snoop Lion concert.

Whichever way you want to have a look at it, the Yankees are going to feel and look like a completely new team come Spring Training after free company and gamers returning from injury. Even with all these changes, the largest difference the Yankees are going to face in 2014 is the ninth inning when somebody else, probably David Robertson, is tasked to close out the sport somewhat than incomparable Mariano Rivera.

Associated: The 24-Second News Cycle: How Twitter Altered Baseball’s Sizzling Range Season and the Winter Conferences Without end
Related: Brian Wilson Gained’t Shave His Beard, Won’t Play for the Yankees

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Yankees: We want Cano, but not at $300M

 

NEW YORK – Another shot of actuality potion, on the rocks, is what New York Yankees president Randy Levine has ordered for the representatives of Robinson Cano as agent Jay Z and his crew are reportedly holding quick to their demand of a 10-yr contract worth $310 million.

“We want Robbie again; we expect Robbie is terrific,” Levine mentioned Tuesday in a telephone conversation with ESPNNewYork.com. “However we have no real interest in doing any 10-12 months deals and little interest in paying $300 million to any participant. Till he will get a bit more sensible, now we have nothing to talk about.”

Levine We would like Robbie again; we think Robbie is terrific. But we have now no interest in doing any 10-12 months deals and no real interest in paying $300 million to any participant. Until he gets somewhat more sensible, we have nothing to talk about.

- Randy Levine, Yankees president

On Monday, ESPNNewYork.com reported that Cano’s agents, Brodie Van Wagenen of CAA and hip-hip mogul Jay Z, had been holding agency to their demand that Cano receive the richest contract in baseball history, surpassing the ten-year, $275 million deal – with one other potential $30 million in performance bonuses – that the Yankees gave to Alex Rodriguez after he opted out of his present contract following the 2007 season.

Levine’s comments come on the heels of Jay Z meeting with New York Mets brass. The New York Post reported, and ESPN.com confirmed, that Jay Z met with chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon, general supervisor Sandy Alderson and assistant GM John Ricco for dinner Monday night time to discuss the free agent.

A source informed ESPN.com that the Mets were shocked the meeting leaked to the media so fast and perceive that their curiosity may very well be leveraged to drive up Cano’s asking worth.

Levine’s response echoed the phrases of Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner, who said in October that the Yankees have been “not prepared” to signal Cano to a 10-yr deal.

Cano’s brokers seek to market him as “the next Michael Jordan,” in accordance with a New York Day by day News report, citing unnamed sources.

The back and forth is also harking back to the 2010 contract negotiations with Derek Jeter, which turned ugly when a crew official famously advised the Yankees captain to “drink the reality potion” after his brokers reportedly demanded a four-12 months deal worth between $23 million and $25 million a season.

Jeter finally signed a three-yr deal price $fifty one million, and he not too long ago was given a one-year deal that may pay him $12 million for the 2014 season.

The Yankees have already made a proposal to Cano, believed to be within the space of between five and 7 years for around $160 million, a median of roughly $23 million a yr.

Levine was reached early Tuesday at his Manhattan office. He was to testify later within the day within the Rodriguez arbitration hearing.

“Signing Robbie is a precedence for us,” mentioned Levine, who said Yankees GM Brian Cashman was additionally “engaged” in discussions with “5 – 6 other free agents,” together with infielders Jhonny Peralta and Stephen Drew, both of whom could fill in for Cano at second base, in addition to outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo and catcher Brian McCann.

Sources additionally say they are in on Carlos Beltran.

“We’re very energetic,” Levine said. “But whoever we signal has got to make sense for us. We made Robbie a very aggressive offer.”

Cano’s representatives did not immediately return a call in search of comment.

 

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Phillies sign Carlos Ruiz to three-year, $26M deal

 

Carlos Ruiz will stay in Philadelphia.Carlos Ruiz will keep in Philadelphia. (USATSI)

 

MORE: FA tracker: place gamers | FA tracker: pitchers

Free agent catcher Carlos Ruiz will remain with the one crew he’s ever performed for, based on a report. Ruiz has inked a three-yr, $26 million deal to stick with the Phillies, Jon Heyman confirms.

Heyman experiences there is a fourth-year choice on the deal for $4.5 million with a $500,000 buyout, together with a restricted no-commerce clause.

Ruiz will turn 35 in January and is coming off a down yr by which he served a 25-recreation suspension for a failed drug test (amphetamines). He hit268/.320/.368 with 5 homers and 37 RBI. In 2012, Ruiz hit325/.394/.540 with 32 doubles, 16 homers and sixty eight RBI, making his first All-Star workforce and garnering some MVP votes.

The Rockies, Purple Sox and Blue Jays – among just a few others – had been connected in rumors to Ruiz earlier this offseason. Heyman reviews that it was a “very shut call” between the Phillies and Pink Sox.

Brian McCann, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and A.J. Pierzynski remain the highest three catchers available on the market, but with Ruiz gone, Dioner Navarro. John Buck, Jose Molina and Kurt Suzuki grow to be the subsequent most engaging names after the top three.

News of Ruiz’s signing was first reported by Philadelphia Inquirer beat writer Matt Gelb.

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Reports: McCann, Cruz to reject qualifying offers

Nelson Cruz will net the Rangers a high draft pick if he signs elsewhere.
Nelson Cruz will internet the Rangers a excessive draft pick if he indicators elsewhere. (USATSI)

The deadline for gamers to accept or reject the one-yr, $14.1 million qualifying offer is 5pm ET on Monday afternoon. Gamers who reject the supply will web their former workforce a supplemental first spherical draft pick as compensation if they signal a Major League contract with one other workforce. Teams who sign those gamers will have to forfeit a high draft decide.

A complete of 13 players received qualifying provides previous to last Monday’s deadline. We’ll keep tabs on their choices throughout the day right right here, so test back often.

Carlos Beltran, Cardinals
Robinson Cano, Yankees
Shin-Soo Choo, Reds
Nelson Cruz, Rangers – Has informed group he’ll reject. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
Stephen Drew, Purple Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox
Curtis Granderson, Yankees
Ubaldo Jimenez, Indians
Hiroki Kuroda, Yankees
Brian McCann, Braves – Will reject. (MLB.com)
Kendrys Morales, Mariners
Mike Napoli, Pink Sox
Ervin Santana, Royals – Has rejected. (Fox Sports)

For a whole record of all free brokers – including the one hundred fifty or so players who didn’t receive qualifying provides – try our free agent tracker, which will likely be updated throughout the offseason: FA tracker: Position gamers | FA tracker: Pitchers.

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Jeter deal leaves Yanks about $80M before tax (Yahoo Sports)

jeter,leaves,yanks,about,before,yahoo,sports

NEW YORK (AP) – Derek Jeter’s new contract has increased the Yankees’ luxury tax payroll to $97.71 million for seven signed players next year. That leaves New York with about $80 million to spend on the rest of its roster if the team wants to get under the 2014 tax threshold.

Jeter and New York agreed Friday to a $12 million, one-year contract. Major League Baseball determined its value for purposes of the luxury tax is $12.81 million.

The Yankees’ captain, injured for most of this year, was playing under a three-year contract with a player option for 2014 that wound up being worth $9.5 million and was replaced by the new salary.

Baseball’s luxury tax uses the average annual values of contracts as defined by the sport’s collective bargaining agreement. Determining Jeter’s payroll figure for the tax is complicated by the option and the new salary, and New York may contest his 2014 evaluation.

The Yankees want to re-sign free agents Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson and Hiroki Kuroda, and need to fill roster holes after missing the playoffs for just the second time in 19 years. The team figures to be interested in free-agent pitchers and catcher Brian McCann.

Managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner has said getting under the $189 million tax threshold for 2014 is a hope but is not essential.

”It’s a goal that we have if it’s possible,” general manager Brian Cashman said last month. ”There’s a lot of benefits to staying under that, but it’s not a mandate if it’s at the expense of a championship run. It just depends on what the opportunities are before us, and the costs associated with it.”

New York’s other signed players are Alex Rodriguez ($27.5 million), CC Sabathia ($24.4 million), Mark Teixeira ($22.5 million), Ichiro Suzuki ($6.5 million), Alfonso Soriano ($4 million) and Vernon Wells ($0).

The impacts of Soriano and Wells on New York’s luxury tax payroll were reduced because of cash being paid by their former clubs attributable to 2014. The Yankees will receive $18.6 million from the Los Angeles Angels as part of the acquisition of Wells last March and $13 million from the Chicago Cubs as a result of July’s deal for Soriano.

Rodriguez’s payroll impact for 2014 would drop to $2.5 million if arbitrator Fredric Horowitz upholds a 211-game suspension imposed on the third baseman by MLB for alleged violations of the sport’s drug agreement and labor contract. Rodriguez, who is contesting the discipline, has a $25 million salary for next year, and the Yankees would not have to pay him for any period he is suspended.

Payrolls for the luxury tax include the entire 40-man roster and a 1-30th portion of the cost of benefits and extended benefits for all major leaguers. That category totals items such as health insurance premiums, pension payments, club medical costs and payroll, unemployment and Social Security taxes.

The 2013 figure will not be completed until next month. For 2012, each team’s payroll was assessed $10,779,500.

New York has paid luxury tax for every season since the provision was put in place for 2003, a total of $224.56 million. The Yankees will pay again for 2013, when the threshold was $178 million.

But there are large benefits if the Yankees get under the threshold in 2014. The team’s tax rate would drop from its current 50 percent to 17.5 percent in 2015, and New York would be eligible to get back a portion of its revenue-sharing payments.

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Yankees’ Granderson leads MLB qualifying offers

Curtis Granderson has been extended a qualifying offer.
Curtis Granderson has been prolonged a qualifying offer. (USATSI)

Monday at 5 p.m. ET was the deadline for teams to tender a qualifying provide to free-brokers-to-be with no less than six years of major-league service time.

The gamers who did receive a proposal have exactly one week to both settle for or decline the qualifying offer, which is a one-yr deal price $14.1 million. For the large names like Robinson Cano and Jacoby Ellsbury, they’ll obviously decline the supply, but it surely’s essential that their present groups make the provide, as a result of there is draft choose compensation tied to the offer.

Groups signing players who determined to not settle for a qualifying provide will forfeit their first round draft choose in next June’s beginner draft. The first 10 picks are protected, nevertheless, so the Astros, Marlins, White Sox, Cubs, Twins, Mariners, Phillies, Rockies, Blue Jays and Mets would forfeit a second rounder – not a primary – ought to they signal a player who refused a qualifying provide. Teams who lose a free agent to a different staff after making a qualifying supply receive as compensation a supplemental draft choose between the first and second rounds.

In all, 13 gamers obtained qualifying affords prior to Monday’s deadline. Here is the complete list:

Qualifying provide extended:

Carlos Beltran, Cardinals
Robinson Cano, Yankees
Shin-Soo Choo, Reds
Nelson Cruz, Rangers
Stephen Drew, Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury, Crimson Sox
Curtis Granderson, Yankees
Ubaldo Jimenez, Indians
Hiroki Kuroda, Yankees
Brian McCann, Braves
Kendrys Morales, Mariners
Mike Napoli, Purple Sox
Ervin Santana, Royals

For an entire checklist of all free agents – together with the one hundred fifty or so players who didn’t receive qualifying gives – try our free agent tracker, which might be up to date throughout the offseason: FA tracker: Position gamers | FA tracker: Pitchers.

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Yankees have eyes on FAs Ellsbury, Garza, Drew

Could Matt Garza be wearing pinstripes next season? (USATSI)
Could Matt Garza be wearing pinstripes next season? (USATSI)

The Yankees have been discussing several big-name free agents – including new ones Jacoby Ellsbury, Matt Garza and Stephen Drew – as they weigh the best way to remake their crew.

The Yankees are still aiming to chop their payroll from $230 million to under $189 million, however with several free agents and retirees of their very own, they have many choices. In addition they like Carlos Beltran, Shin-Soo Choo, Brian McCann and Masahiro Tanaka, as beforehand reported.

They remain the favourite to re-sign Robinson Cano, the highest free agent available on the market, however a spot of about $a hundred and fifty million existed between the edges, with Cano on the lookout for $310 million and the Yankees willing to supply $one hundred sixty million or so up to now.

The Yankees’ flexibility comes from all their free brokers and retirees, including Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Hiroki Kuroda, Curtis Granderson, Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and naturally Cano. That represents about $eighty million in 2012 contracts.

The interest in Drew is intriguing in that iconic shortstop Derek Jeter is predicted to be again. Jeter has days to resolve whether or not to select up his possibility for $9.5 million, with nothing mentioned to indicate but that he may not achieve this following his harm-plagued 12 months.
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Big teams Go after McCann

McCann (USATSI)
Catcher Brian McCann’s career823 OPS will make him a lovely target in free company. (USATSI)

Not many gamers ought to take pleasure in a greater free agency than catcher Brian McCann.

McCann’s constant offensive numbers, his relative youth and even his critical angle ought to support him as he approaches the free-agent market. However another big plus is the large number of huge-market groups that’ll be searching for a catcher.

Early predictions that he might attain $a hundred million could also be a bit ambitious, nevertheless it has to help that the Crimson Sox, Yankees, Rangers, Cubs and Angels all are candidates to signal a catcher and could be main McCann players. The Blue Jays and White Sox are among ther teams that might have an interest, as effectively. The Giants and Rockies are stated to like McCann very a lot, but Colorado could be very unlikely to have the ability to afford him and it is exhausting to think about how the San Francisco would make it work with famous person catcher Buster Posey and younger first baseman Brandon Belt.

The incumbent Braves like McCann but are positive to spend their money elsewhere contemplating their tight funds, with a participant payroll that has stayed between $90 million and $100 million six straight years, and a decent catching situation, with Evan Gattis and prospect Christian Bethancourt, a defensive whiz, as younger, value-efficient alternate options.

The Rangers have lengthy had an curiosity in McCann, as Danny Knobler wrote early this month. However what may really drive the value is the possible interest from among the largest markets, together with the Yankees, who had Chris Stewart and Francisco Cervelli catch this yr, and the Crimson Sox, whose catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia can be a free agent.

McCann, who batted256 with 20 residence runs and fifty seven RBI this year, has an823 OPS for his career, exceptional for a catcher. He is hit not less than 20 home runs in seven of eight full seasons, hitting 18 the one time he fell brief. He is a seven-time All-Star.

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Kershaw and the Dodgers win

Kershaw, Dodgers Win Game 1

ATLANTA – Give Clayton Kershaw a 5-zero lead by the fourth inning, and there’s not much probability he’ll mess things up.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are off to fairly a start within the National League Division Series.

Kershaw struck out 12 during seven dominant innings, Adrian Gonzalez hit a two-run homer and the Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves 6-1 in Recreation 1 on Thursday night.

The massive-cash Dodgers haven’t gained a World Series championship since 1988 – by far their longest dry spell since the franchise moved from Brooklyn to Southern California in 1958.

In an fascinating twist, Kershaw was born the same 12 months as that the majority recent title. If the ace left-hander keeps pitching the way in which he did in his first postseason win, the Dodgers may need a chance to go all the way in which once more.

“This one positively has particular which means to me,” Kershaw mentioned.

For the bumbling Braves, it was one other dose of October distress.

“When you’ve an opposing pitcher on the mound who’s nearly as good as Kershaw, there’s not a variety of room for error,” stated Atlanta starter Kris Medlen, knocked out within the fifth. “I had quite a lot of error tonight.”

Sport 2 in one of the best-of-5 collection is Friday night time in Atlanta, with Zack Greinke (15-4) beginning for the Dodgers against Mike Minor (thirteen-9).

Kershaw, who had a 1.83 PERIOD through the common season, limited the Braves to Chris Johnson’s run-scoring single with two outs within the fourth. That simply appeared to make the pitcher mad – he struck out Andrelton Simmons to end Atlanta’s only serious menace, and the following 5 Braves hitters for good measure.

Appropriately, Kershaw finished up by hanging out the side within the seventh, matching his season excessive for Ok’s. He allowed just three hits.

“He is the most effective pitcher in baseball,” Gonzalez stated, “and he confirmed it tonight.”

Atlanta struck out 15 times in all.

Even though slugger Matt Kemp is out for the playoffs and Andre Ethier is hobbling with an injured ankle, the Dodgers had no trouble piling up runs in opposition to Medlen, who came into the playoffs driving a five-sport profitable streak.

He gave up 9 hits and 5 runs in four-plus innings, lastly getting the hook when he plunked Yasiel Puig with a pitch right between the shoulder blades.

Of course, Medlen would have fared better if he had gotten any assist from the guys behind him.

The Braves played some really atrocious defense, though they were not charged with an error.

Within the second, rookie left fielder Evan Gattis flopped to the ground in an try to catch a sinking liner, only to look very very like the transformed catcher he’s. The ball, hit by A.J. Ellis, rolled all the way in which to the wall for an RBI double, putting the Dodgers ahead 2-zero on a play that an outfielder with even a modest quantity of experience probably would have grabbed fairly easily.

“I thought there was a pair plays that we might have made,” Braves supervisor Fredi Gonzalez stated. “I believe that the fellows were just a bit amped up.”

Gonzalez began to put it out of attain in the third, driving a pitch over the center-subject wall for his first postseason homer, a two-run shot that made it 4-zero as a sense of doom fell over a Turner Discipline crowd that had been so raucous within the first when Medlen struck out the aspect.

Not that Atlanta followers haven’t seen this all before.

The Braves are maybe best identified for profitable just one World Sequence ring throughout a historic run of 14 straight division titles. Now, they’re already in the gap as they attempt to snap a streak of dropping seven straight postseason sequence since 2001.

At the very least they’re not finished yet.

After dropping to St. Louis in a one-and-done wild-card recreation final season, which was marred by a disputed infield-fly call, the Braves have an opportunity to bounce back this time.

Along with Gattis’ stumbling try at a catch, second baseman Elliot Johnson bobbled Carl Crawford’s grounder main off the third, a play that was generously ruled a success by the official scorer. Medlen retired the next two hitters, but Gonzalez drove the following pitch over the wall, with Jason Heyward making a futile leap that left him hanging from the top.

Heyward, who was moved from proper discipline to middle as part of an outfield reshuffling, had his personal problems. Twice, he overthrew the cutoff man on throws to the plate, allowing runners to advance. Simply to add to Atlanta’s outfield woes, Justin Upton wasn’t even shut on a sliding try when Ellis doubled down the right-subject line in the fourth.

He wound up scoring on Mark Ellis’ two-out single, stretching the lead to 5-0.

Kershaw struggled with command of his fastball but worked extra off his breaking pitches and made it look simple towards the free-swinging Braves.

“Strikeouts just form of happen,” he said. “It isn’t something I am making an attempt to do. I am simply trying to get outs as quick as attainable.”

Gattis, one among Atlanta’s most pleasant surprises through the common season, had a miserable night time in his postseason debut. He ended the second by one way or the other getting doubled off first on a lazy fly to short right subject.

Dan Uggla watched all of it from the dugout. The three-time All-Star was left off the Braves’ playoff roster after a dismal season through which he batted just179 with a franchise-record 171 strikeouts.

Uggla wasn’t the one big-money flop for the Braves, who had to juggle their outfield because of B.J. Upton’s season-long stoop. After signing a 5-12 months, $seventy five.25 million deal during the offseason, he batted just184 and was finally benched late within the year. Merely a backup within the playoffs, he took a referred to as third strike as a pinch hitter within the fifth and walked slowly toward the dugout to a refrain of boos.

“It just obtained away from us,” Braves catcher Brian McCann stated.

Game notes

The Dodgers put Ethier on their 25-man roster though he probably can be utilized only as a pinch hitter due to an ankle injury. He got here up in that position within the eighth, batting for Kershaw and grounding out to first base… After Medlen struck out the first three hitters of the game, Los Angeles didn’t have another 1-2-3 inning till the seventh towards Braves rookie

Alex Wooden

Skip Schumaker

began in center area for the Dodgers and drove within the first run with a sacrifice fly in the second…

Brian Wilson

and

Kenley Jansen

completed up with one scoreless inning apiece. Jansen struck out the side in the ninth.

 

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MLB NLDS Game 1 Recap- Dodgers vs. Braves

dodgers

MLB NLDS Game 1 Recap- Dodgers vs. Braves

Game 1:

The Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday showed why with a pitcher like Clayton Kershaw, and a hitting attack, why they are the odds on favorite to win it all this year. Kershaw was dominant for seven innings, striking out 12 as the Dodgers rolled past the Atlanta Braves 6-1 to take an early 1-0 series lead in the National League Division Series best-of-five.

 

The Dodgers are in search of their first World Series title since the magic year of 1988. This year marks the 25 year anniversary for the Dodgers last title. Their biggest drought since moving from Brooklyn. The Braves last won in 1995.

 

Kershaw also showed why tonight, he is the favorite to win his second consecutive Cy Young Award. On Kershaw tonight, Braves losing pitcher Kris Medlin says this, “When you have an opposing pitcher on the mound who is as good as Kershaw, there’s not a lot of room for error.” Medlin of the Braves, was knocked out in the fifth inning. “I had a lot of error tonight.” He gave up five runs and nine hits, lasting only four plus innings.

 

Adrian Gonzalez went deep for the Dodgers in the third inning, connecting on a two run homer, putting the Dodgers ahead 4-0. That was more then enough for Kershaw and the Dodgers bullpen, who struck out 15 Atlanta Braves hitters. Dodgers’ closer Kenley Jansen struck out the side in the ninth to secure the victory. “It just got away from us,” Braves catcher Brian McCann said.

 

Friday evening, the Braves look to bounce back, but it won’t get any easier as they will face Dodger pitcher and former Cy Young Award winner Zach Greinke (15-4). Mike Minor (13-9) will get the nod for the Braves as they will try to even the series before heading back to Los Angeles for Game 3 on Sunday. 

 

 By Mario Martinez – WonderPunter

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NLDS Preview- Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Atlanta Braves

dodgers

 

Los Angeles Dodgers (92-70) vs. Atlanta Braves (96-66) 10/3 8:37PM EST

 

NLDS Game 1- Best-of-Five

Starting Pitchers: Clayton Kershaw (0-0) vs. Kris Medlin (0-0)

 

Expectations are high this year for a Dodger team many picked to win their first World Series Championship since 1988. With new ownership under their belt, who aren’t afraid to spend money and put a winning product on the field… this year’s Dodger team has what it takes to win it all.
For winning picks Click Here!
With dominant starting pitching, a solid bullpen, and an offense that scores runs, the only weakness going in to Atlanta is the health of outfielders Andre Either (ankle) and Matt Kemp (ankle), who has been ruled out for the remainder of the season. Either is expected to be limited to pinch-hitting duties. Either says “The ankle is getting better every day.” He hasn’t played the outfield since Sept. 13. Utility man Skip Schumaker is expected to fill in for Either in center field. The Dodgers are counting on the veterans to step up and contribute. But, even without the full time services of Either and now losing Kemp, the Dodgers still posses a line-up of causing headaches for any opposing team. Rookie sensation Yasiel Puig (.319, 19HRs, 42RBIs), Adrian Gonzalez, and Hanley Ramirez have the fire power to break games open at any time.

 

One big advantage the Dodgers have in a five game series is their starting pitching. Dodger ace and last years Cy Young award winner Clayton Kershaw (16-9, 1.83 ERA) and also former Cy Young winner Zach Greinke (15-4, 2.63 ERA) will go back-to-back in games one and two, to try to put the series away early.

 

The Atlanta Braves, who ran away with the NL East this year, is not immune to injuries themselves, as they have lost seven players to season-ending injuries. Like the Dodgers, the Braves will be looking for continued contributions for veterans and late season pick-ups as well.

 

We got a lot of contributions from a lot guys who, coming into the season, a lot of people didn’t expect,” catcher Brian McCann said.

 

Two major disappointments this year… three-time All-Star second baseman Dan Uggla was left off the 25-man playoff roster and outfielder B.J. Upton was demoted to a backup role. He hit just .184 with nine home runs and 26 RBIs for the year.

 

Taking the hill for the Braves for Game 1 will be Kris Medlin (15-12, 3.11 ERA) as the Braves look to win their first postseason series since 2001. Their only world championship was in 1995.

 

The Atlanta Braves won the season series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, however this is the postseason, and with Dodgers depth at starting pitchers in a short series, I look for the Dodgers to win the series in four games.

 

 

PICK: Los Angeles Dodgers 

Sportsbetting

By Mario Martinez-WonderPunter

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Benches clear after Carlos Gomez homers, argues with Braves and Brian McCann blocks him from going home

Right here we go once more. The Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers spilled onto the field within the first inning of Wednesday’s game after Carlos Gomez admired a house run he hit off Braves pitcher Paul Maholm.

That led to Gomez jawing with Braves gamers — together with Maholm and first baseman Freddie Freeman — as he rounded the bases. By the point Gomez reached dwelling plate, Braves catcher Brian McCann was waiting for him, angrily blocking the plate and ready to get in Gomez’s face, possiblity to present him a lecture on the unwritten guidelines of baseball. Have you ever seen such home run plate-block earlier than? Gomez didn’t even cross the plate before the benches cleared and both groups became a mob behind dwelling plate.

Gomez, Atlanta’s Gerald Laird and Freeman, the usually huggy first basemen, were ejected from the sport as soon as issues calmed down. McCann was not. Neither was the Braves’ Reed Johnson who seems to have taken a swing at Gomez. And, for what it’s value, Gomez never did cross the plate.

carlos

The ordeal is paying homage to Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez

getting into a spat with the Braves

after admiring a house run two weeks in the past. He too was greeted by an angry McCann before benches cleared. These Braves sure do adhere to baseball’s unwritten rules about not celebrating homers too much.

The Braves had another bench-clearing incident with Bryce Harper and the Nats in August, when Harper was hit by a pitch he thought was intentional by Braves pitcher Julio Teheran.

Gomez and Maholm do have some history. Maholm hit Gomez with a pitch in June.