The Houston Astros were in a celebratory mood after

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The Houston Astros were in a celebratory mood after

Непрочитанное сообщение panxing18 » Пт мар 29, 2019 8:40 pm

HOUSTON (AP) — helping Charlie Morton get a milestone win.George Springer had four hits and scored three runs to back Morton in his career-high 15th victory as the Astros beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 10-4 Saturday night.“I think our guys were genuinely happy for me Martin Prado Jersey ,” said the 34-year-old Morton, who made his fist All-Star appearance earlier this summer. “The wins — I guess it means a lot to me because of this group. We’ve been through a lot and it means a lot to me. It was fun.”Morton (15-3) limited Arizona to two runs and three hits while striking out seven in six innings. He was perfect through three innings before the Diamondbacks scored on a sacrifice fly from David Peralta in the fourth to pull to 2-1.“He’s already entered uncharted waters and he continues to tack onto his career,” Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. “These last two seasons, he’s been pushed, he’s been challenged, he’s had to endure a few things, and he’s done his part by continuing to post and do his routine and be incredibly effective. The back of the baseball card matters.”After struggling to get hits in a 4-2 loss to the Diamondbacks the previous night, the Astros managed 12 hits — including 10 singles — and drew seven walks in the bounce-back win. Coupled with Oakland’s 7-5 loss at Tampa Bay, the Astros extended their lead in the AL West to 3 1/2 games over the Athletics with 14 games remaining.Springer, who finished 4 for 5, said he didn’t have any lingering shoulder discomfort after exiting Friday’s loss early as a precaution following a diving attempt in the field. Instead, the Astros’ leadoff hitter had his first four-hit game since May.The Astros put together a three-run rally in the fourth inning with a string of singles from Springer, Jose Altuve, Marwin Gonzalez and Yuli Gurriel. Gonzalez’s hit drove in two, and he advanced to third on Gurriel’s dribbler into right field and came around to score when the ball went under the glove of right fielder Steven Souza.That chased Zack Godley (14-10), who gave up five runs and seven hits, while matching a season-high with six walks in 3 2/3 innings. He lost his third straight start, failing to make it to the sixth inning for the fifth time in his last six outings — going 1-4 in that stretch.“I’m at a point where it’s one outing after another where it’s kind of a snowball effect,” Godley said. “I’ve got to figure out a way to put a stop to it and put up a clean outing.”Ketel Marte homered off Morton in the fifth to cut Houston’s lead to 5-2.The Astros answered with another three-run inning in the sixth, again using exclusively singles from Springer http://www.marlinsfanproshop.com/authentic-starlin-castro-jersey , Alex Bregman and Gurriel to push the lead to 8-2. Altuve had a two-run double in the seventh.Eduardo Escobar hit his 22nd homer of the year in the eighth inning into the right-field upper deck off Chris Devenski to make it 10-3. Marte’s RBI double in the ninth capped the scoring.“We played sloppy baseball today in a couple of situations,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “We can’t do that, especially in this environment, this time of the year against this team. We’ve got to figure that out.”Jose Reddick homered, his 14th, off Godley in the second inning to get the Astros on the scoreboard first, and Gurriel made it 2-0 with run-scoring grounder in the third.The Astros left the bases loaded in the first and third innings and stranded 10 runners in the game.TRAINER’S ROOMDiamondbacks: Arizona placed RHP Clay Buchholz (right elbow flexor strain) on the 60-day disabled list. Buchholz, 34, was 7-2 with a 2.01 ERA in 16 starts for Arizona this season and was a late scratch from his last scheduled start Thursday in Colorado. RHP Randall Delgado was recalled from Triple-A Reno.Astros: RHP Lance McCullers Jr. (forearm strain) pitched a bullpen session on Saturday at the Astros’ spring training facility in Florida, facing one hitter and mixing in all of his pitches, Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. McCullers, who has been out since Aug. 4, will have a similar session on Tuesday.BREGMAN’S STREAKBregman went 1 for 2 with a run and two walks, extending his on-base streak to 41 games, the longest active streak in the majors and tied for the fourth-longest streak in franchise history.ASTROS ADD SPEEDOF Myles Straw made his major league debut as a pinch runner in the seventh after being called up from Triple-A Fresno on Saturday. Straw, 24, batted .291 with 70 stolen bases across Double-A and Triple-A this season. The Astros are hopeful that the speedy Straw can be a baserunning threat in the playoffs. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Astros transferred RHP Jandel Gustave to the 60-day disabled list.UP NEXTDiamondbacks: RHP Zack Greinke (14-9, 3.11 ERA) is 7-3 with a 2.75 ERA in his last 11 road starts. In 10 career starts against Houston, Greinke is 6-2 with a 2.24 ERA.Astros: RHP Justin Verlander (15-9 Wei-Yin Chen Jersey , 2.72 ERA) will close out Houston’s three-game series against Arizona on Sunday. Verlander is two strikeouts behind teammate Gerrit Cole (260) for the American League lead, and just 11 shy of his career high of 269 in 2009. Traditional baseball card statistics don't do Lorenzo Cain any favors. He's hit .300 a few times, but he's peaked at 16 home runs and 72 runs batted in, and he's yet to steal 30 bases in a season.And yet, he's more than justifying an $80 million contract by playing like an MVP in his first season with the Milwaukee Brewers.It's par for the course for Cain in the traditional categories in 2018. He has only 10 homers and 35 RBI, and his 26 steals are two off his career high of 28. There's no frowning at his .311/.403/.432 triple-slash line, though. Nor at his 6.1 wins above replacement, according to Baseball Reference. Those lead all National League position players:1.Lorenzo Cain: 6.12.Paul Goldschmidt: 5.6T3.Christian Yelich: 5.4T3.Javier Baez: 5.4T3:Freddie Freeman: 5.4Thanks in part to their 32-year-old center fielder's efforts, the Brewers hold the NL's top wild-card spot. They're also only one game off the Chicago Cubs' pace in the NL Central race.This doesn't mean Cain has the inside track at the NL MVP award. If there's a takeaway from an August 30 MLB Network discussion on the topic, it's that he's worthy of acknowledgment in the crowded race for the award but difficult to elevate in it:MLB Network MLBNetworkWhere do you think ChristianYelich should rank as an NL MVP candidate? How about his Brewers teammate Lorenzo Cain? #MLBNow 8Ifoa03f9iHowever, former Colorado Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd hit the proverbial nail on the head: That Cain is in the MVP discussion at all reflects how much baseball has changed in recent years.A few exceptions aside, the MVP has typically honored guys with the biggest sticks. But as WAR has become a bigger part of the conversation, appreciation has grown for players who can do it all.Hence Cain's impossible-to-ignore candidacy. He's one of the National League's most valuable baserunners and defenders. And despite his 10 dingers and 35 RBI, he qualifies as a well-above-average hitter by way of his 122 OPS+.Whether going over all of this is still necessary in the year 2018 is a good question. The battle for the future of baseball was won by the number-crunchers many years ago, and there are many W-based statistics with which their victory is honored. Every time somebody mentions WAR, wOBA, wRC+ or WPA, a sabermetrician gets his/her wings.Still, the special place that Cain has found himself in feels like a singular achievement.Consider Cain's contract. He's one of only 32 free-agent hitters who've signed a contract worth at least $80 million, and he got his despite being relatively old Jeff Locke Jersey , inexperienced, unproductive and undecorated.Cain didn't become an everyday player with the Kansas City Royals鈥攚ho acquired him from the Brewers as part of the 2010 Zack Greinke tradentil his age-28 season in 2014. By the time he entered free agency, he was 31 and his record included just 756 career games, a 106 OPS+ and 57 homers.Among other $80 million free-agent hitters, those figures rank 29th, tied for 29th and 32nd. To boot, Cain had made only one All-Star team, and his defensive reputation wasn't underscored by any Gold Glove awards. To these extents, he entered the open market as less of a Torii Hunter and more of a Gary Matthews Jr.But Cain had racked up more WAR from 2014 to 2017 than every outfielder except Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, Kevin Kiermaier and Giancarlo Stanton. Despite his age, that enabled strong projections for his contract. For example, MLB Trade Rumors and FanGraphs predicted something in the four-year, $70 million range.That the Brewers were willing to beat those projections with their five-year, $80 million offer speaks to how optimistic they were about Cain."As we examined Lorenzo's career arc this offseason, we thought that he was still improving as a player," GM David Stearns told Ben Lindbergh of The Ringer. "It's odd to say that about someone on this side of 30, but we thought that was the case."The readings on Cain's athleticism must have helped Milwaukee reach that conclusion. His average sprint speed was holding steady. While metrics like defensive runs saved and ultimate zone rating cast some doubt on his defense, Statcast was over the moon with it. He had recorded 18 outs above average in 2017, more than even Betts could muster.As for Cain's bat Cameron Maybin Jersey , what it lacked in power, it made up for in gradual advancement. He had established himself as an above-average contact hitter, and his walk rate was on the way up.Even if the latter trend abated, the former promised to bring a welcome dynamic to a Brewers offense that undercut 224 home runs (tied for tops in the NL) with MLB's highest strikeout rate in 2017. Sure enough, Cain has kept hitting for contact and helped the Brewers lower their K% from 25.6 to 23.7.But the real revelation has been his increased patience. He's working on a career-best 11.9 BB%, and it's rooted in a dramatic plate-discipline improvement. According to the most advanced strike zone available at Baseball Savant, his out-of-zone swing rate has cratered:Some of this is circumstantial. After bouncing all around Kansas City's lineups, Cain now mostly bats out of the leadoff spot in Milwaukee. There's a greater emphasis on putting up quality at-bats.But it's no small feat that he's played his part as well as he has. Likewise, it's been no small boon to the Brewers.Their on-base percentage in the leadoff spot has increased from .320 to .357. Meanwhile, Cain's elite .471 OBP with runners in scoring position has helped them raise their collective OBP in those spots from .326 to .336. Thus, they're keeping the line moving a lot better than they did a year ago.The Brewers have also benefited from Cain's baserunning and defense. His aggression has helped raise their rate of extra bases taken on hits from 35 percent to 40 percent. They've also gone from the middle of the pack in defensive efficiency to fourth-best.Maybe Cain won't be named the NL MVP in November, but his 2018 season is about as complete a success story as he or the Brewers could have hoped for. He's a late bloomer who's still blooming, and they're all the better for it.In a bygone era, it might have been hard to notice as much. But in this era, there's no excuse not to. Stats courtesy of Baseball Reference, FanGraphs, Baseball Savant and Baseball Prospectus.

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