Mookie Betts is getting ready for his fifth postseason appearance and second straight appearance with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Over the past few years, Betts has become a prominent player in the league and someone who a lot of people respect on and off the field.
It’s very hard not to like Betts. You can always catch him with a smile on his face whether he’s playing or doing something outside of baseball. Betts recently did something that just made him more likable throughout all of sports.The Dodgers were playing the Cincinnati Reds on September 19th and as usual, Betts was starting that game playing right field.
That day was a special moment for one of the Reds’ players. Reds rookie TJ Friedl hit his first big league home run during the game. It was a blast to right field and we all know when a rookie gets his first hit or home run, you want to get that ball.
“I remember running at third and heading home to really live in that moment and just embrace everything going on. That’s a one-time thing,” Friedl said. “You’ll never get that back. You never get your first hit back. For that hit to be a home run, it’s so meaningful. I didn’t black out. I remember all of it. I tried to take it in as much as possible.”
Without any hesitation, Betts jogged to the outfield and asked the fan for the ball.
The fan gave the ball to Betts and he threw it into the Reds dugout.
“I just asked him for the ball. I just told him kind of through sign language,” Betts said after the game. “I just said, ‘I’ll throw it back?’ He didn’t hesitate. He threw it right away.”
That’s not all the five-time All-Star did. When the inning was over, he went back out and gave the fan one of his bats.
Now Betts did not have to do that, but he wanted to thank the fan for agreeing to give the ball to Friedl. That fan had no idea he would receive a bat from Betts, but when he did, he was all smiles.
“That’s just first class. It’s incredible,” Freidl said. “For him to do something like that, it’s definitely just world-class out of him. I want to go over there and just say thank you in person. Thank you is all I can really say because it means so much. Just to get that ball back, for it to be my first home run, just for him to know that and turn around to the fan.”
Betts always shows professionalism when he steps on that field. He’s that player who enjoys interacting with fans whether he’s playing at Dodgers Stadium or at a different park. Our MLBbro shows respect on and off the field and he always carries himself well.
Betts is someone who the younger generation looks up to and he will continue to be that guy throughout the remainder of his career.
On the season he has a 9-2 record through 14 starts with a 3.08 ERA.
Cardinals manager Mike Shildt is excited to have Flaherty back, but wants to make sure the team does not rush his return.
“I think we’ll take it as we go,” Shildt told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Right now we want to make sure he recovers from it, and then we’ll just evaluate from there as far as what the volume can look like and then what the role (is). We’re excited to have Jack and the opportunity to have him back in whatever capacity it looks like.”
Look, if he wasn’t plagued with those injuries this season, Flaherty would be one of the top pitchers in the game right now.
Our MLBbro was shutting teams down out there when he was on the mound and put the Cardinals in a position to win games.
Unfortunately, injuries are part of the game and Flaherty could not get away from them this season.
But his return is near and in perfect time because the Cardinals have won 11 games in a row and are 4.5 games up on Cincinnati for the second NL Wild Card slot with about 10 games left in the season. A golden arm of Flaherty’s ilk will certainly be a big help.
It looks like his return will come Friday as Shildt announced that Flaherty will start in the second game of a doubleheader.
Jack’s back, take 2.
Jack Flaherty will start Game 2 of Friday’s doubleheader vs the Cubs, Mike Shildt says.
Gose came in during the second game of a doubleheader against the Kansas City Royals and pitched 1⅔ innings, allowing one run, one hit with one walk and one strikeout.
But the most impressive part about his performance was the velocity on his fastball.
He threw 39 total pitches during his outing and seven of those pitches hit triple digits.
“That was pretty special to me,” Gose told espn.com after his performance. “It meant a lot to get the opportunity to go out there again. It’s been a while. I’m excited to be able to have the opportunity.”
Gose also showed that he was not afraid of competing against one of the best hitters in the game.
He struck out Salvador Perez on a 98 mph four-seam fastball. And watching him pitch, you can see that it doesn’t take a lot from Gose to throw that hard.
This brother has a normal pitching delivery, but when that ball comes out of his hand, it gets to you quick when you’re at the plate.
Cleveland’s interim manager DeMarlo Hale was really pleased with Gose’s performance.
“He’s not afraid to compete,” Hale said. “I didn’t even think about that in those terms. When we brought him in, it was a situation we were trying to get multi-innings from him, keep the game close. He did that but the competitor in him, it really doesn’t matter who’s in the box.”
Now the question is, people might want to know where Gose has been after the 2016 season?
Well he’s still been involved in the game. He was a member of the U.S. Olympic team that competed in the Tokyo Olympics this summer.
He pitched four scoreless innings during the Olympics.
After finishing his time with the Detroit Tigers as an outfielder in 2016, Gose made the transition to pitcher after failing to make Detroit’s opening day roster in 2017.
Our MLBbro hit .240 with 57 steals in the majors and in 2015, he stole 23 bases and hit 24 doubles for the Tigers while batting .254 in 140 games.
Gose spent a few seasons in the minor leagues, recently spending time with Cleveland’s Triple-A affiliate, Columbus Clippers.
Now he finds himself back in the league, playing a different position and he’s going to continue to work hard day in and day out.
“You think about his journey, putting in the work over the last few years, he’s got to feel good about himself and what he’s done to get to this point,” Hale said.
Big shoutout to Gose on his first appearance on the mound and we know this won’t be the last time we see him out there
Even though he’s been struggling throughout the season, manager Craig Counsell still believes in the one-time Gold Glove winner.
“He’s in a tough stretch right now, for sure,” Counsell told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “His at-bats have decreased over the last month. He’s struggling right now, but I still think he’s a player that’s going to impact us at some point and impact us in a big game.”
“And we’re going to keep counting on him.”
Now don’t get it twisted, our MLBbro can ball and he’s shown that in prior seasons.
This just happens to be one of those seasons where nothing seems to be going right for him offensively. During the month of September, he has registered only one hit in 13 games.
Throughout the season, Bradley has seen his playing time diminish and a big reason for that is his offensive struggles.
Bradley has yet to find a solution to his problem at the plate and that’s something the Brewers are really focusing on.
“I think what makes it more puzzling is he’s had so much more success,” Counsell said. “When players are in slumps, we’re always looking for answers and it always feels like we can’t find the answers. We haven’t been able to solve it yet.”
And Counsell is right, Bradley has had more success in previous seasons.
Last season with the Boston Red Sox, he finished with a .283 batting average with seven home runs and 22 RBI through 55 games.
Going back to 2016 when he was named an All-Star, he finished that season with a .267 batting average with 26 home runs and 87 RBI.
Since that 2016 season, Bradley’s numbers have dropped but he’s still been a dependable player.
His glove has been a big reason why he’s still seen some action in games, despite his struggles at the plate.
There’s a reason why he has a Gold Glove award under his belt. This brother can flat out go get it in the outfield.
At 31, Bradley can still put those legs to good use, even if he’s struggling at the plate.
Having Bradley in the outfield is very beneficial and he will most likely be a key defensive player for the Brewers going into the playoffs.
But the question is, will he be able to have an offensive turnaround at the plate come postseason?
His last postseason appearance came in 2018 with the Boston Red Sox and that was the year he was a part of the World Series-winning team.
He batted .200 during that postseason and was named American League Championship Series MVP.
The Brewers will find a way to use Bradley come playoff time and he’ll have a chance to show the world that he can still swing it, especially in the clutch.
Toronto Blue Jays outfielder George Springer knows a thing or two about playing past September.
The three-time all-star is looking for his second World Series title in his first season with the Blue Jays. His first title came in 2017 with the Houston Astros and he also was named World Series MVP. When Springer joined the Blue Jays this season he made an immediate impact and brought that championship mindset with him to the team.
Now that the season is coming to an end, the Blue Jays are fighting to secure a wild card spot in the American League and Springer is playing a big role for the team.
Having a player on your team that has won a title already is very key because they know what it takes to be in that position.
“He’s been there and done that,” Jays shortstop Bo Bichette told the Toronto Sun. “Obviously, he’s had so many big home runs when he was with Houston. He knows how to turn it on in the blink of an eye, which is obviously super important when we’re trying to win big ball games at this time of the year.”
At 31, Springer has gained a lot of experience in the league and can provide a wealth of knowledge to the young players. He’s the perfect fit for the Blue Jays and has shown that his presence on the team is contagious, and definitely in a good way. Despite missing some time during the season due to injuries, Springer is hitting .258 with 17 home runs and 38 RBI through 62 games
It was bad news for Toronto fans when he went down with a sprained knee during a game against the Seattle Mariners on August 14th. His return was earlier than expected and in perfect time for the Blue Jays to make a playoff push.
“I just think everybody feeds off of one another,” Springer said. “We just understand that it’s going to take every single person to get to where we want to go…I know everybody has each other’s backs. We’re all aiming for the same goal and to have everybody playing for that is awesome.”
Blue Jays coach John Schneider has been pleased with the 2017 World Series MVP’s return and knows the caliber of player he’s dealing with.
“The experience he’s had this time of year and in the post-season obviously are big,” Schneider said. “But just having him at the top (of the batting order), seeing pitches, getting on base and the damage potential and all that stuff … it’s great for us and it’s great for the guys behind him.”
Springer made the playoffs his last four seasons in Houston and he’s looking to continuing that streak. His numbers have been impressive during the postseason. He’s got a career batting average of .269 and a .546 slugging percentage in the playoffs.