Marcus Semien’s Next Home Run Will Make Him A Baseball Immortal

Marcus Semien’s Next Home Run Will Make Him A Baseball Immortal

After betting on himself last off-season Marcus Semien turned out one of the greatest offensive seasons for a second baseman of all-time.

He is now tied for the record for most home runs in a year for the position and continues to make “Money Ball” and analytics look silly.

Baseball is in a Golden Age- There is talent everywhere you look, from two-way stars to Triple Crown hopefuls.

Some extraordinary accomplishments can be swept under the rug, but what Marcus Semien has done this year is going to be etched in history forever and it goes to show, always bet on yourself.

Record Breaking, Money Making Season 

Saturday night Semien tied Davey Johnson’s record of 43 home runs in a season by a second baseman. The record has stood since 1973.

Semien spent the first eight seasons of his career at shortstop, but after the Oakland A’s decided not to offer him a deal to stay, he decided to show his versatility.

Home Boi Highlights | Marcus Semien

“When we go out there and do our thing and play our game, no matter what the circumstances are, I’ll take us over anybody,” said Semien.

The Jays are trailing New York and Boston for the final wild card spot with just six games left on their schedule — three head-to-head in “The Six” against the Yankees.

The addition of Marcus Semien to the Blue Jays lineup shifted them from a young team on the rise who may be a year or two away, to one of the best teams in the Majors.

Semien is leading all second baseman in home runs, slugging percentage and has played in the most games. He’s also second in doubles, RBI and second in runs scored.

Semien told reporters over the weekend that he “Still sees himself as a shortstop” which puts his name on a wide list of elite players at the position looking to cash out this summer, none of which have put up better numbers than he has.

Before worrying about inking a new deal, Semiens soul focus this week will be getting the Jays in the playoffs and adding a few extra dollars by showing up big in October.  Toronto meets Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton’s Yankees for a critical three-game set  on Tuesday.

Mookie Betts Continues To Be A Class Act & The Most Respected Superstar In MLB

Mookie Betts Continues To Be A Class Act & The Most Respected Superstar In MLB

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.

Homeboi Highlights | Mookie Betts

 

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.”

So what did Betts do?

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.

Jack Flaherty Is Back & He’s Money Whenever He Toes The Slab

Jack Flaherty Is Back & He’s Money Whenever He Toes The Slab

St. Louis Cardinals ace Jack Flaherty has dealt with numerous injuries that have sidelined him this season.

While this wasn’t the season he envisioned, he can still make an impact for the Cardinals.

You Don’t Know Jack!

Flaherty has missed almost a month with a shoulder strain. But he will be back on the mound sooner than later.

This week, he threw against some of his teammates during a practice and went through some fielding drills.

While he was on the mound, he didn’t show any signs of any pain, which is exactly what you want to see from him.

Coming into the 2021 season, Flaherty was the talk of the town in St. Louis, and when the season started he was dominant on the mound.

Going into May he had an 8-1 record and was on pace for a 20-win season.

But a torn oblique forced him to miss six weeks. After returning from the oblique injury he only appeared in three games finishing with a 1-1 record before going down with the shoulder injury.

 

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.

St. Louis Cardinals Ace Jack Flaherty Picks Up Where He Left Off

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.

After he had his outing throwing against his teammates, Flaherty kept it simple on how he felt.

“Feel great. We have to see what’s next,” he said.

Flaherty is ready to help his team make a playoff push and wants to show everyone that he still has that dominating stuff in his arsenal.

Ke’Bryan Hayes & Anthony Alford Are The Soul Patrolling Pieces Of Pirates Rebuild

Ke’Bryan Hayes & Anthony Alford Are The Soul Patrolling Pieces Of Pirates Rebuild

Ke’Bryan Hayes and Anthony Alford have both earned the opportunity to be major parts in the Pittsburgh Pirates rebuild.

Coming into the season expectations were not exactly high in the Steel City for the Pirates to be anything close to contenders, but they do have one of the top minor league systems in baseball and fans wanted to see some of them make a positive impact in the Bigs and Ke’Bryan Hayes and Anthony Alford have done just that.

Ke’Bryan Hayes Will Amaze

Baseball was robbed of a full season from Ke’Bryan Hayes after a wrist injury two games into his season landed him on the 60-Day Injured List.

He returned to the Pirate lineup on June 3 and has been the best defensive third baseman in the league since — the numbers do not lie.

Hayes leads all Major League third basemen with a 1.9 Defensive WAR rating and has only committed three errors in 89 games.

Even though some of those numbers may be skewed because he has played in fewer games than most full-time National League third baseman, his resume and highlight reel speak for itself, and he deserves major consideration for a Gold Glove.

On the offensive side of the ball Hayes is ending the season strong.  Entering Tuesday Hayes was batting .298 for the month of September with 20 hits including his first career walk-off, three doubles, four RBI and 10 runs scored.

Hayes has five home runs on the season, even though he’s hit six out of the park.

On one occasion earlier this year after hitting one out against the Dodgers he failed to step on first while rounding the bases and was called out.

Anthony Alford’s Time Is Now 

This is the first time in Anthony Alford’s career that he is getting a chance at extended playing time, and he’s making the most of it.

During his first two seasons with the Blue Jays he was ranked as a Top 20 prospect in the organization, but Alford played in a total of 33 games and only had one home run.

Fast forward to this season, and there have been many instances where he’s been the best player in their lineup, especially this month.

Alford has five home runs this season and four have come this month including two in one game against the Chicago Cubs.

He adds a .298 batting average, seven RBI and seven runs to his September statline.

It will be interesting to see what are the plans for the Pirates this off-season, but I’m certain they have two future stars to hold it down on the left side of the diamond.

Michael Brantley Trying To Get His Knee Right For MLB Playoffs

Michael Brantley Trying To Get His Knee Right For MLB Playoffs

According to reports, Houston Astros outfielder Michael Brantley resumed baseball activities on Sunday for the first time since being placed on the 10-day injury list for knee soreness, retroactive to September 11.

After watching him swing the bat and get in some glove work, Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker spoke to the media on Sunday and gave an informative declaration for the 2021 all-star opt-out. Baker told Mark Berman of Fox 26 that Brantley is coming along pretty good. 

He said, “We miss Brantley. The other guys have been doing a good job, but we miss Michael Brantley. He is a quality player, (a) quality defensive player who adds balance to our lineup with another lefty because you know we are right-handed strong right now. You don’t know how much you miss a guy until he is gone.”

Brantley traveled to Anaheim for a four-game series against the Los Angeles Angels yesterday. Although the timetable for his return isn’t exact, the earliest he could be activated is Wednesday, September 22.

 The 34-year-old has a long history of injuries dating back to his days in Cleveland; Before this stint, he spent 15 days on the IL earlier this season with some hamstring discomfort. Besides that, with the Astros, he’s been relatively healthy. 

Brantley is still hunting the American League batting crown with a little over 10 games remaining as he is ranked second in votes behind Toronto Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

To qualify for the batting title, a player must make at least 502 at-bats. The big-league outfielder posted an average of .315 at the plate with an on-base percentage of .367 and a .441 slugging percentage in 493 plate appearances. 

Baker indicated to the Houston Chronicle that Brantley’s return would come into play when he regains his pro form as Sunday was the first time, he swung a bat since he sustained the initial injury.

Baker implied, “It is a matter of communication when you talk to (Brantley). At this point in your career, you know yourself, and you know what it feels like to have your act together. Some guys get it quickly, and some guys, it takes a long time. Some guys never lose it. That is rare. So, we will see.”

 

 

Mychal Givens Is A Strikeout Master Who Helps Make Reds A Problem In Postseason

Mychal Givens Is A Strikeout Master Who Helps Make Reds A Problem In Postseason

Mychal Givens is a strikeout master with the experience to help make the Reds serious postseason contenders.

The Cincinnati Reds carry themselves with more swagger than most teams in baseball and since acquiring Mychal Givens in July to help boost their bullpen, they have been flexing a lot harder.

Givens let his Reds teammates know exactly what he was about the first time he pitched in their road red uniforms.  He struck out three straight Cubs in his debut and has been the best pitcher out of their bullpen since.

Givens is currently tied for the team lead with eight saves on the season.  He’s converted four consecutive opportunities and is eight for nine with Cincinnati.

Givens was drafted as a shortstop by the Orioles in the second round of the 2009 MLB Draft out of Henry B. Plant High School in Tampa, Florida.

He struggled his first few seasons in the Minors and in 2013 was asked to make a permanent switch to the mound.  By the time 2015 came around, the move was appearing to pay off.  Givens posted a 1.60 ERA with 54 strikeouts, 12 saves and a 3-1 record in 39.1 innings for the Bowie Baysox in Class AA.

Givens made his long-awaited Major League debut on June 24th of 2015 and after pitching a one-two-three inning, he was sent back down to the Baysox the next day.  He would be brought back up about a month later and would finish the 2015 season with a 1.80 ERA in 22 games.

Givens made Baltimore’s Opening Day roster in 2016 and would become the first pitcher in their team history to begin his career with seven straight wins as a reliever.  In 62 appearances that year, he struck out 96 batters in 74.2 innings with a 3.13 ERA and an 8-2 record.

Givens got to live out every rookie’s dream of playing in the postseason during their first season and he proved the moment wasn’t too big for him.  During the one game wild card play-in game between the Blue Jays and O’s that year Givens entered the game in the 8th inning.  The score was tied and with runners on the corners he forced a double play and struck out three batters in 2.1 innings.

Givens spent time as a setup man but was given the keys to the Orioles closer job in 2019.  In just 12 games in 2020, he had a 1.38 ERA before being traded to Colorado in late August of that year.

Givens pitched well for the Rockies this year with a 2.73 ERA and 34 strikeouts before being sent to his current home in the great state of Ohio.

On the season Givens has a 3-3 record, 2.85 ERA, 51 strikeouts in 47 innings and eight saves.

Pitching is the biggest deficiency for Cincinnati. Givens has shown he has the ability to get outs late in games and come October, ultimately that is all that truly matters.