Dusty Baker Made All The Right Moves In Astros Game 2  World Series Win | Lineup Switch, Strong Starting Pitching Prevails Over Phillies

Dusty Baker Made All The Right Moves In Astros Game 2 World Series Win | Lineup Switch, Strong Starting Pitching Prevails Over Phillies

Dusty Baker might have left starter Justin Verlander in too long in Game 1 of the World Series on Friday. After getting off to an impressive start, the club would blow a 5-0 lead, and would end up losing 6-5 in 10 innings.

The veteran manager took a much more cerebral approach in Game 2. Baker, with his now patented black gloves, prepared to dissect this matchup and pick the Philadelphia Phillies apart.

Down 0-1, it was desperation time and Dusty expressed that much after his team’s gut check, 5-2 win to tie the WS at  1-1.

Entering  Saturday night’s crucial clash the MLBbro Manager decided to shake things up.

After all, the winner of Game 1’s in the World Series have gone on to win the series 65% of the time, so Baker was feeling the pressure.

Dusty Shakes Things Up For Game 2

Not only did he bench Trey Mancini, he moved Yordan Alvarez to the DH spot.  His team didn’t stagger much from the Game 1 loss and got off to an electric start. After the rough loss in Game 1 of the 2022 World Series, the Houston Astros got off to another offensively-electric start. Through the first four pitches the Astros hit three doubles and ended up taking an early 3-0 lead in the first inning.

Although the club held the lead through the next several innings, the pressure of being down in the series may have called Dusty Baker to make a questionable, yet strategic challenge in the 5th inning.

Dusty Sways Momentum With Challenge 

Baker challenged an out call at second base on a routine double play attempt that caught the baseball world off guard. And although the call was not overturned, it did throw off the momentum and rhythm that Phillies pitcher Zac Wheeler had. This was evident when the next batter, Alex Bregman came and smashed a 2-run homer over center field.

Baker pulled out all the stops  trying to tie the series at 1-1 and was successful in doing just that. Now the series heads back to Philadelphia, and the Astros will look to steal a game there and regain home field advantage.

With Framber Valdez pitching a gem ( 9 strikeouts in 6.1 innings) Baker did not have to worry about whether or not to pull a starter in this game.

 

This was in fact, the longest outing by a starting pitcher in the World Series in three years. Valdez did the job they Verlander failed to do on Friday night.

But everyone knows the series will come down to how Dusty manages the bullpen. 

These MLBbros Got Straight Snubbed From 2022 MLB All-Star Honors

These MLBbros Got Straight Snubbed From 2022 MLB All-Star Honors

Seven MLBbros were selected to this year’s All-Star Game which ties the amount that made the team last year. However, a few players were on baseball’s long list of snubs. Here are three I think were huge misses. 

 

Josh Bell

 

 

Major League Baseball disappointed me by not selecting Josh Bell to represent the Washington Nationals in what would have been his second career All-Star Game.

 

Josh Bell Is Having A Stellar Season On A Bad Team

 

He is having a career season on a bad team and with almost the entire league still in contention for a playoff spot could end up being the difference between a World Series title or a wasted season for a team when the August trade deadline arrives.

Bell ranks 16th in the Majors in batting average but leads the category for all National League switch hitters and only Guardians All-Star third baseman Jose Ramirez has better numbers out of the entire league.  This year Bell leads the Nationals in average, hits, slugging percentage, RBI, doubles, triples and games played.

His teammate Juan Soto was selected to represent the Nationals. He is one of the great young players in baseball and leads the Major in walks by 24 so the spot is deserving, but MLB should have allowed Bell to have a roster spot rather than having his taken away by the Legend spot reserved for the great Albert Puljos.

 

Devin Williams

“I feel like I am a top-five reliever in the National League,” The Airbender told reporters after throwing a nine-pitch inning to extend his current scoreless outing streak to 24 games.  “There are five relievers going, I think I should be one of them.

 

Williams has not given up a run since May 10th and through his last 30 games has an ERA of 0.95 with 45 strikeouts, three earned runs and only 10 hits.

His 1.87 ERA this year ranks him in the top 20 out of all Major League relievers and he is pitching his best since he won the Rookie of the Year award in the Covid shortened 2020 season where he posted a 0.33 ERA in 27 innings.

In addition to having one of the lower earned run averages among relievers, he leads the Majors in holds, meaning he is baseball’s best at not allowing runs to score, which is typically what you want out of guys coming out of the bullpen.

Cedric Mullins

Cedric Mullins is the leader of the team that continues to shock the Major Leagues, the Baltimore Orioles who are only two games out of the final playoff spot.

Mullins began last season putting up highlights on a nightly basis on the way to compiling the first season in Orioles history where a player hit 30 home runs and stole 30 bases.

 

 

He started April with a .210 batting average and just two home runs, but over his last 30 games he is hitting .306 with 16 RBI and 18 runs scored and now ranks in the top 10 in baseball with 90 hits.

Mullins is on pace for a second consecutive season with 30 steals with 16 before the All-Star break which is tied for 3rd in the American League.

In last season’s All-Star Game Mullins was 1-for-2 and scored the first run of the night.  He also won one of the three Silver Slugger awards given to American League outfielders and has made himself a household name on one of the youngest rosters in the Majors.

This season Mullins is hitting .262 with 36 RBI and a .704 OPS.

FRONT STREET

FRONT STREET

An estimated 1 million fans, many of them MLBbro fans, packed midtown and downtown Atlanta today to celebrate the Braves’ first World Series championship since 1995.

Marcus Semien Is Making Sure He Won’t Ever Be Undervalued Again

Marcus Semien Is Making Sure He Won’t Ever Be Undervalued Again

Marcus Semien came into the 2021 season with one goal. 

After a disappointing 2020 ended with the Oakland A’s declining to tender Semien a new contract, the nine-year MLB vet signed a one-year, $18 million deal with the Toronto Blue Jays looking to prove that his 2019 top-3 MVP finish was no fluke.

So far, Semien has met and exceeded expectations for the Blue Jays. He shook off an early slump and started raking from the lead off spot, earning the opportunity to represent Toronto in this year’s All-Star game.

 

 

The quick adjustment combined with his return to 2019 form at the plate, all while learning a new position, has provided the steady hand a young Blue Jays team needs if it wants to compete in a loaded NL East.

It’s particularly impressive when you consider Marcus has been able to accomplish all of this despite the Blue Jays being banned from their home ballpark.

Baseball players are big on their routines. Those who have been around the game for years would even go as far as to categorize it as ritualistic. From pregame meals to the route they take to the ballpark, for many athletes this set routine plays a part in their everyday success.

 

Home Boi Highlights | Marcus Semien

 

Unfortunately for Semien and the Blue Jays, the Canadian Government enacted a strict travel ban that forced the team to find a temporary home. In one of the most ridiculous solutions in recent memory, the Blue Jays have split time between two minor league ballparks in completely different states. 

The Blue Jays began the season at their spring training ballpark in Dunedin, Florida before transitioning to Sahlen Field in Buffalo, NY. Neither of these ballparks is fit to host Major League Baseball, and the players have noticed the difference between their “home” ballpark and the road.

“I’ve enjoyed being on the road this year, just because we’re playing in big league stadiums,” Semien told Toronto media. “It’s a little different here … I do enjoy living here off the field but I think a lot of us wish we were in a big league ballpark. So yes, when you go on the road you may get boo’d or no one cheers for you, but that’s how it is here in Dunedin too.”

 

 

The fan experience in Buffalo was much better than in Dunedin, but you still had the same issue; a Major League ball club in a minor league park. 

Fortunately for Semien and the Blue Jays, the Canadian Government has finally allowed them to return home to the fan (and hitter) friendly Rogers Centre beginning July 30th. The question now is how much will Semien benefit from the change? 

After what has already been a phenomenal season, a strong finish to the 2021 campaign will finally land him the long-term contract he’s proven he deserves.