* Manny Ramirez hit career homer No. 537 last night
to pass Mickey Mantle for 15th place on the all-time list. Ramirez is
now 15-for-47 (.319) with four homers in 14 games since returning from
suspension and the Dodgers are 28-12 when he’s in the starting lineup.
* Lou Piniella and Milton Bradley had their private coaching session
yesterday, and when asked afterward “how it went” Bradley replied: “It
went. That’s all I care to elaborate.” Piniella was slightly more
forthcoming, saying: “It went well. He was receptive to it and we
didn’t make many radical changes at all. We talked about some things
that felt comfortable.”
* Eddie Guardado is five outings away
from becoming just the 21st pitcher in baseball history to appear in
900 games. Trevor Hoffman (958) and David Weathers (932) are the only
active pitchers ahead of him, although it’s worth noting that 112
different active pitchers have faced more batters than Guardado’s total
* With the Nationals falling 40 games below .500 last night, Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times puts their feat in the context of baseball’s long history of horrendous teams.
CC Sabathia‘s contract with the Yankees expires after the 2017 season but the lefty feels that he has enough left in the tank to pitch in 2018 and beyond, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports.
Sabathia said, “I just know myself. I know I feel like it’s not my time yet. Barring any crazy injuries I know I can pitch past next year. I feel like this is just the beginning of what I’m trying to do. I feel like there’s a lot more still to learn and a lot better to get. It’s exciting.”
The 36-year-old lefty currently holds a 4.02 ERA and a 144/63 K/BB ratio in 172 1/3 innings. It’s his best and healthiest season since 2012. He battled a knee injury last season and checked into rehab for alcohol addiction last October. Sabathia said that being treated for his addiction put him “in a good spot.”
Sabathia is owed $25 million through a vesting option for the 2017 season.
The Red Sox can thank the Orioles for not having to fight to clinch the division on Thursday or later. The Orioles came from behind to defeat the Blue Jays 3-2 on Wednesday evening, clinching the AL East for the Red Sox.
A few minutes after that game went final, the Red Sox squandered a 3-0 lead taken in the eighth inning, culminating in a walk-off grand slam by Mark Teixeira in the bottom of the ninth inning. Closer Craig Kimbrel started the ninth, but didn’t have control over any of his pitches. He allowed a leadoff single followed by three consecutive walks to force in a run. Joe Kelly relieved Kimbrel and seemed to be close to wriggling out of the jam, getting Starlin Castro to strike out looking and Didi Gregorius to pop up. But after starting Teixeira with a first-pitch curve ball for a strike, Teixera clobbered a 99 MPH fastball, sending it over the fence in right-center to end the game.
For the Yankees, the come-from-behind victory was crucial as it staved off Wild Card elimination for one more day.
This is the first time the Red Sox have clinched the AL East since 2013, also the last year they won the World Series.