Daily Dose: He's alive!

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Chris Young earned his demotion to Triple-A last month by hitting .194 in 103 games and went just 4-for-25 (.160) with 10 strikeouts during his first week back in Arizona, but that all changed Sunday. Young blasted three homers and drew a pair of walks in five plate appearances against the Rockies. Sure, his monster day came at Coors Field, but the rest of the Diamondbacks were just 3-for-30 with seven strikeouts.
Young had an opportunity to tie the major-league record with a fourth long ball in the ninth inning and with the Diamondbacks down eight runs there was every reason just to swing away, but instead he coaxed a two-out walk. Perhaps not surprising from a guy who’s averaged 55 walks per 150 games through the age of 25 and a reminder that despite his struggles and high strikeout rates he still has some plate discipline.
There’s no getting around the fact that he was brutally bad prior to the demotion and Young had been disappointing in general by batting just .232/.303/.428 through 448 career games, but for fantasy purposes it’s way too early to give up on the former top prospect. He just turned 26 years old Saturday and has averaged 22 homers and 18 steals per 150 games even while hitting .232 with a strikeout one-fourth of the time.
While the Diamondbacks stick with Young after handing him a five-year, $28 million contract just 17 months ago, here are some other notes from around baseball …

* Wade Davis looked very good in his MLB debut Sunday, racking up nine strikeouts while holding the Tigers to one run in seven innings. He was denied a win when the bullpen blew a two-run lead, but Davis definitely pitched well enough to remain in the rotation. Last week in this space I recommended Davis as an AL-only pickup and I’m still not sure he’s a good mixed-league investment, but there are worse fliers to take.
* Drew Stubbs continued his uncharacteristic power display Sunday afternoon, going deep for the fifth time in 84 at-bats after homering a grand total of three times in 107 games at Triple-A prior to last month’s call-up to Cincinnati. Stubbs has the speed, plate discipline, and defense to be an asset long term, but hitting homers and making consistent contact ultimately are not going to be strengths.
AL Quick Hits: Luke Hochevar was battered for seven runs Sunday, making him 0-6 with an 8.12 ERA since back-to-back great starts in July … Derek Holland struggled again Sunday and has now allowed 22 runs in his last dozen innings … Ichiro Suzuki got his 2,000th hit in his 1,402nd career game Sunday, which is just a dozen games short of Al Simmons’ all-time record … Jake Peavy (elbow) threw a 60-pitch bullpen session Sunday and will throw again later this week … Brandon Inge’s grand slam in the ninth inning Sunday pushed the Tigers’ divisional lead to seven games … Sergio Mitre was rocked for 11 runs Sunday, with terrible defense playing a part … Jeremy Guthrie pulled his ERA under 5.00 for the first time since May with seven scoreless innings Sunday … Gio Gonzalez turned in seven innings of two-run ball Sunday after coming into the game with a 6.07 ERA … Carl Crawford went hitless Sunday for the fourth straight game … Jon Lester had seven shutout innings Sunday for his seventh straight Quality Start.
NL Quick Hits: Justin Upton was pulled from Sunday’s game after failing to hustle on a hit off the wall that he assumed was a homer … Prince Fielder leads baseball with 123 RBIs after delivering a walk-off homer in the 12th inning Sunday … Jerry Manuel said Sunday that Carlos Delgado’s (hip) chances of playing again this year are “very slim” … Tim Hudson allowed just one run and had six strikeouts versus one walk in seven innings Sunday … Miguel Tejada had hits in all four at-bats Sunday and drove in a run for the first time since August 19 … Mike Pelfrey evened his record at 10-10 with eight innings of one-run ball Sunday … Seth Smith went deep twice and drove in five runs Sunday … Johnny Cueto had nine strikeouts in six innings of one-run ball Sunday … Ryan Zimmerman’s walk-off homer Sunday snapped a nine-game losing streak and handed Leo Nunez his second blown save this month … Daniel Cabrera gave up five runs without recording an out in his Diamondbacks debut Sunday.

Photo of the Day: Colby Rasmus just wants to love on everybody

Colby Rasmus

Colby Rasmus hit a big home run last night to set off the scoring and to set the tone for the Astros.

After the game he spoke to Jeff Passan of Yahoo and voiced some nice perspective and maturity as well, acknowledging that his time and St. Louis and Toronto left him with a reputation that he’d rather not have follow him around forever, saying “I don’t want them to say Colby Rasmus was a piece of crap because he had all of this time and just wanted to be a douche. I just try to love on everybody.”

Fair. By the way, this is what Rasmus looked like either just before or just after telling reporters that he “just tries to love on everybody.”


Ready for some lovin’?

There’s no one to blame in Yankees’ loss

Joe Girardi

You’re going to boo All-Star Brett Gardner for striking out against a Cy Young contender?

You’re going to bash Alex Rodriguez for going hitless in another postseason game, three years after his last one?

Maybe you’d prefer to put it all on Masahiro Tanaka for giving up two solo homers to a lineup full of 20-homer guys?

The truth is that the Yankees were supposed to lose tonight. They were facing an outstanding left-hander with their forever-lefty-heavy lineup, and they simply didn’t have anyone pitching like an ace to set themselves up nicely for a one-game, winner-take-all showdown. The 3-0 result… well, that’s how this was supposed to go down.

It didn’t necessarily mean it would; what fun would it be if the better team always won? And the Astros might not even be a better team than the Yankees. However, the Astros with Dallas Keuchel on the mound were certainly a better team than the Yankees with whoever they picked to throw.

I just don’t see where it’s worth putting any blame tonight. Joe Girardi? He could have started John Ryan Murphy over Brian McCann against the tough lefty, but he wasn’t willing to risk Tanaka losing his comfort zone by using a backup catcher.

The front office could have added more talent, perhaps outbidding the Blue Jays for David Price or the Royals for Johnny Cueto, and set themselves up better for the postseason. However, that would have cost them Luis Severino and/or Greg Bird, both of whom went on to play key roles as the Yankees secured the wild card. Would it really have been worth it? I don’t think so.

Tanaka gave the Yankees what they should have expected. Had Keuchel’s stuff been a little off on short rest, Tanaka’s performance would have kept the Yankees in the game.

Keuchel, though, was on his game from the first pitch. The Astros bullpen might have been a bit more vulnerable, and late at-bats from Gardner, Carlos Beltran, Rodriguez and McCann definitely left something to be desired. Still, on the whole, the lack of offense was quite a team effort.

The Yankees got beat by a better team tonight.  I’m not sure the Astros would have been better in Games 2-7 in a longer series, but they had everything in their favor in this one.