Link-O-Rama: Cubs trying to re-sign Grabow

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* Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com reports that “the Cubs have begun talks with left-handed pitcher John Grabow on a two-year contract extension.”
An impending free agent who was acquired from the Pirates just before the July 31 trading deadline, Grabow has a 2.41 ERA and 12/11 K/BB ratio in 18.2 innings for the Cubs. Lou Piniella announced yesterday that Carlos Marmol will be the Cubs’ full-time closer next season, so Grabow would be his primary setup man from the left side.
* Pedro Martinez is feeling so good after beginning his Phillies career 5-0 with a 2.87 ERA that he’s planning to pitch in the Dominican Winter League for the first time in 15 years.
* Among all hitters with at least 1,000 plate appearances since the beginning of last season, there are 12 with a .300 batting average and .375 on-base percentage. The first 11 contain zero surprises: Albert Pujols, Manny Ramirez, Joe Mauer, Hanley Ramirez, Chipper Jones, Kevin Youkilis, Matt Holliday, Miguel Cabrera, David Wright, Nick Markakis, and Derek Jeter. The last guy? Well, he might surprise you.
* Trey Hillman thinks that people ought to stop judging the Royals on their horrible win-loss record, bad pitching, punchless hitting, and sloppy defense, and start judging them on their attitude. On a related note, I’m of the opinion that women ought to stop judging men on their looks, personality, money, sense of humor, and status in life, and start judging them on their ability to write pithy blog entries about the Royals.

Yankees defeat Blue Jays to clinch postseason spot

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The Yankees guaranteed their place in the postseason with a 5-1 win over the Blue Jays on Saturday. Sonny Gray led the charge against their division rivals, clinching his 10th win of the season with six innings of four-hit, one-run, four-strikeout ball.

Gray worked into a little trouble in the first inning, putting runners in scoring position after Josh Donaldson drew a four-pitch walk and Justin Smoak advanced him with a single. The Yankees’ ace induced two quick outs to end the threat, but was overpowered by a Teoscar Hernandez home run in the third inning, the rookie’s fourth blast of the season:

Thankfully for the Yankees, that was the only run that slipped through the cracks. Gray finished the remainder of his outing with two hits and two walks and was backed by another three scoreless innings from the bullpen. Greg Bird supplied the go-ahead run with a three-RBI shot in the fifth inning, plating Chase Headley and Starlin Castro to give the Yankees their first lead of the night.

Todd Frazier tacked on another solo homer in the eighth, while Starlin Castro returned in the ninth to cap the win with an RBI single. Aroldis Chapman did the rest, wielding just 10 pitches to get three straight outs from Kendrys Morales, Kevin Pillar and Rob Refsnyder.

Following Saturday’s win, the Yankees have at least secured one wild card berth, though they’re not out of the division race just yet. They still sit a full four games back of first place in the AL East, with eight games left to play.

Watch: Brian Dozier pulls off a bunt home run

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Brian Dozier had a bonafide Little League moment during Saturday’s contest against the Tigers. In the first inning, the Twins’ second baseman squared up a bunt against Detroit left-hander Matt Boyd, which was scooped by Jeimer Candelario halfway up the third base line. The throw to first skirted the bag, allowing Dozier to touch all the bases and slide home to score the Twins’ first run of the game.

In other words, it was just your run-of-the-mill bunt home run:

Officially, the play was scored as a single and run scored on a throwing error. Still, if this is a sampling of the kind of plays we can expect to see from the Twins this October, it’s shaping up to be one wacky postseason.