Potent quotables: Playoff chase edition

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“You can skew that any way you want. We’ve got a good pitching staff and
they (hitters) seem to lock in on us. When we do leave a pitch up, they
lick their chops. They go at it like a rabid dog.”




– Brandon Inge explains how the Twins cut the Tigers lead in the American League Central to just three games on Friday night.



“No one likes to give in. We have a
situation where some people start counting people out. Every time it
seems like we get back in it, we fall back away and we get back in it.
When you’re this close in the pennant race, whichever team gets hot
wins it.”




– Jeremy Affeldt says the Giants aren’t quite done. After Friday’s 8-4 win over the Dodgers, the Giants sit 2 1/2 games behind the Rockies in the Wild Card race.

“We’re not winning ballgames, and it’s not a lot of fun right now. It just gets to the
point where there’s no use in moping around the clubhouse or getting
overly angry. It’s getting to us a little bit, but that’s where we need to rebound and find that character we’ve had all year.”

– David Murphy thinks losing isn’t much fun.
The Rangers have dropped five in a row and find themselves 7 1/2 games
behind the first-place Angels and seven games behind the Red Sox for
the Wild Card. The Rangers haven’t scored a run in 23 innings.




“In this ballpark, you always feel like you’ve got a chance. This was a good win. And, we did it
against one of the best closers in baseball. That doesn’t happen very
often.”




– Fredi Gonzalez reacts to a stunning four-run ninth-inning rally
against Francisco Cordero and the Reds on Friday night. The win moved
the Marlins to within four games of the Rockies in the Wild Card race.

Jon Gray will start Opening Day for the Rockies

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Manager Bud Black has tabbed Jon Gray to start on Opening Day for the Rockies. That will be Monday, April 3 in Milwaukee against the Brewers in an afternoon contest.

Gray, 25, is starting Opening Day for the first time in his career. He’ll be the sixth different Rockies pitcher to start Opening Day in as many years.

The Rockies and Gray had a bit of a scare on Friday as he left his spring training start with discomfort in his left foot, but everything came up clean in an MRI. He pitched again on Wednesday with no issue.

Last season, Gray went 10-10 with a 4.61 ERA and a 185/59 K/BB ratio in 168 innings. A consensus top prospect entering each of the previous three seasons, Gray surprisingly put up better numbers at Coors Field — the most hitter-friendly park in baseball — than away.

Blake Treinen named Nationals closer

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Today Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker named Blake Treinen as his closer. Treinen has saved exactly one big league game.

There wasn’t necessarily an obvious choice, however. Last year Washington had Mark Melancon, but with him gone and GM Mike Rizzo’s failure to land a high-profile closer in the offseason, it became a contest between Treinen Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover.

Treinen posted a 2.28 ERA with 31 walks and 63 Ks in 67 innings in 2016. His big improvement last year came against lefties, who had tattooed him in the past. He pitched well this spring as well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

The Nats are our favorites to win the NL East, but we do have some questions about the pen. Blake Treinen will take the first crack at answering them.