Potent quotables: 'Look in the mirror'

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“Sometimes you’ve just got to look in the mirror and realize that maybe
the biggest part of the problem is yourself and (not) wanting to be
here and play every day, and (not) wanting to have some fun. It didn’t
seem like he wanted to have some fun, even from spring training.”




– Ryan Dempster tells it like it is after Milton Bradley was suspended for the rest of the season for conduct detrimental to the organization on Sunday.


“We knew this could make or break us, and that’s what it was. We didn’t play well. Everybody knows what
happened the last nine games. We’re not mathematically out of it, but
our chances aren’t very good.”




– Ian Kinsler, after the Angels all but knocked the Rangers out of playoff contention by taking two out of three over the weekend.



“I don’t want to sound like I’m a prophet, but I said early in the
season that it would probably go down to the last week. Three games is better than one, but it still could
go down to the wire.”




– Oh, so the Tigers have sucked over the past two weeks just so Jim Leyland can be right. I got it now.



“You’ve just seen over this last week what can happen in the course of
six games. We still have 13
to play. Obviously they’re in the driver’s seat right now, three games
up. But anything can happen.”




– Michael Cuddyer has played a big part in the Twins’ recent surge in the standings.
Even though the Twins six-game winning streak was snapped on Sunday,
Cuddyer is batting .357 with four homers and 13 RBI since stepping in
at first base for Justin Morneau.

Astros’ bullpen throws combined one-hitter for MLB-best 30th win

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The Astros’ bullpen did yeoman’s work in place of the injured Dallas Keuchel on Monday against the Tigers. Keuchel is temporarily sidelined with a pinched nerve in his neck.

Brad Peacock made the spot start, limiting the Tigers to one hit and two walks with eight strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings. Chris Devenski took over with one out in the fifth, finishing out that inning as well as the sixth and seventh, facing the minimum. Will Harris pitched a perfect eighth and Ken Giles closed out the 1-0 victory in the ninth. Devenski, Harris, and Giles each had two strikeouts.

The Astros scored their only run in the bottom of the first inning as George Springer drew a leadoff walk, then scored on Jose Altuve‘s one-out double. Tigers starter Brad Fulmer pitched well enough to win on most days, giving up the lone run in seven frames.

After Monday’s win, the Astros became the first team to reach 30 wins, sitting on a 30-15 record. With a +55 run differential, even their expected record matches up with their actual record.

Brandon Phillips hit his 200th career home run

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
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Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips became the 337th player in baseball history to hit 200 career home runs, driving a solo home run to left-center field during Monday night’s home game against the Pirates. Phillips is the 14th second baseman (who played a min. of 75 percent of his career games at the position) to rack up at least 200 career home runs.

Phillips, 35, entered Monday’s action batting .290/.345/.405 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 142 plate appearances. If he’s anything, he’s consistent, as he finished with an adjusted OPS between 90-99 (100 is average) every year between 2012-16 and it was sitting at 97 coming into Monday.