La Russa expected to return as manager

Leave a comment

According to a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Tony La Russa is “speeding to a conclusion” regarding a decision whether to return as Cardinals manager.

“I’m coming to an understanding of what I’m doing and intend to get it settled one way or the other shortly.”

“I don’t want to make any statements about being close to coming back,”
deferred La Russa, who has steered eight teams to the postseason since
being named the only manager under the team’s current ownership. “You
either do (come back) or you don’t. I’ve been checking the fire in my
gut. It’s one way or the other.”

Though La Russa said he hasn’t yet
discussed a contract yet with team chairman Bill DeWitt Jr, a formal
announcement is expected this week. If La Russa decides to return for
2010, pitching coach Dave Duncan is also expected to be back. It would
be their 15th season with the organization.

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

Bob Levey/Getty Images
Leave a comment

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
1 Comment

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.