Michael Young becomes Rangers' all-time hits leader

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With a two-run single in a 6-3 win over the Marlins, Michael Young became the Rangers’ all-time hits leader on Wednesday, overtaking Ivan Rodriguez.
1. Michael Young – 1,748
2. Ivan Rodriguez – 1,747
3. Rafael Palmeiro – 1,692
4. Juan Gonzalez – 1.595
5. Ruben Sierra – 1,281
Just halfway through his current seven-year deal that will pay him $12 million a year in 2011 and 2012 and $13 million in 2013, Young should own several more Rangers records by the time he’s done.
Young is currently fourth on the franchise list in both runs and RBI. He’ll pass both Rodriguez and Gonzalez in runs later this year and Palmeiro for first place next year (he’s currently 96 back of Palmeiro). The RBI list is a bit more spread out, as he’s 318 behind Gonzalez in first place.
RBI
1. Gonzalez – 1,180
2. Palmeiro – 1,039
3. Rodriguez – 842
4. Young – 762
Runs
1. Palmeiro – 958
2. Gonzalez – 878
3. Rodriguez – 866
4. Young – 862
Young is also second in doubles, 20 behind Rodriguez. He’s tied with Sierra for first with 44 triples.
At age 33, Young is a big long shot to get to 3,000 hits. However, he has reversed the decline that seemed to be setting in during 2007 and 2008, suggesting that 2,500 is within reach. Durability is one of his biggest strengths. Young didn’t establish himself as a quality regular until age 26, but he’s played in 155 games seven times in the last eight years and he’s appeared in all 65 Rangers games this year.

Wade Davis? Greg Holland? Who needs ’em?

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 21: Joakim Soria #48 of the Kansas City Royals throws in the eighth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Kauffman Stadium on August 21, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
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The story of the two-time defending AL champion and current defending World Series champ Kansas City Royals cannot be told without talking at length about their bullpen.

In 2014, Wade Davis, Greg Holland and Kelvin Herrera formed a shutdown brigade that not only made it next to impossible for the opposition to mount late rallies, but managed something which seemed utterly impossible before 2014: they turned Ned Yost into a tactical genius. Indeed, the only time Yost got criticism at all that fall was when he messed with the autopilot formula that had that three-headed monster handling the 7th, 8th and 9th innings.

Much the same happened in 2015, of course, despite Holland’s sharp decline and eventual injury. Davis and Herrera continued their dominance. They were joined by Ryan Madson and a cast of other effective relievers who, along with timely hitting, great defense and good health, helped propel the Royals to the title.

This year had not been quite the same story. Holland has been out all year and Davis, while effective when he’s pitched, has missed time due to injury. As has longtime contributor and presumptive next-man-up Luke Hochevar. Herrera is basically still Herrera, but Ned Yost has been presented with a decidedly different set of choices. Lots of choices and Ned Yost don’t always go together well, but lately that hasn’t mattered.

Last night the Royals’ bullpen came in to a close game and tossed three scoreless innings. That set a franchise record with 32 straight scoreless frames, besting the previous record set back in the club’s inaugural season in 1969. The streak is a huge part of why the Royals have won nine games in a row.

Unlike the success of 2014-15, the streak is not a three-man show. As Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star notes, eight different relievers have appeared for Kansas City during the streak, with Joakim Soria and Matt Strahm leading the crew with five and a third innings pitched. Herrera has tossed five scoreless. Otherwise it’s been a group effort with even Peter Moylan offering a couple of scoreless frames. And here you thought Moylan was, I dunno, gearing up for the upcoming Brisbane Bandits season. Nope.

The Royals are still not, in my view anyway, a lock to make the postseason. It’s a a crowded field right now. They’re seven and a half back in the AL Central and four back in the Wild Card with a bunch of teams in front of them. But they’re certainly playing themselves back into the conversation. They’re interesting. And they’re doing it in much the same way they’ve done it the past two years. Only with different dudes doing the do.

Video: Mookie Betts made a ridiculous throw last night

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 10.16.51 AM
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Mookie Betts was an infielder once upon a time and the knock on him both then and since his move to the outfield was that maybe his arm was not fantastic. As an infielder there was talk that he was better suited to the right side than the left. As an outfielder people were saying that, with work, his arm could be average and/or serviceable. Not bad, of course, but not anything to write home about.

Maybe we need to reassess that, because last night he uncorked one from right field that would make Dwight Evans says “dang, man.”

 

And the throw mattered, as Kiermaier represented the tying run in a game that, at the time, the Sox were leading 2-1.

Betts is a dangerous middle-of-the-order bat at age 23. And now he shows that he’ll nail a fast runner with a frozen rope if he has to. The guy is going to win an MVP award some day. And maybe not just one.