Aramis Ramirez is on fire


No one had a worse April and Maya than Aramis Ramirez has, but after taking most of June off on the DL, his July has been something else.  The Cubs’ third baseman is hitting .383/.406/.950 this month, with nine homers and 24 RBI. Last night was the jewel in this month’s crown, as Ramirez went 3 for 5 with three homers and seven RBI.

One of the scarier things staring the Cubs in the face these past few months has been the fact that Ramirez has a player option for 2011 to the tune of $14.6 million.  It’s still not going to be joyful to pay that when the team probably needs to be tearing down and rebuilding, but at least an effective Ramirez will make that a bit easier.  And until this month, there was much reason to believe that the Cubs would be seeing such a thing again.

Red Sox ask Hanley Ramirez to report 15-20 pounds lighter next spring

Hanley Ramirez
The Associated Press
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Hanley Ramirez was a complete failure in left field this season in Boston and he batted just .249/.291/.426 while appearing in only 105 games. Ben Cherington, the man that signed him to a four-year, $88 million free agent contract, is no longer with the Red Sox. It’s time for some tough love …

Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo, who just inked a two-year extension to return as John Farrell’s bench coach, told Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald on Sunday that Hanley has been asked to drop 15-20 pounds over the offseason. There have been similar conversations with Boston’s other free agent failure, Pablo Sandoval.

Ramirez is expected to start at first base for the Red Sox in 2016.

Video: Clayton Kershaw notches his 300th strikeout

Clayton Kershaw
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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Clayton Kershaw entered Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Padres needing six strikeouts to become the first pitcher in 13 years to whiff 300 batters in a single season.

He did it within the first nine batters of the game, whiffing Yangervis Solarte, Clint Barmes, Austin Hedges, and Travis Jankowski once each and Melvin Upton Jr. on two different occasions.

Here was the milestone matchup against Upton Jr. with two outs in the top of the third …

The last pitchers to reach 300 strikeouts in a season were Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. They did so as teammates on the 2002 Diamondbacks.

Kershaw is lined up to face the Mets in Game 1 of the NLDS.