Dusty Baker taking his time deciding on Reds extension offer

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Not so long ago Dusty Baker was believed to be on the hot seat after back-to-back losing seasons, but now the veteran manager is taking his sweet time deciding whether or not to accept the Reds’ contract extension offer.
Baker’s current contract expires after this season and with the Reds in first place at 72-53 he may be interested in seeing what kind of other offers are available on the open market as a free agent this winter.
Or maybe he’s just holding out in order to force the Reds into offering more than a one-year extension. General manager Walt Jocketty declined to discuss the situation yesterday and Baker said merely “we just started talking.”
Because of Baker’s history as a player and manager on the West Coast the Associated Press speculates that he could be an option to replace Joe Torre with the Dodgers and there are likely to be several other prominent openings this offseason.
Not only are the Reds on track for their first playoff appearance since 1995, with 10 more victories Baker will have his first winning season as a manager since 2004.

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

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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.