UPDATE: Andrew Bailey leaves game with right elbow discomfort

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Well, this doesn’t sound good.

According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Andrew Bailey left today’s game against the Indians in the bottom of the seventh inning due to right elbow discomfort. Bailey was clutching at his elbow before he left the mound.

Of course, Bailey underwent Tommy John surgery back in 2005 and had his elbow cleaned up by Dr. James Andrews last September, so there’s real reason for concern here. Oddly, Slusser notes that the media has already been told that Bailey will not be talking about the injury following the game. This is speculation on my part, but perhaps he is already on his way for testing.

The Athletics stocked up on bullpen help during the offseason by adding Brian Fuentes and Grant Balfour. It’s too soon to say that Bailey will have to miss significant time, but they may need to use every bit of that depth this season.

UPDATE: This isn’t necessarily a good thing, but A’s manager Bob Geren told Jane Lee of MLB.com that Bailey “felt tightness in his forearm area.” He is expected to get checked out either tonight or tomorrow.

UPDATE II: Bailey tells Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle via text message that he is scheduled to see Dr. James Andrews tomorrow. He is currently feeling both elbow and forearm discomfort.

Justin Verlander named ALCS MVP

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Following the Astros’ decisive 4-0 shutout over the Yankees on Saturday night, Justin Verlander was named the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series. Hall of Fame outfielder and former MLB manager Frank Robinson handed the award to Verlander, who was beaming as he thanked his teammates and members of the Astros’ organization.

“I’ve got to say, it came down to the wire, and one thing kept going off in my head was Dallas,” Verlander told the crowd gathered at Minute Maid Park. “When he called me, he said that I won’t regret my decision to join the Houston Astros. And here we are right now, it’s the best feeling in the world. We’ve got four more wins to win a World Series, and I do not regret my decision to come here. This is the best feeling a player can have. So, thank you.”

Among a cast that boasted the likes of Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Dallas Keuchel, among others, Verlander was spectacular. He locked down a complete game win in Game 2, holding the Yankees to one run on five hits and a walk and striking out a postseason-high 13 batters. In Game 6, he saved the Astros from elimination with seven scoreless innings, helping propel the club to their eventual 7-1 finish that set up their series-clinching finale on Saturday.

The 34-year-old righty also took his place among some postseason greats. Thanks to an eight-strikeout outing on Friday night, his collective 136 postseason strikeouts are good for sixth-most in MLB playoff history, just a smidgen shy of Tom Glavine (143), Mike Mussina (145), Roger Clemens (173), Andy Pettitte (183) and John Smoltz (199). He also joined Bob Gibson, Curt Schilling and Sandy Koufax as one of just four hurlers to strike out 20+ Yankees in a postseason series.