Corey Hart, Prince Fielder

NLDS Diamondbacks-Brewers Game 1 Live Blog


4:52: Game of the NLDS is in the books, as the Brewers defeated the Diamondbacks 4-1. John Axford pitched a 1-2-3 top of the ninth to notch the save.

The series will resume tomorrow at 5 p.m. ET when Daniel Hudson pitches against Zack Greinke.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for a recap. Enjoy the rest of the games on the schedule for this evening.

4:43: And off we go to the top of the ninth. John Axford is indeed coming in to close this one out. The Diamondbacks have Aaron Hill, Justin Upton and Miguel Montero due up.

4:35: Gallardo followed the solo blast by Roberts by striking out three straight batters to end the top of the eighth. He’s at 106 pitches, so we’ll likely see John Axford in the top of the ninth.

Gallardo allowed just one run on four hits (including the homer by Roberts) while striking out nine and walking just one.

4:28: The Diamondbacks are finally on the board here in the top of the eighth, as Ryan Roberts just went deep to straight away center field to cut the lead to 4-1.

4:19: Well, the Brewers have some insurance. Prince Fielder just slugged a two-run homer off Ian Kennedy in the bottom of the seventh to give the Brewers a 4-0 lead. It followed a two-out double by Ryan Braun. Probably not smart to pitch to Prince with first base open.

Ian Kennedy is now done for the day after throwing 111 pitches. He allowed four runs on eight hits (including the homer by Fielder) over 6 2/3 innings while striking out three and walking one.

4:10: Make that seven scoreless frames for Gallardo. Nyjer Morgan made an excellent running catch to end the inning, eventually running into the center field wall.

Gallardo has only thrown 87 pitches. He’s really rolling right now, so one would think he’ll at least be back out there for the eighth.

4:05: Yuniesky Betancourt just almost killed Ryan Braun. OK, not really, but they did have a minor collision as Betancourt snagged a pop-fly in shallow left field. Everybody is OK, though.

4:00: Gallardo grounds into a fielder’s choice to end the bottom of the sixth, but he now has himself a 2-0 lead going into the top of the seventh.

Gallardo has only thrown 75 pitches so far this afternoon.

3:59: Jonathan Lucroy dumps one in short left field for a single to drive in Betancourt and give the Brewers a 2-0 lead.

3:56: Yuniesky Betancourt hits a two-out triple to keep the bottom of the sixth alive. Gerardo Parra had trouble tracking down the ball after it kicked off the wall in left. The Brewers need to cash this one in.

3:50: Gallardo works around a single by Willie Bloomquist to get out of the sixth. For some reason, Justin Upton dove head first into first base while trying to beat out a ground ball for the final out of the inning. Pretty positive he would have made it if he kept his stride. Oh well.

3:42: And so much for that. Fielder lines out to left for the final out of the inning. Another missed opportunity. Still 1-0 Brewers as we move to the sixth.

3:39: Braun with a broken-bat single to left. The Brewers have runners on first and second with two outs for Prince Fielder.

3:37: Kennedy hits Nyjer Morgan in the leg by a pitch with two outs. Obviously no intent there. Here comes Ryan Braun.

3:30: Gallardo just needed seven pitches to set the Diamondbacks aside. It’s 1-0 Brewers moving to the bottom of the fifth.

3:26: Ian Kennedy was able to get a couple ground balls from Yuniesky Betancourt and Jonathan Lucroy to end the inning. He’s actually pretty fortunate to walk away with only one run scoring considering the bases were loaded with nobody out. Yovani Gallardo is dealing right now, but this could come back to bite them.

3:22: Jerry Hairston Jr. drives in the first run of the game with a sacrifice fly on the first pitch.

3:21: Rickie Weeks is hit by the pitch. And the crowd boos. Yeah, because Ian Kennedy really wants to hit somebody right now. Sigh. Bases loaded for Hairston.

3:20: Prince Fielder takes advantage of the shift for a double down the left field line. Runners on second and third for Rickie Weeks now. None out.

3:19: Ryan Braun rips a leadoff single into left field. Table set for Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks.

3:13: Gets Chris Young swinging for the final out. Gallardo now has five strikeouts over four scoreless innings. We’re moving to the bottom of the fourth in Milwaukee.

3:10: Miguel Montero sends one to the warning track in right-center field for the second out of the inning. Hill still on first base.

3:06: Leadoff walk for Aaron Hill on a very, very close pitch. Didn’t swing, either.

3:01: This probably isn’t the case, but it sort of sounded like Nyjer Morgan has the X-Files theme for his at-bat music. Wouldn’t be that surprising, I suppose. Anyway, he goes down looking for the third out. We’re scoreless through three innings.

3:00: Gallardo pops up the first pitch, which is a shame, because he’s one of my favorite hitting pitchers. Some others? Mike Leake, Dontrelle Willis, Livan Hernandez. Any other good ones I’m missing?

2:56: And Gallardo sits them down in order. We’re still scoreless going into the bottom of the third.

2:53: And now Ian Kennedy goes down looking. Three Ks for Gallardo through the first nine batters.

2:49: Parra goes down looking for the first out. I’d still rather have him leading off than Bloomquist, though.

2:46: Lucroy flies out to left for the final out in the bottom of the second inning. A missed opportunity, as they leave two runners on and do not score.

On the bright side for the Brewers, they made Kennedy threw 27 pitches. He’s at 39 pitches through two innings.

2:42: Hairston reaches on a hard-hit infield single after a long at-bat. Ryan Roberts couldn’t quite get the handle, but he at least prevented the ball from going down the third base line.

2:37: Ian Kennedy walks Rickie Weeks for the first Brewers’ baserunner of the game. Ron Kulpa gave him the outside corner on Fielder, but he just missed this time.

2:32: These constant “Big Bang Theory” promos almost make me long for the days of Frank Caliendo. Almost.

2:30: Overbay goes down swinging for the second out while Ryan Roberts flies out to right for the final out of the top of the second.

By the way, did you happen to notice Gallardo’s final three starts this season? 12Ks, 13Ks, 11Ks. Ridiculous.

2:26: Not sure how accurate this pitch tracker is on TBS, but I’m enjoying it so far. Not too distracting.

2:22: Ian Kennedy shuts the Brewers down in order in the bottom of the first.

2:16: No score as we move to the bottom of the first. The remarkable part about that first inning was how the announcers talked about swinging at first pitches as if that is a good thing. OK.

2:12: Single to left by Justin Upton, but Bloomquist is gunned down at the plate by Ryan Braun. And it wasn’t all that close.

2:11: Bloomquist now steals second base. The Diamondbacks have a runner in scoring position with one out.

2:08: Well, he made me shut up rather quickly. Single of the first pitch of the ballgame.

2:07: Wow, nothing quite like Willie Bloomquist and his .317 career on-base percentage leading off a playoff game.

2:00 PM ET: The American League began postseason play yesterday (though not completely, thanks to the suspended game in New York), but now it’s the National League’s turn, as the Diamondbacks and Brewers will play Game 1 of the NLDS.

Ian Kennedy (21-4, 2.88 ERA) is on the hill for the D-Backs while Yovani Gallardo (17-10) will get the call for the Brewers.

I’ll be dropping some of my random thoughts and observations here throughout the ballgame. Feel free to join the conversation in our comments section.

Looking for lineups? We have you covered right here.

Player pool for MLB postseason shares is a record $69 million

television money
1 Comment

MLB just announced the postseason shares for this year and the players’ overall pool is a record total of $69.9 million. Nice.

That total gets divided among playoff participants, with Royals receiving $25,157,573.73 for winning the World Series and Mets getting $16,771,715.82 for finishing runner-up. That works out to $370,069.03 each for the Royals and $300,757.78 each for the Mets.

Jeffrey Flanagan of reports that the Royals have issued full playoff shares to a total of 58 people, plus 8.37 partial shares and 50 “cash rewards.” In other words: There was a whole bunch of money to go around if you were in any way involved in the Royals’ championship run.

According to MLB public relations the previous high for the overall player pool was $65.4 million in 2012 and the Mets’ playoff share is the highest ever for a World Series-losing team, topping the Tigers’ share of $291,667.68 in 2006. Kansas City’s playoff share is slightly less than San Francisco received last year.

Here are the individual postseason share amounts by team:

Royals – $370,069.03
Mets – $300,757.78
Blue Jays – $141,834.40
Cubs – $122,327.59
Astros – $36,783.25
Cardinals – $34,223.65
Dodgers – $34,168.74
Rangers – $34,074.40
Pirates – $15,884.20
Yankees – $13,979.99

Marc Anthony gets into the agent business, signs Aroldis Chapman

Aroldis Chapman

There is a somewhat mixed history of entertainers and musicians getting into the sports agent business. Sometimes it works out (Jay-Z has done OK). Sometimes it doesn’t (Master P says “Hi”).

Add another one to the list. A pretty big one. Ken Rosenthal reports that Marc Anthony’s Magnus Media is getting into sports. And the company, Magnus Sports, just signed a new client: Reds closer Aroldis Chapman. From Rosenthal:

The company said in a news release that it will team with a baseball agency, Praver Shapiro Sports Management — and that the group’s first major client will be Reds closer Aroldis Chapman.

Praver Shapiro represents a number of Latin players, including Marlinsshortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, Cubs right fielder Jorge Soler, Reds pitcherRaisel Iglesias and free-agent third baseman Juan Uribe.

Chapman is on the trading block right now but 2016 is his walk year, and barring injury he’ll due for perhaps the biggest payday a closer has ever seen. Whether he’ll actually get it depends on the negotiating skills of the biggest salsa artist the world has ever seen.

Gentlemen: you have a year to get some song title pun/headlines ready.

Orioles interested in Denard Span

Denard Span
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
1 Comment

MASN’s Roch Kubatko is reporting that the Orioles have “some level” of interest in free agent outfielder Denard Span. The Nationals did not make a $15.8 million qualifying offer to Span, which means he doesn’t come attached with draft pick compensation unlike other free agents such as Alex Gordon and Dexter Fowler.

Span, who turns 32 in February, hit a solid .301/.365/.431 with five home runs, 22 RBI, 38 runs scored, and 11 stolen bases, but took only 275 plate appearances due to back and hip injuries. He underwent season-ending hip surgery in September but is expected to be ready to participate in spring training.

The Mets and Royals have also reportedly shown interest in Span’s services.

Blue Jays showing interest in Ryan Madson

Ryan Madson
AP Photo/Orlin Wagner

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Blue Jays are on the prowl for relievers with closing experience. Ryan Madson is one of the names on their list.

Madson, 35, had a career rebirth with the Royals in 2015. He signed a minor league deal with the club that paid him a salary of $850,000 if he made it back to the majors. Due to a plethora of arm injuries, Madson hadn’t pitched in the majors since Game 5 of the 2011 NLDS against the Cardinals as a member of the Phillies. For the Royals, he wound up becoming a crucial member of the bullpen, finishing with a 2.13 ERA and a 58/14 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings.

While Madson allowed five runs in 8 1/3 post-season innings, he pitched well when it mattered most, as he hurled three scoreless frames in three appearances in the World Series against the Mets.

Madson has closing experience, with 55 career saves. 32 of them came in 2011 when he took over the closer’s role from Brad Lidge.

After signing Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ, and trading for Jesse Chavez, the Jays have bolstered their rotation but it was reported on Saturday that interim GM Tony LaCava is still focused on upgrading the pitching staff.