Chris Young celebrates solo home run against the Milwaukee Brewers in Phoenix

Chris Young powers Diamondbacks past Brewers and into Game 5

6 Comments

Three of the four Divisional Series are going the distance, as the Diamondbacks topped the Brewers 10-6 on Wednesday night to create a decisive Game 5 on Friday.

Both starters lasted exactly three innings in this offensive showcase.  Randy Wolf was pulled for a pinch-hitter in the top of the fourth having given up seven runs, and Joe Saunders was hit for in the bottom of the fourth having allowed three.

Micah Owings, who pitched scoreless fourth and fifth innings, was credited with the victory.

Ryan Roberts and Chris Young led the way for Arizona’s offense.  Roberts hit a grand slam in the bottom of the first, and Young immediately followed with the first of his two homers on the night.  Aaron Hill also homered for Arizona, and Paul Goldschmidt, Tuesday’s hero, went 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored.

Milwaukee’s lone homer came off the bat of the much-maligned Carlos Gomez.  Gomez, who didn’t even have an at-bat in the first three games of the series, also singled in his start over Nyjer Morgan.

Yuniesky Betancourt went 3-for-4 for the Brewers.  Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder both had lone doubles in four at-bats.

After combining to score 38 runs the last three games, the Diamondbacks and Brewers will get their aces back on the mound Friday in Milwaukee. Ian Kennedy and Yovani Gallardo are set for a rematch of the Game 1 that the Brewers claimed 4-1.

Notes

– If the Diamondbacks can come all of the way back, they’d be the first team since the 2003 Red Sox (vs. Oakland) to win a best-of-five after going down 0-2.

– The Diamondbacks are just the second team ever to hit grand slams in consecutive postseason games (Goldschmidt had one Wednesday). The 1977 Dodgers were the first.

– Young now has three homers in the series and five in 11 career postseason games. He has an extremely impressive .333/.458/.769 line in 39 at-bats overall in October.

– His two-homer game was the first in Arizona’s postseason history.

– Diamondbacks phenom Jarrod Parker struggled in his postseason debut. A somewhat surprising addition to the roster after just one regular-season appearance, he gave up one run and retired only one of the four hitters he faced in the sixth inning tonight.

– Arizona left fielder Gerardo Parra went hitless again, leaving him 0-for-15 with six strikeouts in the series. The Diamondbacks could make a change there in Game 5, perhaps going to Collin Cowgill in his place. Cowgill delivered a two-run single as a pinch-hitter tonight.

Delmon Young arrested for choking, threatening a valet

Delmon Young
Getty Images
11 Comments

Major leaguer Delmon Young was arrested in Miami last night after allegedly choking and threatening a valet attendant, and using ethnic slurs. Andy Slater of 940-AM WINZ in Miami was the first to report Young’s arrest. HardballTalk has independently confirmed the report after speaking to the Miami Police Department.

According to the report, Young was angry that a valet at the Viceroy Hotel in Miami wouldn’t open a door with access to a club. He allegedly put his hands around the valet’s throat and said “Stupid Cuban, open the f***ing door,” and “I’m gonna f***ing kill you, you Latin piece of s**t.” Young, who lives at the Viceroy, fled the scene and was later arrested in his room. He initially denied that he took part in the confrontation but the valet identified him to police officers. When he was being arrested Young allegedly told the police officer “I’ll slap you in the face with money you f***ing Cuban.” Oh, and he was naked from the waist down when he first opened the door for the police and appeared to be intoxicated, slurring his speech.

As you no doubt recall, Young was arrested in New York in 2012 and eventually pled guilty for harassing people on the street and using anti-Semitic slurs while appearing in a “highly intoxicated” state.

Young, 30, hit .270/.289/.339 in 52 games for the Orioles last year. He has played for the Devil Rays and Rays, the Twins, the Tigers and the Phillies before two seasons in Baltimore. The veteran of ten major league seasons is a free agent right now. And, from the sound of things, he’s likely to stay that way indefinitely.

Here’s the police report:

Young Police Report

If Brett Anderson hits better this year, thank Josh Donaldson

Los Angeles Dodgers' Brett Anderson ducks away from a pitch from Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher David Holmberg on a bunt attempt during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Associated Press
1 Comment

Or, at the very least, thank his bat.

Brett Anderson, who hit a meaty .085/.173/.106 last season, just got his first 2016 bat delivery, it seems. He posted a pic of the shiny lumber on Twitter a few minutes ago, with a message to his former teammate, the reigning AL MVP Josh Donaldson, whose “JD” initials signifying whose model number it is are plainly visible on the barrel:

 

If Anderson breaks out offensively this year — say, he pushes that OBP over .200 — I may reconsider my “DH in the National League now” argument and merely suggest that pitchers get better bats.

In other news, whose bat was Zack Greinke using last year? And did he leave any behind at Camelback Ranch? Might be worth looking.

Diamondbacks working on a deal with Tyler Clippard

at Citi Field on July 28, 2015 in Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.
1 Comment

Last week Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart revealed that he was interested in signing free agent reliever Tyler Clippard and now Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the two sides have “made progress toward a deal.”

Piecoro notes that by trading Aaron Hill and his remaining contract to the Brewers the Diamondbacks created a bit of payroll flexibility that they could use to sign Clippard.

Clippard has a long history of excellent work as both a setup man and closer, but his raw stuff and secondary numbers have declined even though his ERA remained very good at 2.92 last season for the A’s and Mets. His strikeout rate dipped to a career-low 8.1 per nine innings, which is drop of about 25 percent from 2009-2014.

Two elite Cuban players defect

cuba hat
10 Comments

Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com just reported that Yulieski Gurriel & Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who are brothers, reportedly defected and will be seeking MLB deals. There aren’t any details yet, but Sanchez will be updating with a full story that we’ll link here when he has it. UPDATE: Here it is.

Yulieski is a 31-year old third baseman and, according to Baseball America’s Ben Badler he was the No. 1 player remaining in Cuba. He was one of the Cuban players who was permitted to play in Japan recently, and he just put up a .305/.349/.536 season with 11 homers in 62 games for the Yokohama Bay Stars and has continued to rake in Cuba. He is likely major league ready right this instant. He’d be an unrestricted free agent given his age and team’s signing him would not be subject to international bonus pool limits.

Lourdes is only 22 years old. He’s hit .269/.355/.414 in 1036 Serie Nacional plate appearances and Badler thinks he has 20-homer potential in the majors one day. He’s currently a shortstop, but is probably destined for a corner. He is young enough to where he would be subject to bonus pool limits. Several teams have already exceeded those limits for the current signing period, limiting the number of teams who could sign him. If, however, it takes MLB a long time to clear him as a free agent — and with immigration issues and the like, that’s very possible — he may not be eligible to be signed until next year, which could bring some other teams into the fold.