Jeff Gray and the absurdity of pitcher “wins”

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Twins reliever Jeff Gray is a 30-year-old journeyman who, as of yesterday afternoon, had one career victory as a big leaguer. Now he has three career victories and how he got there is hilarious.

Last night Gray entered the game with two outs in the seventh inning and the Twins down 5-3. He retired Peter Bourjos to end the frame and then Minnesota scored three runs in the next half-inning, making Gray the pitcher of record and giving him a win for throwing exactly one pitch.

This afternoon Gray entered the game with two outs in the eighth inning and the Twins down 7-6. He retired Howie Kendrick to end the frame and then Minnesota scored four runs in the next half-inning. Gray once again got the win, although this time he threw two pitches instead of one.

So, in the span of about 18 hours Gray went from one career win to three career wins, all while facing two hitters and throwing a grand total of three pitches. Obviously he just knows how to win.

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.