Brewers GM not optimistic about signing Zack Greinke

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Brewers general manager Doug Melvin admitted to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he’s not optimistic about signing impending free agent Zack Greinke to a long-term extension before the July 31 trade deadline, saying:

When players get this close [to free agency], there’s not many that will sign, at that level. He’s a difference-maker to a team that’s got a chance to go to the postseason. Unless you’re raising the bar, you usually go on the market.

There have been various reports that the Brewers will trade Greinke if they can’t sign him by July 31, although for now at least Melvin downplayed the level of interest being shown. Or at least the level of direct interest coming from fellow GMs:

There’s probably more rumors than anything. I think, respectfully, general managers don’t call when you’re eight games out, six games out of a wild card. They don’t call but their let their interest be known in a different way. Their scouts will talk to our scouts and say, “We’re interested in somebody.”

In other words, expect the Greinke rumors to continue swirling for the next three weeks.

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.