Ryan Braun

Ryan Braun hits 200th, 201st career homers versus Mets


3:40 p.m. EDT update: Braun just added his second solo shot of the game, giving him 201 career homers.


Ryan Braun became the seventh player in major league history to reach 200 homers within his first six seasons when he took the Mets’ Chris Young deep on Sunday.

Here’s the list of players with the most homers through six seasons:

257 – Ralph Kiner (1946-51)
250 – Albert Pujols (2001-06)
222 – Ryan Howard (2004-09)
222 – Eddie Mathews (1952-57)
203 – Mark Teixeira (2003-08)
202 – Frank Robinson (1956-61)
200 – Ryan Braun (2007-12)
198 – Joe DiMaggio (1936-41)
198 – Adam Dunn (2001-06)
197 – Ted Williams (1939-47)

Braun went to college and didn’t debut in the majors until age-23, so he wouldn’t fare so well on an age-based home run list. Still, this is pretty impressive company he’s keeping here.

In case you’re wondering how the all-time home run leaders fared through six seasons, Hank Aaron is tops in the 700 club, with 179 homers. Barry Bonds had 142 homers through six seasons (23 fewer than his father had). Still pitching for Boston, Babe Ruth had 59 homers in his first six seasons.

Michael Cuddyer not shining in left field early in NLDS Game 1

Michael Cuddyer
AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek

Mets outfielder Michael Cuddyer has already made a pair of mistakes in left field and he’s only four innings into the first game of the best-of-five NLDS against the Dodgers.

Leading off the second inning, Justin Turner sent a well-struck liner to Cuddyer which was quite catchable, but the ball clanked off of the veteran’s glove. Turner was credited with a double. Mets starter Jacob deGrom was able to work around the misplay, striking out Andre Ethier, A.J. Ellis, and Clayton Kershaw to close out the frame.

With two outs in the third inning, Corey Seager sent a fly ball down the left field line. Cuddyer took an inefficient route and the ball bounced about a foot inside the foul line, then into the stands, giving Seager a ground-rule double. To add insult to injury, Cuddyer ended up tumbling over the fence. deGrom, again, worked around Cuddyer’s mistake, striking out Adrian Gonzalez to end the inning.

Because he bats right-handed, Cuddyer got the start in left field over the left-handed-hitting rookie Michael Conforto against Kershaw, a southpaw. Conforto mustered only a .481 OPS against lefties this season compared to Cuddyer’s .698. Despite the batting disparity, one wonders how short a leash manager Terry Collins has on Cuddyer given his defense.

Mets take lead during NLDS Game 1 with Daniel Murphy’s solo homer

Daniel Murphy
AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek
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Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning, belting a solo home run to right field at Dodger Stadium off of starter Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw threw a 2-0, 94 MPH fastball and Murphy didn’t miss it.

Both teams’ starters are pitching quite well overall. Kershaw has allowed the one run on three hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Jacob deGrom started off the game with six consecutive strikeouts and has struck out seven total while blanking the Dodgers on three hits and a walk in three innings.

Kershaw doesn’t have the most impressive post-season track record, owning a career 5.12 ERA across eight starts and three relief appearances spanning 51 innings. Aside from the homer, the lefty appears to be putting that notion aside.

Qualifying offer for free agents set at $15.8 million

Jason Heyward
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Eric Fisher of the Sports Business Journal reports that the value of a qualifying offer for free agents this off-season has been set at $15.8 million. That represents an increase of a half-million dollars over last year’s value.

This is of particular interest with regards to the big-name free agents, including Justin Upton, Jason Heyward, Yovani Gallardo, Jordan Zimmermann, and Jeff Samardzija.

Teams that make a qualifying offer to a player that ends up being rejected receive a compensation draft pick in the upcoming draft. The team that signs the player who rejected a qualifying offer gives up their earliest non-protected draft pick.

Free agents who had been traded mid-season aren’t eligible to receive a qualifying offer. This includes Yoenis Cespedes, David Price, Johnny Cueto, and Ben Zobrist, among others.

A player has yet to accept a qualifying offer since the QO system was implemented.