Uptons to follow in footsteps of Alous, Conigliaros, Waners

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With B.J. and Justin Upton getting together in Atlanta, I thought it’d be fun to look at the other MLB outfields to pair siblings. The Uptons are the fourth set of brothers charged with patrolling the same outfield. Here’s how the first three fared:

Felipe, Jesus and Matty Alou

1961-63 Giants
Felipe: .296/.336/.486, 63 HR, 232 RBI in 1,541 AB – 125 OPS+
Matty: .276/.325/.380, 9 HR, 40 RBI in 471 AB – 92 OPS+

1964-65 Giants
Matty: .246/.286/.303, 3 HR, 32 RBI in 574 AB – 65 OPS+
Jesus: .288.312/.369, 12 HR, 80 RBI in 919 AB – 90 OPS+

1973 Yankees
Felipe: .236/.256/.321, 4 HR, 27 RBI in 280 AB – 65 OPS+
Matty: .296/.338/.356, 2 HR, 28 RBI in 497 AB – 100 OPS+

Felipe, Matty and Jesus were all briefly part of the 1963 Giants, but I didn’t count that, since Jesus got just 24 at-bats in 16 games as a rookie that season.

Felipe was obviously the best of the brothers, but his two best seasons came in Atlanta in 1966 (.327/.361/.533, league-leading 218 hits, 122 runs) and 1968 (.317/.365/.438, league-leading 210 hits).

Before their late-career reunion with the Yankees, Felipe and Matty just missed each other and Jesus in Oakland. Felipe played for the A’s in 1970 and briefly in 1971, Matty played their in 1972 and Jesus was there in 1973 and ’74.

Billy and Tony Conigliaro

1969-70 Red Sox
Billy: .274/.343/.479, 22 HR, 65 RBI in 478 AB – 119 OPS+
Tony: .261/.323/.464, 56 HR, 198 RBI in 1,066 AB – 111 OPS+

Everyone knows what happened with Tony; his time with his brother came after he missed the 1968 season following a beaning. A Hall of Fame-type talent, he was already dealing with the deteriorating eyesight that forced him out of baseball.

What I didn’t realize is that Billy looks like quite a talent himself. That 119 OPS+ came in his age 21 and 22 seasons. However, he wasn’t happy with the Red Sox after they traded Tony following the 1970 season, and it seems to show up in his performance. He hit .262/.310/.436 in 1971 and then got traded himself. Struggling with the Brewers, he retired in the middle of the 1972 season while still just 24 years old. He did try a comeback the next year, getting into 48 games with the A’s, but that was it for his career.

Lloyd and Paul Waner

1927-40 Pirates
Lloyd: .319/.356/.400, 27 HR, 573 RBI in 7,219 AB – 100 OPS+
Paul: .341/.406/.487, 101 HR, 1,098 RBI in 7,893 AB – 136 OPS+

The Waners were also very briefly teammates on the 1941 Boston Braves and again on the 1944 Brooklyn Dodgers, but both were well past their primes by then.

Both Waners made it into the Hall of Fame, Paul in 1952 and Lloyd in 1967. Paul was obviously deserving. He won three batting crowns and finished in the top 10 in the NL in average nine times, in OBP 13 times and in slugging seven times. Lloyd, while a solid enough regular, was a rider of coattails. He finished in the top 10 in the NL in average six times, but just once higher than eighth (third in 1927). He was in the top 10 in OBP once (ninth in 1927) and never in slugging. He finished his career with a 99 OPS+, compared to 134 for Paul.

Astros advance to the World Series with 4-0 finale against Yankees

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The Astros punched their ticket to the World Series on Saturday, shutting out the Yankees 4-0 to take their first Game 7 victory at home. Charlie Morton was nearly untouchable on the mound, holding the Yankees to two hits, a walk and five strikeouts en route to his first career postseason win.

Morton and Sabathia carried their duel through three solid innings. Morton struck out three batters and allowed just one baserunner. Sabathia worked in and out of jams in the second and third innings, supplying and stranding two runners in scoring position.

Evan Gattis was the first to strike. In the fourth inning, he punched a 2-2 slider from Sabathia into the left field wall, where it registered a projected 405 feet and broke a homer-less streak of 115 at-bats by designated hitters in the 2017 postseason. The home run signaled the beginning of the end for the Yankees’ starter. He induced a groundout from Marwin Gonzalez, then walked Brian McCann on six pitches and allowed Josh Reddick his first base hit of the playoffs. That was enough for Joe Girardi, who pulled Sabathia for righty Tommy Kahnle and an inning-ending double play to close out the fourth.

Even with Sabathia gone, there was still some hope that the middle of the order could bail the Yankees out. Greg Bird led off the fifth with a first pitch double and Aaron Hicks took a four-pitch walk. A wild pitch from Morton allowed Bird to reach third base, but Alex Bregman and Brian McCann weren’t about to let the Yankees spoil their starter’s shutout. Todd Frazier bounced a ball toward third base, where Bregman grabbed and fired it to home plate, catching Bird just as McCann put his glove down.

The bottom of the inning wasn’t any easier for Sabathia’s successors. Jose Altuve went oppo-taco on a 1-1 changeup from Kahnle, postmarking it 364 feet into the right field stands. Kahnle labored through the next four at-bats, handing out a pair of singles to Carlos Correa and Yuli Gurriel before sending Gattis down swinging. The next at-bat was even more troublesome. McCann roped a two-out, two-RBI double to the warning track in right field, clearing the bases and boosting the Astros’ to a cushy 4-0 lead.

The excitement fizzled a little over the next few innings. Brett Gardner muscled a leadoff single off of Lance McCullers, but was later caught at second on a force play to end the sixth. McCullers didn’t let go of the ball again. He was lights-out through the end of the game, scattering a walk and six strikeouts over four innings and clinching the pennant with a 1-2-3 performance in the ninth.

Whatever confidence the Astros had coming off of their three-game sweep in the Division Series was tested and tested again in their pennant run. They battled through three tough losses in Games 3 through 5, staved off elimination with a gem from Justin Verlander in Game 6, and finally emerged victorious tonight. Three days from now, when they enter Dodger Stadium for Game 1 of the World Series, they’ll have the chance to do it all again.