The Player of the Week awards were announced this afternoon. The winners: Paul Konerko of the White Sox and Jay Bruce of the Reds.
Konerko went 10-for-23 with three doubles, three home runs — including his 400th career bomb — and drove in four. He’s having another quietly great Paul Konerko year thus far, hitting .383/.444/.679. Someday we’re all gonna look back at the past 15 years or so and wonder why in the hell people didn’t talk about him more than we did.
In the NL, it was Jay Bruce, who went 10-for-21, hit four homers — in consecutive games — drove in ten and got on base at a .542 clip, leading the suddenly frisky Reds to a 4-2 record.
I should also add that I have this feeling that one day we’ll look back at Jay Bruce’s career a lot like Paul Konerko’s.
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has not had a good postseason. Entering Monday night’s NLCS Game 3, he was batting .111/.238/.278 in 21 trips to the plate across the NLDS and the first two games of the NLCS.
Defense has also been an issue for Grandal. In Game 1 of the NLCS, Grandal was on the hook for two passed balls. In the sixth inning of Game 3 Monday night, he couldn’t corral a curve in the dirt, which allowed Travis Shaw to score the Brewers’ second run of the night. Starter Walker Buehler was charged with a wild pitch. In the eighth, with Ryan Braun on first base and Shaw at the plate, Grandal again couldn’t corral a pitch in the dirt, allowing Braun to move to second base. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Alex Wood was able to escape the inning with no damage.
Manager Dave Roberts said that Austin Barnes, not Grandal, will start behind the plate for Game 4 on Tuesday night, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. That comes as no surprise at all. When Grandal struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Dodger fans regaled him with boos.
Barnes will be an upgrade defensively, but he’s lacking with the bat. He had an 0-for-3 performance in Game 2, though with an RBI, bringing his career slash line in the playoffs to .200/.281/.300 across 57 plate appearances. During the regular season, his career 100 adjusted OPS is a fair bit behind Grandal’s 115. Roberts is trading offense for defense in Game 4. Rich Hill will get the start opposite the Brewers’ Gio González.