Nelson Cruz up to ninth all-time on postseason home runs list

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It’s not every day you get a chance to overtake Babe Ruth.

Most Postseason Home Runs (via Baseball-reference)
1. Manny Ramirez – 29 HR in 493 PA
2. Bernie Williams – 22 HR in 545 PA
3. Derek Jeter – 20 HR in 734 PA
4. Albert Pujols – 19 HR in 333 PA
5. Reggie Jackson – 18 HR in 318 PA
5. Mickey Mantle – 18 HR in 273 PA
7. David Ortiz – 17 HR in 357 PA
7. Jim Thome – 17 HR in 267 PA
9. Nelson Cruz – 16 HR in 149 PA
9. Carlos Beltran – 16 HR in 219 PA
11. Babe Ruth – 15 HR in 167 PA

The Pujols total is also up to the minute, following his homer Sunday.

That’s pretty good company Cruz is keeping, especially since this is just his third extended postseason. He hit six homers in the Rangers’ World Series run in 2010 and then eight the following year, including six in the ALCS alone. He also played in the wild card game in 2012, which the Rangers lost to the Orioles. Technically, that was his third postseason, making this one his fourth. But one game isn’t much of a postseason.

Cruz’s two-run homer off David Price today accounted for the Orioles’ only runs as they completed their three-game sweep of the Tigers. He had two homers and five RBI in the series. Cruz is a .297 hitter with 32 RBI in 37 career postseason games. In the regular season, he’s a lifetime .268 hitter. He’s averaged eight homers and 23 RBI per 37 regular-season games.

The Cubs played under protest after Joe Maddon disputed an ‘illegal’ pitching motion

Joe Maddon
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The Cubs found themselves in a disadvantageous position toward the end of their 5-2 loss to the Nationals on Saturday. Down by three in the ninth, they were finally looking to gain some ground against closer Sean Doolittle after wearying themselves against Stephen Strasburg for the first eight innings of the game. Instead, the game ended under protest when Cubs skipper Joe Maddon took umbrage with Doolittle’s delivery:

The issue appeared to stem from the motion Doolittle made with his left foot, a kind of “toe-tapping” gesture that Maddon believed had previously been made illegal. The official rules state that a pitcher may not take a second step toward home plate during his delivery, a stipulation that had previously been violated by Cubs’ pitcher Carl Edwards Jr.:

Comparing the two motions, however, one would be hard-pressed to characterize Doolittle’s tapping motion as a full step toward the plate. Maddon clearly didn’t see it that way, and emerged from the dugout to dispute the pitcher’s delivery twice. Following Doolittle’s first-pitch strike to Albert Almora, the manager informed home-plate umpire Sam Holbrook that the Cubs would play the remainder of the game under protest.

An official decision has not yet been announced regarding the illegality of the delivery and the validity of the Cubs’ protest. According to league rules, “the game will not be replayed unless it is also determined that the violation adversely affected the protesting team’s chances of winning.”

During the inning in question, however, the umpiring crew allowed Doolittle to continue his delivery. He helped secure the Nationals’ 5-2 win after inducing a groundout from Almora, striking out Kyle Schwarber, and getting a game-ending pop-out from Kris Bryant.

After the game, both Holbrook and Doolittle took issue with Maddon’s protest.

“In that moment, he’s not trying to do anything other than rattle me,” Doolittle told reporters. “And it was kind of tired. I don’t know, sometimes he has to remind people how smart he is and how much he pays attention to the game. So he put his stamp on it, for sure.”

Holbrook, meanwhile, said Doolittle did “absolutely nothing illegal at all.”