The 2015 Hall of Fame ballot is out — Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez are new on the ballot

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It’s almost that time! The time to argue for a couple of months on-end about the Hall of Fame! The ballot has been released. Here it is, with 17 holdovers and 17 newcomers.

Here are the new guys:

Randy Johnson
Pedro Martinez
John Smoltz
Carlos Delgado
Gary Sheffield
Nomar Garciaparra
Troy Percival
Rich Aurilia
Aaron Boone
Tony Clark
Jermaine Dye
Darin Erstad
Cliff Floyd
Brian Giles
Tom Gordon
Eddie Guardado
Jason Schmidt

Quick analysis: Johnson and Martinez should be shoe-ins. Smoltz will get a LOT of support and could very well make it. No one else need apply, though I think Gary Sheffield deserves far more support than he’ll get.

And here are the holdovers, with their vote totals from last year:

Craig Biggio (74.8%)
Mike Piazza (62.2%)
Jeff Bagwell (54.3%)
Tim Raines (46.1%)
Roger Clemens (35.4%)
Barry Bonds (34.7%)
Lee Smith (29.9%)
Curt Schilling (29.2%)
Edgar Martinez (25.2%)
Alan Trammell (20.8%)
Mike Mussina (20.3%)
Jeff Kent (15.2%)
Fred McGriff (11.7%)
Mark McGwire (11.0%)
Larry Walker (10.2%)
Don Mattingly (8.2%)
Sammy Sosa (7.2%)

Analysis: Biggio should get over the hump and certainly deserves it. It’s hard to see anyone else gaining enough ground to make it, though Piazza should make a push. Multiple guys, of course, deserve to be in the Hall of Fame here. Among them: Bagwell, Raines, Clemens, Bonds, Schilling, Martinez, Trammell, Mussina and McGwire. Many make a good strong case for Walker and Sosa does have 609 home runs.

But, of course, there are politics to all of this. And silliness. And controversy. And a lot of Hall of Fame voters who have no business near a ballot.

And, like I said, we have a good month or so to discuss all of that. And most certainly will.

 

Pujols has 2 more RBIs, Cardinals beat Pirates 8-7 in 10

Cincinnati Reds v St. Louis Cardinals
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PITTSBURGH – Albert Pujols drove in two more runs and the St. Louis Cardinals went on to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-7 in 10 innings Tuesday night.

Pujols hit a two-run single in the third inning to push his career total to 2,218 RBIs. That came a night after he broke a tie with Babe Ruth for second place on the career list. Hank Aaron holds the record with 2,287.

Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol then removed the 42-year-old Pujols at the end of the inning. St. Louis opens postseason play Friday when it hosts a best-of-three National League wild-card series.

Juan Yepez gave the Cardinals the win when he hit a tiebreaking single with one in the 10th inning off Chase De Jong (6-3) to score automatic runner Ben Deluzio.

“Tonight was interesting because you’re fairly scripted in who you want to use and who you don’t want to use and what you want tomorrow to look like so you can get ready for Friday,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “It was a good one to still figure out a way to come out on top.”

The Cardinals threw out the potential tying run at home in the bottom of the 10th when automatic runner Kevin Newman tried to score from second base on Oneil Cruz‘s line single off the glove of first baseman Alec Burleson. The ball deflected to second baseman Brendon Donovan, who threw home to catcher Andrew Knizner.

The Pirates challenged the call, but it was upheld on video review.

“I thought we were going to get it overturned,” Newman said. “I just thought he didn’t tag me until he got higher up on the body.”

It was the Pirates’ 100th loss, the second year in a row they have reached that mark.

The Cardinals got two hits each from Donovan, Corey Dickerson, Knizner and Paul DeJong.

Cruz had three hits for the Pirates and Bryan Reynolds, Rodolfo Castro, Jack Suwinski, Ke'Bryan Hayes and Ji-Hwan Bae added two apiece. Miguel Andujar drove in two runs.

Chris Stratton (10-4) pitched two scoreless innings for the win.

“They weren’t the prettiest two innings I’ve ever pitched but I got a great play from the defense in the 10th inning to help me out,” Stratton said. “It was a good play all the way around.’

Pujols’ hit put the Cardinals ahead 3-1 but the Pirates answered with six runs in the bottom of the third. Andujar’s run-scoring double highlighted an inning that includes RBI singles by Castro, Suwinski, Ben Gamel and Bae.

The Cardinals then scored four runs in the seventh inning to tie the score at 7-all. Donovan hit an RBI single, Dickerson drove in two runs with a double and the tying run scored on a throwing error by Cruz, the rookie shortstop.

Both starting pitchers lasted just 2 2/3 innings. The Cardinals’ Dakota Hudson was rocked for seven runs and nine hits while the Pirates’ JT Brubaker allowed three runs on four hits.

Brubaker was activated from the injured list before the game. He had been out since Sept. 16 with right lat discomfort.

HELSLEY HURT

Reliever Ryan Helsley, the Cardinals’ closer, left in the eighth inning with a jammed right middle finger. Helsley was injured after catching a line drive by Bae and using his hands to brace himself while dodging a piece of a broken bat.

Helsley said he expects to be ready to pitch Friday.

“I don’t think there was anything super wrong with it,” Helsley said. `Just give it some rest and let it resolve itself.”

ROSTER MOVES

The Pirates optioned right-hander Roansy Contreras to Triple-A Indianapolis to clear a roster spot for Brubaker. They also recalled infielder/outfielder Tucapita Marcano from Indianapolis and optioned catcher Jose Godoy to the same club.

PIRATES AWARDS

Center fielder Bryan Reynolds was voted the winner of the Roberto Clemente Award, emblematic of the Pirates’ MVP, by the Pittsburgh chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Mitch Keller won the Steve Blass Award for best pitcher. Former infielder Michael Chavis was voted the Chuck Tanner Good Guy Award.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cardinals: OF Tyler O'Neill (strained right hamstring) has been ruled out for the wild-card series but St. Louis is hopeful he can play in the NLDS round if it advances. . 3B Nolan Arenado (left quadriceps tightness) missed his second straight game but could play Wednesday.

UP NEXT

Cardinals: Have not decided on a starter for Wednesday, though Marmol said LHP Matthew Liberatore (2-1, 5.46) and RHP Jake Woodford (4-0, 2.33) are possibilities.

Pirates: RHP Johan Oviedo (4-3, 3.12), who was acquired from the Cardinals on Aug. 1, gets the start.