Brett Lawrie saw 12 pitches last night. He struck out four times.

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“Moneyball” does not necessarily mean “take walks.” But taking walks, working counts and stuff like that is still pretty important in baseball. So I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think that Billy Beane and the A’s brain trust took some issue with new third baseman Brett Lawrie’s approach at the plate last night.

Why? Because that approach led to Lawrie striking out four times. On 12 pitches. I don’t think I need to do that math for you, but here’s what his at bats looked like on the pitch-by-pitch breakdown:

  • Second Inning: Strike (looking), Strike (looking), Strike (swinging), Lawrie struck out swinging
  • Fifth Inning: Strike (looking), Strike (foul), Strike (swinging), Lawrie struck out swinging
  • Seventh Inning: Strike (looking), Strike (swinging), Strike (swinging), Lawrie struck out swinging
  • Ninth Inning: Strike (looking), Strike (looking), Strike (swinging), Lawrie struck out swinging

Rangers pitchers only struck out seven dudes overall. Lawrie was four of ’em. Nice night, friend.

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.