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Players Choice Award winners announced

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No surprise here: Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge and Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger have won the Players Choice Award for Outstanding Rookie in their respective leagues, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch and Ken Gurnick report.

Judge, 25, finished the regular season batting .284/.422/.627 with 52 home runs, 114 RBI, 128 runs, and 127 walks in 678 plate appearances. His runs, home runs, and walks totals led the American League. He also led all players in Wins Above Replacement (8.2), according to FanGraphs. Judge helped lead the Yankees from the AL Wild Card game into the ALCS, where they were ultimately stopped by the eventual world champion Astros.

Bellinger, 22, hit .267/.352/.581 with 39 home runs, 97 RBI, and 87 runs scored in 548 plate appearances. The Dodgers went on to win an MLB-best 104 games in the regular season and fell just short of winning the World Series.

The Rookie of the Year Awards, voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America, will likely have similar results. Those will be announced on November 13.

Nationals starter Max Scherzer won the award for Outstanding Pitcher in the National League. The potential NL Cy Young Award winner went 16-6 with a 2.51 ERA and a 268/55 K/BB ratio over 200 2/3 innings. Scherzer helped the Nats win 97 games but they were once again stopped in the NLDS, this time by the Cubs.

Indians starter Corey Kluber won the Outstanding Pitcher award in the American League. He went 18-4 with a 2.25 ERA and a 265/36 K/BB ratio across 203 2/3 innings. His wins, ERA, complete games (five), and shutouts (three) totals were major league bests.

The Cy Young Award winners, voted on by the BBWAA, will be announced on November 15.

Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman won the Comeback Player of the Year Award in the National League. The 33-year-old posted a career-low .642 OPS in 2016, but bounced back with a .930 OPS in 2017. That included a .303/.358/.573 triple-slash line along with 36 home runs, 108 RBI, and 90 runs scored.

In the American League, Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas won the Comeback Player of the Year Award. The 29-year-old free agent played in only 27 games in 2016 after undergoing ACL surgery. In 2017, he hit .272/.314/.521 with a career-high 38 home runs and 85 RBI in 598 PA.

Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton was named the National League’s Most Outstanding Player. He hit .281/.376/.631 with an MLB-best 59 home runs and 132 RBI along with 123 runs scored in 692 plate appearances.

Astros second baseman Jose Altuve won the Outstanding Player Award in the AL. He won the batting title, hitting .346 with a .410 on-base percentage and a .547 slugging percentage. Along with that, he mashed 39 doubles and 24 homers while knocking in 81 runs, scoring 112 runs, and stealing 32 bases.

Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado won the Always Game Award. He hit .309/.373/.586 with 37 home runs, 130 RBI, and 100 runs scored in 680 plate appearances. He also led the NL with 43 doubles.

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo won the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award. Rizzo also won the 2017 Roberto Clemente Award. He overcame limited stage classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2008. He has since established the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation, which raises money for cancer research and provides support to children and their families dealing with cancer.

Altuve won the Player of the Year Award for the second consecutive season.

And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Where we stand:

  • The Brewers and Cubs both won, giving them each a half-game boost over the Phillies and a full game boost over the Mets, who lost, but keeping the status quo between themselves. Chicago has a one-game lead over Milwaukee for the second Wild Card and a five-game lead over both New York and Philly;
  • The Nationals lost to the Cardinals, reducing their lead for the top spot in the Wild Card race to a half game. We’ve sort of assumed for a couple of weeks that they were a lock at the top but, know what? They’re not;
  • The Twins put a half-game more on their lead over the idle Indians in the AL Central, making the margin five;
  • The Rays and Indians both had the night off while the Athletics lost, putting the Rays a game and a half behind the A’s in second and first, respectively, in the AL Wild Card race while Cleveland trails Tampa Bay by one and a half.

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Tigers 5, Orioles 2: When I did yesterday’s recap I didn’t realize that this was a wraparound series and none of you corrected me so I guess that tells ya how this matchup rates in our collective consciousness. Jordy Mercer hit a two-run homer in the first inning and Victor Reyes hit a two-run double in the second to help Detroit earn the split.

Brewers 5, Padres 1: Corey Spangenberg spent five years with the Padres before this season but he set any residual loyalties aside while facing his old comrades, driving in three runs, including a tie-breaking, two-run triple in the fourth inning. Zach Davies, meanwhile, allowed one run over five and the Milwaukee pen held San Diego scoreless for the final four innings. The Brew Crew has won ten of eleven.

Twins 5, White Sox 3: The Sox took an early 2-0 lead but those were the only two runs Twins starter José Berríros allowed while pitching into the eighth inning. Jorge Polanco hit a sacrifice fly and Nelson Cruz knocked an RBI single in the second to tie things up and Mitch Garver‘s RBI double in the fifth put the Twinkies ahead for good. They didn’t hit a homer in this one. I hope they feel OK.

Cardinals 4, Nationals 2: Marcell Ozuna drove in all four of the Cardinals runs with a two-run homer and a two-run double. He also nailed a runner at home plate in the fourth to keep the Nats from tying things up:

The Nationals are looking over their shoulder and seeing the possibility of three NL Central teams making the postseason while they’re on the outside looking in. Not saying it’s gonna happen, but it could.

Cubs 8, Reds 2: Kyle Schwarber hit a three-run homer and Nicholas Castellanos hit a two-run double while five Cubs relievers tossed five and two-thirds scoreless innings. Schwarber — who we have always identified with stellar defense, right? — also made this diving catch:

Rockies 9, Mets 4: Rockies pitcher Antonio Senzatela hit a tying, two-run single in the fourth after which Trevor Story, a far more usual offensive contributor, smacked a three-run homer to blow things open for Colorado. In all the Rockies roughed up Steven Matz for seven runs on six hits in four innings. Before that single, Senzatela had been 0-for-44 on the year.  Brandon Nimmo and Jeff McNeil each homered in a losing cause for New York.

Diamondbacks 7, Marlins 5: Robbie Ray pitched five and two-thirds innings of no-hit ball and left the game after allowing only one run in six innings. Once he was gone, however, the Fish put up a five-spot in the top of the seventh to come back from being down 3-0. Their lead didn’t last long as the Snakes put up a four-spot in their half of the seventh, including a bases-clearing three-run double by Jake Lamb, to give themselves back the lead and, ultimately, the game. Lamb also knocked in the game’s first run while being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the first. There are easier ways to get an RBI but whatever works, right?

Royals 6, Athletics 5: The A’s six-game winning streak comes to an end thanks to some late inning heroics by Royals batters. Specifically, Brett Phillips hit a tying home run off Liam Hendricks in the ninth after which Adalberto Mondesí hit an RBI double to put Kansas City on top. That Mondesí double isn’t an RBI if not for the fact that, one batter earlier, Whit Merrifield reached second thanks to a Ramón Laureano letting the ball simply pop out of his glove. Oops.