Associated Press

Nationals designate Shawn Kelley for assignment over mound tantrum

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You’d think last night would be an unequivocally wonderful one for the Nationals, but at least one player — reliever Shawn Kelley — wasn’t feeling good about it.

Kelley was brought into the Nationals game against the Mets with a 25-1 lead and was asked to mop things up in the ninth inning. He gave up a double and a single right off, then allowed a run to score on a fielder’s choice. Next up was Austin Jackson who hit a two-run homer. With a 25-4 lead the game was not exactly in jeopardy in that situation, but Kelley acted as if the world was ending: he spiked his glove into the dirt and glared into the dugout, perhaps at manager Dave Martinez, perhaps because he was mad he drew mopup duty and saw his ERA climb in a meaningless situation, perhaps because he was simply frustrated for sucking eggs.

Either way, it didn’t go over well with the Nationals. They released him this morning. General Manager Mike Rizzo:

“I thought that the act that he portrayed on the field last night was disrespectful to the name on the front of the jersey, the organization, specifically Davey Martinez. You’re either in or you’re in the way, and I thought he was in the way . . .that’s something that you don’t come back from. It was a disrespectful act, and I thought it warranted him leaving the team. I didn’t see how he could face the rest of his teammates and the coaching staff and the manager again after such a selfish act in a 25-1 game.”

Between that and the trade of Brandon Kintzler, allegedly for snitchin’ to the press, Nats relievers best be on their best behavior. Mike Rizzo may send you to Siberia or something if you get outta line.

Watch: Christian Yelich continues to make a case for NL MVP repeat

Christian Yelich
AP Images
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Christian Yelich simply can’t be stopped. The Brewers outfielder (and defending NL MVP) entered Saturday’s game with a league-leading 11 home runs after swatting two against the Dodgers on Friday night, then clubbed another two homers in the first six innings of Saturday’s game.

The first came on a 2-1 pitch from the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu, who lobbed a changeup toward the bottom of the strike zone before it was lifted up and out to center field for a solo home run in the third inning.

While Chase Anderson and Alex Claudio held down the fort against the Dodgers’ lineup, Yelich prepared for his second blast in the sixth inning — this one a 421-foot double-decker on a first-pitch curveball from Ryu.

Yelich’s 13 home runs not only gave him a stronger grip on the league’s leaderboard, but helped him tie yet another franchise record, too. Per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, he’s tied with Prince Fielder for the most home runs hit by a Brewers player in a single month, and sits just one home run shy of tying Álex Rodríguez’s 2007 record for most home runs hit within any club’s first 22 games of the season.

It may be far too early to predict which players will finish first in the MVP races this fall, but there’s no denying Yelich has already set himself apart from the competition. Through Saturday’s performance, he’s batting .361/.459/.880 with a 1.329 OPS and MLB-best 31 RBI across 98 PA so far.