While much of the focus last offseason was on the trade that sent

in General Section Wed Jan 16, 2019 3:28 am
by laiyongcai92 • 354 Posts

Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins to the Yankees Dave Winfield Jersey , there was another deal involving Miami that has turned out to have quite an impact on the postseason race.Christian Yelich was sent from the Marlins to Milwaukee in late January, and his second-half surge at the plate has the Brewers in good position to play on into October. If the season ended now, Milwaukee would be the National League’s top wild card, and the division title is still in play for the Brewers, who trail the Cubs by only 2½ games in the NL Central. Milwaukee can thank Yelich, who is hitting .343 with a .700 slugging percentage since the All-Star break.There’s been some discussion lately about whether a pitcher might win the NL MVP award, and that’s in part because the top position players haven’t really distinguished themselves. But Yelich’s work down the stretch for a team in contention has been impressive. The Brewers gave up a highly regarded prospect in Lewis Brinson to acquire Yelich. So far it’s working out nicely.Milwaukee ranks in the middle of the pack in the NL in both runs and ERA, and the bullpen that was so stellar early this season can only do so much. Despite their flaws, the Brewers have won 17 of their last 25 games, solidifying their postseason chances at a time when teams like the Phillies and Diamondbacks have stumbled.Elsewhere around the majors:WRAPPED UPThe Cleveland Indians clinched their third straight AL Central title Saturday, becoming the first team this season to win a division. It was almost a year to the day since last season’s Indians clinched. Cleveland secured the 2017 AL Central crown on Sept. 16, the day after the team’s historic 22-game winning streak was snapped.The Indians won 102 games last season but lost in the Division Series. This year’s team can’t finish any better than 96-66 and will likely have the worst record of any American League playoff team, but Cleveland is certainly good enough to beat anyone in a short series.The Indians will likely open the playoffs against either Houston or Oakland.HIGHLIGHTCredit Tyler Austin for the hustle. During an otherwise nondescript matchup Sunday between the Twins and Royals — who are a combined 58 games under .500 — the Minnesota first baseman made a running catch in foul ground and then went tumbling over a railing near the dugout. Austin also homered to help the Twins win 9-6.LINE OF THE WEEKLike the Indians Jack Morris Jersey , the Los Angeles Dodgers have slipped a bit after cruising through the 2017 regular season. Unlike Cleveland, the Dodgers are in a division that’s good enough to make them pay. So Los Angeles still has a fight on its hands just to make the postseason. If the Dodgers do get in, they can look back on Saturday night’s game at St. Louis as one of the key moments. That’s when Yasiel Puig hit three home runs to lift Los Angeles over the Cardinals 17-4.The Cardinals rebounded with a 5-0 victory Sunday night, knocking the Dodgers a half-game behind Colorado atop the NL West. Los Angeles is tied with St. Louis for the second wild card. MILWAUKEE — It’s been a full decade since the Milwaukee Brewers snapped a 26-year playoff drought, thanks in large part to a monster final week by Ryan Braun.Braun, who came up big again three years later when the Brewers won their first NL Central crown, has been through a lot since. But now, with the team headed back to the playoffs for the first time since 2011, it’s no coincidence that Braun is again playing at an elite level.He has five home runs over his last four games, including a two-homer night on Friday in the series opener against the Detroit Tigers, after hitting just one over his previous 28 contests.Article continues below ...“He’s swinging the bat really good,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “He’s locked in. The one thing about Ryan, and I’ve known him for so long http://www.bluejaysfanproshop.com/authentic-aledmys-diaz-jersey , is he knows himself so well, and when he’s in a good spot, he knows it.”Thanks, in part, to an excess of talented outfielders — including MVP candidate Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain — Counsell has been able to manage Braun’s workload this season. He’s still played in 122 games and is expected to make it 123 Saturday when the Brewers continue their series with the Tigers at Miller Park as they try again to close the one-game gap between themselves and the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs.“I think in my history, I’ve always played my best when it does matter most,” Braun said. “I woke up Monday and told everybody, ‘I’ve got you.’ As long as I stay healthy, I’m going to dominate the rest of the way.“So far, so good. We’ve got two more big ones ahead of us, and all we can do is continue to control the things we can control, which is trying to play a good game, handle our business here http://www.bluejaysfanproshop.com/authentic-aaron-loup-jersey , win and hope the Cardinals (who face the Cubs this weekend in Chicago) come through for us.”The Brewers turn to left-hander Wade Miley (5-2, 2.32 ERA) Saturday evening as he tries to close out his surprising regular season on a high note. Signed to a minor league deal last winter, Miley was beset by a pair of injuries that limited him to just three starts before the All-Star break.He’s been one of the National League’s best pitchers ever since and takes the mound Saturday having allowed more than two runs just three times over his last 12 starts.“Every time we’ve given him the ball, Wade’s done a heck of a job,” Counsell said. “I can’t say enough about how he has pitched.”Miley is 0-0 with a 6.19 ERA in three career appearances (two starts) against the Tigers, but he has not faced them this year.Left-hander Daniel Norris gets the nod for Detroit. He held the Royals to a run on six hits over five innings his last time out but is still looking for his first victory of the season after going 0-5 with a 5.22 ERA in 10 appearances, including seven starts.Saturday will make his final start of the regular season, but he will have a busy winter as the Tigers plan to get him a few starts with Aguilas Cibaenas of the Dominican Winter League and a few more during a major-league baseball tour of Japan. The hope is Norris will work 40 or 50 innings in the winter, which should help make up for the nearly four months he missed in 2018 because of groin surgery.It will also putting him on track for about 150 innings next season.“I am really excited,” Norris said. “I just need to get some more innings before next year. This works out perfectly.”Norris has never faced the Brewers.

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