The Houston Astros will head into the playoffs coming

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The Houston Astros will head into the playoffs coming

Postby laiyongcai92 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:39 pm

BALTIMORE (AP) —off the best regular season in franchise history and with an ageless right-hander who’s gunning for his second AL Cy Young Award.Justin Verlander struck out 10 in the opener of a doubleheader Bobby Jenks Jersey , and the Astros beat the Baltimore Orioles 4-3 on Saturday before completing a sweep with a 5-2 victory.The twin wins gave Houston a franchise-record 103 for the season, surpassing the record set by the 1998 club.“We took a moment, because it’s a great accomplishment and we should be proud,” manager A.J. Hinch said. “The most wins in franchise history is a big deal.”Verlander allowed three hits and a walk in six shutout innings in the opener, showing he’s ready for the playoffs.Whether Verlander receives another Cy Young Award to go with the one he earned in 2011 with Detroit, well, that’s not nearly so clear.He finished his 14th big league season with a 16-9 record and a 2.52 ERA. He had an AL-leading, career-high 290 strikeouts (and only 37 walks) in 214 innings, second-most in the league behind Cleveland’s Corey Kluber.“I think he’s the Cy Young,” Hinch said of Verlander. “I believe in the innings, that they matter, and where he ranks in all the categories. It’s a tough call. I’m going to be biased toward my guy.”Asked to assess his chances, Verlander said: “I feel like the body of work speaks for itself. It’s going to be an interesting case. In my opinion, innings matter.”Tampa Bay’s Blake Snell is 21-5 with a 1.91 ERA over 179 innings.“I’ve always valued 200 innings, and grinding for it. It’s not easy to get there http://www.whitesoxfanproshop.com/authentic-michael-jordan-jersey ,” Verlander said. “I’m definitely interested to see how this voting is going to go. I have no idea, honestly.”Verlander launched the dominant outing with seven strikeouts over three perfect innings. He left after throwing 99 pitches.“He’s 35 years old. It’s remarkable to watch him pitch, even though he’s beating you,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “He would have kept pitching I’m sure five or six days from now.”Verlander’s next outing will come in the postseason, which begins for Houston on Friday against Cleveland.Orioles starter Dylan Bundy matched zeroes with Verlander until the sixth. Tony Kemp drew a leadoff walk, George Springer hit his 22nd home run and Carlos Correa sent Bundy’s next offering over the right-field wall.DJ Stewart tied it with a three-run homer off Joe Smith in the seventh, costing Verlander the victory.In the ninth, Springer drew a two-out walk from Sean Gilmartin (1-1) and Correa broke the tie with an RBI double.Will Harris (5-3) worked the eighth and Hector Rondon got three outs for his 15th save.In the nightcap, Myles Straw hit his first big league homer and Brian McCann also went deep against rookie Yefry Ramirez (1-8).Jake Marisnick made it 5-2 with a two-run shot in the eighth.Dallas Keuchel started and went three innings in his final tuneup for the playoffs. Brad Peacock (3-4) worked the fourth and Ryan Pressly pitched the ninth for his second save.Baltimore enters Sunday’s finale as one of only five big league teams since 1900 to lose 115 games.MORTON RETURNSAstros right-hander Charlie Morton (15-3, 3.18 ERA) will start on Sunday in the season finale. How far he goes is up in the air, given that he hasn’t pitched in a week.“I could see it going anywhere from one inning, two innings, maybe even three innings,” Hinch said. “I need to be convinced that he feels like he’s clear from the soreness to where we’re not risking a ton.”Morton left with shoulder discomfort after pitching only one inning against the Angels last Sunday. Then, on Thursday Carlton Fisk Jersey , his wife gave birth to a girl.UNCERTAIN FUTUREOrioles outfielder Adam Jones is receiving an unofficial, tentative farewell from the fans at Camden Yards this weekend.His contract expires after the season, and he is 33 years old on a team rebuilding with youth. Even if the Orioles ask him back, would he say yes?“I’m not the one making business decisions on their regard,” he said before the game. “All I can do is make a business decision on my behalf.”UP NEXTAstros: With a victory on Sunday, Houston will complete a sensational September with a major league-best 22-5 record.Orioles: Jimmy Yacabonis (0-2, 6.00 ERA) will start the final game. The Dodgers are about to play another end-of-season tiebreaker. It’s a scenario that hasn’t been kind to them over the years.Los Angeles will take on Colorado for the NL West title Monday, one of two one-game playoffs that day in the National League. The Cubs and Brewers also need to break a tie for the NL Central.These aren’t elimination games — the losers will end up as the NL wild cards — but there will still be some pressure, since the division winners head straight to the Division Series. The tiebreakers are considered part of the regular season, and stats are counted accordingly.For the Dodgers, these not-quite-postseason games have been fraught with peril. When they were in Brooklyn, the Dodgers finished tied with the rival Giants for the 1951 NL pennant, and then famously lost a three-game series to New York on a home run by Bobby Thomson . The 1946 pennant was also decided by a best-of-three tiebreaker, with the Cardinals beating Brooklyn in two straight .After moving to Los Angeles, the Dodgers did win a best-of-three series against the Milwaukee Braves for the 1959 pennant http://www.whitesoxfanproshop.com/authentic-jose-abreu-jersey , but three years later, it was the Giants again who stood in the way. San Francisco scored four runs in the ninth inning at Dodger Stadium for the decisive victory of a three-game tiebreaker series for the 1962 pennant.A one-game playoff in 1980 was no better for the Dodgers, who were beaten 7-1 by Houston for the NL West championship.The Rockies have a much happier (and shorter) history with these games. They won a wild card in 2007 by beating San Diego in a one-game playoff. That game went 13 innings, with Colorado prevailing 9-8 when Matt Holliday may or may not have touched the plate when he was credited with the winning run .The Cubs won the NL wild card in 1998 by beating San Francisco 5-3 in a one-game playoff.Elsewhere around the majors:LIKE CLOCKWORKAssuming Nolan Arenado doesn’t hit 12 in Colorado’s playoff game Monday, Oakland’s Khris Davis will be this year’s major league home run leader with 48. Davis, however, was getting attention for a different reason Sunday. He finished the season with a .247 batting average — the same figure he had in each of the previous three years. His career average is .248.HIGHLIGHTThe Atlanta Braves are NL East champions and will play in the NL Division Series against … somebody. Once Monday’s playoff games are over, the Braves will know their opponent — it’s whoever wins the NL West. The postseason will be a chance for a wide audience to see star rookie Ronald Acuna Jr., who showed off his talent Sunday with a leaping catch high against the wall in left field on a drive by Philadelphia’s Carlos Santana.LINE OF THE WEEKThe Rockies forced their way into that playoff for the NL West title by routing Washington 12-0 on Sunday. Charlie Blackmon hit for the cycle with a triple in the first inning, a homer in the third, a single in the fifth and a double in the eighth.Colorado had another impressive individual performance earlier in the week when German Marquez began a start against Philadelphia with eight straight strikeouts , tying a record. Jim Deshaies set the modern record by striking out his first eight batters in a 1986 game, and Jacob deGrom matched the feat in 2014. Marquez is set to start Monday’s playoff game.
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