All posts by TheNaturalMevs

Josh Donaldson Hat Trick

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[Box Score]

Josh Donaldson is going off. He’s hitting bombs, bombs aplenty, monstrous bombs, arching-parabola type bombs. He hit three of them yesterday in Toronto’s 9-6 win over the lowly Twins. And then those rabid fans in the Rogers ‘Centre’ threw their hats all over the field. It will always be the damn Sky Dome to us.

We don’t write about the team from Canada very often. This one was a big one. This kept the Blue Jays in first place.

We hate Donaldson’s stance. It’s ugly. But you can’t argue with the results even if he doesn’t pass the eye test. He’s just a down and dirty grinder that puts up numbers. All Hail, King Donaldson.

Bryce Harper’s 23rd Home Run of 2016 was a line shot

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[Box Score]

The Washington Nationals lost their 55th game yesterday to the Colorado Rockies. But Bryce Harper got one in the bottom ninth off decent lefty Boone Logan. It was the 120th of his young career:

Harper is slowly positioning himself to where a nice September could make this a decent season that doesn’t stand out on the back of his baseball card. It really looks like first three seasons a bit. We wouldn’t bet against him getting the OPS back north of .900 before it’s said and done.

Corey Seager, Dodgers Record Holder

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This one was very meaningful. On a picture perfect Saturday afternoon at Dodger Stadium in a 3-2 win against the Cubbies, Corey Seager got the scoring started with a home run off Jason Hammel, his 23rd of his rookie season. This was also significant because it’s the Dodgers record for a shortstop.

This was of course, a textbook Seager home run. He’s not dead-pull. He’s not always going the other way. He sprays the ball. What a season the 22-year old is having.

Gary Sanchez’s First 23 games are what ‘Going Ape-Shit’ looks like

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A Saturday in the Bronx, and Gary Sanchez awoke me from a precious nap by hammering his 11th home run of the season. It’s hardly a Hallmark number; unless you’re 23 games into a career.

Sanchez hit his 11th home run in Saturday’s win over the Orioles—in the 23rd game of his career, faster than anyone in MLB history. And he’s not just hitting for power, he’s hitting pretty much everything. Like, .403/.459/.883 kind of everything. It’s a small sample size, sure, but pointing out that he has an OPS of 1.342 (1.342!) is way more fun than pointing out that it’s only been three weeks.

Yankees fans have every right to be excited. It took a long time for Gary Sanchez to break onto the scene. It looks like he’s going to be part of the next great Yankees core; as long as he doesn’t end up like perennial surgery man Devin Mesoraco.

A Double-Dip Gentleman’s Game Update!

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I need everyone to bear with me – the Ombudsman of the Gentleman’s game. This is where this contest could really use an intern.

My wife just had our second kid, as I’ve already mentioned on the blog. So unfortunately the second most important things in life like updating the Gentleman’s game; well you fall a bit behind.

Freshly-discharged from the hospital, this post is ready to go. We have to update scoring from TWO Friday’s ago where our own t3bird04 (who has a bushel of kids himself) took down the Gents game and moved a bit closer to DStars45, reigning champ.

Yearly Standings:
DStars45 – 76 points
t3bird04 – 71 points
Jsquad34 – 61 points
Diamondhoggers – 57 points
Swindaman3 – 48 points

Here’s a copy of his lineup where Evan Gattis and Jose Altuve ruled the earth, along with Joey Votto and Manny Machado providing solid scoring:

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Click through the jump to read about last night’s contest.

Continue reading A Double-Dip Gentleman’s Game Update!

The Houston Astros – Hanging by a Thread – win a game by miraculous fashion

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[Box Score]

This is one of those I am sad to say I didn’t see. The Astros tried to lose it; a game they desperately needed. Mike Mahtook for shits sake homered to give Tampa a 4-3 lead late. The Astros have lost this type of game all season.

Tampa closer Alex Colome has been so solid this season, but to lead off the ninth he drew a tough assignment in facing Carlos Correa. Correa didn’t have a hit on the night, but blasted his 19th home run of the season. This was a textbook Correa home run, and it tied the game for greater things to come:

The very next hitter? Evan Gattis. Grinding his hooves in the box and hands around the bat, just looking for something straight and he got it. The ballgame ended on this swing:

The Astros are nestled in the thick of the Wildcard race in the American League as we’ve been saying all season. We’re rooting hard for them to make it because of that nucleus of talent. They’re three games out with a lot of teams to leapfrog. But their roster kept them a little more alive last night.

Yulieski Gurriel also got his first hit in Houston in this game.

Kris Bryant’s MVP Game

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[Cubs 6, Dodgers 4 (10 innings)]

Last night’s game at Dodger Stadium was EVERYTHING you could have wanted in a baseball game. It was an early instant classic of the regular season. And I had the pleasure of watching the entire thing for the most part.

The Dodgers looked in control of this one, and should have won the game. National League MVP candidates Kris Bryant and Corey Seager squared off. With the Dodgers up 4-2 in the 8th inning after an Adrian Gonzalez home run, the Cubs needed life. Bryant crushed his 34th home run of the season to cut the deficit to 4-3, and this put his average over .300 on the season.

Things weren’t done from there.

Kenley Jansen entered in the ninth, and if you watch baseball at any regularity you figured this game was ending 4-3. But Jason Heyward made himself somehow-useful. He doubled off Jansen to begin the ninth and would score the tying-run with one out on a wild pitch.

Bonus baseball was awarded with Vin Scully on the call. And I might have to change my MVP vote from Seager to Bryant on a count of what happened next.

Bryant comes back up against a southpaw – Dave Roberts has no clue how to manage a bullpen, God love him – and Bryant hits a predictable two-run shot that ices the game for the Cubs. It was his 35th home run of the season and he’s at .303 on the year.

The Cubbies absolutely stole this one with their best player headlining it. We’re all better off having seen this one, if you saw it.

Your Saturday Baseball Post

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It’s the last Saturday in August and I’m literally typing this post one-handed as I hold my two-day old son. I started this blog when I was still a kis I feel like and now I have two under the age of two. Insanity.

Now I’m just trying to frantically finish this post in the sake of tradition; to honor this place and the game I love. And the best day of the week. Even when you’re sitting at home in your living room and your living room becomes a madhouse.

Last night was an insane night of baseball – especially down at Dodger Stadium. Today is a full slate. I am not sure what I’ll see. I just hope to set my fantasy lineups and catch a few innings in twilight.

Today’s song of the week that should be played on a ballpark loudspeaker near you is one of my all-time favorites, by Eric Clapton. Clapton actually has a home about 20 minutes from me. Other side of the tracks.

So enjoy your Saturday – and pray for my sanity. Oh and my 21-month old just tried to slap my infants crib. How sweet. Gotta run, but thank you for your continued support of Diamond Hoggers.

Corey Seager Once Again Out-Slys the Fox (Matt Moore)

This one all goes back to the ‘magic’ we continue to talk about down at Chavez Ravine.

Following up a HUGE 1-0 victory by the Dodgers on the night my son was born, the Giants are about to get their payoff. In a must-have game for the Giants, Matt Moore is going to throw a no-hitter at Dodger Stadium.

Except; no he isn’t. Because .322-hitting Corey Seager is going to duckfart one into right field and with two out in the ninth and the dream of the Giants’ no-no on their big getaway day at their hated rival’s place is over. Moore looks slightly annoyed.

Even in defeat, the Dodgers crowd gets to feel like (and sounds like) they won a little bit on a night they lost. Magic.

Giants win 4-0 – you know – kind of.

The Magic was Magic last night down at Chavez Ravine

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[Box Score]

Magical night last night at Dodger Stadium where the Bums had a statement win over the Giants and their ace Madison Bumgarner. And the Dodgers lefties went to work early on MadBum. This surprised me – I expected the Giants to win this game because the Dodgers are so lefty heavy.

But Corey Seager did what he always does; multi-hit game. Little Andrew Toles homered. Adrian Gonzalez is slashing like he’s 25 again. Some guy named Rob Segedin – we know exactly who he is but you don’t yet, and shouldn’t – slapped a home run off Bumgarner. Vin Scully was on the call.

It’s all working for the Dodgers right now.

Kenta Maeda - Mr. Reliable
Kenta Maeda – Mr. Reliable

Kenta Maeda wasn’t perfect, but was good enough to get his 13th win and without a doubt he’s been the glue that held this makeshift rotation together.

Corey Seager sets milestone in the Queen City

Ah, damn. If my son wasn’t due any moment now I would have probably been at this series. Next year, for sure.

Anyways, today’s Businessman’s Special down in Cincy was a good ol’ ambush by the Bums on getaway day. Adrian Gonzalez hit three bombs, and Homer Bailey was out of the game before completing three frames. The Dodgers won the game 18-9.

And tomorrow night, things return to magical Chavez Ravine where the Giants and Dodgers do battle with first place on the line. Madison Bumgarner vs. Kenta Maeda. Vin Scully on the call. Are we lucky or what?

You Can’t get enough Marge

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For every blade of grass on the earth, there is a Marge Schott (former Reds owner) story like this one.

In 1996, umpire John McSherry died of a heart attack after collapsing at home plate on Opening Day at Cincinnati’s Riverfront Stadium. The game was postponed, and understandably so. Yet, Reds owner Marge Schott complained how McSherry’s death (and the snow) put her out because the game had been a sellout. When her comments were not well received, she sent flowers to the umpires’ room to apologize and to express sympathy for their loss. However, it was later revealed that Schott hadn’t purchased the bouquet, but had regifted one that had been sent to her. She had removed the original card and written a new one, negating her sincerity in the eyes of the recipients.

Chain-smoking cheap cigarettes, supporting Nazi’s, chugging even more cheap vodka, and getting mad when an umpire goes and dies on her! Marge! She’ll be here all week.

Bryce Harper’s Sunday Home Run in Atlanta may be proof he’s back

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All of Bryce Harper’s home runs go here.

This one leaves the park off some poor schmuck who pitches for the Braves named Joel De La Cruz. It scorched into the seats at 105.4 MPH. This is important because all of the scribing on the internet tells us that Bryce Harper’s improved exit velocity on batted balls lately means he’s healing up.

This should mean huge things for the month of September and of course he’s going to hit like eight home runs in a postseason series, it’s coming. The Nationals however blew this game and lost 7-6 in Hotlanta.

This home run was Harper’s 22nd of 2016 and his 119th of his career.

Report: Clayton Kershaw ‘feels 100%’

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And everyone thought the biggest arm the Dodgers *might* be getting back this season was Rich Hill when his gangrene blister heals.

Clayton Kershaw is feeling better after a recent throwing session, and has a plan in place for his return. He just won’t say what that plan entails.

“We’ve got a good plan in place to where I feel like I can contribute,” Kershaw said. “And, hopefully, if I’m pitching well enough, make a difference. Or, at least, help out.”

So after all the ambiguity and doubt; well, there’s more ambiguity of course. But it sounds like Kershaw is coming back this season. It’s good for baseball, and it makes the Dodgers a legitimate World Series threat. It sucks for fantasy owners that moved Kershaw because back surgery was oh so certain a short while ago.

But we’re glad Kershaw is feeling better and will have some say in this season. I still don’t recall a Kershaw postseason gem like the ones I remember Roy Halladay or others throwing, if there has been one. I need to go back and look.

Okay, I looked and there has been at least one.