Manny Machado called for interference with Orlando Arcia

Manny Machado called for interference with Orlando Arcia

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The Dodgers and Brewers were locked in a scoreless tie in the top of the fourth inning in Game 2 of the NLCS on Saturday. Manny Machado came to the plate with the bases empty and two outs, working the count to 3-0 against Wade Miley. Machado then grounded a 3-0 change-up into the hole between third base and shortstop. Fans watching at home saw Arcia take his time, crow hop, and fire to first base. Then it became obvious why he took his time: Machado wasn’t running hard.

Machado, unsurprisingly, was pilloried for the infraction. Manager Dave Roberts, however, doesn’t see any reason to punish his star player while his team attempts to get back to the World Series, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick and Todd Zolecki report. Roberts said, “I know that he’s doing a lot of things to help us win games. I don’t feel a need to have to address it. Some guys do that and take it, ‘I’m going to run so hard because I’m so mad.’ He’s guilty of going the other way. I don’t think it’s a disrespect to his teammates.” Roberts added, “There’s no perfect player. A guy that posts every inning is hard to come by these days. For me, the net, it’s not even close.”

In part thanks to Machado, who walked and scored his team’s second run in the seventh inning, the Dodgers went on to win 4-3 over the Brewers in Game 2. Machado had two hits — a solo home run and a two-run single — in Game 1 and has overall posted a .909 OPS in six games this postseason.

Hustling is a huge issue for old school players and fans, but Roberts is showing that the newer school doesn’t value hustling nearly as highly. And for good reason — almost all of the time, hustling won’t make a difference. To use a poker term, hustling on every play is negative EV (expected value). Sure, one percent of the time Machado runs hard, he puts pressure on the defender who misplays the ball and/or makes a poor throw. Sometimes the variables align just right — batted ball speed and placement, for instance — and he beats the throw without any defensive misplay. For the other 99 percent of the time, however, hustling has no impact and risks Machado suffering an injury like a pulled hamstring, a torn ACL, or a ruptured Achilles tendon.

We don’t know exactly what Machado’s thought process was, but he might have also been considering the fact that he’s an upcoming free agent once the postseason is over. If he tweaks his hammy running out a routine grounder, he could cost himself millions of dollars. It’s easy for us to budget money we’ll never have and say, “You already have millions, what’s $20 million more?” but if I had the realization that a torn ACL or Achilles could shave millions of dollars off of my next contract, I’d jog real slow to first base, too. Even in the playoffs.

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October 15, 2018 at 06:18PM

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Dave Roberts won’t punish Manny Machado for not running out a grounder

Dave Roberts won’t punish Manny Machado for not running out a grounder

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The Dodgers and Brewers were locked in a scoreless tie in the top of the fourth inning in Game 2 of the NLCS on Saturday. Manny Machado came to the plate with the bases empty and two outs, working the count to 3-0 against Wade Miley. Machado then grounded a 3-0 change-up into the hole between third base and shortstop. Fans watching at home saw Arcia take his time, crow hop, and fire to first base. Then it became obvious why he took his time: Machado wasn’t running hard.

Machado, unsurprisingly, was pilloried for the infraction. Manager Dave Roberts, however, doesn’t see any reason to punish his star player while his team attempts to get back to the World Series, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick and Todd Zolecki report. Roberts said, “I know that he’s doing a lot of things to help us win games. I don’t feel a need to have to address it. Some guys do that and take it, ‘I’m going to run so hard because I’m so mad.’ He’s guilty of going the other way. I don’t think it’s a disrespect to his teammates.” Roberts added, “There’s no perfect player. A guy that posts every inning is hard to come by these days. For me, the net, it’s not even close.”

In part thanks to Machado, who walked and scored his team’s second run in the seventh inning, the Dodgers went on to win 4-3 over the Brewers in Game 2. Machado had two hits — a solo home run and a two-run single — in Game 1 and has overall posted a .909 OPS in six games this postseason.

Hustling is a huge issue for old school players and fans, but Roberts is showing that the newer school doesn’t value hustling nearly as highly. And for good reason — almost all of the time, hustling won’t make a difference. To use a poker term, hustling on every play is negative EV (expected value). Sure, one percent of the time Machado runs hard, he puts pressure on the defender who misplays the ball and/or makes a poor throw. Sometimes the variables align just right — batted ball speed and placement, for instance — and he beats the throw without any defensive misplay. For the other 99 percent of the time, however, hustling has no impact and risks Machado suffering an injury like a pulled hamstring, a torn ACL, or a ruptured Achilles tendon.

We don’t know exactly what Machado’s thought process was, but he might have also been considering the fact that he’s an upcoming free agent once the postseason is over. If he tweaks his hammy running out a routine grounder, he could cost himself millions of dollars. It’s easy for us to budget money we’ll never have and say, “You already have millions, what’s $20 million more?” but if I had the realization that a torn ACL or Achilles could shave millions of dollars off of my next contract, I’d jog real slow to first base, too. Even in the playoffs.

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October 15, 2018 at 05:42PM

Eovaldi, Cora shrug off Bregman Instagram video

Eovaldi, Cora shrug off Bregman Instagram video

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HOUSTON — If Alex Bregman was trying to get a rise of the Boston Red Sox, it didn’t work.

On Monday, the Houston third baseman posted a video to his Instagram account that showed the Astros hitting back-to-back-to-back home runs at Minute Maid Park against Nathan Eovaldi, with the text caption, “lil pregame video work.” Bregman hit the second of the three homers against Eovaldi, who was pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays at the time.

Eovaldi was traded to Boston in July and is slated to start Game 3 of the ALCS in Houston on Tuesday.

On Monday afternoon, Eovaldi said he hadn’t actually seen the video, but that he was aware of it and was trying to stay focused on the task at hand.

“I still have a job to do,” he said. “I’ve got to go out there and pitch my game tomorrow and I can’t have any distractions.”

Like Eovaldi, Red Sox manager Alex Cora claimed he hadn’t seen Bregman’s post. Cora added that, with the best-of-seven series tied at one, he doesn’t think his players need any extra incentive.

“If you need motivation in Game 3 of the ALCS, you better check yourself,” said the first-year skipper. “Because you win three more games, you go to the show. And that’s what should motivate you. Alex has different ways of motivating himself and whatever. I’ll leave it at that.”

Bregman’s post is merely the latest episode of off-field antics that Cora and the Red Sox have endured. Following Boston’s Game 2 ALDS loss to the Yankees, slugger Aaron Judge walked by the Red Sox clubhouse on his way out of Fenway Park, blaring the classic song “New York, New York.” Upon returning to the Bronx, the Red Sox routed the Yankees 16-1 in Game 3, then eliminated them a day later with a 4-3 win. A week later, Cora has no hard feelings about Judge’s gesture, or the more recent one from Bregman.

“I don’t take it personal. I don’t play anymore. Probably when I was playing I would be, like, here we go, like whatever. But I don’t throw a ball. I don’t have to hit. I don’t make errors anymore. I just manage a team. And I don’t get caught up on that. But it’s always good that people talk about the game. And if that’s the reason they’re talking about it, so be it. But from my end, I don’t pay attention to that.”

As of Monday evening, Bregman’s Instagram account no longer contained a post with video from Eovaldi’s June start in Houston.

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October 15, 2018 at 05:26PM

Follow live: Dodgers something

Follow live: Dodgers something

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October 15, 2018 at 04:51PM

Red Sox’s Sale exits hospital after stomach issue

Red Sox’s Sale exits hospital after stomach issue

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HOUSTON — Boston Red Sox starter Chris Sale was released from a Boston-area hospital Monday morning and will rejoin the team Tuesday after dealing with a stomach illness, the team announced.

Sale was admitted Sunday afternoon to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he stayed for overnight observation. Red Sox manager Alex Cora said following Sunday night’s 7-5 American League Championship Series win over the Houston Astros that he expected the pitcher to still meet the team in Houston this week.

After the Red Sox and Astros split the first two games of the series at Fenway Park, the series continues at Houston’s Minute Maid Park with Game 3 on Tuesday.

Sale pitched in the series opener Saturday night in Boston. He lasted four innings, allowing two hits and four walks. Houston ultimately won that game, 7-2.

Cora said Sale’s performance in that game had nothing to do with the stomach illness, as it had developed the day after the game.

“Whenever you have to go to hospital, you have to be quote-unquote ‘worried,'” Cora said after Sunday’s game. “But he should be fine.”

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October 15, 2018 at 03:19PM

Wade Miley will start NLCS Game 5 for Brewers

Wade Miley will start NLCS Game 5 for Brewers

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Here are the lineups for NLCS Game 3 between the Brewers and Dodgers. The game is slated for a 7:39 PM ET start at Dodger Stadium and will be broadcast on FS1.

Brewers

CF Lorenzo Cain
RF Christian Yelich
LF Ryan Braun
2B Travis Shaw
1B Jesús Aguilar
3B Mike Moustakas
C Erik Kratz
SS Orlando Arcia
P Jhoulys Chacín

The Brewers are going with Shaw at second base again. Hernán Pérez got the start there in Game 1 and was a defensive substitution in Game 2. Manager Craig Counsell will continue to play the matchups here as Shaw has a significant platoon split. During the regular season, Shaw posted an .892 OPS against right-handers but only .599 against lefties. Pérez was .783 against lefties and .612 against righties.

Dodgers

LF Joc Pederson
1B Max Muncy
3B Justin Turner
SS Manny Machado
CF Cody Bellinger
RF Yasiel Puig
C Yasmani Grandal
2B Enrique Hernández
P Walker Buehler

Chris Taylor gets a night off. Pederson gets the start with a right-hander on the mound after the Brewers started two lefties in the first two games. For the same reason, Muncy gets the start at first base, sending David Freese back to the bench, and Matt Kemp goes back to the bench in favor of Cody Bellinger.

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October 15, 2018 at 03:12PM

Pederson in L.A. lineup after daughter’s birth

Pederson in L.A. lineup after daughter’s birth

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LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Joc Pederson is in the midst of a very busy two-day stretch.

On Sunday, at 6:27 p.m. PT, his wife Kelsey gave birth to a 7-pound, 11-ounce baby girl. On Monday, he was in the starting lineup for his team, batting leadoff against Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Jhoulys Chacin in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series.

Pederson, a left-handed hitter who always starts against righties, is 6-for-17 with two extra-base hits this postseason. If the birth of his daughter would have prompted him to go on the paternity list, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he could have deployed added outfielder Andrew Toles or second baseman Chase Utley to the active roster and potentially inserted them in the lineup.

“I haven’t seen him yet,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, speaking three hours before the 7:39 p.m. ET first pitch, said of Pederson. “I assume he’s in a good place.”

Yasmani Grandal is also back in the lineup and hitting seventh for Los Angeles. He made two errors and had two passed balls in a Game 1 loss. Austin Barnes replaced Grandal behind the plate for Game 2 in Milwaukee.

Brewers manager Craig Counsell made a few tweaks, moving second baseman Travis Shaw into the cleanup spot and dropping first baseman Jesus Aguilar one spot down to fifth. Third baseman Mike Moustakas is back to hitting sixth after being in the fifth spot for Game 2.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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October 15, 2018 at 02:29PM