Friday game notes: Sun is setting in the East races

@Red Sox 6, Blue Jays 3 — Jon Lester’s 9th straight quality start settled both ends of the AL East. The BoSox clinched the division, while the Jays, picked for first by some preseason polls, finished last, where Boston ended last year. Koji Uehara came on to face the tying run in the 8th and notched a 5-out save.

  • David Ortiz reached 97 RBI, edging closer to becoming the third with 7 or more 100-RBI seasons for the Red Sox.

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2013 Rookie Roundup and Best Rookies by Franchise

After the historical emergence of two stellar rookies in 2012, the surprising Mike Trout and the much-anticipated Bryce Harper, it would be normal to expect 2013, in comparison, to be something of a letdown in terms of rookie stars. Happily, that hasn’t been the case.

This season has produced 6 rookies, 3 pitchers and 3 position players, each achieving more than 3 WAR. That’s about a normal number for recent years. What’s notable, though, is that 4 of those 6 rookies (and one other) have made the top 3 for their franchise’s best rookie WAR.

More on this year’s rookie crop and each franchise’s best all-time rookies after the jump.

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Wednesday game notes: Playoff ball starts early

On nights like this, it’s great to be a baseball fan with nothing at risk — even if I can’t keep up with everything.

@Rays 4, Rangers 3 (12 inn.) — In the fourth straight stanza of high drama, Jose Lobaton singled to start the home 12th, pinch-runner Sam Fuld moved up on a bunt, and he dashed home on Desmond Jennings’s line single into right, stealing a win that the Rangers had seemed sure to book.

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Tuesday game notes: “L: W.Davis (7-11, 5.48)”

Indians 5, @Royals 3 — Or, the night the lights went out on K.C.’s playoff hopes. Cleveland pulled even in the 7th with 2 runs, keyed on Michael Bourn’s triple after a hit batsman by Kelvin Herrera, and pulled ahead in the 8th when Asdrubal Cabrera doubled after Carlos Santana drew a leadoff walk from Wade Davis. Bourn tacked on a HR on the 9th, the first run off Luke Hochevar in 11 games, and the Tribe held on to stay a half-game off the wild-card pace, knocking the Royals 3.5 games back. Kansas City left 10 men on base.

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2013’s Tough Luck Losers

One of the most frustrating experiences for any pitcher has to be the well-pitched loss. You know the type I’m talking about. It’s the kind of game that occurs when both pitchers are dealing and the smallest breakthrough; a soft single up the middle with a runner on 2nd or a botched grounder by an infielder for instance, can determine the outcome. Unfortunately in those circumstances, somebody has to take a tough luck loss, even if that day’s pitcher struck out 15 while only allowing one hit. Well, without further adieu, I present to you the tough luck losers of 2013:

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The High Heat Stats @ootpbaseball League: 2014

We’re back with another season of the OOTP/HHS Baseball League. Some big news:

  • Big League Debuts: Andy HHS, RJ Jackson (both with the Mariners)
  • Players in AA: Bryan O’Connor, Dalton Mack, Hal Ensrud (Hartvig), Duke Sims, Brandon Robitaille, CJ Miller
  • Suspended: Brandon Robitaille (7 days, for arguing balls and strikes)
  • Traded: Nick Pain (from Pittsburgh to Oakland)
  • New Player: Dan McCloskey, who left us for football, has been replaced by Charles Simone.

Complete notes:

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New Kids on the WAR Block

With just two weeks left in the season, Mike Trout will repeat as AL WAR champion and Andrew McCutchen, last year’s NL WAR runner-up, looks like the senior circuit’s champ. In second place are Josh Donaldson in the AL and Carlos Gomez in the NL.

Come again, you say? You’re forgiven if those two runners-up weren’t the names you were expecting to hear. Both of these players are new to baseball’s leader boards. After the jump, more on the new kids on the WAR block.

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