|Notes from Sunday's games|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 30 September 2007 16:39|
MINNESOTA: OF Torii Hunter may have played his last game for the Twins on Sunday. Hunter, who can file for free agency, started his career in the Twins' organization in 1993 and joined the big league club as a full-time player six years later. He batted .287 with 28 homers and 107 RBIs this season, and would leave Minnesota in the franchise's top 10 in seven offensive categories. ... The Twins (79-83) are heading home after missing the postseason for just the second time in six years. They finished with a losing record for the first time since they went 69-93 in 2000.
BOSTON: Kevin Youkilis finished the season with 1079 errorless chances, an AL record for a first baseman. Stuffy McInnis had a .999 fielding percentage in 1921. ... DH David Ortiz received a cortisone shot in his ailing right knee on Saturday. He said the injury is something he will have to monitor through the playoffs.
Devil Rays-Blue Jays
TAMPA BAY: OF Delmon Young was held out of the starting lineup but replaced Greg Norton in right field in the bottom of the sixth, becoming the first rookie since Hideki Matsui in 2003 to play in all his team's games. Young's status had been in doubt after he argued with manager Joe Maddon about being removed from Saturday's game for not running out an infield grounder. He ended up apologizing to Maddon before the game. ... 3B Akinori Iwamura made his major league debut at second base Sunday. ``He looked like he's done it before,'' Maddon said. ``That was nice to see.'' ... The Devil Rays finished the season with 29 road wins, nine more than they had in 2006.
TORONTO: Mickey Brantley's contract as hitting coach won't be renewed following a season in which the team hit .259, the third-lowest batting average in the AL. The Jays will begin interviewing candidates to replace Brantley this week. ... Third-base coach Brian Butterfield will move to bench coach next year, first-base coach Marty Pevey will shift to third and bench coach Ernie Whitt will move to first. ... Adam Lind singled in the first to end the season on a 10-game hitting streak.
NEW YORK: C Jorge Posada served as manager of the day Sunday after being handed the role by Joe Torre. It's a tradition that Torre instituted years ago if the final game is meaningless. ``It means a lot. I'm honored,'' Posada said before the game. Afterward Torre said of Posada: ``He was yelling at guys and everything.'' ... Alex Rodriguez got his 156th RBI, the 10th-highest single-season total in Yankees history. ... Bobby Abreu drove in two runs to finish at 101, the fifth straight season he eclipsed 100. ``It was nice. I was looking for that for a long time,'' he said.
BALTIMORE: Manager Dave Trembley announced that bench coach Tom Trebelhorn would not return next year. ``We're going to do what we feel we have to do in order to change the face and identity of this team, (so) we're going in another direction,'' Trembley said. ... Nick Markakis was voted Orioles MVP in 2007. Markakis led the Orioles with 23 homers and 110 RBIs. He was held out of Sunday's game by Trembley, who said he wanted the second-year player to finish with a .300 batting average. It was the only game this season that Markakis missed. ... Baltimore finished with a 6.89 ERA in September, highest for the month in the last 51 years.
DETROIT: 1B Sean Casey said he was told Saturday that the Tigers aren't planning on bringing him back next season. Instead of being angry and hurt, Casey took the opportunity to thank manager Jim Leyland and general manager Dave Dombrowski for bringing him to Detroit. ``For me, this has been the greatest year and a half of my career,'' Casey said. ``I just appreciate being over here. I've got nothing but great memories here. When I look back on my career, this will be some of the greatest memories I have.'' ... 2B Placido Polanco led off the third inning with a single, giving him 200 hits on the season. As Polanco got to first base, his teammates all gathered at the top of the dugout and cheered, bringing tears to Polanco's eyes. ``My teammates showed they really wanted me to get it so bad and they stood up,'' he said. ``That makes me really happy.'' ... OF Magglio Ordonez finished with 216 hits, marking the first time multiple Tigers had 200 or more hits since four players accomplished the feat in 1937. ... The Tigers hit five doubles Sunday and set a franchise mark for doubles with 352. The previous record was 349 set by the 1934 club.
as possible. ``It was a bad dream,'' manager Ozzie Guillen said. ``It was a tough season. I just told one of the coaches that we finished up the season the way we started - real bad.'' ... The White Sox still drew 2,684,395 - the third-highest total in franchise history. The only two years with bigger crowds were 2006, the year after a World Series win, and 1991, the first year of new Comiskey Park, now known as U.S. Cellular Field.
CLEVELAND: RHP Joe Borowski's 45 saves tied Bob Wickman for second on the team's single-season list, one behind Jose Mesa's 46 in 1995. ... The Indians tied the Red Sox for the best record in the major leagues at 96-66. ... They also joined Detroit and Toronto as the only AL teams with seven players who have double-digit home-run totals. ... C.C. Sabathia and Fausto Carmona, who will start the first two playoff games, are the first set of Indian teammates to each win 19 games since Early Wynn, Herb Score and Bob Lemon all won 20 in 1956.
office as a senior advisor to general manager Dayton Moore. ... Joakim Soria was chosen Royals' pitcher of the month for September and 3B Alex Gordon was voted player of the month.
're still hopeful. There are still things he has to get out and do before he can play. He's made some progress and we'll continue to monitor it.'' Scioscia also revealed the Angels will go with a 10-man pitching staff for the ALDS. ``There's a lot to consider but we'll have enough options,'' he said.
OAKLAND: The A's finished the year at a disappointing 76-86 after winning the AL West and reaching the AL championship series last season. Oakland, which dealt with injuries to the majority of its top players this year, had its streak of winning seasons end at eight and went 9-17 in September for its worst final month since going 8-20 in 1985. ... 2B Mark Ellis received the ``Good Guy'' award voted on by the local reporters who regularly cover the team. ... INF Donnie Murphy underwent an appendectomy Saturday. ... The A's drew 1,921,834 fans for the season, their lowest total since 2000 - and this marked the second straight year under 2 million. ... San Jose Sharks hockey star Jonathan Cheechoo and five of his teammates threw out the ceremonial first pitches.
TEXAS: SS Michael Young, who didn't play in the season finale Sunday, rebounded from a miserable start to join Wade Boggs and Ichiro Suzuki as the only players since 1940 with 200 hits in five consecutive seasons. The four-time All-Star was batting .192 on May 3 but finished at .315 with a team-leading 94 RBIs. The last time a Ranger led the team with fewer than 100 RBIs was in 1990, when Ruben Sierra had 96. ``Got off to a very rough start, like the team got off to a rough start. But I was happy I bounced back,'' Young said. ... 2B Ian Kinsler scored a run to finish with 96 for the season, the first time since 1992 that Texas was led by someone with fewer than 100 runs scored. Rafael Palmeiro had 84 that year.
SEATTLE: Rookie manager John McLaren pulled OFs Jose Guillen and Ichiro Suzuki from the finale after the team had taken the field for the top of the ninth inning, so each could get rousing ovations from the home crowd. Suzuki, who led the majors with 238 hits, said former manager Bob Melvin did the same thing for him at the end of 2004. Guillen said he's never had that done for him before. ``That was special. Can't get any better than that,'' said Guillen, who finished with 99 RBIs in his first season with Seattle. ... RHP Felix Hernandez, who won a career-high 14 games, became the first Mariner since Randy Johnson in 1995 to win the first and last game of a season.
FLORIDA: After leaving Saturday's fight-filled game with a bruised left hand, SS Hanley Ramirez promised he'd play Sunday even if it was broken. Using profanity, he expressed how much he wanted to beat the Mets. Someone posted his comments in the tunnel behind New York's dugout Sunday with the message: ``It's Never A Good Idea To Wake The Sleeping Mutt! SOMEONE PAYS TODAY.'' Ramirez went 0-for-4 with a walk but the Marlins won 8-1 and New York missed the playoffs. ... The Marlins set a team record with 1,504 hits this season, surpassing their 2005 total of 1,499. ... Florida matched a franchise mark by scoring seven runs in the first inning. The Marlins have done it five times, including Sept. 1 against Philadelphia. ... 2B Dan Uggla ended the season with 49 doubles, one shy of the club record set last season by Miguel Cabrera.
NEW YORK: All-Star closer Billy Wagner sought out manager Willie Randolph and pitching coach Rick Peterson before the game to explain recent comments he made to New York magazine that could be perceived as critical. ``It wasn't meant to be a stab. It was a personal reflection on how I handle situations,'' Wagner said. ``I can't say anything negative about how they treated me.'' Randolph didn't sound bothered at all. ``That's stuff that goes on this time of year,'' he said. ``It's irrelevant to what we're trying to do.'' ... Ramon Castro started at catcher again in place of Paul Lo Duca (sore knee).
ST. LOUIS: Kip Wells had a down season after signing with the 2006 NL champion Cardinals, going 7-17. But he won on the final day of the season, beating former club Pittsburgh for the second time this season. His career record dropped to 64-91. ... Utilityman Skip Schumaker raised his batting average from .314 to .333 by going 5-for-5 on the final day of the season. His previous career high was three hits, on Sept. 17. ... The Cardinals got 12 of their 79 victories against the Pirates, winning all but six of the 18 games in the season series. ... The Cardinals have won 41 of 58 in Pittsburgh since PNC Park opened in 2001.
ng 0-7 with a 10.15 ERA in 11 games with Pittsburgh, he is a candidate to be removed from the 40-man roster. ... 3B Jose Bautista will have an MRI exam Monday on his sprained right ankle. ... The Pirates' 2008 home opener is April 7 against the NL Central champion Cubs. Like this year, they will spend the first week of the season on the road.
ATLANTA: Closer Rafael Soriano was available after serving a two-game suspension on Friday and Saturday. ``Congratulations, Raffy!'' Cox said in the clubhouse. ``You're unsuspended today!'' Soriano didn't pitch in the finale. ... C Clint Sammons made his first career start on Sunday. Sammons was called up from Double-A Mississippi on Sept. 11. ``Think he's nervous?'' Cox joked. Sammons got his first hit, a single, in the fifth inning. ... The Braves were shut out for the 10th time on Sunday. ... The Braves finished with a winning record for the 16th time in 17 seasons.
nute Maid Park, their seventh consecutive winning season at home. Houston has had a winning home record for 14 of the past 16 seasons, going back to its seasons in the Astrodome.
WASHINGTON: The Nationals finished 73-89, avoiding last place for the first time after three straight last-place finishes. ... After sweeping the Mets in a three-game series at Shea Stadium earlier in the week, the Nats couldn't spoil the Phillies' playoff plans. ... A decision on Manny Acta's coaching staff is expected on Monday.
PHILADELPHIA: The Phillies' 89 wins are their most since 1993 when they won 97 en route to the NL pennant. ... Ryan Howard homered in four straight games, matching his career-best streak. ... Jamie Moyer won his 230th career game to move into sole possession of 59th place on the all-time list. ... LHP J.C. Romero extended his scoreless innings streak to 15 2-3 innings, spanning 20 games. ... Jimmy Rollins finished with 40 steals for the third straight season. Rollins had 88 extra-base hits, second-most by a shortstop in history. Only Alex Rodriguez had more with 91 in 1996.
CHICAGO: Alfonso Soriano hit 14 homers in September, eclipsing Ernie Banks' previous club record from 1957. His seven leadoff homers in September were the most by any major league player in any month. ... Soriano has 44 career leadoff homers, including a Cubs-record 12 this season. He hit 13 with the Yankees in 2003. ... Three Cubs remain from their 2003 playoff team: 3B Aramis Ramirez and pitchers Carlos Zambrano and Kerry Wood. ... The Cubs hit 43 homers in September, tied for the fifth-most in any month in franchise history. ... The Cubs ended the season as the NL's best draw on the road. ... The Cubs struck out 10 times on Sunday, leaving them with 1,211 - most in the majors. They've led the majors in strikeouts each of the last seven seasons. The last team to do that was the Dodgers from 1957-63.
CINCINNATI: The Reds finished with 90 losses, the third time in the last seven seasons that they've lost 90 games. Their run of seven consecutive losing seasons is their longest since 1945-55. ... The Reds won their final game of the season for the first time since 1998. ... Rookie Homer Bailey made nine starts and went 4-2 with a 5.76 ERA this season. ... The Reds made 95 errors, trying the club record from 1977 for fewest in a season. ... Rookie Joey Votto hit a two-run double and a three-run homer for a career-high five RBIs in the game. Votto, one of the franchise's top hitting prospects, batted .321 in 24 games overall with four homers and 17 RBIs.
ARIZONA: Manager Bob Melvin said he wouldn't release his playoff roster until Wednesday. ``We'll submit it when we need to submit it,'' Melvin said. ``We will evaluate each and every player to see who is the best fit.'' ... One concern is OF Justin Upton, whose left wrist was heavily wrapped after being hit by RHP Ubaldo Jimenez in the first inning. ``I had it iced and got some treatment,'' Upton said. ``We'll get it looked at again Monday.'' ... RHP Yusmeiro Petit was on an 80-pitch limit. He threw only 40 pitches in his last start, a four inning outing on Aug. 26 against the Chicago Cubs. ... Melvin welcomed the matchup with the Cubs. ``Any time you play the Cubs, it can be a traveling circus,'' Melvin said. ``There is a lot of excitement. There are a lot of Cubs fans.'' ... Arizona is 32-20 in one-run games.
COLORADO: The Rockies will play the San Diego Padres in a one-game playoff Monday night at Coors Field. The winner will advance to the postseason as a wild card. ... RHP Ubaldo Jimenez had a no-hitter through 5 1-3 innings before allowing a single to INF Alberto Callaspo. He left the game after 6 1-3 and only allowed the one hit. ... OF Matt Holliday will enter Monday's game as the NL leader in batting average at .340. ... The Rockies will finish with a winning record against every NL West team regardless of Monday's outcome.
MILWAUKEE: Brewers 1B Prince Fielder was held out of the starting lineup Sunday with a high right ankle sprain. X-rays were negative. It was only the seventh time this season that Fielder had not started a game. Rookie Joe Dillon started in his place ... Corey Hart's home run in the fourth inning gave the Brewers 231 for the season, extending their franchise record. Milwaukee also led the majors in home runs this season. ... Rickie Weeks scored two runs Sunday, marking the 13th straight game he has scored at least one run. Weeks' streak ties him for the third longest in Brewers' history with Tommy Harper, who did it in 1970. Paul Molitor set the team record by scoring at least one run in 16 straight games in 1987.
SAN DIEGO: Brian Giles hit the third leadoff home run of his career, all of which came this year. His last leadoff home run was Sept. 3 against Arizona. ... Padres manager Bud Black said that OF Mike Cameron could be available as soon as Wednesday if the Padres are still playing. Cameron, who took batting practice Saturday with a fungo bat, has missed the past week with a right thumb injury. He also needed an IV earlier in the week after suffering a stomach ailment. ... With four home runs Sunday, the Padres hit 36 home runs in September, which sets the franchise record for the month. The previous high had been 31 in 1970.
SAN FRANCISCO: Omar Vizquel, who hit his fourth homer of the season and the 77th of his career in his final at-bat Sunday, said he hopes to return to the Giants next year. ``That's up to Omar and management,'' manager Bruce Bochy said. ``I'd love to have Omar. He's a pleasure to manage.'' The 40-year-old switch-hitter ranks second in baseball history with 2,570 career games at shortstop and has won 11 Gold Gloves - second only to Ozzie Smith's 13 at his position. ... The Giants played the most games in the majors that were decided by two runs or fewer. They were 24-28 in one-run games, and 15-27 in two-run games. ... The Giants made only 88 errors this season - their second-lowest in a non-strike season since moving to San Francisco in 1958. The 2003 team committed 80 errors. ... San Francisco starters worked six innings or more in 101 of the team's 162 games.
which team felt worse, 2B Jeff Kent chuckled and replied: ``Absolutely, the Mets feel worse. They were seven games up two weeks ago, give or take. I played in New York for 5 1/2 years, and I can feel for those folks right now. I know there are going to be a lot of people with hands around their throats.'' ... OF Juan Pierre, who had a team-leading 196 hits, played in 162 games for the fifth straight year. His consecutive-game streak of 434 is the longest among active players. ... Pierre recorded two assists in the finale, doubling his season total.