By Scott Barancik, Editor

Here are your MLB highlights for the week of August 26-September 1, 2019:

Mazel tov

  • LF Joc Pederson set a career high with his 27th and 28th home runs last week. The latter was special: a pinch-hit, 11th-inning home run on September 1 that traveled 454 feet and proved the game-winner for Los Angeles. “It was as big a hit for us as we’ve had all year,” manager Dave Roberts said.

  • C Ryan Lavarnway, who played briefly for the Reds this season, was released by the franchise on August 29 but signed a minor-league contract with the Indians a day later. He has been assigned to the Columbus Clippers (AAA).
  • 2B Ty Kelly, who announced his retirement with characteristic humor late last month, has obtained Israeli citizenship and will be joining Israel’s national baseball team for the European championships taking place in Germany from September 7-15.

Stats to share

  • During the month of August, 3B Alex Bregman (Astros) ranked #1 among all Major Leaguers in on-base percentage (.487) and Wins Above Replacement, a measure of how many more wins a player is worth than a replacement-level player in terms of batting, baserunning and fielding. Bregman ranked #2 in batting average (.404) and #3 in slugging percentage (.747).
  • CF Kevin Pillar (Giants) hit home run #20 on September 1 to become the third Jewish player with 20 or more home runs this season, tying a record set in 2009 and matched in 2016 and 2018. A new record could be on the horizon, with Ryan Braun at 18 home runs so far and Rowdy Tellez at 15.

At the plate

  • 3B Alex Bregman (Astros) hit .435 with 3 doubles, 4 RBIs, and a .500 on-base percentage.
  • LF Joc Pederson (Dodgers) hit .333 (6-for-18) with 2 HRs, 2 doubles, 2 RBIs, and a .400 OBP.
  • CF Kevin Pillar (Giants) hit .261 (6-for-23) with a home run, 2 doubles, 4 RBIs and a .280 OBP. He has reached career highs in home runs (20), RBIs (76), slugging percentage (.454), on-base plus slugging (.742), hit-by-pitches (8), and intentional walks (4). The only stat to see a decline? Bases on balls. Pillar has drawn just 14 walks in 511 at-bats.
  • LF Ryan Braun (Brewers) hit .182 (2-for-11) with a double and a .308 on-base percentage.
  • 1B Rowdy Tellez (Blue Jays) continued to struggle in his return to the Majors, hitting .071 (1-for-14) with a .188 OBP.
  • 2B Ian Kinsler (Padres), who has been out since mid-August due to a herniated cervical disk, was moved to the 60-day injured list and is expected to miss the remainder of the season.

On the mound

  • Max Fried (Braves) earned his 15th win on August 30 and struck out 11 batters to match a career high. At 15-4, he leads the National League in win-loss percentage (.789).
  • Richard Bleier (Orioles) was 0-0 with a hold and a 13.50 ERA over 3 games, yielding 4 earned runs on 6 hits over a combined 2.2 innings. That wasn’t the worst of it. After a particularly rough outing on August 28, Bleier and third-base coach Jose David Flores shouted at each other in the dugout over defensive positioning (see video). “Right now, we’re not thrilled with each other maybe, but I’m sure we can move past this and get back to a healthy relationship,” Bleier said afterward.
  • Robert Stock (Padres), who joined the injured list in early July and began a minor-league rehab assignment on August 10, was placed on the 60-day injured list on September 1.

Staying close by

  • C Garrett Stubbs (Astros/AAA/Round Rock Express) hit .300 (3-for-10).
  • C Ryan Lavarnway (Indians/AAA/Columbus) hit .429 (3-for-7) in his first three games with the Cleveland franchise, producing a double, 2 RBIs, and a .500 OBP.

In other sports

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