By Scott Barancik, Editor

Here are your MLB highlights for the week of September 16-22, 2019:

Mazel tov

  • Led by 1B Danny Valencia and P Joey Wagman, Israel’s national baseball team won an Olympic qualifying tournament in Italy last week, earning it a berth in the 2020 games in Tokyo (see article). The last time Israel played a team sport in the Olympics was 1976, when its soccer squad competed in Montreal.
  • Two Jewish pitchers are competing in the prestigious Arizona Fall League, which features the top 7 prospects from each Major League franchise. Orioles prospect Dean Kremer, a dual Israeli-American citizen, pitched 2 scoreless innings in a September 20 start for the Surprise Saguaros, yielding 2 hits and no walks while striking out 3. Mariners prospect Sam Delaplane pitched 2 scoreless innings on September 18 to earn a save for the Peoria Javelinas. He pitched well on September 22, too, but gave up one hit — a home run that earned him a loss.

Stats to share

  • Alex Bregman (Astros) has 39 home runs so far. If he gets to 40, he’ll be just the fifth Jewish player to reach that mark and the first to do so since 2012, when Ryan Braun (Brewers) hit 41. The others are Hank Greenberg, Shawn Green and Al Rosen.
  • Correction: last week, we erroneously wrote that Ryan Braun (Brewers) and Rowdy Tellez (Blue Jays) each hit their 20th home run, when Tellez in fact had hit only 19. Even so, four Jewish players have reached the 20-HR mark so far this season, a new record.

At the plate

  • LF Ryan Braun (Brewers) hit .389 (7-for-19) with 4 doubles, 3 RBIs, and a .421 on-base percentage.
  • 3B Alex Bregman (Astros) hit .235 (4-for-17) with 3 HRs, 4 RBIs, and a .381 OBP. The third and final home run, his 39th of the season, came as Houston clinched the A.L. West title on Sunday.

  • CF Kevin Pillar (Giants) hit .259 (7-for-27) with a double, 5 RBIs, and a .310 OBP.
  • 1B Rowdy Tellez (Blue Jays) hit .222 (2-for-9) with a double and a .500 OBP.
  • LF Joc Pederson (Dodgers) hit .111 (1-for-9) with an RBI and a .385 OBP. He played just one complete game last week.
  • C Garrett Stubbs (Astros) hit .000 (0-for-1) with a walk.
  • 2B Ian Kinsler (Padres) is out for the rest of the season with a herniated cervical disk.

On the mound

  • Max Fried (Braves) rebounded from two straight losses with a scoreless gem on September 21, yielding 5 hits and no walks over 5.1 innings while striking out 2 to earn his 17th win.

  • Richard Bleier (Orioles) went 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA and a save across 3 games. Over 5 combined innings, he yielded 5 hits and no walks while striking out 2.
  • Robert Stock (Padres) is out for the rest of the season with a right bicep strain.

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