art for the Astros against thein Wallet - Einleitung und Tipps 04.09.2018 03:25
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While other players were prepping for this season at spring training [url=http://www.ramscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-samson-ebukam-jersey]Samson Ebukam Jersey[/url] , Jose Bautista was on his own.
A six-time All-Star without a big league job, Bautista remained eager to catch on somewhere and knew he needed to be resourceful. So to stay in game shape, the 37-year-old slugger spent his days back home in Florida hopping from gym workouts to local ballfields.
Sometimes he ended up at the University of Tampa, or Tampa Catholic High School. Wherever he could find an empty diamond to hit and do defensive drills.
”I was trying to mimic somewhat the same program,” said Bautista, who has quickly become a rare bright spot for the New York Mets this year. ”I mean, it wasn’t the easiest thing.”
His agent helped him scrounge up batting-practice pitchers to simulate game situations as best they could. High school kids, college players, other free agents looking for work.
Bautista figures he got about 30 ”at-bats” or so in April, when the regular season was already underway for everyone else. All the while, the former Toronto Blue Jays star waited for a new opportunity.
”Yeah, different fields. Whatever was available and whatever people could get to,” he said.
Not exactly an ideal way to sharpen up for Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw. But after struggling through a 12-game stint with the Atlanta Braves in May, mostly at third base, Joey Bats has hardly missed a beat since arriving in New York. He had a .944 OPS over 35 games going into Sunday and had already batted in every spot for the Mets besides ninth.
”He never backed off,” teammate and close friend Jose Reyes said last week. ”He always was working.”
Next up, a nice reward.
On deck this week is the first trip for Bautista back to Toronto, where he blossomed into one of baseball’s best power hitters with the Blue Jays from 2008-17. The struggling Mets play interleague games at Rogers Centre on Tuesday and Wednesday night. Needless to say, he’s excited.
”I’m trying not to think about it,” Bautista said last week. ”I’m trying not to dwell on it too much.”
”Obviously [url=http://www.coltscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-john-simon-jersey]John Simon Jersey[/url] , I played there for 10 years. I consider it one of my homes away from home,” he added. ”I’m just going to let it come and enjoy it when it gets here.”
Reyes, also Bautista’s teammate in Toronto from 2013-15, said last week the outfielder had been staying at his house in New York for the past few days and the two talked about the upcoming games in Toronto.
Reyes figures the Blue Jays might have a video tribute planned, but he’s sure Bautista will receive a standing ovation after helping the team end a 22-year playoff drought and reach consecutive AL Championship Series in 2015 and 2016.
Bautista, still sporting a neatly trimmed beard, acknowledged he anticipates a warm reception.
”I don’t expect anything else from Canadian fans. They’re top-notch, a class act,” he said. ”We had a pretty good run there and I had a successful career in my years there. … I did enjoy my time in Toronto greatly and it’s going to be great to be back.”
Bautista hit 54 home runs for the Blue Jays in 2010 and led the majors again with 43 the following season. He finished in the top four in AL MVP voting both years.
And of course, who could ever forget his gigantic bat flip after connecting for a decisive homer in the 2015 playoffs against Texas?
As he approached free agency, Bautista’s numbers dropped off in 2016. Toronto brought him back on a one-year contract for $18 million last season, but he slumped to a .203 batting average with 23 homers, 65 RBIs and 170 strikeouts, and the Blue Jays moved on.
”As a player, we understand that this is a business,” Reyes said. ”He wanted to stay there, but I don’t know. When you build that fan base and the people love you and stuff and you (are) successful in one place, you don’t want to go someplace else. But it comes a time in baseball. It just happens. Yeah, he understands that.”
Two days after he was released by Atlanta, the Mets signed Bautista on May 22 for the $545 [url=http://www.bearscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-mike-singletary-jersey]Mike Singletary Jersey[/url] ,000 major league minimum to provide a right-handed bat in the outfield following injuries to Yoenis Cespedes and Juan Lagares.
Bautista stepped off a plane and right into the starting lineup, hitting a double in his first at-bat, just as he did with the Braves. This time, though, he hasn’t stopped producing even though everything around him keeps falling apart.
With the help of 24 walks in 105 plate appearances, Bautista began Sunday with a .438 on-base percentage for the last-place Mets. He’d reached base safely in 15 straight games and even played some solid defense.
”It’s definitely impressive and we are in awe of him,” 25-year-old outfielder Brandon Nimmo said. ”He’s a great veteran presence. He’s got a lot of wisdom, knowledge and understanding of the game. … I think just that preparation, that work ethic and that eagle eye he’s got, it’s been a great combination.”
Now playing every day in a familiar corner outfield spot after right fielder Jay Bruce went on the disabled list, too, Bautista began Sunday hitting .266 for the Mets with three homers, 10 doubles and 13 RBIs.
”A dangerous wild card,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said before a game against New York last week. ”A man that wanted to play, felt he could play and was going to do what it took necessary to put himself in a position to play. He stayed active, he stayed ready, his agent reached out to every club. I mean, we got a call. That hey, Justin Verlander had a puzzling day on the mound in his first-ever start against his previous team.
While Verlander racked up double-digit strikeouts, Detroit hammered four home runs off the former Tiger and snapped a six-game losing streak with a 6-3 win over the Houston Astros on Sunday.
”It was just an interesting day [url=]Tyler Boyd Jersey[/url] ,” Verlander said. ”Had great stuff. It seemed like any time I made a mistake they were on it in any capacity. If I didn’t, I struck them out. It was, like I said, one of the weirdest games of my career.”
Verlander (9-5) allowed a season-high six runs on six hits, striking out 12, as he lost his third straight decision.
The former Cy Young Award recipient won 183 games as a Tiger from 2005-2017 before he was traded to Houston.
”It was a little weird,” Verlander said. ”I actually woke up early this morning, don’t usually do that. But it was a little weird knowing some of the guys in there, but you know once you cross the white lines it’s business as usual. It’s not like they had the same lineup. There were a lot of different guys that I didn’t really know in there.”
Verlander struck out 10 of the first 15 batters he faced but was hurt by the long ball.
Hicks connected in the second inning, a two-run shot to left center. In the fourth, Jeimer Candelario blasted the first pitch he saw into the Astros’ bullpen, making it 4-2.
”Strikeout numbers were higher than we want,” Hicks said. ”We didn’t get a ton of hits, but the hits we got were big. We scored runs, and that’s what we needed.”
Detroit padded its lead in the sixth with a pair of solo shots by Niko Goodrum and Jim Adduci.
The Tigers had scored just five runs in their previous four games.
”Fortunately for us, Hicks comes in and puts a big swing on one,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. ”Big home run off him got everyone excited in the dugout, and it went on from there. It doesn’t take away from how great that guy is. We all know he’s a great pitcher. We are pretty fortunate we banged him around a little bit.”
It was the first time Verlander had given up four homers in a game since June 26, 2016, against Cleveland. Verlander became the fifth pitcher in major league history to have 12 or more strikeouts while allowing four or more homers in a single game.
Francisco Liriano allowed one run in three innings before leaving with lower back tightness. Drew VerHagen (1-2) came in and allowed one run on two hits in three innings.
”My back was real tight [url=http://www.ramscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-joe-namath-jersey]Joe Namath Jersey[/url] ,” Liriano said. ”I couldn’t get loose at all. Nothing major. We were being careful. I tried to piece through it, but it was getting worse.”
Yuli Gurriel scored two runs and hit a sacrifice fly in the ninth for the Astros. Gurriel’s fourth-inning single extended his hitting streak to 12 games.
”It was kind of an off day for us,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. ”I think here and there we put up some pretty good at-bats. But it was just a quiet day and quiet days aren’t our norm, but it kind of fell on the wrong day.”
The defending World Series champions head into the All-Star break at 64-35.
”I think our ability to handle the expectations thus far, the attention and all that comes with it has been remarkable,” Hinch said. ”Again, not a surprise, but something that needs to be noted.”
CLIMBING THE RANKS
With his dozen strikeouts, Verlander passed Bob Feller (2,581) and Warren Spahn (2,583) to move into 26th in major league history with 2,588 in his career. Next is Tom Glavine (2,607).
Tigers: Leonys Martin (hamstring) is expected to play Monday, Wednesday and Thursday with Triple-A Toledo.
Astros: There is still no rehab plan for Carlos Correa (back stiffness). Manager A.J. Hinch said Correa is not doing anything aggressively on the field that warrants a plan to send him out.
Tigers: LHP Matthew Boyd (4-8, 4.76 ERA) will open up the second half for Detroit against Boston. In his last start, Boyd allowed five runs on four hits and struck out eight in six innings.
Astros: LHP Dallas Keuchel (7-8, 3.75 ERA) will start for the Astros against the Angels. In his last three outings, Keuchel is 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA.
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