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MLB News and Notes – Tuesday October 2, 2018

Take a look at some of the top news and notes from Major League Baeball for Tuesday October 2, 2018:

Wild Ending To Season In National League

If you are a baseball fan, it doesn’t get much more fun than the end of the season in the National League.  In fact, it was historic. It was the first time that two divisions were decided by a game 163. In the NL Central, it was the Milwaukee Brewers, who have won 20 of their last 27 games, roaring back to catch, and then surpass, the Chicago Cubs to take the division crown on Monday.  

In the NL West, it was the Dodgers who come away with the division crown, beating the Colorado Rockies. While both the Cubs and the Rockies lost their respective divisions, they both still make the playoffs as wild card teams and now must face each other in a one game, winner moves on game on Tuesday at Wrigley Field.

Playoff Teams Set

Now that the National League is set, the playoff bracket has been finalized. For the National League, the Rockies will travel to the Cubs for the wild-card game on Tuesday, with the winner moving on to take on the Milwaukee Brewers.  On the other side of the bracket, the Atlanta Braves will take on the Los Angeles Dodgers.

In the American League, the Oakland Athletics will travel to take on the New York Yankees in a one-game playoff on Wednesday, with the winner getting the Boston Red Sox.  On the other side of that bracket, the defending World Series champion Houston Astros will be taking on the Cleveland Indians.

Mike Scioscia Out As Angels Manager

After finishing a 10-year, $50 million contract, Mike Scioscia is calling it quits with the Los Angeles Angels.  All together Scioscia was with the Angels as a coach for 19 years. In that time, he won the World Series in 2002 and won the AL West 6 times.  Unfortunately for Angels’ fans, he was never able to have sustained postseason success with Mike Trout, arguably the best player in the majors today (and possibly of all time).  

This was not all Scioscia’s fault, though, as his rosters generally consisted of expensive and aging veterans (i.e. Albert Pujols). Still, Scioscia currently is 1,650 – 1,428 in terms of a win/loss total and sits 18th on baseball’s all-time win list for managers. At only 59 years old, it is still possible that Scioscia will manage again, but if he does, it will not be with the Angels.

Shohei Ohtani Underwent Tommy John Surgery

Speaking of the Angels, Shohei Ohtani had successful Tommy John Surgery on his right arm on Monday.  Ohtani took the league by storm this year as a legitimate two-way player. Offensively, he ended the season hitting .285/.361/.564 with a .925 OPS.  

In that time he had 22 home runs, 61 runs batted in, 59 runs scored and 10 stolen bases in just 326 at-bats. On the pitching side, he went 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and a 3.57 FIP.  In 51.2 innings, he struck out 63, walked 22 and allowed 6 home runs.

Unfortunately for the Angels, he will be unable to pitch in 2019. The nice thing, though, is his recovery will take far less time for his bat; thus, it is likely he will serve as the primary designated hitter for the Angels next season.

Adam Jones and Joe Mauer Say Goodbye To The Only Clubs They’ve Known

For Adam Jones, he has not known anything else besides the Baltimore Orioles.  The same can be said about Joe Mauer and the Minnesota Twins. That is why Sunday was so bittersweet for them as they were given special moments, on the field alone for their fans to show their respects, before ultimately finishing their times with their respective teams.  

For Jones, he ran out to his position in the outfield, like so many times before, only to realize that he was there alone. His teammates stood at the railings and applauded their veteran leader. Teammates applauded, the opposing Houston Astros applauded, and the fans applauded, as many realize that he has probably played his last game for the Orioles.  In what has been a disappointing year for the Orioles, it was nice to have something to celebrate on the last day.

The same held true for Joe Mauer, but he got even something more special, an opportunity to do something he hasn’t done since 2013.  Mauer spent the bulk of his All-Star career as a catcher, before injuries derailed his ability to do so, relegating him to either first base or designated hitter.  

On Sunday, in the ninth inning, he had the opportunity to do it one last time. Mauer suited up in the gear and came out behind the dish to a roaring ovation. With tears in his eyes, he squatted down one last time, receiving the first pitch of the season, before giving way to a replacement, once again leaving to a standing ovation.  

While Mauer’s stats have not been near the same in recent years, his 2009 season still shows how dominant he once was. That season he hit .365/.444/.587 with a 1.031 OPS. He had 28 home runs, 96 runs batted in and 94 runs scored in 523 at bats that season. He is still undecided if he will officially retire, but if so, it has been a remarkable career.

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