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Matthew Pouliot

  1. Pedro Alvarez flexing his muscle for Pirates

    Oct 4, 2013, 5:15 PM EDT

    Pedro Alvarez

    Pedro Alvarez quietly tied for the NL lead with 36 home runs this year. He quietly became the first Pirate in seven years to drive in 100 runs. He quietly made the All-Star team for the first time. He even pretty quietly went 4-for-8 with two homers as the Pirates beat the Reds last weekend…

  2. Gerrit Cole shines in postseason debut as Pirates win Game 2

    Oct 4, 2013, 4:33 PM EDT

    Gerrit Cole

    Partly because they were worried about his innings count, the Pirates seriously considered putting Gerrit Cole into the bullpen for the postseason. It’s a very good thing they didn’t. Cole pitched six innings of one-run ball and singled in the first run of the game as the Pirates beat the Cardinals 7-1 to even up…

  3. Yasiel Puig makes presence known in postseason debut

    Oct 4, 2013, 12:42 AM EDT

    Yasiel Puig

    Batting fifth for just the second time as a major leaguer, Yasiel Puig went 2-for-3 and collected an outfield assist in his first postseason game as the Dodgers beat the Braves 6-1 on Thursday. Puig had mostly been hitting at the top of the order, but manager Don Mattingly opted to drop him to the…

  4. Braves’ replacements flounder in Game 1 loss

    Oct 4, 2013, 12:16 AM EDT

    Elliot Johnson

    With Dan Uggla off the roster and B.J. Upton on the bench, the Braves were banking on lesser names helping their cause against the Dodgers. It didn’t work in Game 1, as both left fielder Evan Gattis and second baseman Elliot Johnson had key misplays in the 6-1 loss. Uggla and Upton are the Braves’…

  5. Adam Wainwright opens his postseason with nine-K gem

    Oct 3, 2013, 8:49 PM EDT

    Adam Wainwright

    Adam Wainwright has closed for a World Series winner. He’s still looking to make it back to the Fall Classic as a starter. Demonstrating even better control of his curveball than usual, Wainwright kicked off the Cardinals’ latest postseason run on a strong note Thursday, allowing three hits over seven innings and striking out nine…

  6. A.J. Burnett’s dud could end career on a sour note

    Oct 3, 2013, 8:23 PM EDT

    A.J. Burnett

    Despite another strong season in which he posted a 3.30 ERA and finished fifth in the NL with 209 strikeouts, free-agent-to-be A.J. Burnett is contemplating retirement this winter. It’s hard to imagine that he’ll want to go out like that, though. Burnett was blasted for seven runs in two-plus innings Thursday in the Pirates’ Game…

  7. Just another shutout for Alex Cobb and the Rays

    Oct 3, 2013, 12:40 AM EDT

    Alex Cobb

    The Rays (17) and the Indians (16) were the only American League teams to throw 15 shutouts this season, so it’s fitting that the wild card turned into another one. Pitching himself into and out of trouble, Alex Cobb scattered eight hits in 6 2/3 innings before leaving with a 3-0 lead. Joel Peralta, Jake…

  8. Big-ticket signings fail to lift Indians in loss

    Oct 3, 2013, 12:09 AM EDT

    Nick Swisher

    When the Indians added Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn in free agency, it was supposed to energize the fans and signal the start of a new era. And it probably did help with the latter, if not the former. However, while neither Swisher nor Bourn went bust in year one in Cleveland, the performances of…

  9. Cast off by Yankees, Russell Martin is early postseason hero for Pirates

    Oct 2, 2013, 12:50 AM EDT

    Russell Martin

    Russell Martin may have hit a mere .226 for the Pirates this season, but there’s little doubt he was a difference maker. On Tuesday, he showed the Yankees what they were missing my hitting two homers and catching another gem from Francisco Liriano as the Pirates advanced to the ALDS. After a successful first year…

  10. Listless Reds have no answer for Francisco Liriano

    Oct 1, 2013, 11:56 PM EDT

    Brandon Phillips

    Swept by the Pirates over the weekend, the Reds went down without a fight. The hope that they could simply flip the switch — and maybe find their swag — Tuesday died a quick death in front of a raucous PNC Park crowd. The incredible thing is that the Reds had actually beaten Francisco Liriano…

  11. The Mariners intend to make Kendrys Morales a qualifying offer

    Oct 1, 2013, 5:52 PM EDT

    Kendrys Morales

    Free agent-to-be Kendrys Morales might not be one and done in Seattle. MLB.com’s Greg Johns passed along word that GM Jack Zduriencik said he intends to make the designated hitter a qualifying offer after the World Series. That offer would give Morales a one-year contract in the $13.5 million-$14 million range should he choose to…

  12. Pouliot’s postseason award picks: American League

    Oct 1, 2013, 2:18 AM EDT

    Mike Trout

    Evan Longoria made his case for moving up the MVP ballot with his big game Monday, but while it’s safe to say the Rays wouldn’t have reached the postseason without him, he was still no better than the AL’s third best third baseman. It was, in fact, the year of the third baseman in the…

  13. Rangers have no answer for the Rays’ stars

    Sep 30, 2013, 11:47 PM EDT

    Evan Longoria

    The simple fact is that things lined up better for the Rays than they did for the Rangers in Monday’s one-game playoff. With no maneuvering necessary, the Rays had their 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner, David Price, ready to the take the mound. The Rangers, having used Yu Darvish on Sunday, were forced to…

  14. Andrew McCutchen got hit in the head during batting practice

    Sep 30, 2013, 6:39 PM EDT

    Andrew McCutchen

    Wouldn’t it be just Pittsburgh’s luck if likely NL MVP Andrew McCutchen got knocked out of the wild card game by a batting-practice accident? Fortunately, it looks like he’ll avoid that fate, though he was hit in the head while shagging flyballs on Monday. McCutchen said he was distracted by a teammate when a ball…

  15. Pouliot’s postseason award picks: National League

    Sep 30, 2013, 1:51 AM EDT

    Clayton Kershaw

    There’s still one more American League game on Monday, so we’ll have to wait on those selections, which will probably be a bit more controversial than these. Here are my NL award picks for 2013.

  16. When the standouts don’t stand out

    Sep 30, 2013, 12:30 AM EDT

    Paul Goldschmidt

    Obviously, offense in the year 2013 isn’t what it used to be. Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt led the National League this year with a .954 OPS and was tied with Pedro Alvarez for first with 36 homers. It’s hardly a knock against him to say that those aren’t the totals we’re used to seeing leading the…

  17. The Astros lost their final 15 games

    Sep 29, 2013, 9:00 PM EDT

    Chris Carter

    The Yankees brought half a team to Houston, but that was enough to get a three-game sweep and conclude the Astros’ historic season with 15 straight losses. They’re the first team since the 1899 Cleveland Spiders to lose their final 15 games. The Astros ended up 51-111. They’re the 12th team since 1900 ever to…

  18. 2013 leads the way in spectacularly bad offensive performances

    Sep 29, 2013, 6:01 PM EDT

    B.J. Upton

    By OPS, the 2013 season boasts three of the six worst offensive seasons since 2000: .545 – Cesar Izturis (2010 Orioles) .559 – Alcides Escobar (2013 Royals) .562 – Nick Punto (2007 Twins) .564 – Neifi Perez (2002 Royals) .565 – Adeiny Hechavarria (2013 Marlins) .569 – Darwin Barney (2013 Cubs) .576 – Ramon Santiago…

  19. Reds finish mailing it in, get swept by Pirates

    Sep 29, 2013, 4:56 PM EDT

    Pirates' Harrison slides into home plate with an inside the park home run against the Reds during their MLB National League baseball game in Cincinnati

    It’s not that the Reds had nothing to play for this weekend; winning two out of three against the Pirates would have ensured that Tuesday’s rematch in the wild card game would be at home. Instead, they’ll travel to Pittsburgh for Tuesday’s rematch and elimination game after getting swept in the series. Right from the…

  20. Henderson Alvarez with the unlikeliest of no-hitters

    Sep 29, 2013, 3:51 PM EDT

    Henderson Alvarez

    Actually, it was prime no-hitter time: a meaningless game on the final day of the season. The opposing team had nothing to play for and thus started several backups. The umps were also looking to get things over with in a hurry. If there was ever a day for Henderson Alvarez to throw a no-no,…

  21. Anibal Sanchez shuts down Marlins, wins AL ERA crown

    Sep 28, 2013, 9:38 PM EDT

    Anibal Sanchez

    In what was otherwise a meaningless tuneup for the Tigers, Anibal Sanchez entered Saturday’s start against the Marlins with the slightest of all leads for the AL ERA crown: 2.64 to Bartolo Colon‘s 2.65 mark. The margin is a little wider now: Sanchez threw five scoreless innings and struck out eight in a brisk 66-pitch…

  22. Giants overcommit to Hunter Pence

    Sep 28, 2013, 2:26 PM EDT

    Hunter Pence

    Now that he’s out from under the Barry Zito (seven years, $126 million) and Aaron Rowand (five years, $60 million) contracts, Giants GM Brian Sabean has the financial muscle to swing for the fences again. And the result: a five-year, $90 million contract for Hunter Pence. For Pence, is a windfall that certainly exceeds any…

  23. Clayton Kershaw wraps up season with 1.83 ERA

    Sep 28, 2013, 12:55 AM EDT

    Clayton Kershaw

    Clayton Kershaw blanked the Rockies for six innings Friday to improve to 16-9 on the season and lower his MLB-best ERA to 1.83. Kershaw is the first to qualify for the ERA title with an ERA under 2.00 since Roger Clemens came in at 1.87 for the Astros in 2005. His mark is the lowest…

  24. Craig Kimbrel is 11th with 50-save season

    Sep 28, 2013, 12:20 AM EDT

    Craig Kimbrel

    Craig Kimbrel notched his 50th save of the year Friday in the Braves’ 1-0 win over the Phillies, making him the 11th different reliever to reach the milestone. In all, there have been 13 50-save seasons, with Mariano Rivera and Eric Gagne having gotten there twice. The Orioles’ Jim Johnson could also get there for…

  25. Rays fall into tie with Indians for wild card spots, Rangers one back

    Sep 27, 2013, 11:51 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Texas Rangers

    The AL wild card battle tightened up Friday, with the Rays losing in Toronto and both the Indians and Rangers gaining a game. The current standings: Rays: 90-70 (two in Toronto) Indians: 90-70 (two in Minnesota) Rangers: 89-71 (two vs. Angels) The Rays, who had won seven straight, were undone by some sloppy defense in…

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