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Last Build Date: Sat, 22 Oct 2016 23:49:28 PDT

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Kyle Hendricks' masterful start sends Cubs to World Series (Big League Stew)

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 23:49:28 PDT

When it comes to pitchers who have won a NLCS game to send the Chicago Cubs to the World Series, the list consists of exactly one member: Kyle Hendricks. While many expected his counterpart Clayton Kershaw to turn in the night’s defining start, the 26-year-old righthander was brilliant instead. Hendricks threw 7 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball in the Cubs’ 5-0 win in Saturday’s Game 6, allowing only two hits while striking out six and walking none.

Blue Jays bats go silent against Indians in ALCS (The Associated Press)

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 18:27:59 PDT

Bidding to return to the World Series for the first time since 1993, the Blue Jays lost in the ALCS for the second straight year, following last year's six-game defeat against eventual champion Kansas City. Toronto was held to six hits by rookie Ryan Merritt and three relievers in the Indians' second shutout of the ALCS. ''We never really had a big inning, never were able to really string some hits together and get a rally going,'' Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin said.

Game Over: The 2016 Boston Red Sox (Big League Stew)

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 13:46:25 PDT

Sorry, Boston Red Sox, your World Series trophy is in another castle, one that’s furnished with David Ortiz’s retirement gifts.

Kluber returns for Game 4 as Indians look for sweep (The Associated Press)

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 11:55:50 PDT

Corey Kluber will start on short rest Tuesday in the hopes that he can give his team a long rest going into the World Series. The Cleveland Indians will be entering Game 4 of the American League Championship Series trying to complete a four-game sweep after winning Game 3 over the Toronto Blue Jays 4-2 Monday at Rogers Centre. By starting Tuesday, Kluber would be available for Game 7 should the Blue Jays awaken and extend the series that far.

Blue Jays drawing support from all over Canada (The Associated Press)

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 00:21:52 PDT

Michael Saunders was born in Victoria, British Columbia - about as close to Seattle as you can get without being in the United States. ''Proximity-wise, I guess everyone felt like Seattle would be my hometown team, but it was really the Jays,'' Saunders said. Now an outfielder for those Toronto Blue Jays, Saunders is uniquely qualified to explain how Canada's lone major league team has cultivated a following among baseball fans all across the country.

ALCS Game 3: Indians' bullpen excels after Trevor Bauer exits early (Big League Stew)

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 20:32:35 PDT

When your bullpen is this good, you don’t need starting pitching. With Bauer done for the night, Terry Francona had no choice but to turn to his bullpen. Six different Cleveland relievers combined to allow just two runs over 8 1/3 innings.

No offense: Blue Jays' bats disappear so far in ALCS (The Associated Press)

Sat, 15 Oct 2016 18:02:15 PDT

Joey Bats and the Blue Jays forgot their bats. Toronto's meaty lineup loaded with power hitters scored just one run in the first two games of the AL Championship Series, a stunning turn for a team that blasted baseballs against Texas. The Blue Jays managed just three hits in Saturday's 2-1 loss to the Cleveland Indians, who took a 2-0 lead as the series shifts to Canada.

Baseball-Major League Baseball roundup (Reuters)

Sat, 15 Oct 2016 17:36:11 PDT

Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw will start Sunday's Game 2 of the National League Championship Series at the Chicago Cubs. Kershaw will face the Cubs three days after he wrapped up the NL Division Series against the Washington Nationals, getting the final two outs in relief in the decisive Game 5. The Dodgers also announced Saturday that left-hander Rich Hill will get the start in Game 3 when the best-of-seven series shifts to Los Angeles.

ALCS Game 2: Josh Tomlin's gem extends Indians' lead over Jays (Big League Stew)

Sat, 15 Oct 2016 15:58:28 PDT

No one told Josh Tomlin the Cleveland Indians’ rotation was supposed to be a weakness this postseason. Tomlin turned in an excellent start against the Toronto Blue Jays in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series, giving his club the 2-1 win. With the victory, the Indians now lead the ALCS 2-0.

Lindor homers as Indians race past Jays 2-0 in ALCS opener (The Associated Press)

Fri, 14 Oct 2016 21:59:29 PDT

When the ball disappeared over the outfield wall, Francisco Lindor raised his right fist and took off. Smiling with every stride, Cleveland's superstar-in-the-making shortstop sprinted around the bases like he was being chased. Lindor hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning and Corey Kluber silenced Toronto's booming bats, giving the Indians a 2-0 win over the Blue Jays in Game 1 of the AL Championship Series on Friday night.

Hal Steinbrenner enthused by Yankees' prospects (The Associated Press)

Fri, 14 Oct 2016 14:13:20 PDT

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner is enthused about the team's prospects after watching many of them play in instructional league games this month. New York boosted its system by acquiring shortstop Gleyber Torres, outfielders Clint Frazier and Rashad Crawford and left-hander Justus Sheffield in trades for veterans Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller and Carlos Beltran.

Indians, Jays meet in ALCS after 'quirky' games in season (The Associated Press)

Fri, 14 Oct 2016 10:48:26 PDT

''I was watching on TV,'' said Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista, who was rehabbing a sprained left knee in Florida and missed Toronto's series in Cleveland. The Indians, who swept Boston in the AL Division Series after a season filled with injuries, start Corey Kluber in Game 1 against Toronto's Marco Estrada.

Blue Jays' Marco Estrada should stick to same approach in ALCS Game 1 (Eh Game)

Fri, 14 Oct 2016 09:30:00 PDT

Marco Estrada set the bar high with his tremendous outing in the Blue Jays' Game 1 ALDS win. He'll be looking to replicate that performance, in results and approach, when he takes the mound for Game 1 of the ALDS on Friday night in Cleveland. Estrada dominated the Texas Rangers over 8 1/3 innings, a solo home run in the ninth the only run he allowed, and struck out six as he set the tone for a Toronto sweep. His approach in that game in terms of pitch selection didn't vary too much from what he did in the regular season, except he relied even more on his fastball and changeup and only used his cutter a couple times. It certainly worked on that afternoon in Arlington, and could very well work again here. The #Rangers were 0/13 against Marco Estrada's changeup today. #OurMoment — Inside Edge (@InsideEdgeScout) October 6, 2016 Jason Kipnis and Mike Napoli are two of Cleveland's most dangerous hitters, and they both have struggled hitting changeups this season. Estrada has one of the best changeups in baseball, and like he did against the Rangers, he'll use it to his advantage. He'll have to be careful around Francisco Lindor and  Jose Ramirez, though, who have been locked in on the change. "it's like any other team, every team has a good lineup. Obviously teams that are in the playoffs might have a little bit better lineup. And that's basically what it is. Texas had an incredible lineup, so do these guys," said Estrada. "Every team is good. Some are a little better, but you can't take anybody lightly. And they've got an extremely talented team over there, but so do we." What can the Blue Jays expect from Cleveland ace Corey Kluber? If Kluber's start against Boston in their ALDS is any indication, he'll be throwing plenty of sinkers and going to his slider with two strikes. For what it's worth, Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista, and Russell Martin have had success, albeit in a relatively small sample size, when facing Kluber. Toronto and Cleveland's Game 1 starters are both coming off games where they were in control against excellent offensive teams. Their challenge here is to do it again, and  there's something to be said for keeping hitters guessing.  Weighing that aspect when coming up with a strategy for a game  adds another fascinating wrinkle to what looks like will be a tightly contested series. More MLB coverage from Yahoo Canada Sports: - - - - - - - Israel Fehr is a writer for Yahoo Canada Sports . Email him at or follow him on Twitter. Follow @israelfehr

LEADING OFF: Blue Jays-Indians open ALCS, Dodgers-Cubs set (The Associated Press)

Thu, 13 Oct 2016 23:57:48 PDT

Jose Bautista and wild-card Toronto hit eight home runs in their three-game sweep of Texas in the AL Division Series. Kluber was magnificent in his postseason debut, pitching three-hit ball for seven shutout innings as Cleveland swept Boston. The Dodgers will be working out at Wrigley Field, fresh off winning the deciding Game 5 of the NL Division Series in Washington.

Game Over: The 2016 Texas Rangers (Big League Stew)

Thu, 13 Oct 2016 16:36:28 PDT

Sorry, Texas Rangers, your World Series trophy is in another castle, one that doesn’t care one iota about run differential.

MLB free-agent qualifying offer price up to $17.2 million (The Associated Press)

Thu, 13 Oct 2016 13:43:41 PDT

The price of qualifying offers for Major League Baseball free agents will be $17.2 million this year. It was determined by the average of the top 125 major league contracts this year by average annual value.

A capsule look at the Blue Jays-Indians playoff series (The Associated Press)

Wed, 12 Oct 2016 16:58:26 PDT

A look at the best-of-seven American League Championship Series between the Toronto Blue Jays and Cleveland Indians:

TBS taking heat for its playoff baseball broadcasts as Blue Jays start ALCS (Eh Game)

Wed, 12 Oct 2016 13:01:45 PDT

The American League Championship Series starts Friday and that can mean only one thing: television viewers are going to be unhappy. Now it's not as if baseball fans need anything more to anger them and add fuel to the many conspiracy theories to which they adhere. After all, most believe that the league, the umpires, the broadcasts and possibly even the hot dog vendors are biased against their team or, in the case of the Toronto Blue Jays, their country as well. They also believe that the Jays get inferior start times because of anti-Canadian bias, overlooking the fact that it's simply a matter of an American network seeking the highest ratings in the U.S. But logic doesn't always prevail in these matters. Witness the flap over Harold Reynolds' ham-handed comment about Canadians' ham hands last year. Diplomats were at the ready before he apologized. Add in the fact that TBS will be broadcasting the series between the Toronto Blue Jays and Cleveland and you have the potential for a conflagration of nuclear proportions. That's because the Atlanta-based offspring of media mogul Ted Turner annually manages to rile fans with a combination of silly comments, horrendously flawed graphics and just plain stupidity. Where to begin when listing the sins against broadcasting committed by TBS? Was it the graphic noting the fact that Cleveland's Tyler Naquin was ``the first outfielder to start a post-season game since 1948" for the team, an amazing feat even when you consider how few post-season games the franchise has played since then? (On the other hand, not starting any outfielders may explain their lack of success.) Or was it the graphic listing Cleveland closer Andrew Miller's 2016 record with the Yankees, Indians and Orioles, which must have come as quite a surprise to both Miller and the Orioles? Or was it the reference to TBS analyst ``Carl" RIpken Jr.? (Carl Sr. must be so proud.) Or maybe it's the TBS virtual strike zone that appears to indicate that every MLB umpire is either drunk or severely myopic. The list of TBS sins goes beyond graphics, though. During Sunday's series-clinching game between the Blue Jays and Texas Rangers, fumble-mouth Matt Winer was conducting a long interview with Texas coach Tony Beasley when Elvis Andrus hit a key home run. As if that wasn't enough, Winer interrupted Beasley to tell viewers that Andrus had hit a double, before correcting himself as he keenly detected Andrus heading for home plate. That, of course, was nothing compared to a video that was either sophomoric or offensive -- and probably both: a montage that showed the TBS broadcast crew in front of a burning river and the words ``Welcome to Cleveland." Canadian fans breathed a sigh of relief that TBS didn't do a ``Welcome to Canada" video featuring Canadian disasters such as 10-foot snowdrifts or the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Then again, the series doesn't go north of the U.S. border until Monday.) Not surprisingly, TBS apologized for that considering Clevelanders are a little sensitive about being known for having a river that was so polluted it caught fire 47 years ago. Needless to say, the avalanche of gaffes has irritated fans to no end. While Cleveland fans certainly have reason to hate TBS, hardcore Blue Jays fans are already in high dudgeon over the fact that an American network is doing the games instead of Sportsnet. After watching more than 162 games with Jays-friendly announcers Buck Martinez and Pat Tabler, Canadian fans feel a little out of sorts watching broadcasters who don't know the players as well and[...]

Estrada to start ALCS opener for Blue Jays against Cleveland (The Associated Press)

Tue, 11 Oct 2016 20:30:51 PDT

After wrapping up their Division Series sweep of the Texas Rangers on Sunday night, the Toronto Blue Jays were able to kick back Monday, celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving and watch the Cleveland Indians beat Boston, finalizing their AL Championship Series matchup. Back at Rogers Centre for a light workout on Tuesday afternoon, Toronto tabbed right-hander Marco Estrada as its starter for Friday's Game 1 in Cleveland. Manager John Gibbons said Estrada was ''the logical choice'' to start the opener after winning elimination games for the Blue Jays in both the ALDS and ALCS in 2015.

Game Over: The 2016 Houston Astros (Big League Stew)

Tue, 11 Oct 2016 19:25:42 PDT

Sorry, Houston Astros, your World Series trophy is in another castle. Well, that, or maybe Colby Rasmus got there first and is off somewhere throwing an epic celebration party without you.

Disappointed Texas Rangers expect more postseason chances (The Associated Press)

Tue, 11 Oct 2016 16:31:52 PDT

General manager Jon Daniels expects more postseason chances for the Texas Rangers to pursue that elusive World Series title. While the Rangers lost in the AL Division Series to Toronto for the second consecutive year, this time getting swept, Daniels said Tuesday that he doesn't buy into any contention that there could be a shrinking window of opportunity for the AL West champions. ''If we're doing our jobs right ... I don't believe that there's like an open-and-close period,'' Daniels said.

Braves name Snitker manager for 2017, Washington joins staff (The Associated Press)

Tue, 11 Oct 2016 15:52:58 PDT

Brian Snitker finally was given his most-cherished prize for four decades of service to the Atlanta Braves. Snitker was hired by the Braves as their full-time manager on Tuesday, rewarded for helping reverse the team's direction in his interim role this season. The Braves finished last in the NL East but won 20 of their final 30 games under Snitker, who became interim manager on May 17 after Fredi Gonzalez was fired.

Blue Jays GM Atkins says Travis, Liriano improving (The Associated Press)

Mon, 10 Oct 2016 19:25:52 PDT

Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins expects second baseman Devon Travis to return from a sore right knee and play in the AL Championship Series and says left-hander Francisco Liriano is improving after a concussion last week. Travis missed the final two games of Toronto's AL Division Series sweep of Texas because of a bone bruise and might have been removed from the roster had the series gone longer. ''Every day is better, every hour is better,'' Atkins said Monday.

Another strange abrupt ending for Rangers after best record (The Associated Press)

Mon, 10 Oct 2016 18:31:12 PDT

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Just like that, with another strange ending in Toronto, the season ended for the Texas Rangers.

ALCS-bound Blue Jays ready to do what they couldn't last season (Big League Stew)

Sun, 09 Oct 2016 23:40:56 PDT

These Toronto Blue Jays did not enter the postseason as the team to beat. Sure, their starting pitching was finally up to snuff, but their bullpen was thin and their play most of September was about as far from ready-to-do-this as you could get. Sunday night’s 7-6 walk-off win to sweep the Texas Rangers in the ALDS was Toronto’s sixth straight win: the two final regular season games – games they needed to clinch home field in the wild-card game – that wild-card game, also a walk-off, and the three games in the division series.

Bat flip, then an error as Rangers suffer at Blue Jays' hands again (Reuters)

Sun, 09 Oct 2016 23:35:01 PDT

(Reuters) - A home run bat flip ended the Texas Rangers season last year at the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays, this year it was their own throwing error that sent them home at the hands of the same team. The Blue Jays completed the 3-0 American League Division Series sweep with a walk-off run in the 10th inning on Sunday when Texas second baseman Rougned Odor made an errant throw, which allowed Josh Donaldson to score and give his side a 7-6 win at the Rogers Centre. "For me, it hurts," Rangers infielder Adrian Beltre told reporters.

Walk-off error caps Jays' sweep of Rangers (Reuters)

Sun, 09 Oct 2016 23:32:20 PDT

(The Sports Xchange) - A throwing error by Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor in the bottom of the 10th inning allowed the winning run to score, and the Toronto Blue Jays completed a three-game sweep of the American League Division Series with a 7-6 victory on Sunday. Josh Donaldson led off the bottom of the 10th with a double to right center against Matt Bush (0-1), who was pitching his third inning. Edwin Encarnacion, who had three RBIs in the game, was walked intentionally before Jose Bautista struck out.

Baseball-Bat flip, then an error as Rangers suffer at Blue Jays' hands again (Reuters)

Sun, 09 Oct 2016 23:24:58 PDT

A home run bat flip ended the Texas Rangers season last year at the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays, this year it was their own throwing error that sent them home at the hands of the same team. The Blue Jays completed the 3-0 American League Division Series sweep with a walk-off run in the 10th inning on Sunday when Texas second baseman Rougned Odor made an errant throw, which allowed Josh Donaldson to score and give his side a 7-6 win at the Rogers Centre. "For me, it hurts," Rangers infielder Adrian Beltre told reporters.

Toronto Blue Jays return to ALCS after sweeping Rangers (AFP)

Sun, 09 Oct 2016 22:13:14 PDT

Josh Donaldson made a mad dash from second base to score the winning run in extra innings as the Toronto Blue Jays advanced to their second straight American League Championship Series on Sunday. The Blue Jays completed their first series sweep in franchise history with a 7-6 victory over Texas on a winning run that was set up by an error from Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor in the bottom of the 10th. With the score tied 6-6 with one out and runners on first and second, Canadian Russell Martin started the play with a ground ball to shortstop Elvis Andrus.