MLB Hot Corner: Blue Jays on the move? Closers & Summer Camp (Video)
Jen Piacenti breaks down the top stories from the past week of the MLB
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Sean Murphy hit a two-run homer and walked twice Thursday as the A's beat the White Sox 6-4 to advance to the ALDS.
They'll face the Astros in the ALDS next week. 17 pitchers worked in the nine-inning game today, none throwing more than two innings. The A's used eight pitchers, with Frankie Montas getting the win in relief and Liam Hendriks earned a save despite throwing 49 pitches yesterday. There's no MVP for these series, but if there was, Murphy would be the choice for the A's. One would think Bob Melvin would take him out of the ninth spot in the lineup at some point. He was very nearly the team's best hitter this year, finishing with an .821 OPS that was just behind Robbie Grossman's team-high .826.
Added 7:24 pm (EST)
M. Fiers - SP
Mike Fiers yielded one run in 1 2/3 innings Thursday in his start against the White Sox.
Fiers gave up five hits, but only Luis Robert's solo homer in the second scored a run. Fiers was pulled after allowing a single, a double and a walk with two outs in the frame. Fortunately, Yusmeiro Petit was able to get Jose Abreu to ground out with the bases loaded to end the inning.
Added 7:24 pm (EST)
Frankie Montas was credited with the win in relief after allowing one run in two innings Thursday versus the White Sox.
He struck out two and walked none. Montas was terrific in the regular-season finale Sunday and he outpitched starter Mike Fiers today, so there's a good chance that he'll get a start in the ALDS, though the A's aren't really locked into anything beyond Chris Bassitt starting two games.
Added 7:23 pm (EST)
Liam Hendriks struck out three of the four batters he faced for a save in Thursday's Game 3 against the White Sox.
Hendriks threw 49 pitches Wednesday, but one never would have known that from how he looked today. After giving up a leadoff single to James McCann, he repeatedly threw 98-100 mph fastballs by Yoan Moncada, Luis Robert and Nomar Mazara to end the game. He'll have a nice break now before the ALDS starts Monday.
Added 7:22 pm (EST)
Dane Dunning got just two outs but wasn't charged with a run in his Game 3 start against the A's on Thursday.
The White Sox were long undecided on a Game 3 starter, and while they ultimately chose Dunning, they were with an extremely quick hook, yanking him after just two singles. The White Sox got out of the first without incident, but the A's were able to get to the bullpen in the fourth and fifth, scoring six runs in those innings.
Added 7:21 pm (EST)
Tim Anderson had a third straight three-hit game Thursday in the loss to the A's.
His team was eliminated, but Anderson's first postseason series was an incredible success, as he delivered three hits from the leadoff spot in every game against the A's. The end result was a .643 average. To put Anderson's feat in perspective, only one player had three straight three-hit games during the regular season: Trea Turner actually did it four times in a row from Aug. 28-31.
Added 7:20 pm (EST)
Luis Robert had a solo homer and an RBI single in the Game 3 loss to the A's on Thursday.
Robert's terrible September will likely cost him Rookie of the Year honors, but he did bounce back some at the very end, going 5-for-11 in the final three games of the regular season and 4-for-12 in the series versus the A's. His power and speed should make him a top-10 outfielder in mixed drafts next year.
Added 7:18 pm (EST)
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters that Kenley Jansen "absolutely" is still the closer for the Dodgers for the postseason.
This may seem like something that was unnecessary to say, but while Jansen was able to pick up the save on Wednesday in Game 1 against the Brewers, there were some concerns about the right-hander's velocity. Roberts said that watching Jansen's appearance left him feeling "much better" about the closer going forward, so barring something unforeseen, he'll be the stopper as long as the Dodgers are still alive in the postseason.
Added 6:53 pm (EST)
Added 6:53 pm (EST)