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« on: 12 April 2019, 05:15 »

HOUSTON (AP) — Ask any Houston Astro and they’ll say the same thing: Alex Bregman was made for these moments.The young third baseman was great for the defending champions all season and now that the calendar has flipped to October he’s taken his play to another level Preston Tucker Jersey , slugging two home runs to help Houston to a 2-0 lead in the AL Division Series against the Cleveland Indians.“He loves the bright lights,” praised George Springer, MVP of the World Series last year. “He loves the big stage … he believes he should get a hit every time or make the big play or score the big run. That’s just who he is and when you have a guy like that it makes you want to do the same thing.”Game 3 is Monday in Cleveland.The 24-year-old Bregman had the best year of his career this season, leading the AL with a career-high 51 doubles, and setting career marks by hitting .286 with 31 homers and 103 RBIs. His breakout season helped carry the offense in a year where last year’s MVP Jose Altuve and star shortstop Carlos Correa struggled with injuries.“He brings joy to the team,” Altuve said. “He shows up here and lets everybody know he’s ready to play and … you see how he plays and you’re like: ‘OK. I want to join him, and I want to play at the same level he’s playing.'”Bregman gave Houston its first run of the playoffs this season when he hit a solo homer off Corey Kluber in the fourth inning of Game 1 on Friday. It was the first of four homers hit by the Astros in a 7-2 win. The Astros were up by 1 in Game 2 on Saturday when Bregman connected off Trevor Bauer with two outs and none on in the seventh to add some insurance in the 3-1 victory.“This is what it’s all about,” Bregman said. “This type of baseball is a blast. Everybody in that clubhouse is living and dying on every pitch. It’s fun to play these types of games.”Bregman, the second overall pick in the 2015 draft, hit four homers and drove in 10 runs in his postseason debut last season to help the Astros to their first World Series title. He homered twice against the Dodgers in the World Series, and his two-out single in the 10th ended Houston’s thrilling 13-12 win in Game 5.Selected as an All-Star for the first time, he hit a tiebreaking home run in the 10th inning at Nationals Park in July that sent the AL to victory.Bregman never seems daunted by important moments despite having played just two full seasons in the majors.Manager AJ Hinch said Bregman has a “calm heartbeat” and he knows the Astros can always count on him when they need a big play whether it be on offense or defense.“I love how he describes pressure. He describes pressure as a privilege,” Hinch said. “That Zack Greinke Jersey , to me, shows someone that gets it, someone that is going to be able to handle the moment.”Though Hinch and the Astros have come to expect this level of play from the former LSU standout, the manager sometimes takes a step back simply to appreciate his greatness.“It’s amazing to watch him do it time after time after time,” Hinch said. “We’re getting spoiled. Guys aren’t supposed to do it at this level at that rate he’s been doing.”Altuve, who became the first Astro to win MVP since Jeff Bagwell collected the National League award in 1994, has been wowed by Bregman’s development this season. In a stacked MVP race led by Boston’s Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez and Angels star Mike Trout, Altuve believes that his teammate’s season was the most impressive.“Bregman does something big for us every single game,” Altuve said. “He’s the kind of player that you really want to have on your team. He had an MVP season. He’s my MVP.”Bregman isn’t interested in discussing individual awards and accolades and says his only focus is helping the Astros repeat as champions. And as much as he’s done so far, he’s constantly working to do more and get better.“This was definitely, definitely something I envisioned doing, (but) I think there’s so much room to improve on both sides of the ball, and I look forward to working on it http://www.diamondbacksfanproshop.com/authentic-zack-greinke-jersey ,” he said. Stacy Revere/Getty ImagesFormer MLB outfielder Jayson Werth said Wednesday that "super nerds" are killing baseball.Werth, who hinted toward retirement in June,believes the game's analytics revolution is having a negative impact on the sport, as he explained on theHoward Eskin Podcast(viaESPN.com):"They've got all these super nerds in the front office that know nothing about baseball but they like to project numbers and project players. ... I think it's killing the game. It's to the point where just put computers out there. Just put laptops and what have you, just put them out there and let them play. We don't even need to go out there anymore. It's a joke."Werth lamented the lack of previously considered fundamental aspects of the game, including the strategic use of the bunt to take advantage of defensive alignment and the widespread use of the shift."When they come down, these kids from MIT, Stanford, Harvard, wherever they're from, they've never played baseball in their life," he told Eskin. "When they come down to talk about stuff like [shifts], should I just bunt it over there? They're like Randy Johnson Jersey , 'No, don't do that. We don't want you to do that. We want you to hit a homer.'"It's just not baseball to me. We're creating something that's not fun to watch. It's boring. You're turning players into robots. You've taken the human element out of the game."In October,Brian Costa and Jared Diamondof theWall Street Journalreported MLB games last season "saw an average gap of 3 minutes, 48 seconds between balls in play, an all-time high." In addition, the league set records for pitching changes, time between pitches and longest games.TheWSJcited teams' use of data to seek pitchers who generate more strikeouts and hitters who generate fly balls to avoid shifts and create more home runs as key reasons for the lack of activity. It noted the "all-or-nothing approach means that between each home run there is a lot of standing around and waiting."Werth, who was one of the National League's toughest outs in his prime with the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals, struggled to adapt to the changing game over his final three seasons. He posted a .226/.322/.393 triple-slash line across 70 games for the Nats last year.His .360 career on-base percentage would rank inside the top 30 of active players if he was on a current roster. He toldJon Heymanof Fancred Sports he was "done" in June after a brief stint in the Seattle Mariners organization, though.
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