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Dugout Digest – and then there were two

Well folks, we've got ourselves a World Series matchup. The Cardinals are the NL champions, the Red Sox are the AL champions, and sanity is at an all-time low.

PIC OF THE DAY

Insert your Cardinals/Brian McCann joke here (Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY)

Today, we're going to start our offseason positional primers. The action already got started late Thursday night when Cuban first baseman Jose Dariel Abreu signed a mammoth contract with the White Sox, so you won't see him on today's first base primer. We're also going to cover the top catchers on the market today. Also, we're going to look back at the NLCS with the Dodgers post-mortem and the five observations from the series.

Also, Phillies fans are pissed at Domonic Brown. Well, that'll end well for everyone involved.

Enjoy your day of…no baseball, everyone.

Joe Lucia

About Joe Lucia

Managing editor of Awful Announcing. News editor of The Comeback. Managing editor of The Outside Corner. You guessed it - not actually Frank Stallone.

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Dugout Digest – and then there were two

The Detroit Tigers clinched the AL Central on Wednesday, meaning that we're down to just two playoff spots left: the two AL Wild Cards, currently led by the Rays and Indians. The only team that can push either team from the Postseason is the Rangers, who trail Cleveland by one game for the second spot. Things are getting interesting, and we're going to know soon which teams will be playing where to start off October.

PIC OF THE DAY

Thanks, Todd. (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)

Game of the Night: Marlins 3, Phillies 2. OK, so whatever. The Phillies tied this game at two in the seventh, and with two outs and men on the corners in the bottom of the inning, the Marlins got absolutely hosed on a whiffed swipe tag by Cesar Jimenez that would have given Miami the lead. It ended up not mattering, as in the eighth, Adeiny Hechavarria came up with men on the corners and one out, and everyone was safe thanks to an error on Jimmy Rollins to give Miami the lead. Steve Cishek allowed Freddy Galvis to reach on a bunt single to lead off the ninth, but got the next three hitters in order to give the Marlins a win.

Pitching Lines of the Night: Kyle Lohse dominated the Braves in a 4-0 Brewers win, allowing two hits in a complete game shutout, walking none and striking out five, but his great effort was overshadowed by the fracas between Carlos Gomez and the Braves. Hisashi Iwakuma pitched the Mariners past the Royals 6-0 to eliminate Kansas City from playoff contention, giving up four hits in eight shutout innings, walking one and striking out nine. Max Scherzer allowed the Tigers to clinch the AL Central with a 1-0 win over the Twins, allowing two hits in seven scoreless frames, punching out ten and walking six. Daisuke Matsuzaka outdueled Mat Latos in a 1-0 Mets win in Cincinnati, giving up four hits over 7 2/3 shutout innings, striking out six and walking two. Latos ended his day by allowing one run on four hits in seven innings, walking a pair and punching out seven.

Hitting Lines of the Night: Evan Longoria carried the Rays to an 8-3 win over the Yankees to eliminate New York from playoff contention, going 3/5 with two homers, three runs, and four RBI. Will Middlebrooks had a nice night for the Red Sox in their 15-5 win over the Rockies, going 2/5 with two homers and seven RBI. Jarrod Saltalamacchia helped out by going 4/5 with two runs, three RBI, and a double, while Shane Victorino went 3/5 with a homer, two runs, and three RBI. In Baltimore's 9-5 win over the Blue Jays, Ryan Flaherty went 2/2 with a walk, two homers, three runs, and four RBI. Darnell McDonald pushed the Cubs past the Pirates 4-2, going 3/4 with two doubles and a three-run homer.

Other Games: The Angels beat the A's 3-1. The Cardinals topped the Nationals 4-1. The Indians continued their dominance over the White Sox, winning 7-2. The Rangers beat the Astros 7-3. The Giants beat the Dodgers 6-4. The Padres destroyed the Diamondbacks 12-2.

What You Missed: MLB honored Mariano Rivera with a great video and newspaper ad. The post-mortem for the Orioles. Andy Pettitte's Hall of Fame case.

Today's Games: Alex Cobb and Ivan Nova will square off in the Bronx. Matt Garza and the Rangers host the Angels. Zach McAllister gets the nod for the Indians in Minnesota. Tim Lincecum and the Giants host the Dodgers.

National TV: Angels-Rangers (8 PM, MLB Network), Indians-Twins (8 PM, MLB Network)

MLB.tv Free Game: TBA

Pitching Matchup of the Day: Alex Cobb vs Ivan Nova (Rays vs Yankees, 7 PM)

Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.

Joe Lucia

About Joe Lucia

Managing editor of Awful Announcing. News editor of The Comeback. Managing editor of The Outside Corner. You guessed it - not actually Frank Stallone.

Dugout Digest – and then there were two

The quartet of four free agents that denied qualifying offers this winter is now down to two, after Rafael Soriano signed with the Nationals on Tuesday, following in the footsteps of Adam LaRoche. That leaves just Kyle Lohse and Michael Bourn both unsigned, and with Soriano and LaRoche falling off the market this month, one would expect Lohse and Bourn to eventually find new employers as well. But the question still remains: which teams are the favorites for each of these players? Seems like something we should tackle this week…

This week, we've been running our TOC Top Ten series, focusing on the ten best players at each position around the diamond. So far, we've tackled all of the infield positions. Here are some quick links in case you missed any of the rankings.

Catcher
First Base
Second Base
Shortstop
Third Base

Today, we'll tackle the three outfield positions. Tomorrow, we'll look at left-handed and right-handed starters, Friday, we'll look at left-handed and right-handed relievers. There will likely be a companion piece focusing on a specific player for each of these positions, but there might not be depending on what happens in the way of breaking news. Speaking of those companion pieces, we've looked at whether or not the Giants should explore an extension with Buster Posey, and whether or not it's prudent for the Diamondbacks to do the same with Aaron Hill following his career year in 2012.

And finally, if you need a laugh today, take a look at the ridiculous saga of Nyjer Morgan cheating on his girlfriend, tweeting about it, and then immediately claim he was hacked. Of course.

Enjoy your offseason, everyone.

Joe Lucia

About Joe Lucia

Managing editor of Awful Announcing. News editor of The Comeback. Managing editor of The Outside Corner. You guessed it - not actually Frank Stallone.

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