When Detroit reliever Willie Hernandez won the MVP in 1984, he pitched in 80 games. The current trend in bullpen management – in which the best relievers are used primarily in the ninth inning to close out victories – didn’t start until later. Now many teams take specialization a step further, assigning the closer to the ninth inning and another setup man to the eighth. ”They like their roles, they kind of know when they’ve got to get out there, they know what time they’ve got to be there, they know when to get loose and what their roles might be.” Over the course of a 162-game season, there’s something to be said for establishing a sense of routine – and limiting certain relievers to certain situations can help control workloads.

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Post info: By TribeMember on July 28th, 2014
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Right-hander Jeremy Guthrie had a shaky start, but a winning finish. Guthrie gave up five runs in the second, but nothing more, and first baseman Billy Butler belted a two-run homer as the Kansas City Royals rallied from a five-run deficit to beat the Cleveland Indians 7-5 on Saturday. Guthrie (6-9) allowed just three more hits in the next 3 2/3 innings after the Indians’ big second to pick up the victory, snapping his personal three-game losing streak. “Jeremy’s pitching performance was really impressive,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.

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Post info: By TribeMember on July 27th, 2014
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Billy Butler and the surging Kansas City Royals wrecked things for the Cleveland Indians for the second straight night. Butler homered for the second consecutive game and the Royals overcame a five-run deficit to beat the Indians 7-5 on Saturday night for their fifth straight win. A day after his pinch-hit, two-run homer in the eighth inning beat Cleveland, Butler connected for a tiebreaking shot in the fifth inning. It was 5-5 when he tagged Nick Hagadone for a 433-foot drive over the Royals bullpen in left field, 11 feet further than Friday’s shot.

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Post info: By TribeMember on July 27th, 2014
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Struggling Billy Butler found himself in a strange place, on the bench and out of the Kansas City Royals starting lineup. Carlos Santana homered twice for the Indians, who have lost five of six. Butler connected against John Axford, sending a drive over the Royals bullpen in left field. Butler was hitting just .200 in his previous 20 games with three extra-base hits and two RBIs.

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Post info: By TribeMember on July 26th, 2014
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Post info: By TribeMember on July 26th, 2014
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To be fair, outfielder Ryan Raburn of the Cleveland Indians made a terrific attempt on a fly ball to left hit by Mike Moustakas of the Kansas City Royals in the bottom of the eighth inning Thursday night. What happened after Raburn’s dive was cruelly unfair.
Raburn dived in fair territory and, though he couldn’t come up with the catch, kept the ball in front of him and appeared to contain Moustakas to a double. But, as you can see from the video above, Raburn’s throw was a disaster, spiked into the ground about a body lenghth away on the warning track. It rolled into left field — where nobody else on the Indians was.
Alertly, Moustakas started running again and the Tribe was helpless to do anything about it. Score it a double and an error on Raburn. The brief shot of Indians right-hander Corey Kluber standing there, expressionless, was a perfect addition to the moment’s composition. Kluber had taken a perfect game into the seventh, but had gotten no offensive support. And then this happened to break a scoreless tie.
Here’s another angle:

From here, it almost appeared that Raburn caught the back of his hand on the fence, but the spike was all him. Instinct told Raburn to rush the ball back into the infield, but throwing toward second base — where Moustakas already had advanced — made no sense. So he tried to stop.
From the Associated Press :

Raburn was miffed about how the play unfolded.

”It was a freak play,” he said. ”I was trying to hold up. I saw our infielders going toward third, and I tried to hold up. I couldn’t and of course the ball rolls halfway to center field.”

It’s also reasonable that Indians center fielder Michael Brantley should have come over to back up Raburn on the play, especially given the known treachery of playing the corners at Kauffman Stadium. But Raburn was on his own.
The Indians tied the score with two outs in the ninth but Kansas City came back to win 2-1 in 14 innings.
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David Brown is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rdbrown@yahoo-inc.com and follow him on Twitter!
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Post info: By TribeMember on July 25th, 2014
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Thursday’s game between Detroit and Los Angeles was billed as a premier pitching matchup between two 11-game winners — the Angels’ Garrett Richards and the Tigers’ Max Scherzer. However, the Angels and Tigers also happen to be two of the best-hitting teams in the American League. In the end, it was third baseman Nick Castellanos’ two-run double in the sixth inning that gave the Tigers the lead for good in a 6-4 victory.

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Post info: By TribeMember on July 25th, 2014
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The Seattle Mariners acquired first baseman/designated hitter Kendrys Morales from the Minnesota Twins on Thursday in exchange for right-handed relief pitcher Stephen Pryor. Morales, 31, is scheduled to report to the Mariners on Friday, at which time a 25-man roster move will be made. Morales rejoins Seattle after a brief stint with the Twins. Morales, who signed as a free agent with Minnesota on June 8, appeared in 39 games and batted .234 with 11 doubles, one home run and 18 RBIs.

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Post info: By TribeMember on July 24th, 2014
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San Diego Padres outfielder Cameron Mayin was suspended 25 games without pay after testing positive for an Amphetamine in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The suspension was effective immediately, and the Padres purchased the contract of outfielder Jeff Francoeur from Triple-A El Paso. Maybin is hitting just .247 in 174 at-bats this season, appearing in 62 games. Francoeur was in the starting lineup for the Padres’ game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Wednesday, and hit a two-run double in the first inning.

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Post info: By TribeMember on July 23rd, 2014
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Mike Moustakas and Bruce Chen each did their heritages proud Tuesday night to help the Kansas City Royals snap a four-game losing skid. Moustakas hit two home runs in the Royals’ 7-1 defeat of the Chicago White Sox on Greek Heritage Night at U.S. Cellular Field, while Chen’s 82nd win tied former New York Yankees great Mariano Rivera for most wins in the majors by a Panamanian-born pitcher. In the game the White Sox celebrated Chicago’s connection to Greece, he crushed each of his homers and nearly hit a third that just didn’t have the distance. The Royals hadn’t won since the All-Star break and their offense was almost non-existent.

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Post info: By TribeMember on July 23rd, 2014
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