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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Stories by Larry Brown:

Watch: Cody Bellinger delivers walk-off hit to beat Brewers in 13th inning

Cody Bellinger hit

Cody Bellinger delivered a walk-off hit in the bottom of the 13th inning on Tuesday night to give the Los Angeles Dodgers a 2-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 4 of the NLCS after five hours and 15 minutes of play.

Manny Machado singled with one out in the 13th against Junior Guerra and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Then with two outs and a full count, Bellinger ripped a single to right field to score Machado and win the game.

That was the Dodgers’ first run since the first inning. Milwaukee scored in the fifth and was held scoreless for the next eight frames.

Bellinger entered the game as a pinch hitter and replaced Enrique Hernandez in center. He ended up going 2-for-4 with the biggest RBI of the game. What’s most important is how badly Bellinger needed the hit amid his slump; he had been 1-for-21 in the postseason prior to Tuesday night. The Dodgers will hope that hit will get Bellinger going.

Ex-MLB player slams Manny Machado after dirty play

Manny Machado Jesus Aguilar

Former MLB player and current analyst Eric Byrnes was one of the most vocal parties to criticize Manny Machado over the shortstop’s actions during Game 4 of the NLCS on Tuesday night.

Machado dragged his leg while running to first base on a groundout in the bottom of the 10th inning in what clearly was a dirty play. He ended up clipping Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar in the leg and was lucky not to have done more damage.

Machado’s dirty play came the same day he said that hustling is not his cup of tea. The two items happening within the same day led to a major reputation hit for Machado.

Byrnes, who was known for running hard and hustling during his MLB career from 2000-2010, slammed Machado, calling him “an absolute embarrassment.”

Byrnes wasn’t alone in being critical of Machado. Former All-Star pitcher Mark Mulder said the play was why Machado has a poor reputation.

Current pitcher Brett Anderson called Machado’s actions “absolutely unnecessary.”

Machado is talented, but his attitude towards hustling and the way he expresses frustrations on the field are less than ideal, to say the least. This sort of behavior may give teams pause when they consider signing him in free agency after the season.

Twitter reacts to Cody Bellinger’s airplane gliding catch

Cody Bellinger dive

Cody Bellinger robbed Lorenzo Cain of a hit in the top of the 10th inning during Game 4 of the NLCS on Tuesday night between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers, and the Twitter reactions were spectacular.

Cain led off the top of the 10th with a flare into right-center field off Kenley Jansen that looked like it would fall for a hit. Bellinger came flying in out of nowhere to make a diving catch and went gliding across the grass afterwards. Take a look:

The Twitter reactions and captions were strong:

Not bad for a guy who has hardly played right field this season for the Dodgers. Not bad at all.

Watch: Manny Machado commits dirty play at first base

Manny Machado Jesus Aguilar

Manny Machado’s dirty play at first base during the bottom of the 10th inning of Game 4 of the NLCS on Tuesday night led benches to clear between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers.

Machado grounded out against Junior Guerra for the second out of the inning. As he was running to first, he headed towards the inside of the baseline and then dragged his left leg to clip Jesus Aguilar by the bag.

Machado’s actions led to a strong response from Aguilar and the other players on the field:

The Brewers already had strong feelings towards Machado after his slide to break up a double play the night before drew some attention. But make no mistake about it: this was a dirty play by Machado, and Milwaukee had every right to be upset. That’s a garbage, bush league play.

Machado said earlier that he doesn’t like to hustle. Now we can see that he prefers to play dirty instead.

NBA hopes Kevin Durant leaves Warriors?

Kevin Durant Warriors

Would the NBA prefer to see Kevin Durant leave the Golden State Warriors after the season? One informed NBA insider thinks so.

Zach Lowe had a discussion with Mike Greenberg on the “I’m interested” podcast that was published on Tuesday. The discussion began when Greenberg said he feels like he already knows before the season begins that Golden State will win the championship, which takes away some of the fun. He asked Lowe to weigh in, and Lowe agreed that it’s probably a bit of a bad thing for the league. He also said he thinks people with the league hope Durant leaves after the season.

“In the aggregate it is probably a little bit of a bad thing,” Lowe said. “I can tell you there are a lot of people in the league office, who if you gave them the truth serum we always talk about, would say ‘we would like Durant to not be there next year.’ And that when (DeMarcus) Cousins signed there, they just were like, ‘you’ve gotta be kidding me.'”

There has long been speculation that Warriors’ dynasty could begin to break up after this season. Klay Thompson’s contract will be up after the season, though he wants to remain with the team. Durant can also opt out after the season, and there has been talk of him going elsewhere once he (potentially) collects a third championship ring.

Having such a dominant team around probably is bad for the competitive balance in the league, which is why Adam Silver said it was “not ideal” for the NBA back in 2016. Even as recently as June, Silver said the league might try to address the Warriors’ superteam issue.

Watch: Jackie Bradley Jr blows Game 3 open with grand slam

Jackie Bradley Jr grand slam

Jackie Bradley Jr blew open Game 3 of the ALCS on Tuesday with a grand slam off Houston Astros reliever Roberto Osuna.

The Boston Red Sox entered the 8th inning with a 3-2 lead on Houston. Though JD Martinez flied out to lead off the inning, Boston quickly mounted a rally. They got a runner on with two outs and Rafael Devers got a hit to put runners on first and second. Osuna then hit two batters in a row to bring in a run.

And with Boston up 4-2 and the bases loaded, Bradley said goodnight with a grand slam to right field on a 1-1 pitch.

Bradley has been a monster with the bases loaded for Boston. He also had a 3-run double in Game 2 to give Boston the lead.

Bradley now has 7 RBIs in the series.

Lane Kiffin says he has offered scholarship to Matt Leinart’s 11-year-old son

Lane Kiffin FAU

Lane Kiffin says that he has offered a scholarship to Matt Leinart’s 11-year-old son.

The talk of Leinart’s son Cole picked up steam on Tuesday after FOX college football reporter Bruce Feldman shared video of Cole throwing a great pass in a flag football game. Feldman joked that he was surprised Kiffin and FAU hadn’t already offered Cole a scholarship.

Kiffin saw the tweet and set the record straight, saying that he has.

Our guess is that Kiffin is joking, but you never know. Kiffin was on staff at USC when Leinart was the Trojans’ quarterback, so it’s possible he has a connection with the Leinarts. Plus, Kiffin infamously got then-13-year-old David Sills to commit to him in 2010. Sills is currently a star wide receiver at West Virginia.

Cole Leinart has a long way to go before college. The odds are probably against Kiffin still being at FAU by the time Cole is ready for university ball.

Report: Astros possibly caught cheating in ALCS Game 1

Minute Maid Park Houston

The Houston Astros may have been caught cheating during Game 1 of the ALCS against the Boston Red Sox on Saturday.

Metro reported on Tuesday that security removed a man claiming to be an Astros employee from the media credentialed area next to the Red Sox dugout in Game 1. Metro says the man had a small camera and was texting frequently.

Another Astros staffer reportedly intervened after the employee was removed from the section and tried to convince security the man was authorized to be in the credentialed area despite not having a media credential. The man was allowed to remain in the stadium but was not allowed back into the media area.

Red Sox security reportedly was warned about the man due to suspicious activity in Houston’s ALDS against the Cleveland Indians.

“We are aware of the matter and it will be handled internally,” an MLB spokesperson told Metro.

The Red Sox, Indians and Astros either declined comment or said MLB was handling the matter.

Sign-stealing has been an issue all series. ESPN’s Buster Olney pointed out the Red Sox were using multiple signs with the bases empty to avoid having their signs stolen, though they did that long before their series with Houston.

Scott Miller says sign stealing is all people have been talking about.

There have been plenty of questions this series about improper behavior. Umpires even examined the glove of Houston’s catcher during Game 1, ostensibly for foreign substances.

Just last year the Red Sox were penalized by MLB for using technology in stealing signs.