Alex Bregman Is Not Interested In That Crap Out Of The Zone

With two outs and a man on base in the ninth inning Sunday, Alex Bregman grimaced after connecting on a Craig Kimbrel offering. He had just missed a game-tying homer, instead hitting a fly ball that fell into Andrew Benintendi’s glove on the warning track in front of the Green Monster for the final out. Game 2 of the American League Championship Series was over. The series was tied, and Fenway Park collectively breathed a huge sigh of relief.Even Bregman’s outs are increasing the heart rates of the opposition this October. Bregman became one of the best players in baseball during the season, and he’s elevated his game even further this postseason. Though in a small sample of just five postseason games, the 24-year-old has a .417/.708/1.000 slash line fueled by 10 walks (against one strikeout). He’s reached base in 18 of his 24 plate appearances this October.Bregman’s batting eye — along with opponents’ unwillingness to give him much to hit — is making some history. According to Major League Baseball research, Bregman is just the first player to draw 10 walks through five games of a postseason since Dodgers outfielder Jim Wynn did it in 1974. The only player before Bregman to draw at least three walks in back-to-back postseason games was Cubs outfielder Jimmy Sheckard — in 1910.Bregman, a spoil of tanking for the Houston Astros as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 draft, is getting something akin to the Barry Bonds treatment. Over his past three postseason games, the LSU product has drawn eight walks, matching Bonds in 2002 for the most by any hitter over a three-game span in postseason play.Consider the pitches Bregman has seen this postseason and the restraint he has shown: Bregman entered play Tuesday having been thrown 103 pitches this postseason (20.6 per game). Of those pitches, only 40 have been in the strike zone. Only J.D. Martinez, Yasiel Puig, Gleyber Torres and Christian Yelich have seen a smaller share of pitches in the strike zone than Bregman has.1Of batters with a minimum of 50 pitches seen.Of the 63 pitches thrown to him outside the strike zone, Bregman has swung at just six, the lowest chase rate among any postseason batter to have seen 50 pitches. Consider his take on this full-count pitch Sunday night, in the charged Fenway environment against hard-throwing Red Sox reliever Ryan Brasier:Bregman’s improved discipline is not just an October development: It’s what fueled his 2018 breakout.Only Joey Votto and Andrew McCutchen chased pitches out of the strike zone less often this season than did Bregman, who swung on just 18.1 percent of those pitches. Mookie Betts and Aaron Hicks ranked fourth and fifth.Bregman has improved his batting eye since reaching the majors in 2016. He dropped his out-of-zone swing rate by 5.8 percentage points from last season. Yasmani Grandal, Ian Happ and Gregory Polanco were the only players to make greater year-to-year improvements in laying off of balls out of the strike zone. “He’s having quite a season because of the preparation he’s doing, the lessons he’s learning, and the application in the game has been unreal,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch told the Houston Chronicle in September.While strikeouts continue to set record levels each year in the majors — from 21.6 percent of place appearances in 2017 to 22.3 percent in 2018 — the Astros posted the game’s lowest strikeout rate last season (17.3 percent) and the game’s highest slugging mark en route to a World Series title. This season, only the Cleveland Indians (18.9 percent) struck out less often than the Astros (19.5 percent).Bregman embodies this teamwide trend. The infielder is not just more selective in terms of swinging at pitches in the zone; he’s also finding pitches he can pull and drive for power. In 2018, he recorded just the sixth season this century of at least 30 home runs and 50 doubles with fewer strikeouts than walks.The Astros teach that a hitter should swing at a pitch only if he can conceivably drive it for an extra-base hit. Astros hitting coach Dave Hudgens told The New York Times last summer: “I don’t want guys swinging at a pitch unless they can hit a homer. I don’t want guys swinging at a pitch unless they can do damage. If you go in with that mindset, you’re not going to miss your pitch as often.”Bregman has always hit more balls in the air than on the ground. He ranked fifth this season in total volume of line drives and fly balls with 334. But he also increased his pull rate, perhaps encouraged by the inviting proximity of the Crawford Boxes at Minute Maid Park to the right-handed batter’s box. His quick hands and short arms allow for a short bat path. And by crowding the plate, he’s able to cover the entire zone and pull outside pitches. His 24 home runs hit to the pull side (left field for Bregman) tie for sixth in the majors. This is all before getting to other aspects of his game like his defense at third base, which has looked exemplary so far this postseason, giving the Astros two shortstop-quality defenders on the left side of the infield.The Astros didn’t know they needed another superstar, but they have one in Bregman, who is challenging Mike Trout and Mookie Betts for status as the best player in the American League. As the Astros battle for a World Series berth, Bregman might be the best player in baseball when it matters most.Check out our latest MLB predictions. read more

Homeless rescued when encampment floods

first_img KUSI Newsroom, Homeless rescued when encampment floods 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI)- Heavy flooding in South Bay made for a busy night for San Diego Fire’s elite swift water rescue team.KUSI’s John Soderman picks up that part of our coverage live in National City. December 6, 2018 KUSI Newsroom Posted: December 6, 2018 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

The instigators are murderers says Partha

first_imgKolkata: Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee on Sunday alleged that those who are instigating violence are ‘murderers’. “It is important to find out those who are trying to deteriorate the law and order situation across the state,” he said. On the same day, the Union Home Ministry issued an advisory note to the state government over the law and order situation. Later, Chatterjee criticised the step of sending the note.On Sunday night, Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi expressed his concern over the incident of Sandeshkhali. He also expressed his sympathy for the families and near ones of the deceased and appealed to all concerned to see to it that no violent incidents take place further. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataIn the advisory note, the Centre has asked Bengal to ensure that all necessary measures are taken to maintain law and order across the state. The state government has also been requested to take strict action against the officials who are found delinquent in discharge of their duties. After the advisory note was received, Chatterjee protested the step and stated that when there is peace in the state, the Centre is deliberately sending such advisory notes. He also raised questions about why any advisory note was not issued for the Gujarat government, despite several instances of violence there. Chatterjee slammed the saffron party without mentioning their name during a programme. He stated that the BJP’s aim is to take over the state and for that they are resorting to violence and murdering Trinamool workers. “There will be resistance but it will be non-violent. They have no words of development and they are planning to murder Trinamool workers to create an unstable law and order situation,” Chatterjee said.last_img read more

That was fun while it lasted Last week the Dow

first_imgThat was fun while it lasted. Last week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average topped 20,000 for the first time ever. Naturally, people got excited. After all, 20,000 is a nice, big number. And investors love big numbers. But Donald Trump wasn’t satisfied. He wanted stocks to keep climbing. He told ABC in a recent interview: The Dow… just hit 20,000. First time in history. I’m very proud of that. Now we have to go up, up, up. We don’t want it to stay there. Maybe next time Trump will be more careful what he wishes for… On Monday, the S&P 500 and Dow both fell 0.6%. The Nasdaq slid 0.8%. It was the U.S. stock market’s worst day since the start of the year. The selloff carried over into Tuesday, too. All three major indices ended yesterday in the red. The Dow closed at 19,864, 1.1% below Friday’s high­-water mark. Trump may not have seen this coming. But we’re not surprised… • On January 17, we told you to “buckle your seatbelt”… At the time, U.S. stocks were treading water. The S&P 500 had been trading between 2,258 and 2,282 all year. The Dow was also abnormally quiet. According to investment advisory firm Pension Partners, it was having its calmest 30-day run since the 1970s. The Volatility Index (aka the VIX) was at record lows, too. The VIX measures how volatile traders expect the markets to be over the next 30 days. A low VIX reading is usually a good thing. But an extremely low VIX reading can be a warning sign. • Like most things in the investing world, the VIX always “reverts to the mean”… If you’ve never heard of this concept, don’t worry. It’s simple. Pretend the VIX is a rubber band. When the VIX is extremely high, that band is stretched out. Sooner or later, it will revert to its mean. It will snap back to normal. It works the same way when the VIX is extremely low, which has been the case lately. On Friday, the VIX hit 10.30. That’s one of its lowest readings ever. It’s also 54% lower than where it hit the Friday before the election. According to Pension Partners, that’s the VIX’s steepest decline over a 12-week period ever. • This tells us that investors became extremely complacent… Trump had a lot to do with this. You see, Trump brings a wealth of business experience to the White House. He’s run a giant global enterprise. He’s managed tens of thousands of employees. We’re not sure if Obama ever even ran a lemonade stand. But let’s not forget that Trump’s also a wild card. He has no filter. That pisses many people off. We knew this heading into the election. And it’s been on full display since he took office. In short, investors have reasons to be cautiously optimistic. But they shouldn’t be complacent. After all, volatility always spikes when you least expect it. If you put your guard down, it can knock your teeth out. Trump Proposes Radical $50 Billion Annual Sector Payout The tiny market niche to be showered with cash has consistently and predictably sent share prices of tiny stocks soaring with rare gains like 771%… 938%… even 55,000% over the long term… I’ll be upfront with you, what you’re about to see is not for the weak or faint of heart. But if you have the grit and determination to reap the massive types of predictable and repeated gains that have cropped up like this five different times in U.S. history, then… Click here for all the details (Note: The weak should not click). • The VIX jumped 12% on Monday… Yesterday, it spiked another 16% before retreating in the afternoon. It ultimately closed the day slightly up. Today, the VIX is down a little. Stocks are basically flat. The panic appears to be over. But that doesn’t mean you should get greedy. Remember, U.S. stocks are coming off their calmest stretch in decades. The VIX is still near record lows. That’s not the only reason you should prepare for more volatility, either. • U.S. stocks are incredibly expensive… Right now, companies in the S&P 500 trade at a cyclically adjusted price-to-earnings (CAPE) ratio of 28.1. The CAPE ratio is the cousin of the popular P/E ratio. The only difference is that it uses 10 years’ worth of earnings instead of just the previous year’s earnings. In other words, it gives us a long-term view of stocks. According to the CAPE ratio, U.S. stocks are now 68% more expensive than normal. They’re also more expensive than they were just before the 2008–2009 financial crisis. And we all know how that ended. Even if U.S. stocks don’t crash, you’re probably not going to make much money in them. Since 1928, the S&P 500 has returned an average of just 3% (over the next twelve months) when its CAPE ratio exceeds 26.4. That’s according to a recent study by Pension Partners. In other words, you’d be risking a lot for the chance to make a little by buying stocks right now. These aren’t the kinds of opportunities we like at Casey Research. We prefer situations where the odds are stacked in our favor. We’ll let you know when we see the next great opportunity. Until then, stay disciplined. Chart of the Day Steer clear of Mexican stocks…for now. Regular readers know we’re contrarians at heart. We like to buy stuff that mainstream investors ignore or even hate. Sometimes, this gives us the chance to buy a dollar’s worth of assets for pennies. That’s why we’ve been stalking Mexican stocks lately. You see, Mexican stocks took a dirt nap after the election. The iShares MSCI Mexico Capped ETF (EWW), which tracks about 60 Mexican stocks, plunged 16% in the two days after the election. Two weeks ago, it hit an eight-year low. This wasn’t exactly surprising. Long before Trump became president, we knew he would be tough on immigration. We knew he wanted to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and “make Mexico pay for it.” And we knew he wanted to rip up our current trade deal with Mexico. When Trump unexpectedly won, Mexican stocks tanked. Since Inauguration Day, relations between the U.S. and Mexico have only worsened. But Mexican stocks have hung in there. EWW has actually done slightly better than the S&P 500 so far this year. It’s usually a good sign when a stock, index, or ETF does well in the face of bad news…but it’s still not time to buy Mexican stocks. Here are a couple reasons why: Mexican stocks aren’t cheap. According to iShares, EWW trades at 24 times trailing earnings. That’s only slightly less than the S&P 500, which trades at 25.5 times trailing earnings. Mexican stocks are still in a downtrend. If you pull up a five-year chart of EWW, you’ll see that it’s been falling since the summer of 2014. We don’t like to buy stocks in downtrends. We’d rather wait for an asset to stop falling, “carve” a bottom, and begin a new trend. In closing, we could see Mexican stocks rebounding in the near term. We just don’t like them as a long-term investment right now. Recommended Links A Dead CIA Director…And the Shadow Government New allegations raise questions about his cause of death… and point to an economic and political threat stemming from the highest levels of Washington… and a shadow group of insiders… Find out more here…center_img – — Regards, Justin Spittler Delray Beach, Florida February 1, 2017 We want to hear from you. If you have a question or comment, please send it to [email protected] We read every email that comes in, and we’ll publish comments, questions, and answers that we think other readers will find useful.last_img read more