MLBRank: A-Rod, the Rocket make Schoenfield’s all-time top 10


Let’s start here: If I did this list again tomorrow, I’d likely change my mind. The easy thing to do would be to just go to the Baseball-Reference all-time WAR leader board, plug in the top 10 names and call it a day.

The problem with doing that is we get this: 1914, 1890, 1907, 1986, 1951, 1905, 1954, 1984, 1907, 1897. (And if we extended the list to the top 15, we’d get 1915, 1907 and 1911.)

Those are the dates each of the players began their major league careers, meaning nine of the top 15 players started before the United States even joined World War I — more than 100 years ago. Yes, I have a problem with that. Does it make sense that the majority of the elite players in the game’s long history didn’t play against black players, wore baggy wool uniforms and used gloves that look like something you use to take a turkey out of the oven with?

Of course not. So my top 10 wholesale mlb jerseys list includes players from all across the baseball timeline.

10. Mike Schmidt Jersey

He hit just .267 in his career? As Bill James once said, if he’d hit for a higher average, he’d be the greatest player to play the game. Schmidt led the National League eight times in home runs and was first or second nine times in WAR among NL position players. He drew walks, won nine Gold Gloves and played on a lot of good teams. And, yes, this could have been Honus Wagner or Stan Musial or Lou Gehrig or Rickey Henderson or Mantle or Roger Hornsby. This wasn’t easy! But none of them had the best cry ever.

9. Greg Maddux Jersey

This spot was between Walter Johnson and Maddux (although I was tempted to put Pedro Martinez here because of his unbelievable peak level of performance, the greatest attained by a pitcher), but I went with the recent guy. For his career, Johnson averaged 6.4 WAR per 250 innings; Maddux averaged 5.2. But if you remove Maddux’s terrible rookie season and the final two seasons when he was sort of just hanging on, he averaged 5.8 per 250 innings. That’s pretty close, and adjusting for the more difficult era Maddux pitched in, I’m taking him over the guy who pitched 100 years ago and basically used one pitch for much of his career.

8. Ty Cobb Jersey
Yes, he’s an old-timer — but one whose game would have translated to all eras. He won 12 batting titles in the dead ball era and is one of the greatest base stealers to play the game. Cobb was also a big enough guy — 6-foot-1 — that I believe that if he’d come up in modern baseball, he’d have added power to his game. So you have a center fielder who would hit for average, power and steal 50 bases a year. I’d take Mickey Mantle and maybe even Ken Griffey Jr. at their peaks over Cobb, but Cobb had the longevity those two lacked.

7. Alex Rodriguez Jersey

Am I comfortable with him in my top 10? No. But this isn’t a list of the most beloved player, and the man does have 695 home runs, more than 2,000 RBIs and 2,000 runs, more than 300 stolen bases and 3 MVP Awards — and Juan Gonzalez stole the award from him in 1996, when A-Rod hit .358 with 36 home runs as a 20-year-old and we all dreamed of what his future would be like.

6. Roger Clemens Jersey

He won his first Cy Young Award at 23 and his seventh one at 41. And, no, he wasn’t the only old pitcher to be great in his 40s — see Warren Spahn and Nolan Ryan, for example. He led his league seven times in ERA and a bunch of times in a bunch of other things. If there’s a knock against him — well, other than his Vitamin B-12 shots — it’s that he isn’t the first pitcher you’d choose for a big game. His postseason record wasn’t as terrible as many have suggested — 12-8, 3.75 ERA in 34 starts at all wholesale baseball jerseys — but he also wasn’t exactly Curt Schilling or John Smoltz.

5. Ted Williams Jersey
Ted Williams, the last man to hit over .400 (.406 in 1941), may have been the best hitter in the history of the game. MLB Photos/Getty Images
He’s 14th on the all-time WAR list even though he missed nearly five full seasons while serving in World War II and then Korea. He was great enough to hit .388/.526/.731 at age 38. He was also indifferent in the field and on the basepaths and, like Bonds, a general pain in the butt. He also benefited from Fenway — he hit .361 there, .328 on the road, although with more home runs on the road — but you can argue that he, and not Babe Ruth, was the game’s greatest hitter.

4. Babe Ruth Jersey
Blasphemy? Perhaps. No doubt, based strictly on value compared to peers, Ruth is easily No. 1 (plus he pitched!). Here’s my issue: How would Ruth’s game translate to modern baseball? For example, in 1920 he hit .376/.532/.847 with 54 home runs while striking out 80 times in his cheap mlb jerseys. That’s not a lot of strikeouts by today’s standards, but in 1920 the AL averaged just 3.0 K’s per nine innings. In 2016, that’s up to 7.9 K’s per nine, an increase of more than 250 percent. If Ruth struck out at the same rate compared to his peers in 2016 as he did in 1920, we’d be looking at 200 strikeouts. He’s not hitting .376 striking out 200 times a season. Maybe he’d still be Babe Ruth, but maybe he’d be Adam Dunn.

3. Barry Bonds Jersey

People forget that he was on track to become a top-10 all-time player before his alleged performance-enhancing drug use began sometime after the 1998 season. From 1989 to 1998, he averaged 8.4 WAR per season (which included two strike-shortened seasons). He was the best position player in the NL seven times — through 1998. Then, from 2001 to 2004, he exploded off the charts, putting up numbers we’d never seen before. Considering Bonds’ defensive value and speed, however, I can’t rate Williams (at No. 5) ahead of him.

2. Hank Aaron Jersey

His career numbers at the plate are nearly identical to Willie Mays — .941 OPS for Mays, .928 for Aaron — and, like Mays, he was amazingly durable and consistent, aging well into his late 30s. Aaron was a very good right fielder (and certainly would have been a capable center fielder), but Mays was a great center fielder, so …

1. Willie Mays Jersey

Willie is the easy choice to rank ahead of Aaron. Mays hit for power, average, was maybe the best defensive center fielder in MLB jerseys history and one of the game’s best baserunners: In 1971, at age 40, he led the National League in baserunning runs added. He was durable, playing 150-plus games for 13 consecutive seasons. So he won just two MVP Awards? Well, he probably should have won eight or nine, as he led the NL in WAR nine times.

Yank throws 105.1 mph, is on Cubs’ radar

NEW YORK — Once a pitcher’s velocity reaches triple digits, Brian McCann was saying, there no longer seems to be much difference between 104 mph and 105 mph. Each one is a blur, so a catcher’s main concern is making sure the ball meets the glove’s pocket and not his left thumb.

Aroldis Chapman put that to the test repeatedly on Monday, as the Yankees’ flame-throwing left-hander threw the five fastest pitches recorded to date by Statcast™, including one that registered 105.1 mph. Chapman locked down his 19th cheap mlb jerseys and save in 20 chances as the Yankees defeated the Orioles, 2-1.

Chapman throws major heat
Velocity Batter Pitch number
105.1 J.J. Hardy 6
104.9 Ryan Flaherty 4
104.4 Nolan Reimold 1
104.3 Ryan Flaherty 3
104.0 J.J. Hardy 5

“I look [at the scoreboard] every time he throws a pitch,” McCann said. “I look every time to see how hard it was. It’s incredible what he can do on the mound. You just hope you catch it right. If you catch it right, you’re fine. If you don’t, you’re in trouble.”

The 105.1-mph fastball came on Chapman’s sixth pitch to Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy, an offering that darted well out of the strike zone but drew a loud reaction from the crowd. Chapman’s previous pitch to Hardy, clocked at 104 mph, sailed past McCann to the screen for a ball.

“I noticed,” Chapman said through an interpreter. “I took a peek at the board and I saw that it was 105, yeah. … Actually, I noticed their reaction when I threw the ball, so because of that cheering, that’s when I looked back and I noticed. It was nice wholesale baseball jerseys.”

The velocity of Aroldis Chapman’s 105.1-mph pitch, the fastest recorded in the Statcast era

After those two heaters, Chapman snapped off a 91-mph slider that Hardy lifted in the air to left field. Chapman said he initially thought that the ball was headed to the seats for a game-tying homer, but Brett Gardner put it away without incident for the second out of the inning.

“I duck down one step in the dugout when he’s pitching,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “Some of our hard throwers, you get a little bit nervous over there. But you watch him, and his arm is so quick. I can’t really say I’ve ever seen an arm that quick, and it’s impressive.”

Chapman started the next batter, Nolan Reimold, with a 104.4-mph fastball out of the strike zone and lost him to a five-pitch walk. Facing Ryan Flaherty, Chapman found his command, getting ahead 0-2 on a pair of triple-digit heaters before hitting 104.3 mph on a pitch that was fouled off.

“I think it’s incredible to watch,” Yankees reliever Andrew Miller jerseys said. “I don’t think anybody else comes even close. He’s just such an outlier. I’m glad he’s on our team.”

Aroldis Chapman, Brian McCann and Joe Girardi discuss the closer’s performance, including hitting 105.1 mph on the radar gun

That sixth pitch to Hardy owns the third-highest perceived velocity in the Statcast™ era, at 105.5 mph, only trailing two pitches by Carter Capps jerseys — 105.9 mph and 105.6 mph, respectively.

By coincidence, the Braves’ Mauricio Cabrera hit 103.8 mph on Monday, marking the fastest non-Chapman pitch recorded by Statcast™. Chapman recorded 103.9 mph twice last season and was clocked at 105.1 mph by Pitch f/x on Sept. 24, 2010, all while with the Reds.

Chapman said that Monday’s appearance was not anything out of the ordinary, though perhaps the muggy conditions of an 81-degree evening helped.

“I felt fine,” Chapman said. “I felt normal; just a little more loose, I guess. But not unlike any other day.”

The game’s final pitch was clocked at 104.9 mph, shattering Flaherty’s bat and producing a ground ball to second baseman Starlin Castro jerseys.

“We’re all very lucky to be witnessing the guy that throws the fastest pitch in the world,” Alex Rodriguez said. “That’s pretty cool.”

And while he’s wowing fans and teammates with his velocity, Chapman could also be on the move if the Yankees decide to sell by the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline. The National League Central-leading Cubs could use relief help, and the Yankees are reportedly interestedin their wholesale mlb jerseys young slugger Kyle Schwarber, who is out for the season after suffering a torn ACL and LCL in his left knee in April. The 23-year-old, a left-handed hitter, hit 16 home runs in 69 games last year as a rookie.

Padres look for series sweep of Yankees Sunday

The New York Yankees need a win Sunday afternoon to avoid being swept by the San Diego Padres. But history is on the Yankees side.


Jul 2, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres left fielder Melvin Upton Jr. (2) celebrates with teammates after hitting a walk off home run during the ninth inning to defeat the New York Yankees 2-1 at Petco Park.
Jake Roth / USA TODAY Sports

This will be the 25-year-old Green’s third trip to the major league this season. The first visit didn’t go so well.

And the pressure will be on. The Yankees need a win Sunday afternoon to avoid being swept by the Padres. But history is on the Yankees side.
The Padres are 6-20 in day games this season, including a 2-8 record in day games at Petco Park. They are also 3-23 in the last games of a series and 2-10 on Sundays.

As for Green, he made his major league debut on May 14 in a spot start at Arizona and allowed six runs (four earned) on eight hits in four innings. Two of the hits were homers.

“I think Green will be less nervous than in his last start,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Saturday while discussing the matchup of Green (0-1, 7.20 earned run average) against Padres right-hander Andrew Cashner (3-5, 4.75 ERA), who is coming off the 15-day disabled list due to a neck strain.

“I hope so,” Girardi continued in his discussion of Green. “I think that any time guys get called up at an early age, the first time they are nervous. The second time they are less nervous. That is just the way it goes.”

Girardi said Green has pitched well at Triple-A. In fact, Green earlier this week was named to the International League team for the Triple-A All-Star Game. He is 6-6 in 14 starts for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre with a 1.54 ERA. He leads the IL in ERA.

Cashner, meanwhile, will be making his first appearance since June 10, when he left after facing one hitter at Coors Field in Denver. He went on the disabled list the following day for the second time this season. Cashner was also out from May 9 to May 24 with a left hamstring strain suffered when he unsuccessfully tried to score from first on a double.

“This has been a strange year,” said Cashner, who has allowed one earned run over nine innings in two previous games (one start) against the Yankees.

Cashner missed 22 days with his neck strain. He has missed a total of six starts this season.

In four starts between his two trips to the disabled list — each for issues unrelated to his right arm — Casher was 1-2 with a 4.42 ERA. His ERA is currently as low as it has been since April 22.

“I thought Cash was throwing a lot better before his neck became an issue,” Padres manager Andy Green said recently. “His stuff was sharper and his command was better. He looked sharp in his rehab start earlier this week (with Class A Lake Elsinore) so we’re hopeful he’s ready to move forward.”

There are indications that Cashner’s neck soreness could have been an issue weeks before the sprain forced him to the sideline.

A Giants lineup you will not believe, plus tough decisions coming, Cain news

UPDATE 12:10 p.m.: Manager Bruce Bochy has had to ham-and-egg some interesting lineups with so many players on the disabled list. Sunday’s lineup in the series finale against the Diamondbacks jerseys is, um, wow.

Keep in mind that Denard Span is not available with a neck injury. He had an MRI on Sunday morning and the disabled list cannot be ruled out.

Manager Bruce Bochy said Angel Pagan needed a day off due to general soreness. Also, Bochy wanted Buster Posey to play first base because he is going to catch a lot during the final week before the break.

Bochy originally wrote a lineup with Gregor Blanco leading off wholesale jerseys and playing center field. Bochy considered, then discounted, the idea of Brandon Belt playing left field because Belt has played one inning there this year. Then, 45 minutes before the first pitch, a new lineup emerged with Belt in left, Blanco scratched with a sore left knee and Jarrett Parker in center for the first time this year.

The lineup against Robbie Ray jerseys:

Tejada 3B

Green 2B

Belt LF

Posey 1B

Crawford SS

Williamson RF

Brown C

Parker CF

Suarez P

The bigger issue at the moment is not the lineup, but the bullpen, which helped blow a 5-1 lead Saturday night and another 5-1 lead the last time Albert Suarez pitched, in that crazy 13-11 loss to the A’s on Tuesday.

“We’re dong a good job scoring runs,” Bochy said. “We’ve got to hold these late leads.”

The fans might say, “Go out and get relief help,” and general manager Bobby Evans certainly is but the arms in the ‘pen now are capable of being better.

The left-hand side of the bullpen is interesting. Bochy has gone to Josh Osich more that Javier Lopez of late. Lopez has not had a typical season allowing left-handed hitters a .278 batting average and .826 OPS. Compare those to his career numbers of .205 and .577.

Bochy scrunches his brow at the notion that Lopez has fallen behind Osich on the pecking order.

“Both of them I’m confident in bringing in against lefties,” Bochy said. “Why wouldn’t I be? One is a power guy. One’s a situational guy.”

Saturday night seemed like a Lopez situation, but with a runner on second, one out in the eighth, the Giants leading 5-3 and Jake Lamb due up, Bochy summoned Osich. That was tactical.

Bochy is more apt to use Osich than Lopez against right-handers, so Bochy was covering the possibility that the Diamondbacks would pinch-hit one of their righties on the bench capable of hitting a two-run homer. The plan backfired when Osich walked Lamb, putting two guys on for Welington Castillo jerseys.

With Cory Gearrin unavailable after pitching seven times in 11 days, Bochy brought in Hunter Strickland, Castillo took him deep and the Diamondbacks won 6-5.

It will be interesting to see how Bochy redoes the bullpen roles when Sergio Romo comes off the disabled list after nearly three months away, probably Monday.


ORIGINAL POST: The Giants are preparing to welcome back several injured players, but their return will challenge the front office because some of the depth that has helped the club fill gaps could disappear.

Sergio Romo’s impending return should be easy to handle on the 25-man roster. The Giants could option Albert Suarez to Triple-A after Sunday’s start. He has been a crucial contributor, but the Giants plan to skip his next turn Saturday and he will not be available out of the bullpen for several days.

If so, by rule they could bring him back as soon as the July 15 second-half opener in San Diego.

But the Giants will need to create a 40-man spot for Romo, who did not count against that roster because he is on the 60-day disabled list.

Soon thereafter, infielders will start returning, Joe Panik as soon as his concussion symptoms allow him to play; Kelby Tomlinson jerseys, who went 2-for-4 in a rehab game with Class A San Jose on Saturday and could be back before the break; and Matt Duffy jerseys, sometime shortly after the All-Star break.

Also, Matt Cain should be back just after the All-Star Game.

General manager Bobby Evans will have a lot to juggle because Conor Gillaspie, Grant Green, Ramiro Peña and Ruben Tejada all have exhausted their minor-league options.

The Giants would have to run these four through waivers. The way some have played, they could get plucked by other teams. Even if they clear waivers, these four have the right to choose free agency rather than return to Sacramento.

Some pure speculation: Tejada could be the first to be designated for assignment because already this season he has cleared waivers twice, with the cheap Mets jerseys and Cardinals. He is the least likely to be claimed.

Journeymen such as these often clear waivers because other teams value their 40-man spots and prefer to provide opportunities to their own prospects first. Also, players often accept outright assignments because they like the organization do not want to forfeit their contracts.

Archer fans 10, but Rays can’t hold on late

ST. PETERSBURG — The Tigers Jerseys took advantage of a scuffling Rays squad to complete a four-game sweep with a 5-1 win Sunday at Tropicana Field.

The Tigers have won six in a row, while the Rays have lost 16 of their last 18 games.

The Tigers trailed, 1-0, when Ian Kinsler doubled off losing pitcher Matt Andriese to start the Tigers’ eighth. One out later, Andriese intentionally walked Miguel Cabrera before giving way to Xavier Cedeno, who got Victor Martinez to hit a potential double-play grounder that saw first baseman Logan Morrison throw to second for the first out. Martinez beat the return throw to first with Cedeno covering, and Kinsler scored the tying run on the play.

“That got us going, really,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “It was great heads-up baserunning, aggressive baserunning.”

But the Tigers weren’t content with one run. Nick Castellanos followed with a single then Justin Upton came through with a two-run double to complete the scoring in the eighth. Kinsler added a two-run homer in off Danny Farquhar in the ninth to push the lead to 5-1. It was the 200th homer of Kinsler’s career.


Chris Archer started for the Rays and held the Tigers scoreless on three hits and three walks while striking out 10 in 5 2/3 innings in a no-decision. Mike Pelfrey started for the Tigers and allowed one run in 6 1/3 innings, also in a no-decision.

“Another tough loss,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “Got away from us there at the end of the ballgame. Can’t help but feel really good about what Chris Archer did today. For the way it started, and the way he kicked it in gear and kind of showed us the Archer that we know he’s very capable of being. That was an outstanding effort, outstanding performance.”

Kinsler hustles a run: Just as Kinsler smelled a double on his drive to left field leading off the eighth inning, he sensed a chance to break for home three batters later. While Martinez beat the throw to first, Kinsler sped up around third. Cedeno, who had to scramble to cover first, wasn’t expecting a play at the plate, giving Kinsler a split-second to score the tying run.

“I do that every time I’m on second when there’s an opportunity for a double play, even a throw across the infield,” Kinsler said. “That’s just something I was taught. With two outs, you have an opportunity to score a run right there.”

Enigmatic Arch: Archer’s first-inning woes this season are well documented. So is the quality of the right-hander’s stuff. The two met in the first inning, when the Tigers loaded the bases with no outs via a single through a shifted infield and two walks. Archer responded with three overpowering strikeouts of Martinez, Castellanos and Upton to end the threat without any runs scoring.

Failure to launch: The Rays loaded the bases with one out in the seventh against Pelfrey. A hit away from potentially extending their lead, the Rays came up empty. Winning pitcher Bruce Rondon took over for Pelfrey and struck out Logan Forsythe before Brad Miller flew out to left to end the inning.


Moya makes shoestring catch: Towering right fielder Steven Moya made the long stretch to the Tropicana Field turf to thwart a Rays threat in the sixth, making a shoestring catch to turn a potential RBI double by Brandon Guyer into an inning-ending double play when he threw out Morrison scrambling back to first. It was Moya’s fourth outfield assist in 19 Major League games this season.

“Moya did a nice job of sticking with that ball,” Ausmus said. “Really, the big thing is coming up and making the throw and having the wherewithal to know that the guy’s rounded second and you still have a chance at him at first, wholesale jerseys.”

“He definitely plays with an edge, in a good way. He wants to beat the other team. It’s almost as if he’s a little bit mad at the other team.” — Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, on Kinsler.

“You try to be as consistent as possible. … We as coaches, manager, even players, do everything you can to stay consistent, understanding that frustration is going to come. But do everything you can to come in the next day as positive as possible. And when that game starts, all your focus is on making decisions that’s going to help the club win.” — Cash, on how to approach the funk the Rays have been experiencing lately.

Archer had an odd way of celebrating the one-year anniversary of the last time he hit a batter: He hit Castellanos in the sixth. Prior to that, Archer had not hit a batter since July 3, 2015, when he hit Didi Gregorius of the Yankees.

Kinsler became the third active Major Leaguer — and the 40th overall — with 200 home runs, 1,000 runs scored, 1,600 hits and 200 stolen bases. Active players on the list include Carlos Beltran and Alex Rodriguez.

Tigers: Detroit will try to break its season-long 0-9 skid against Cleveland on Monday with a 7:05 p.m. ET game at Progressive Field. Daniel Norris gets the start for the Tigers opposite the American League Pitcher of the Month for June, Danny Salazar.

Rays: Matt Moore starts the first game of a four-game series against the Angels at Tropicana Field in a 1:10 p.m. ET holiday matinee on Monday. Moore is coming off his best outing of the season, in which he held the Red Sox to no runs on three hits in seven innings. The Rays swept a three-game series against the Angels in Anaheim in their only meeting this season.

Yanks use passed ball to walk off on Texas again

NEW YORK — For the second time in as many days, the Yankees came up clutch in the ninth inning to beat the American League West-leading Rangers, defeating Texas, 2-1, on a passed ball Thursday afternoon to get back to .500 at 39-39. The Rangers have lost consecutive games for the first time since losing three straight to the Athletics from May 16-18.

Chase Headley scored on a mad dash from third base on a Robinson Chirinos passed ball with two outs in the ninth. Headley led off the inning with a walk against Rangers reliever Tony Barnette before Didi Gregorius Jerseys, the hero in Wednesday’s walk-off win, bunted Headley into scoring position and a Starlin Castro groundout put him on third base.

Barnette laments leadoff walk in 9th inning

“When you get an opportunity like that with two outs in the ninth, you got to find a way to score,” Headley said. “We’ll take it any way we can get it — that was a great win. These can be momentum wins. That’s a really good team over there, and to come back and get a couple wins from them, that’s big for us.”

Michael Pineda was stellar, striking out a season-high 12 batters in six innings, over which he allowed just two hits and one run. It was the second consecutive outing that Pineda allowed only two hits, and he earned no-decisions in both of the games. The Yankees’ three-pronged bullpen attack of Dellin Betances Jerseys, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman took over from there, allowing two hits and striking out four, effectively silencing the Rangers in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings.

“Their guy on the hill was exceptional,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “That slider was devastating and he had a 96-mph fastball. That’s that guy. He can throw like an ace or give up some runs. Then you get to their big guys, they are as challenging as anybody.”


“He was really good today,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Pineda. “He gives up a home run to start the game and then he shut them down after that. And this is a good offense. This club scores a lot of runs. I thought he was really impressive. It might have been, and probably was, his best start of the year.”

Improved slider has Pineda’s K rate skyrocketing

Texas’ one run came in the first at-bat of the game, when Shin-Soo Choo led off with a home run against Pineda. After the first inning, the Rangers didn’t record another hit until after Pineda left the game. Starting pitcher A.J. Griffin dominated the Yankees in the early going, allowing just two hits and one run in five innings. After 88 pitches and eight strikeouts, though, Griffin was replaced by Shawn Tolleson Jerseys.

Choo goes deep: It’s the 18th time in Choo’s career that he has led off the first inning with a home run. But the Rangers managed just three singles the rest of the afternoon.

“Our guys continue to play hard, but obviously it was a tough day at the plate,” Banister said.

Choo’s leadoff homer

Bases-loaded letdown: The Yankees’ best chance to open up this game before the ninth inning came in the seventh. Brett Gardner came to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs and the game tied at 1. Rangers reliever Jake Diekman forced Gardner to ground out softly to second base to end the threat.

Diekman escapes a jam

Didi doing damage: Less than a day after lacing the first walk-off home run of his career into the right-field bleachers, Gregorius stayed hot Thursday afternoon by hitting a fifth-inning solo homer to tie the game at 1, his eighth blast of the season. Since June 14, Gregorius is 22-for-59 (.373) with 12 runs scored and seven extra-base hits.

“My comfort level was there because I ended up season for wholesale jerseys on a really good note and just tried to take it over,” Gregorius said of his improvements at the plate. “Some things I learned last year and I’m trying to get wholesale New York Yankees Jerseys and will be better this year and trying to make some improvements. The confidence has always been there.”

Nine whiffs in a row: Griffin and Pineda at one point combined to strike out nine straight batters. It started when Mark Teixeira struck out to end the bottom of the first. Both pitchers then struck out the side in the second and Pineda began the third by striking out Choo and Ian Desmond Jerseys.

Seeking out the silver linings in the first half of the Red Sox season

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — John Farrell gathered his team together in the Tropicana Field visitors’ clubhouse late Monday night because he saw what anybody watching can see — a reeling Wholesale Boston Red Sox Jerseys and this team not playing up to its capabilities. A win and a loss in the two days following left the Red Sox 5 1/2 games out of first place, only a half-game ahead in the wild-card standings.

Farrell also gathered his team, however, because he wanted to emphasize that he still was seeing effort and performance he appreciated. Just that night, for example, a worn-down Xander Bogaerts sprinted down the first-base line to beat out an infield single on a ground ball to second with the Red Sox down seven runs in the ninth inning, a display of effort Dustin Pedroia later lauded.

Along with focusing on areas in need of significant improvement, Farrell said afterward, “it was also a time to acknowledge some of the positive things that continue.”

There have been positives, the widespread consternation of the fan base notwithstanding. A Red Sox team that has finished last in back-to-back seasons remains in playoff position, six games over .500, even after a June that saw them go 10-16.

Among those positives:

* Bogaerts, Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr.: At long last, a class of prospects has lived up to the hype for the Red Sox. All three homegrown youngsters could start the All-Star Game for the American League, and at least two of the three would receive American League MVP votes if the season ended today. Betts at times has felt like he’s had trouble putting it all together, but he still has hit 16 home runs and is slugging .501 — and he has stolen 12 bases while being caught just once. Bogaerts has shown signs that his long-awaited power has blossomed, hitting nine home runs while, until recently, leading the American League in hits. Bradley put to rest the idea that last August’s outburst was a fluke, slugging cheap mlb jerseys.558 while dramatically improving his walk-to-strikeout ratio and continuing to play terrific defense in center field. So far this season, he’s probably been the best of the bunch.

* David Ortiz: What Ortiz has given during his retirement tour has been so much better than what he’s received. He’s getting on base at a remarkable .431 clip and slugging .672, and he’s still on pace to make a run at the all-time single-season doubles record. He’s hitting so many doubles, in fact, that John Farrell has to be careful about how often he lets Ortiz play, lest the iconic designated hitter see his retirement tour end before October.

* Steven Wright: At a time when the Red Sox seem unable to develop starting pitching themselves, the wholesale jerseys 2012 acquisition of Wright in exchange for Lars Anderson now stands as a remarkable coup. Wright endured his worst start of the season on Saturday at Texas, yielding eight runs (three earned) in 4 2/3 innings pitched, but he still has a 2.18 ERA in more than 100 innings and could be headed for the All-Star Game.

Walker tames Orioles in Mariners 5-3 victory

SEATTLE — Taijuan Walker held the powerful Orioles to just four hits over 6 1/3 innings, Seth Smith hit a two-run home run and the Seattle Mariners beat Baltimore 5-3 on Thursday night.

Walker (4-6) gave up a solo home run to Hyun Soo Kim in the seventh but otherwise did not allow a runner past first base. He struck out five and walked no one.

With Kim’s homer, the Orioles set the major league record for most home runs in June with 56. The 1996 Oakland A’s had held the record of 55.

Chris Tillman (10-2) took the loss, ending his nine-game winning streak. He pitched 4 2/3 innings, his second shortest outing in 17 starts this season, and gave up four runs on six hits, walking three and striking out three.

Steve Cishek got four outs for his 19th save.