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And then there were two. October baseball continues Tuesday as the World Series gets underway in Los Angeles, and there continue to be former Sounds involved on each side. What a match-up, too. Astros vs. Dodgers marks the first time since 1970 that two teams who won 100+ games in the regular season are meeting in the World Series. Details of the former Sounds are below, and the original post that was published when the playoffs began can be found HERE.

Los Angeles Dodgers
Record: 104-58
How they made it: Won the NL West; Defeated the D-backs, 3-0, in the NLDS; Defeated the Cubs, 4-1, in the NLCS
Fun fact: The Dodgers are in the playoffs for a franchise-record fifth straight season. Their 104 wins are a franchise record for their time in L.A., and the first time since 1974 they’d reached the century mark in Ws.

The Dodgers boast a pair of former Sounds on manager Dave Roberts’ coaching staff. Their third base coach again this year is Chris Woodward (’08), who played 12 years in the major leagues and hit .291 in 71 games for the Sounds in 2008. The Dodgers’ hitting coach is former Sound TurnerWard (’99), who also played 12 years in the major leagues. He hit .292 in 35 games for the Sounds in 1999. Vandy alum Walker Buehler, their 1st-round pick from ’15 who made his major league debut this year and had a 7.71 ERA in eight appearances, is not on their World Series roster.

Dodgers hitting coach Turner Ward (Photo courtesy of MLB.com)

Dodgers third base coach Chris Woodward (Photo courtesy of MLB.com)

The Astros’ team leader in starts by a pitcher this year was former Sound Mike Fiers (’11-’14), who went 8-10 with a 5.22 ERA in 29 outings (28 starts) for a pitching staff that missed anchors like Dallas Kuechel and Lance McCullers at various times. Fiers, though, was not on the Astros’ LCS roster, and as I write this, is not expected to be on their World Series roster. He is with the team in the playoffs and was part of the celebration on Friday night. His former Sounds teammate Dayton Buller was watching on TV, spotted Fiers and gave Fiers (and his mustache) a shout-out on Twitter. The Astros’ other former Sound is Josh Reddick (’16), who spent a week with the Sounds in June ’16 on a rehab assignment for the A’s. He was coming back from a left thumb fracture and had 25 at-bats in six games. The Astros’ third base coach under manager A.J. Hinch is former Sounds hitting coach Gary Pettis (’05), who was with the Sounds in 2005, the first year of their affiliation with the Brewers that culminated with a PCL title. Pettis joined the Astros last year after spending several seasons as third base coach with the Rangers under Ron Washington. Franklin native and former Vanderbilt star Tony Kemp, who we’ve seen oppose the Sounds with Fresno the past two years, has not been on their playoff roster. Many may recall Kemp was with Fresno in Nashville in ’16 when he got word of his first-ever major league call-up.

Astros pitcher Mike Fiers (Photo courtesy of Mike Strasinger / Nashville Sounds)

Astros outfielder Josh Reddick (Photo courtesy of Mike Strasinger / Nashville Sounds)

Astros third base coach Gary Pettis (Photo courtesy of Mike Strasinger / Nashville Sounds)

Enjoy the Fall Classic!

Jeff

If you want to follow me on Twitter: @JeffHemPBP
If you want to send me an email: JeffH@NashvilleSounds.com
If you want to subscribe to blog posts via email updates, you can do so in the upper right section of the home page.

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October baseball is in full swing as the LCS rounds are unfolding. There continue to be several former Sounds involved on all the remaining teams, and the original post that was published when the playoffs began can be found HERE.

Chicago Cubs
Record: 92-70
How they made it: Won the NL Central; Defeated the Nationals, 3-2, in the NLDS
Fun fact: The Cubs have now reached the post-season — and at least the LCS round — three years in a row for the first time since 1906-08.

Just like last year, the Cubs have two former Sounds on their roster. Pitching coach Chris Bosio (’09, ’11), in his sixth year with the Cubs, was the Sounds’ pitching coach in ’09 and then again in June ’11 through the end of that season. Bosio enjoyed an 11-year playing career, including a post-season appearance in ’95 with a Mariners team that defeated the Yankees in the ALDS in dramatic fashion. The other former Sound on the Cubs is Ben Zobrist (’15), the always-versatile star who appeared in three games for the Sounds in 2015 on a rehab assignment with the A’s. Zobrist, an Illinois native, and his wife, Christian recording artist Julianna Zobrist, also have local ties as they make their home in Franklin. Some Sounds fans may also remember Julianna from being a featured artist at a Faith Night concert at Greer Stadium many years ago.

Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio (Photo courtesy Mike Strasinger / Nashville Sounds)

Cubs infielder Ben Zobrist (Photo courtesy of MLB.com)

Los Angeles Dodgers
Record: 104-58
How they made it: Won the NL West
Fun fact: The Dodgers are in the playoffs for a franchise-record fifth straight season. Their 104 wins are a franchise record for their time in L.A., and the first time since 1974 they’d reached the century mark in Ws.

The Dodgers boast a pair of former Sounds on manager Dave Roberts’ coaching staff. Their third base coach again this year is Chris Woodward (’08), who played 12 years in the major leagues and hit .291 in 71 games for the Sounds in 2008. The Dodgers’ hitting coach is former Sound TurnerWard (’99), who also played 12 years in the major leagues. He hit .292 in 35 games for the Sounds in 1999. Vandy alum Walker Buehler, their 1st-round pick from ’15 who made his major league debut this year and had a 7.71 ERA in eight appearances, is not on their NLCS roster.

Dodgers hitting coach Turner Ward (Photo courtesy of MLB.com)

Dodgers third base coach Chris Woodward (Photo courtesy of MLB.com)

New York Yankees
The Astros’ team leader in starts by a pitcher this year was former Sound Mike Fiers (’11-’14), who went 8-10 with a 5.22 ERA in 29 outings (28 starts) for a pitching staff that missed anchors like Dallas Kuechel and Lance McCullers at various times. Fiers, though, is not on the Astros’ LCS roster. The Astros’ other former Sound is Josh Reddick (’16), who spent a week with the Sounds in June ’16 on a rehab assignment for the A’s. He was coming back from a left thumb fracture and had 25 at-bats in six games. The Astros’ third base coach under manager A.J. Hinch is former Sounds hitting coach Gary Pettis (’05), who was with the Sounds in 2005, the first year of their affiliation with the Brewers that culminated with a PCL title. Pettis joined the Astros last year after spending several seasons as third base coach with the Rangers under Ron Washington. Franklin native and former Vanderbilt star Tony Kemp, who we’ve seen oppose the Sounds with Fresno the past two years, is not on their playoff roster. Many may recall Kemp was with Fresno in Nashville in ’16 when he got word of his first-ever major league call-up.

Astros pitcher Mike Fiers (Photo courtesy of Mike Strasinger / Nashville Sounds)

Astros outfielder Josh Reddick (Photo courtesy of Mike Strasinger / Nashville Sounds)

Astros third base coach Gary Pettis (Photo courtesy of Mike Strasinger / Nashville Sounds)

Enjoy the playoffs!

Jeff

If you want to follow me on Twitter: @JeffHemPBP
If you want to send me an email: JeffH@NashvilleSounds.com
If you want to subscribe to blog posts via email updates, you can do so in the upper right section of the home page.

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Welcome back to October baseball! Tonight the MLB postseason officially gets underway with the American League Wild Card game, and this year, like most years, the playoffs are loaded with former Sounds. Between the 10 clubs in the post-season and what their active roster looked like at the end of the regular season, nearly 20 former Sounds will be involved in the playoffs, and several more who have local Nashville ties. It’s also interesting that it’s a 50-50 split this year between teams who reached the playoffs last year and teams who did not. Here’s a look at the teams and any former Sounds they will or may feature.

Arizona Diamondbacks
Record: 93-69
How they made it: Won the top NL Wild Card spot
Fun fact: The D-backs are in the playoffs for the first time since 2011, which was also their most recent winning season until this year.

The D-backs boast three former Sounds on manager Torey Lovullo’s coaching staff. Their assistant hitting coach is Tim Laker (’98-’00), who played 11 years in the major leagues and hit 42 homers in 277 games over three years with the Sounds when they were a Pirates affiliate. The D-backs bullpen catcher is Humberto Quintero (’12), who played 12 years in the major leagues, mostly with the Astros, from ’03-’14. He played in 25 games for the Sounds in ’12 when he was in the Brewers organization. Former Sound Ariel Prieto (’03) is in his third year as a coach and interpreter for the D-Backs. The former A’s pitcher and coach spent six years in the big leagues as a player, and made four starts for the Sounds in ’03 when they were a Pirates affiliate. On the pitching staff, Zack Greinke (’11) made two rehab starts with the Sounds when he was a Milwaukee Brewer. Arizona also has a local connection on their roster in Greinke’s rotation mate Robbie Ray, the former Brentwood High School star who went 15-5 with a 2.89 ERA in 28 starts in an all-star season in the desert.

D-backs bullpen coach Humberto Quintero (Photo courtesy of Mike Strasinger / Nashville Sounds)

D-backs assistant hitting coach Tim Laker (Photo courtesy of MLB.com)

D-backs coach and interpreter Ariel Prieto

Colorado Rockies
Record: 87-75
How they made it: Won the second NL Wild Card spot
Fun fact: The Rockies are in the playoffs for the first time since ’09 and third time in their franchise history, which began in ’93.

One of the moves the Rockies made at the July trade deadline was acquiring former Sound and veteran catcher Jonathan Lucroy (’10, ’12) from Texas, marking the second year in a row Lucroy got dealt to a contender at the deadline. Overall it’ll be the third trip to the post-season for the former Brewers backstop. He was batting .242 with a .297 on-base percentage for Texas at the time of the trade, and then hit .310 with a .429 OBP in hitter-friendly Colorado. The Rockies’ pitching coach is former Sound Steve Foster (’91-’92), who pitched in 59 games for the Reds from ’91-’93 and appeared in 58 games as a Sound. He posted a 2.14 ERA in 12 saves for the Sounds in ’91 and then had a 2.68 ERA in 17 outings (7 starts) in ’92, the final year of the Sounds’ affiliation with the Reds before they became a White Sox affiliate.

Rockies catcher Jonathan Lucroy (Photo courtesy Nashville Sounds)

Rockies pitching coach Steve Foster (Photo courtesy of MLB.com)

Chicago Cubs
Record: 92-70
How they made it: Won the NL Central
Fun fact: The Cubs have now reached the post-season three years in a row for the first time since 1906-08.

Just like last year, the Cubs have two former Sounds on their roster. Pitching coach Chris Bosio (’09, ’11), in his sixth year with the Cubs, was the Sounds’ pitching coach in ’09 and then again in June ’11 through the end of that season. Bosio enjoyed an 11-year playing career, including a post-season appearance in ’95 with a Mariners team that defeated the Yankees in the ALDS in dramatic fashion. The other former Sound on the Cubs is Ben Zobrist (’15), the always-versatile star who appeared in three games for the Sounds in 2015 on a rehab assignment with the A’s. Zobrist, an Illinois native, and his wife, Christian recording artist Julianna Zobrist, also have local ties as they make their home in Franklin. Some Sounds fans may also remember Julianna from being a featured artist at a Faith Night concert at Greer Stadium many years ago.

Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio (Photo courtesy Mike Strasinger / Nashville Sounds)

Cubs infielder Ben Zobrist (Photo courtesy of MLB.com)

Washington Nationals
Record: 97-65
How they made it: Won the NL East
Fun fact: This is the fourth time in six years the Nats have made the playoffs. The first three times had been under three different managers (Davey Johnson in ’12, Matt Williams in ’14, and Dusty Baker in ’16 and again in ’17).

As the first several months of the 2017 season unfolded, the Nationals proved two things: they were going to win the NL East by a lot, and they badly needed bullpen help. And two of the biggest ‘pen reinforcements they acquired are former Sounds — Sean Doolittle (’15-’17) and Brandon Kintzler (’10-’12). Doolittle appeared in 13 games for the Sounds on rehab assignment over the past three years during his time with the A’s. This past season his lone rehab outing as a Sound came on the road in Omaha on June 7 and turned out to be part of a combined no-hitter! He and Ryan Madson were dealt to the Nationals in mid-July as the A’s began their full rebuild, and Doolittle posted a 2.40 ERA with 21 saves in 30 appearances for the Nats. Kintzler was acquired by the Nats a couple weeks later from the Twins, where he’d put together an all-star season (28 saves, 2.78 ERA, 45 games). Then with Washington he worked in 27 games and had an 3.46 ERA. The Nats also list former Sound Randy Knorr (’00) as a senior baseball advisor as part of Dusty Baker’s staff after he’d spent four years as a bench coach. The former catcher played in 253 games in the majors from ’91-’01, including with the Blue Jays’ championship teams in ’92 and ’93. He played in 13 games for the Sounds in 2000 (Triple-A Pacific Coast League, Pirates) in the twilight of his career.

Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle (Photo courtesy of MiLB.com)

Nationals reliever Brandon Kintzler (Photo courtesy of Mike Strasinger / Nashville Sounds)

Nationals senior baseball advisor Randy Knorr (Photo courtesy of MLB.com)

Los Angeles Dodgers
Record: 104-58
How they made it: Won the NL West
Fun fact: The Dodgers are in the playoffs for a franchise-record fifth straight season. Their 104 wins are a franchise record for their time in L.A., and the first time since 1974 they’d reached the century mark in Ws.

The Dodgers boast a pair of former Sounds on manager Dave Roberts’ coaching staff. Their third base coach again this year is Chris Woodward (’08), who played 12 years in the major leagues and hit .291 in 71 games for the Sounds in 2008. The Dodgers’ hitting coach is former Sound Turner Ward (’99), who also played 12 years in the major leagues. He hit .292 in 35 games for the Sounds in 1999. The Dodgers are loaded with arms, but depending on how they shape their roster for the NLDS, they could include Vandy alum Walker Buehler, their 1st-round pick from ’15. He made his major league debut this year and had a 7.71 ERA in eight appearances.

Dodgers hitting coach Turner Ward (Photo courtesy of MLB.com)

Dodgers third base coach Chris Woodward (Photo courtesy of Mike Strasinger / Nashville Sound)

New York Yankees
Just like last year, the Indians have two former Sounds, one on the mound and one on their field staff. Reliever Dan Otero (’15) once again proved that his rough ’15 season, which included 15 appearances with the Sounds in a return to Triple-A in addition to a 6.75 ERA with the A’s, was the exception and not the rule. He was an important part of the A’s teams that made the playoffs in ’13 and ’14, had a 1.53 ERA in 62 appearances for Cleveland last year, and followed up that with a 2.85 ERA in 52 outings this year. His bullpen coach in Cleveland is former Sound Jason Bere (’93, ’95-’97), who pitched for 11 years in the big leagues from 1993-2003. In that ’93 campaign, he went 12-5 with a 3.47 ERA in 24 starts for a White Sox team that won its division. He’d made eight starts that year for the Sounds, made eight more over parts of three other seasons and was an AL all-star in ’94.

Indians reliever Dan Otero (Photo courtesy of Mike Strasinger / Nashville Sounds)

Indians bullpen coach Jason Bere (Photo courtesy of Nashville Sounds)

The Red Sox have two former Sounds on their coaching staff, and two very recognizable Middle Tennessee natives on their roster. David Price, the Murfreesboro native and former Vandy star, went 6-3 with a 3.38 ERA in 16 outings (11 starts) in an injury-plagued year, and Mookie Betts, an Overton High School alum, hit .264 with 24 homers and 102 RBIs in 153 games in a second straight all-star season. Manager John Farrell’s pitching coach is Carl Willis (’87), who made 267 appearances in the major leagues over nine years from ’84-’95. His Sounds time came in ’87 during his stint in the Reds organization, and he owned a 4.20 ERA and tied for the team lead in appearances with 53. The Sounds’ pitching staff that year included future Reds stalwarts Rob Dibble, Tom Browning and Norm Charlton and future Royals Hall of Famer Jeff Montgomery. The other former Sound on Farrell’s coaching staff is third base coach Brian Butterfield (’82), who played four years of professional baseball and appeared in 11 games with the Sounds in ’82 on a team that won the Southern League title and boasted players like Brian Dayett, Rex Hudler, Otis Nixon and Buck Showalter.

Red Sox pitching coach Carl Willis (Photo courtesy of MLB.com)

Red Sox third base coach Brian Butterfield (Photo courtesy of MLB.com)

The Astros’ team leader in starts by a pitcher this year was former Sound Mike Fiers (’11-’14), who went 8-10 with a 5.22 ERA in 29 outings (28 starts) for a pitching staff that missed anchors like Dallas Kuechel and Lance McCullers at various times. Fiers has made one career postseason appearance to this point. It came with Houston against Kansas City in the ’15 ALDS after he’d been acquired that July from Milwaukee. The Astros’ other former Sound is Josh Reddick (’16), who spent a week with the Sounds in June ’16 on a rehab assignment for the A’s. He was coming back from a left thumb fracture and had 25 at-bats in six games. The Astros’ third base coach under manager A.J. Hinch is former Sounds hitting coach Gary Pettis (’05), who was with the Sounds in 2005, the first year of their affiliation with the Brewers that culminated with a PCL title. Pettis joined the Astros last year after spending several seasons as third base coach with the Rangers under Ron Washington. The Astros have a couple of decisions to make for the ALDS roster, and they could elect to include Franklin native and former Vanderbilt star Tony Kemp, who’ve seen oppose the Sounds with Fresno the past two years. Many may recall Kemp was with Fresno in Nashville in ’16 when he got word of his first-ever major league call-up.

Astros pitcher Mike Fiers (Photo courtesy of Mike Strasinger / Nashville Sounds)

Astros outfielder Josh Reddick (Photo courtesy of Mike Strasinger / Nashville Sounds)

Astros third base coach Gary Pettis (Photo courtesy of Mike Strasinger / Nashville Sounds)

Enjoy the playoffs!

Jeff

If you want to follow me on Twitter: @JeffHemPBP
If you want to send me an email: JeffH@NashvilleSounds.com
If you want to subscribe to blog posts via email updates, you can do so in the upper right section of the home page.

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And then there was one. The Sounds play their finale game of the season today as they take on the New Orleans Baby Cakes (Marlins) on Labor Day in Louisiana. The Sounds are trying to finish the season with a sweep after another late rally and win last night down on the bayou. Today Zach Neal (3-8, 5.18) takes on lefty Victor Payano (4-3, 3.70) in the matinee.

First pitch tonight is set for 1:00 CT with the pregame at 12:45 on ALT 97.5-FM and the iHeart, MiLB First Pitch and TuneIn Radio apps. Here’s the online audio stream: http://milb.streamguys1.com/nashvillesounds.

Tioday’s interview is our final Monday chat with Sounds manager Ryan Christenson, who discusses the team’s strong finish, his “call-up” opportunity to join the A’s coaching staff in September, what he’d like to see from Renato Nunez if the young slugger gets called up to the A’s (as has been widely reported and hinted) and what types of conversations he has with players going into the off-season.

Photo courtesy Mike Strasinger / Nashville Sounds

Thanks for listening! On the air and off.

Jeff

If you want to follow me on Twitter: @JeffHemPBP
If you want to send me an email: JeffH@NashvilleSounds.com
If you want to subscribe to blog posts via email updates, you can do so in the upper right section of the home page.

 

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The Sounds play their penultimate home game of the season tonight as they take on the Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals) in Game 3 of a four-game series. The Sounds are 4-5 so far on this final homestand after falling, 9-3, last night. On the season, the Sounds now are 64-70 with six games remaining in the year, so they can’t finish with a winning record and need to win their last six to finish at .500. Tonight Zach Neal (3-8, 5.29) takes on 21-year-old Arlando Hernandez, who is up from Low-A Lexington as a spot starter. It’s the third time this homestand the Sounds have faced an opposing pitcher up from A-ball, and that hurler has tossed a quality start each time so far.

First pitch tonight is set for 7:05 CT with the pregame at 6:50 on ALT 97.5-FM and the iHeart, MiLB First Pitch and TuneIn Radio apps. Here’s the online audio stream: http://milb.streamguys1.com/nashvillesounds.

Tonight’s interview is with Sounds right-hander and Houston native Daniel Mengden, who pitched well last night while working with a heavy heart. He discusses what his family and friends are dealing with in Houston right now, how difficult it is to be away and try to focus on baseball, his outing last night, and his comebacks from injury.

Photo courtesy Mike Strasinger / Nashville Sounds

Thanks for listening! On the air and off.

Jeff

If you want to follow me on Twitter: @JeffHemPBP
If you want to send me an email: JeffH@NashvilleSounds.com
If you want to subscribe to blog posts via email updates, you can do so in the upper right section of the home page.

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The Sounds are down to three home games and seven left overall in their season as they continue their final homestand of the year tonight against the Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals). The Sounds are 4-4 so far on the homestand after falling last night in a 13-inning marathon. Tonight Daniel Mengden opposes Christian Binford in Game 2 of the four-game set.

First pitch tonight is set for 7:05 CT with the pregame at 6:50 on ALT 97.5-FM and the iHeart, MiLB First Pitch and TuneIn Radio apps. Here’s the online audio stream: http://milb.streamguys1.com/nashvillesounds.

Tonight’s interview is with Sounds strength & conditioning coach Henry Torres, a Texas native and Houston resident who discusses the devastation happening back home, his role with the Sounds and how he tries to help players stay or get healthy during a long season.

Photo courtesy Mike Strasinger / Nashville Sounds

Thanks for listening! On the air and off.

Jeff

If you want to follow me on Twitter: @JeffHemPBP
If you want to send me an email: JeffH@NashvilleSounds.com
If you want to subscribe to blog posts via email updates, you can do so in the upper right section of the home page.

Read Full Post »

The Sounds are down to three home games and seven left overall in their season as they continue their final homestand of the year tonight against the Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals). The Sounds are 4-4 so far on the homestand after falling last night in a 13-inning marathon. Tonight Daniel Mengden opposes Christian Binford in Game 2 of the four-game set.

First pitch tonight is set for 7:05 CT with the pregame at 6:50 on ALT 97.5-FM and the iHeart, MiLB First Pitch and TuneIn Radio apps. Here’s the online audio stream: http://milb.streamguys1.com/nashvillesounds.

My apologies for falling behind in posting some recent pregame interviews. Below is yesterday’s weekly chat with Sounds manager Ryan Christenson, followed by recent conversations with rehabbing outfielder Jake Smolinski, PCL Pitcher of the Week Ben Bracewell, newly-acquired lefty Sam Moll, and pitching coach Rick Rodriguez. 

Photo courtesy Mike Strasinger / Nashville Sounds

Photo courtesy Mike Strasinger / Nashville Sounds

Photo courtesy Mike Strasinger / Nashville Sounds

Photo courtesy of MiLB.com

Photo courtesy Mike Strasinger / Nashville Sounds

Thanks for listening! On the air and off.

Jeff

If you want to follow me on Twitter: @JeffHemPBP
If you want to send me an email: JeffH@NashvilleSounds.com
If you want to subscribe to blog posts via email updates, you can do so in the upper right section of the home page.

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