Before coming to America from the Dominican Republic, this player had never spent a single day away from either his mom or dad. He now has a son of his own, who was born during the ninth inning of a game against the Braves -- he even had a save in the game! At 6-foot-3, he was the tallest elf ever at the club's annual holiday party! Who is he?
The TV Schedule
ALCS Game 4: Kansas City (Chris Young) vs. Toronto (R.A. Dickey), 4:07 p.m. ET on FS1
NLCS Game 3: New York (Jacob deGrom) vs. Chicago (Kyle Hendricks) at 8:07 p.m. ET on TBS
Ever since the Blue Jays selected him as the 979th overall player in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft and he accepted their $1,000 signing bonus, Kevin Pillar has been outperforming expectations. Even this season, he was penciled in for the fourth outfielder role before Michael Saunders, an offseason trade acquisition, tore a meniscus in Spring Training. But he latched onto the starting job in center field, where he dazzled with his speed, instincts and fearless athleticism. Offensively, the 26-year-old Californian also contributed a deceptively powerful bat (12 home runs) and 26 stolen bases during the regular season. So it wasn't surprising that Pillar came through in Game 3 of the ALCS when stakes were highest. It began with this all-out catch on a drive to center field by Lorenzo Cain. Pillar also hit a double that scored Russell Martin in the Jays' six-run third inning.
The Addison Russell Watch
Addison Russell may not be on the Cubs' NLCS roster, but he hasn't ruled out returning to the club if they advance to the World Series. Russell says he feels better every day and would like to begin hitting again soon. The rookie shortstop strained his left hamstring running out a triple in NLDS Game 3 against the Cardinals.
"This last week's been great," Russell said. "It's showing some significant improvement day in and day out. Leg's feeling a lot better. We're in the strengthening phase now. The progression, I'm actually feeling a lot better than what the program is entailed right now. But we're still going to take those precautionary limits."
The Toronto Tourists
Royals pitcher Chris Young, his wife, Elizabeth Patrick, and his youngest son visited the Hockey Hall of Fame, where the athletes from Elizabeth's side of the family play an important role. Lester Patrick, who won six Stanley Cups as a player, coach and executive, was Elizabeth's great-grandfather. The Lester Patrick Trophy, named for him, is awarded for outstanding service to hockey in the United States. Three other members of Elizabeth's family are also enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
"There are four Patrick members in the Hall of Fame," said Young, the Royals' Game 4 starter. "I gave her a hard time, because I think in the past she told me five. She stood corrected this morning."
Cans Canned in the Upper Deck at Rogers Centre
Game 3 was the first without the sale of beer cans in the upper deck at Rogers Centre. Cans were banned by the Blue Jays because rowdy fans littered the field following a disputed call in Game 5 of their ALDS with the Rangers, resulting in an 18-minute delay. Blue Jays security and stadium operations head Mario Coutinho said that beginning with Game 3 of the ALCS, beer would be poured into plastic cups. He also said security would be increased, and that the team reserved the right to cut off beer sales after the fifth inning, if necessary.
"We reviewed all our staffing levels and police deployment and we're confident that was adequate," Coutinho said.
Is It Tulo Time?
Riding a 4-for-29 slump through the first seven games of the postseason wasn't sitting well with Troy Tulowitzki, so he did something about it. He crushed a high, 93-mph fastball from Johnny Cueto over the center field fence to give the Blue Jays a 6-2 lead that they didn't relinquish in their 11-8 ALCS Game 3 win over the Royals. Now he's 4-for-6 with a double and a homer in his last two games, and might just get on a tear the rest of the series.
"I'm just trying to get good pitches, put good swings on them," he said. "I'm battling with the shoulder at times and trying to gut it out and give everything I have. And tonight it was enough to help us get a win."
Who knew Chicago would be a place for baseball players to seek warmth in October? But that's the case in this year's NLCS. The Mets won the first two games in New York under cold, windy conditions at Citi Field, but the teams will play at least the next two games in Chicago, where it was balmy for the teams' workouts on Monday.
"I'm excited to be back in a little bit warmer weather," Kris Bryant said. "I don't know what it's going to be like at night, but I'm excited not to wear two long-sleeve shirts."
Forecasters said there was a chance of spotty showers Tuesday and Wednesday, but not enough to delay or postpone either game. First-pitch temperatures in the mid-60s with a breeze of 15 to 25 mph out of the south were expected.
"I've been around him for four years now, and he's the epitome of a baseball player. Nothing he does surprises me. He's incredible."
-- LaTroy Hawkins on teammate Troy Tulowitzki
The Trivia Answer
Jeurys Familia, New York Mets
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