Jewish Major Leaguer update: Yom Kippur decisions (As of Sept. 19)
As one might expect, JMLs came under scrutiny this week as Yom Kippur fell on Friday night/Saturday — prime playing time.
Earlier in the week, Jason Marquis (Nationals) said he owed it to his team to take the mound for his scheduled start on erev Yom Kippur. The comparisons to Sandy Koufax were immediate. If Koufax could pass on his assignment in the opener of the 1965 World Series, why couldn’t Marquis — pitching in a meaningless game for a last-place ball club — do the same? On the heels of three straight well-pitched games, Marquis retired just one batter against the Phillies, giving up six hits and six runs on the way to his ninth loss of the season.
Ike Davis (Mets) was 0-7 for the weekend and 5-24 for the week with two doubles and two RBIs. According to a report on the ESPN website, Davis had deferred the decision to play or not to his mother, saying that if he had sat out, it would have been out of respect “for his ancestors lost in the Holocaust and because he described himself as ‘culturally Jewish.’”
Danny Valencia (Twins) was 8-19 with two home runs, a double, five runs scored, and six RBIs, including a game-winning three-run homer on Saturday, Sept. 18.
Ryan Braun (Brewers) was 3-5 over Yom Kippur, with two doubles and two of the three runs scored in a shutout of the Giants. On Sunday, Braun hit a two-run homer, accounting for all of Milwaukee’s runs in a 9-2 loss. He’s just nine short of his third consecutive 100-RBI season.
Sam Fuld (Cubs) made good in his first start of the year. Batting out of the lead-off spot, Fuld was 2-6 with a double and two runs scored.
Ian Kinsler (Rangers) was 5-15 with a double and three runs scored. Scott Feldman (Rangers) has not pitched since Sept. 10.
Craig Breslow (A’s) appeared in three games, pitching a total of 3.1 scoreless innings. He’s third in the American League with 69 appearances and tied for 13th with 16 holds.
Brad Ausmus (Dodgers) appeared in just one game as a defensive replacement.
Out of action: Kevin Youkilis (Red Sox), John Grabow (Cubs), Gabe Kapler (Rays)