- David Brown at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw is running away (pitching away?) with the National League's Cy Young race, say gamblers who make their living on that kind of thing. Bovada.lv apparently believes that Kershaw is such a lock for Cy Young that they've taken him off the board. You can't even bet on him anymore.
No matter that Kershaw missed six starts near the beginning of the season because of a back injury — enough time away that almost always kills a player's chances at winning a major award — he's still compiled enough wins above replacement to be considered better than any other pitcher.
Coming into his start Tuesday night, Kershaw has posted a 1.73 ERA with 194 strikeouts and 23 walks in 161 1/3 innings, which adds up to 7.0 WAR. He's allowed 32 runs — 31 earned — in 22 starts. Just amazing, though the current dead-ball era we're in and the wide confines of Dodger Stadium aren't hurting him.Tue, Sep 27:10 PM PDTWashington at LA DodgersPreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
After slugger David Wright lined a single to center in the third inning Monday night, Miami Marlins outfielder Marcel Ozuna charged it and came up firing and...
The ball appeared to slip from Ozuna's hand in medium center field, because it went in a crazy direction, into the home dugout at Marlins Park. It's like the ball slipped on a banana peel. If Ozuna was trying to keep Curtis Granderson from advancing from second base to third, it didn't work out. Because the ball went out of play, umpires awarded Granderson home. Wright, credited with a two-run single, was given second base.
The New York Mets had been trailing by a run but suddenly led 4-2 — on a single.Tue, Sep 24:10 PM PDTNY Mets at MiamiPreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
Wrigley Field gave Chicago Cubs rookie Jorge Soler a sunny and warm ovation before his first home at-bat Monday afternoon, and he responded with a double to right field in the bottom of the second. In doing so, Soler became the third player since 1914 to start his major league career with at least one extra-base hit in each of his first five games. The others: Hall of Famer Enos "Country" Slaughter, and Boston Red Sox infielder Will "No Nickname Yet" Middlebrooks.
Soler, a 22-year-old from Cuba who slugged .700 at three levels in the minors this season, whacked a hanging breaking ball from Jimmy Nelson into the right-field corner and later scored. He added another double in the sixth to finish 2-for-4 in the Cubs' 4-2 victory against the Milwaukee Brewers.Tue, Sep 25:05 PM PDTMilwaukee at Chi CubsPreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew5 hrs ago
Denard Span's teammates on the Washington Nationals got right to the point Monday night after he connected for his second home run of the game. Span came in with two home runs in 574 plate appearances all season, but he has been on an unholy tear for a week, going 8 for 22 with five extra-base hits since Wednesday. His homers helped the Nats continue their progressive road trip with a 6-4 victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Dodger Stadium isn't exactly a home run haven, either. Span was at a loss to explain his power surge. Via the D.C. Bog:
“I couldn’t tell you, man,” Span told MASN’s Dan Kolko after the game. “Just seeing the ball good and trying to put good swings on the ball. Fortunately they’ve been getting out of the park for me.”
Kolko asked Span for the best joke he heard in the dugout Monday.
- David Brown at Big League Stew22 hrs ago
Before he retires, slugger Adam Dunn says he wants to win a World Series ring, and the Oakland Athletics "probably" will be his last chance to make it happen — unless someone unexpectedly talks him out of retiring at the end of the 2014 season. Conversely the A's, who have mortgaged a lot to win now, need help in order to pull themselves out of a late-season tailspin and get right for the playoffs.
Dunn and the A's started working together Monday afternoon and good first impressions were made. Dunn hit a two-run homer in his first plate appearance for Oakland, which beat the Seattle Mariners 6-1.
Batting cleanup and wearing No. 10, Dunn connected against right-hander Chris Young on a 1-1 count in the bottom of the first, hitting a towering fly just out of the reach of Seattle's Endy Chavez, who leaped at the fence. After he circled the bases, A's players greeted Dunn with a collective celebratory "knighting" in the dugout.
The A's came in having been swept against the first-place Los Angeles Angels, posting a 19-22 record in the second half after owning the best record in the majors for much of the season.Tue, Sep 27:05 PM PDTSeattle at OaklandPreview Game
Cubs wear Jackie Robinson West-themed batting practice jerseys as Little Leaguers visit Wrigley Field
It's not often a champion graces the home clubhouse at Wrigley Field. The Jackie Robinson West Little League team visited the Chicago Cubs on Monday and the major league team honored its guests by wearing batting practice jerseys themed after JRW's own uniforms. Anthony Rizzo and Edwin Jackson showed the U.S. champion around the clubhouse, dugout and field. The kids also will throw a ceremonial first pitch (which should be massive) and sing "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" during the Seventh Inning Stretch.
Here are more scenes from JRW's visit to Wrigley:
So, there must have been friction in the Houston Astros organization between upper management and field management after all. The Astros announced Monday morning that manager Bo Porter has been fired. Coach Dave Trembley also has been canned, and coach Tom Lawless has been assigned the interim manager tag.
Reporter Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle beat the beat to the punch in announcing the move, adding this statement via Twitter by Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow:
Luhnow in statement: "I made this decision because I believe we need a new direction in our clubhouse."Tue, Sep 25:10 PM PDTLA Angels at HoustonPreview Game
What exactly is a "cry baby face"? We can only guess after the Oakland Athletics charged umpire Gerry Davis with making one at them in the midst of their most frustrating point of the 2014 season.
A's pitcher Scott Kazmir says Davis was reprimanded by Major League Baseball for being unprofessional during Oakland's loss Saturday night to the Los Angeles Angels, the third leg of a four-game series sweep. More damning than making faces, Kazmir questioned whether Davis being called out by his superiors affected how he called balls and strikes Sunday afternoon.
Kazmir walked four men in the second inning, two with the bases loaded.
Kazmir questioned home-plate umpire Gerry Davis’ professionalism after the game; and he and other A’s players said that Davis, the crew chief, had made “cry-baby faces” at Oakland’s dugout the night before and had been reprimanded for doing so.
Dustin Ackley's figurative hand — one home run and four RBIs — beat Bryce Harper's two solo home runs — and led the Seattle Mariners to a 5-3 victory against the Washington Nationals on Sunday. The Mariners avoided a three-game sweep at Safeco as a result, and also brought themselves within a half-game of the American League's second wild card spot.
Ackley struggled mightily for two seasons after being the second overall pick in 2009 and breaking into the majors with a strong rookie campaign in 2011. He's batting .260 with a .721 on-base plus slugging in 2014, a step up over his recent past.
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''He was the best college hitter in the (2009) draft,'' Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said of Ackley. ''Sometimes it just takes time.''
The Mariners had lost three in a row. They also had been 0-11 against the Nationals since the franchise moved from Montreal to Washington for the 2005 season.
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Manager Bob Melvin verbally unloaded on his team Sunday — at least for Bob Melvin, it was unloading — after the Oakland Athletics were swept in a four-game series against the Los Angeles Angels. The Athletics fell 8-1 in the series finale, putting them five games back of the Angels in the American League West. Oakland didn't score in 29 straight innings over the course of four games, from the sixth inning Thursday until the eighth inning Sunday, writes Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Other than that, skipper, how did you enjoy Angel Stadium?
"What can you say? It was embarrassing. Pathetic. We don't play like that. The last three games here are the worst I’ve seen this team play in... I can't remember how long. I feel bad for our fans to have to watch that.”