On Saturday night at AT&T Park, Jake Peavy came up five outs short of pitching his first career no-hitter. Had he been able to cross the finish line with that historic milestone, he definitely would have owed a big thank you (and perhaps a dinner, or two) to Brandon Crawford, who made two incredible defensive plays that at the moment preserved his bid.
In the fifth inning, Crawford ranged deep into the hole at shortstop to rob and retire Aramis Ramirez with a slick backhand and an Andrelton Simmons like throw across the diamond. That simply means strong and accurate from an angle that isn't conducive to either.
He made it look remarkably easy, too, which added to its beauty.
Ahd that wasn't even his best play.
In the seventh, Crawford made one of the best defensive plays of the entire season, diving towards the middle of the diamond to grab Scooter Gennett's sizzling grounder. Crawford quickly collected himself and then flipped with his glove to Joe Panik to start a ridiculous 6-4-3 inning-ending double play.
The past 24 hours are starting to feel like July 31 all over again.
With the deadline for postseason roster eligibility looming on Sunday, a handful of teams have made last minute deals to bolster their roster for the stretch run and a potential postseason appearance. The latest to join that group are the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers, who according to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal made a significant upgrade to their bullpen on Sunday by acquiring Jonathan Broxton from the division rival Cincinnati Reds.
Broxton, who at one time was a dominant closer for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Kansas City Royals, is having a career season in a set up role for Cincinnati. Over 48 1/3 innings, the 30-year-old right-hander owns a 1.86 ERA and 1.01. Though it should be noted he's struggled a bit in August, posting a 5.23 ERA over 11 appearances.
That his overall ERA remains sparkling speaks to how dominant he was over the first four months.
Here's another taste.
Jonathan Broxton has held opponents scoreless in 43 of his 51 appearances.
In a pitching duel to end all pitching duels, Chukyo High School and Sotoku High School were held scoreless for days — literally — during a semifinal matchup at the 59th National High School Rubber Baseball Tournament in Japan.
It wasn't until the 50th inning — which took place on Sunday morning, four days after the game had started — that Chukyo finally broke through for three runs. Fortunately for them, and pretty much everyone involved, that would hold up, allowing them to advance to the finals later on Sunday.
Amazingly and ridiculously, both starting pitchers went the distance during the marathon. Chukyo starting pitcher Taiga Matsui threw 709 pitches and allowed 26 hits over his 50 innings.
“This game was the physically hardest ever for me," Matsui said after the semifinal game. "But I showed my (fighting) spirit. As my teammates scored three runs (in the 50th inning), I was able to throw in a relaxed manner in the bottom of the inning. Ishioka was a good rival for me.”
His counterpart, Jukiya Ishioka of Sotoku, totaled 689 pitches and allowed 22 hits.
After being shut out in consecutive games by the arch-rival Los Angeles Angels, the Oakland A's are adding some offensive thump ahead of the postseason eligibility deadline.
On Sunday morning, the team announced they've acquired designated hitter Adam Dunn from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for a minor league pitcher.
#Athletics acquire Adam Dunn and cash considerations from the Chicago White Sox for minor league pitcher Nolan Sanburn.
Oakland was reportedly on Dunn’s no-trade list, but he's decided to waive his veto power to play for a contender. He's never appeared in the postseason during his 14-year major league career. Despite the A's falling to four games back in the AL West on Saturday night, they still own a four-game cushion in the AL wild-card race.
Dunn, 34, won't provide much by way of batting average. Through 435 plate appearances this season, he's hitting .220/.340/.433. He can still dial up the long ball though, with 20 homers over the first five months.Tue, Sep 25:10 PM PDTChi White Sox at MinnesotaPreview Game
The story of Jaheim Benton and his return from the Little League World Series without a place to truly call home has opened some eyes and certainly tugged on a few heartstrings. So much so, there are already reports of people reaching out to his family to help cover their expenses so they can reunite under one roof.
According to ABC 7, one Chicago business owner has gone as far as to offer paying one full year of rent for Benton's family as they attempt to get back on their feet.
Spencer Leak, Jr., from Leak and Sons Funeral Home in Chatham, was moved by Jaheim's story. The Leak family made a generous gift on Friday: a year's worth of rent for the Little Leaguer's family.
"I would hope that this rent turns into a mortgage that turns into home ownership for them," said Leak Jr. "We want our little superstar to have a roof over his head because that's what he is. He's a superstar."
The Kansas City Royals are cooling off this weekend and the Detroit Tigers have taken advantage so far, taking two of their first three games against the Chicago White Sox. On Saturday, Detroit split a day-night doubleheader with Chicago, losing the opener 6-3 after striking out 13 times against Chris Sale, before rebounding to win the nightcap 8-4.
Making his major league debut, 23-year-old right-hander Kyle Ryan tossed six scoreless innings for Detroit. Meanwhile, his offense jumped on debuting White Sox hurler Chris Bassitt for five runs in the first four innings. Ian Kinsler did most of the damage, singling home one run in the third and two more in the fourth. He finished with three hits.
With the deadline for postseason eligibility coming up on Sunday, the Baltimore Orioles have announced the 11th-hour acquisition of outfielder Alejandro De Aza from the Chicago White Sox to help fill out their bench for the September stretch and their potential postseason run.
To explain the significance of adding De Aza before that deadline, all 30 MLB teams have a deadline of August 31 to have an added player be playoff-eligible. On September 1, roster’s can expand from 25 player’s to 40, but any player added to the roster after August 31 isn’t eligible for the postseason roster.
It's one of those baseball rules that tends to fly under-the-radar, but it creates a sense of urgency for general managers who might need to fill a hole that opens up post non-waiver trade deadline.
De Aza, 30, is hitting only .246/.312/.358 across the board in 435 plate appearances this season. He's also collected five home runs to go along with 31 RBIs and 15 stolen bases. In other words, he's not a difference-making hitter, but that's not a need for the Orioles anyway.
We take a break from your regularly scheduled baseball blogging to bring you the happiest and most exuberant Chicago White Sox fan on Planet Earth.
We don't know who he is or where he's from, but we do know he's happy to be at U.S. Cellular Field on a Saturday afternoon.
Also, dancing seems to be pretty high on his list of favorite things in life, and with moves like his, who can blame him?
Check out his dance exhibition as the Comcast SportsNet Chicago camera spotted him just prior to the seventh inning. He certainly caught the attention of broadcasters Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone with what appears to be his variation of 'The Robot.' There are a few other moves mixed in there that are a little more difficult to identify. Perhaps he's into disco as well? Or maybe they are his own creation.
Either way, we applaud the performance, but we'd still give the edge to the young Dodgers fan, who earlier this month broke it down at Dodger Stadium and received a little play-by-play from Vin Scully.
Atlanta Braves left-hander Jonny Venters was 15 months removed from his second Tommy John surgery when he felt like his rehab was hitting a wall last week. Unable to elevate his pitches beyond 80 mph, Venters visited Dr. James Andrews for a recheck on Thursday, and the news had to feel like a punch to the gut.
The results of an MRI revealed that Venters had suffered a third tear of the ulnar collateral ligament, meaning the 29-year-old reliever will require a third Tommy John surgery in order to continue his career.
"I think [Dr. Andrews] was surprised that it failed so early," Venters said. "It wasn't like I was throwing in games or anything like that. I think it was one of those things that it was going to fail no matter what. I think we did everything right with the training staff and my therapy and throwing program. I think we did everything for it to succeed. I just think it was one of those things where it was going to fail no matter what."Tue, Sep 24:10 PM PDTPhiladelphia at AtlantaPreview Game
Oakland A's center fielder Coco Crisp has never been afraid to sell out or risk bodily harm in order to make a difference making play in the field. With that in mind, and with the stakes undeniably higher this weekend during their series against the Los Angeles Angels, it should come as no surprise that Crisp was willing to crash and burn in hopes of bringing back a home run ball off the bat of Chris Iannetta.
The incredible effort nearly paid off, too. Crisp actually had the ball in his glove momentarily. However, the jolt from crashing into the wall knocked the ball loose, allowing it to harmlessly fall over the fence for a two-run homer that opened the scoring in the Angels eventual 4-0 win.Tue, Sep 25:10 PM PDTLA Angels at HoustonPreview Game