- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
In what feels like a now weekly occurrence, Atlanta Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons made a defensive play worthy of the highest possible praise on Wednesday night. Only this time, it doubled as a potential game saver, as Simmons' heroics prevented the game-tying run from crossing home in Atlanta's eventual 3-2 victory over the New York Mets.
It happened in the eighth inning with a runner on third, two outs and rookie Travis d'Arnaud at the plate. d'Arnaud hit a grounder deep into the hole at short, which forced Simmons to range about three steps into the outfield. That was not a problem for Simmons. However, the angle and his distance from first base made it seem like an impossible play for him to complete unless he pulled off some magic.
As we should have learned by now, Simmons is absolutely capable of creating magic.
In two fluid steps, Simmons snagged the ball and then launched into the air while twisting his body into an off-balance, mid-air throwing motion.Thu, Aug 284:10 PM PDTAtlanta at NY MetsPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
The Colorado Rockies were thankful they didn't have to face Madison Bumgarner again 24 hours after he held them without a baserunner into the eighth inning. Unfortunately for them, Buster Posey, who homered twice in Tuesday's game, was in San Francisco's lineup, and it was his bat that made the difference.
After Colorado rallied to tie the score in the ninth on Justin Morneau's RBI double, Posey turned on and tomahawked a Juan Nicasio offering, keeping it just inside the left-field foul pole for a two-run walk-off homer, which gave the Giants a needed 4-2 victory and manager Bruce Bochy the 1,600th win of his career. The walk-off blast was the second of Posey's career. His first came last season against the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 3.Thu, Aug 2812:45 PM PDTColorado at San FranciscoPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew6 hrs ago
Of all the final scheduled stops on Derek Jeter's retirement tour, none will hit closer to home than his final regular season visit to Comerica Park in Detroit.
Jeter, who moved to Michigan with his family at four years old and later attended Kalamazoo Central High School, was given the local hero treatment by the Tigers in a very well-planned pregame ceremony — arguably the best in his honor all season — prior to Wednesday night's game.
Among those invited and present on the field with Jeter were his parents, sister and also the newest star in his family, his young nephew, Jalen.
Not only was Jalen proudly decked out in his uncle's No. 2 uniform and Yankees cap, he was apparently there to be seen and remembered, and remembered he shall be. As the Jeter family was being introduced to the fans, Jalen provided the cutest moment of the night by tipping his cap to the crowd after he was announced, just like Uncle Derek has done hundreds of times during his Hall of Fame career.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew8 hrs ago
One-by-one, the Chicago Cubs are giving us a glimpse at their promising future. And one-by-one, we've seen flashes of future brilliance.
Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler, who inked a nine-year, $30 million deal with Chicago in 2012, became the latest building block to get the call from Triple-A Iowa. On Wednesday, he made his major league debut at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, and his impact was felt immediately. After Luis Valbuena led off Chicago's second inning with a home run, Soler stepped in for his first career at-bat and hammered Mat Latos' 2-1 fastball 423-feet to center field, making it back-to-back jacks for the Cubs.
In doing so, Soler became the first Cubs player to homer in his first at-bat since Starlin Castro on May 7, 2010. Ironically, that also came at Great American Ball Park.Thu, Aug 289:35 AM PDTChi Cubs at CincinnatiPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew11 hrs ago
In July, nearly seven years after former minor league catcher Johnathan Nathans' career was ended during a vicious and senseless onfield attack by former major leaguer Jose Offerman, a Connecticut jury awarded him $940,000 in damages after finding Offerman culpable for his actions.
Now comes word that Offerman's camp has officially filed an appeal of the federal court's ruling.
A jury last month awarded the money to former Bridgeport Bluefish catcher Johnathan Nathans, who says he suffered career-ending injuries when Offerman hit him in the head with a bat. Photos show a bat-wielding Offerman charging the mound after being hit by a pitch. But he denies swinging it at anybody.
Offerman's lawyers argue in court papers filed Tuesday that the jury improperly found his client liable for assault because he charged the mound, after determining he was not guilty of battery on the catcher.
Nathan's lawyers also are appealing, seeking damages from the Long Island Ducks, for whom Offerman was playing.
One way or the other, the remarkable journey of Jackie Robinson West Little League was due to end on Sunday. And just like we expected, they ended it with their heads held high, showing fight right until the end.
No, they were not able to overcome the undefeated team from Seoul, South Korea in the Little League World Series finals, falling 8-4 despite a furious sixth inning rally. But they gave a team that had outscored its first four opponents 34-13 everything it could handle and made sure they earned the title of world champions.
South Korea, which won its first LLWS world championship since 1985, took control of the game early, plating a run in the first inning on Jae Yeong Hwang's RBI double and another in the third inning on Hwang's RBI groundout.
Chicago would catch a big break in the third after South Korea was unable to get an out on a possible double play ball. However, with the bases loaded and one out, Seoul was able to bounce back with the gloves, making two really solid plays to escape with only one run allowed.
That would prove to be Chicago's best chance to tie or take the lead.
Your browser does not support iframes.
We live in a world where once something is said or written, it can't be taken back and certainly won't be ignored. And that counts double if it can be held against someone. Just ask rookie manager Matt Williams, who back in April made an unusual promise, stating that if his Washington Nationals went on a 10-game winning streak this season, he would dust off his old Babe Ruth impersonation and perform it before a game.
Well, the Nationals achieved their 10-game winning streak on Thursday, defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks 1-0 in what was also their fifth walkoff win in six games. But it sounds like Williams doesn't plan on following through on his promise, at least not in the near future.
"It's not appropriate. You talk to folks and you say, 'Sure, we would love to win 10 in a row.' At some point, it will be fun and appropriate, but not right now,"
Your browser does not support iframes.
Few things are guaranteed in life, and even fewer are guaranteed in baseball, but one thing we can always count on is a rookie receiving the silent treatment following his first career home run.
Honestly, it's almost serves as an official welcome to the big leagues. Sure the guys will interact and play catch. Maybe they'll even sit next to a rookie if no other seat is available, but if he's a position player and he doesn't yet have a home run, have they really completely accepted him?
It's an interesting thought, and it might actually be one that Arizona Diamondbacks rookie Jake Lamb has pondered.
If Washington Nationals right-hander Doug Fister was thinking about more than just baseball during his outing on Friday night, it would be perfectly understandable.
According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, Fister took the hill against the San Francisco Giants just two days after undergoing a procedure to remove cancerous skin from the left side of his neck.
The stitches from the procedure were visible as Fister labored through six innings - his shortest outing since July 21 - in the Nationals 10-3 loss to San Francisco. Fister was only on the hook for four of those runs, but took his fourth loss as Washington's 10-game winning streak was snapped.
Both Fister and manager Matt Williams confirmed the procedure when asked about the mark on Fister's neck, but both insisted that it had no baring on his outing.
“I had some skin cancer removed a couple days ago,” Fister said. “It had no effect tonight.”
“I just wasn’t sharp,” Fister said. “I left too many balls over the plate.”
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew4 days ago
The stars — or maybe we should say clouds — could not have aligned any better for Chicago Cubs fans on Saturday. Right around the time Jackie Robinson West Little League was taking the field in Williamsport to play for the United States championship, the Windy City skies opened up, causing a lengthy delay in the middle of their afternoon game against the Baltimore Orioles.
Oh, don't worry, the Cubs grounds crew had things under control this time around. But the conveniently timed delay did allow fans at home and even fans at Wrigley Field to turn their full attention to the "Pride of Chicago" as mayor Rahm Emmanuel calls them.
In fact, those at Wrigley quickly huddled around the many hundreds of televisions that line the concourse and remained there for the entire championship game.
The most fun watching baseball from Wrigley in some time. #JackieRobinsonWest