- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew1 hr ago
The morale in the Oakland A's clubhouse is high after general manager Billy Beane cemented his belief that he has a championship ballclub by acquiring Boston Red Sox ace Jon Lester before Thursday's trade deadline. It also doesn't hurt that in the same deal, Beane brought back clubhouse favorite Jonny Gomes, who was a big part of their postseason run in 2012.
The downside, of course, is the trade cost them one of their superstars in Yoenis Cespedes, but Beane's willingness to move a superstar to make the team more complete sends a positive message to those who remain.
The excitement stemming from the trade was evident on Friday as the club anticipated the arrival of Lester and Gomes. And once they did arrive in the clubhouse, they gave them a very special and patriotic welcome.
So weird seeing Gomes and Lester walk into clubhouse right now with Red Sox bags. Someone out Hail to the Chief on clubhouse stereo.
A Presidential welcome even.
I wasn't suggesting that. Someone actually put that on the stereo.
Hit the music!LiveNY Yankees3 - 4BostonFollow Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
It isn't the absolute worst-case scenario for San Francisco Giants right-hander Matt Cain, but his season is in serious jeopardy after being diagnosed with bone chips in his ailing pitching elbow that will ultimately require surgery.
Three surgeons, including Dr. James Andrews, made the recommendation after examining him this week. Now Cain faces the difficult decision of having the surgery right away, or putting it off until the offseason and attempting to pitch through the discomfort for the next two-plus months.
“There’s a good bit of bone chips in there,” Cain said. “We’re trying to figure out whether (surgery) is sometime soon or towards the end of the year. A lot of it depends on what the elbow is going to tell me.”
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Allow us to take this very brief break from staring at the computer and/or television waiting for any kind of trade deadline news — we might even settle for what Jon Lester had for dinner — to bring you a special video presentation on Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre.
It's not a career retrospective, because Beltre's still going strong in his 17th big league season. It's not a top ten countdown of his greatest defensive plays, because that would obviously require much longer than the 23 seconds allotted. It's not even a video of Beltre and his son taking batting practice at Globe Life Park, although we wouldn't complain about that either.
No, this video is actually a history lesson on just how little Adrian Beltre appreciates having his head touched by anyone, whether it be a teammate, an opponent or basically any human being walking the face of the earth.
He does not like it. He may harm you if you try, so it's necessary that you watch this video for these three important reasons:LiveTexas1 - 12ClevelandFollow Game
Don't let the final images on Wednesday night fool you. Matt Kemp is still a Dodger despite having his jersey ripped off by teammates following the game. That's just how baseball teams celebrate these days, and Kemp gave them plenty of reason with his 10th inning walkoff single that downed the Atlanta Braves 3-2.
The game-winner was Kemp's third hit of the game. He homered leading off the second, singled in the sixth and walked for good measure in the eighth. Kemp also had three hits in Tuesday's win over the Braves — including two home runs and four RBIs — and is hitting .486 (17-for-35) over his last nine games. Needless to say, he's locked in, and the Dodgers will be quite content to hold on and hope for a lot more down the stretch.LiveMilwaukee3 - 0St. LouisFollow Game
Despite trading Justin Masterson to the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday afternoon, the Cleveland Indians still have a legitimate ace on their roster. His name is Corey Kluber, and he continued to cement his ace status with a dominant and historic outing against the Seattle Mariners.
The 28-year-old right-hander needed only 85 pitches to throw his first career complete-game shutout, and that incredible efficiency put him in elite company.
Corey Kluber threw an 85-pitch shutout tonight against Seattle. Only the seventh blanking on 85 or fewer pitches since turn of millennium.
The previous six: Aaron Cook (81), Jeff Karstens (83), Aaron Cook (79), Rich Harden (81), Roy Halladay (83), Jon Lieber (78). Cook twice!
More amazing, Kluber faced one batter over the minimum in nine complete innings for his second consecutive start, which actually rewrote the MLB history books.
Corey Kluber 1st pitcher in MLB history to face 28 batters or fewer in back-to-back starts of at least 9 IP.
It's only natural that Manny Machado drew comparisons to Brooks Robinson upon debuting with the Baltimore Orioles as a third baseman. What's impressive though is that he's actually doing his part to live up to the lofty expectations that go along with such comparisons, especially on the defensive side.
A little over a year ago, Machado really caught our attention with an amazing play at Yankee Stadium that looked like it came directly from Robinson's classic highlight reel. With his momentum taking him away from the field, Machado flagged a ground ball down and gathered himself to make a strong and accurate throw from deep into foul territory.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew2 days ago
The Pittsburgh Pirates have been playing terrific baseball of late, surging from fourth place in the NL Central to second place, just two games behind the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers. That said, you might think they were still mired somewhere in the middle of 21 straight losing seasons if you happened to catch their epic baserunning blunder(s) during their 7-5 loss to the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday afternoon.
In one sequence, the Pirates somehow turned a walk that would have loaded the bases with one out, into a rally-killing, inning-ending double play that took all of us back to our Little League days.
It happened in the sixth inning with Travis Snider on second base and Gaby Sanchez on third. The eighth place batter, Chris Stewart, drew the walk and started his routine jog to first base. However, during this time, Snider wandered too far off second base, which he later admitted happened because he thought the bases were already loaded.LivePittsburgh0 - 0ArizonaFollow Game
Let the speculation begin.
Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki — yes, he's still with the Rockies — is currently on the disabled list nursing a thigh injury, but he was still turning heads on Sunday afternoon. Not on the field, of course, but for making a rather curious appearance at Yankee Stadium to watch New York take on the Toronto Blue Jays.
Troy Tulowitzki at the Yankees game today in an Arrested Development shirt (original was deleted) pic.twitter.com/lBwZNrCseb
On Saturday, the Denver Post reported that Tulowitzki was headed to Philadelphia to visit with Dr. William Meyers, a surgeon who specializes in sports injuries. That explains why he's on the east coast. But the fact that he made time to visit New York, and, more specifically, Yankee Stadium, is notable.
In one of the stranger baseball stories we've heard this season, several Houston Astros players have anonymously expressed displeasure to the media over the fact that Mark Appel, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 draft, was promoted to Double-A Corpus Christi on Saturday despite posting a 9.74 ERA and 1.92 WHIP in 44 1/3 innings at High-A Lancaster.
Apparently, there's also some discontent over Appel being in the clubhouse on Sunday morning after he was invited to Minute Maid Park to throw a bullpen session in front of Astros coaches and front office personnel.
Jose de Jesus Ortiz of Ultimate Astros provided more details on Twitter.
Mark Appel was brought into the clubhouse early, leaving long before most of the players arrived. A few saw him, though.
"It's (expletive) unbelievable," an Astros player just said out of the blue about Mark Appel being allowed throw a bullpen.
Let's just put it this way, folks, the fact that Appel was brought here has upset more than a few players.LiveToronto1 - 1HoustonFollow Game
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Lost in the craziness that has been Major League Baseball this weekend was a monumental occurrence for New York Yankees outfielder Ichiro Suzuki. Well, monumental relative to his recent production anyway.
The 40-year-old veteran actually entered play on Friday homerless in his first 244 plate appearances this season and 324 overall. But that changed during his third inning at-bat against Toronto Blue Jays starter Mark Buerhle. On a 1-1 pitch, Ichiro got on the board, lining a three-run homer to the short porch in right field to give New York its first lead and decisive blow in a 6-4 victory.
A big moment and meaningful hit that worked the Yankee Stadium crowd into frenzy. However, the best reaction in the house belonged to Derek Jeter, who feigned a stunned look and then gave Ichiro the silent treatment upon his entry the dugout, only to bust out a huge smile.
So very well played, Mr. Jeter.