Mike Oz

  • Indians rookie Cody Anderson takes perfecto into seventh in second start

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 9 hrs ago

    So far, so good for Cleveland Indians rookie pitcher Cody Anderson.

    Anderson, a 24-year-old who the Indians chose in the 14th round of the 2011 draft, made his second career start Monday night against the Tampa Bay Rays and if taking a perfect game into the seventh inning is good, then give Anderson a round of applause.

    Grady Sizemore — the erstwhile Indian — broke up Anderson's bid for perfection with a seventh-inning homer. But Anderson's final line was just fine: eight innings, two hits, one run, no walks, two strikeouts and exactly 100 pitches inthe Indians' 7-1 win. And then there's this:

    Cody Anderson is 1st pitcher to take perfect game bid into 7th inning within first 2 career games since Juan Marichal in 1960. @EliasSports

    If Anderson can face the Rays for the rest of his career, he might just be a legend. His first start came against Tampa Bay too and in that one he pitched 7.2 scoreless innings.

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  • Chris Young is tired of Mike Trout being so darn good at baseball (Video)

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 9 hrs ago

    On two very similar plays, Trout sprinted toward the wall, jumped and caught what might be a double in a centerfield manned by a lesser player. The first one came in the third inning, the next happened in the fourth. Both times, they could have brought home a run for the Yankees had they fallen. And since the Angels beat the Yankees 4-1, Trout's catches were very important.

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    After the second one, Young was visibly upset and it produced this wonderful GIF.

    After the game, he was more complimentary of the reigning AL MVP.

    Chris Young: "I thought they were both hits. And then you remember Trout is out there. He’s been known to make quite a few web gems."

    Because this is Mike Trout we're talking about, he wasn't done there. He also launched his 20th homer of the season in the time between those two catches, further proving himself crucial to the Angels' win.

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  • Pablo Sandoval swings at a pitch nearly over his head — and he hits it

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 10 hrs ago

    What you see above is an R.A. Dickey knuckleball that crossed the plate at about the same height as Sandoval's head. Conventional wisdom might say "don't swing at that, this isn't a video game." But Sandoval's eyes got big and he took a cut at it. Not only that, but he put it in play. It wasn't a hit. Just your typical head-high groundout.

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    Because this is baseball and there are stats about everything , we learned that Sandoval's almost-over-his-head hack was something special. Take it away, ESPN Stats & Info:

    Pablo Sandoval grounded out in 2nd inn on a pitch that was 5.1 ft above the ground -- highest pitch put in play by any player in last 5 yrs.

    Congrats, Panda. Somewhere when this was happening, Vlad Guerrero smiled real big but didn't know why. The brethren of bad-ball hitters is strong. 

    Here's another look at the pitch with some context, because LOL, geez:

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    Say what you want about Sandoval, but the dude always entertains.

  • When an intentional walk goes awry, starring Ronald Belisario (Video)

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 11 hrs ago

    A counterpoint to that argument: Tampa Bay Rays reliever Ronald Belisario.

    Let us explain. Belisario was pitching for the Rays in the ninth inning Monday night against the Cleveland Indians. He had runners stationed at second and third with one out, so walking Michael Brantley to load the bases and set up a double play made sense. 

    [On this week's StewPod: Looking back at a fun week in baseball with Jeff Passan]

    As you can see in the highlight above, things didn't go as planned. Instead of an easy toss out of the zone,  Belisario skyed a ball toward the backstop, allowing Jason Kipnis to score from third base. Oops. Most intentional walk attempts don't go this wrong, oh but every once in a while. 

    The Indians would score four runs in the inning and turn a 3-1 lead into a 7-1 win

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  • The Phillies, finally, say they'll be embracing sabermetrics

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 19 hrs ago

    A change is coming to the Philadelphia Phillies, who are in last place, ready for a fire sale and without a long-term manager after Ryne Sandberg up and quit Friday because he was tired of losing.

    Andy MacPhail was announced Monday as the team's president-to-be and he says he's brining a culture change with him when he takes the reigns. MacPhail — a former GM of the Minnesota Twins and president of the Chicago Cubs and Baltimore Orioles — will take over at team president after the season. He's joining the club immediately as a special assistant to team president Pat Gillick and will take the post when Gillick re-retires once the 2015 season takes mercy on the Phillies and ends.

    [On this week's StewPod: Looking back at a fun week in baseball with Jeff Passan]

    And further:

  • Mike Napoli says ump ejected him for not picking up his bat

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 21 hrs ago

    But before you sweep this away as another tough day for Napoli (who is hitting .203) or another sign of Red Sox frustration (the AL East cellar isn't fun), there's actually a more interesting story here than a called third strike and an angry K victim.

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    If you listen to Napoli and manager John Farrell they'll tell you Napoli wasn't sent to the showers because he wasn't happy with the call. He was actually tossed, they say, because he didn't pick up his bat. Here's Napoli's explanation of what happened, via The Boston Herald's Scott Lauber:

    Summer's here and tempers are rising. Maybe we're just getting to the point in the baseball season where everybody needs a break?

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  • 'Arrow' star Stephen Amell gives Josh Donaldson's All-Star campaign a superhero boost (Video)

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 23 hrs ago

    With less than a week left in Major League Baseball's All-Star voting, we've reached peak campaign season. Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson is a deserving selection who spent virtually all of All-Star voting season in second place because of the Kansas City Royals voting juggernaut that had Mike Moustakas leading.

    But now Donaldson has a superhero on his side.

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    Amell and Donaldson met face-to-face for the first time Sunday, when the Blue Jays invited Amell to come out to batting practice. Proving superheroes can do it all, Amell hit a BP homer, as he promised he would if given the chance. 

    .@amellywood went deep in BP today! Nice work! pic.twitter.com/oegxbwhrVA

    Your move, Royals. Anybody in Kansas City have The Flash's number handy?

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  • Giants adopt rainbow avatar in support of gay marriage

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    The San Francisco Giants weren't the only ones on the Internet to adopt a rainbow avatar Friday. Many people, organizations and corporations — including @Yahoo — did so after the Supreme Court ruling that made gay marriage legal across the land. 

    But of the 30 MLB teams, only the Giants switched to a rainbow avatar. The Golden State Warriors, the Giants' Bay Area neighbors, were the only other team in the NFL, NBA or NHL to adopt the rainbow avatar.

    [On this week's StewPod: Looking back at a fun week in baseball with Jeff Passan]

    For the Giants, it makes sense for an obvious reason: San Francisco is one of the more liberal cities in the nation and that's no secret. But Friday is also the Giants' annual Pride Night at AT&T Park, which it turns out was incredibly well timed. 

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  • StewPod #6: Looking back at a wacky week in baseball with Jeff Passan

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    This is The StewPod, our weekly baseball podcast with a dash of pop culture. If you dig us, please subscribe on iTunes.

    We've reached summer, when the NBA and NHL seasons come to a close and baseball is the star of the sports world. And this year, baseball's time in the sun is proving a little wacky.

    The past week has seen Pete Rose's old gambling records getting exposed, A-Rod getting hit No. 3,000 then having to fight a ballhawk for the ball, Pablo Sandoval getting in trouble for bathroom Instagram use, the ongoing All-Star voting foolishness, wild fan catches and more.

    Here to discuss it all on this week's StewPod is Yahoo Sports baseball columnist Jeff Passan. Jeff's a guy who loves a good meal and has some pro wrestling knowledge tucked away in his brain, so we'll also have some fun with our "Important Questions" segment. Plus we'll get the scoop on Jeff's upcoming book, "The Arm." 

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  • Joe Kelly, who predicted he'd win Cy Young, demoted to Triple-A by Red Sox

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    Far be it for me to criticize someone for making a bold prediction — after all, I picked the Boston Red Sox to finish second in the AL East — but Joe Kelly is eating his words right about now, as news came Thursday that those same Boston Red Sox were sending the struggling 27-year-old starter to Triple-A.

    Kelly is 2-5 with a 5.67 ERA, which isn't great, but it's even worse when you consider that in February Kelly offered up the bold prediction that he'd win the AL Cy Young Award this season. Voluntarily, we might add.

    As The Stew's Mark Townsend documented at the time, via WEEI:

    After the radio interview, Kelly went upstairs to the media room and reiterated his stance to the assembled group of writers.

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