Big League Stew
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew1 hr ago
Welcome to The Walk Off, the nightly MLB recap from Big League Stew. Here we’ll look at the top performers of the night, show you a must-see highlight and rundown the scoreboard. First, we start with a game you need to know about.
The circumstances the Mets walked into this week were not easy. As the city of Miami and the Marlins organization mourned the tragic death of Jose Fernandez, the Mets had to balance their own emotions with taking care of business.
They managed to do so effectively. After losing the opener, New York bounced back to win the series, concluding with a 5-2 win on Wednesday night.
- Yahoo Sports Staff at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
Sorry, Colorado Rockies, your World Series trophy is in another castle. But you’ve got to have an ERA under four to get in.
The Rockies weren’t great this season, but they weren’t bad either — and since they’re often bad, 2016 was an encouraging step forward. Nolan Arenado continued to play like one of the best players in the league, Carlos Gonzalez had a nice season and a few of the young Rockies made positive impressions. It’ll be good enough for third place in the NL West.
Like we’ll do with every eliminated team in our Game Over series, we’re about to examine what went wrong for the White Sox, what went right, what’s the best 2016 memory, what they need to fix and what the future might hold.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
With Jake Arrieta pitching for the Cubs on Wednesday night, many were probably anticipating a quiet night from the Pirates offense. Instead, Pittsburgh erupted for seven runs on 10 hits in five innings against the reigning National League Cy Young award winner, and the night culminated with John Jaso hitting for the first cycle in the history of PNC Park.
Jaso did most of his damage against Arrieta. He singled in the second inning for his first hit. He connected for a three-run homer in the fourth inning, which broke a tie. In the fifth inning, Jaso added an RBI double. Then, with all eyes focusing on him in the seventh, he delivered an RBI triple against Cubs’ reliever Pedro Strop.
Talk about drama. The cycle-clinching triple was oozing with it.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew5 hrs ago
The Boston Red Sox got where many people expected on Wednesday night, clinching their third AL East title in the last 10 years, but the road they traveled to the top of baseball’s most volatile division wasn’t exactly predictable. And neither was their clincher.
The division crown was theirs after the Baltimore Orioles rallied to beat the Blue Jays 3-2 in Toronto on Hyun Soo Kim’s two-run homer, rendering the results of Boston’s game on Wednesday meaningless as far as the division title was concerned.
And good thing, because Boston blew a 3-0 lead, losing to the New York Yankees 5-3 on Mark Teixeira’s walk-off grand slam at Yankee Stadium. That spoiled the Red Sox moment to some degree, but the celebration was still on in the visitor’s clubhouse.
AL EAST CHAMPS!!! ???????????? pic.twitter.com/gIRXYIMwCr
— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) September 29, 2016
If everything goes the way it could for the Red Sox, they’ll have other moments to embrace and chances to celebrate in October.Thu, Sep 297:05 PM EDTBoston at NY YankeesPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew6 hrs ago
Retiring Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz is not only among baseball’s most recognizable players, he’s one of the most recognizable superstar athletes in the world. Between his infectious personality, bright smile and remarkable talents, Ortiz has always been and will certainly remain a man who’s in demand, because he commands attention and earns respect everywhere he goes.
Despite that visibility though, Ortiz was able to fool some fellow Bostonians recently when he donned an afro wig and dubbed himself “Donny” while serving as undercover Lyft driver. An entertaining video featuring Ortiz interacting with and then stunning several casual and even diehard Red Sox fans was released on Wednesday, and it’s definitely a must-see.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew7 hrs ago
Following yet another disappointing season, the Chicago White Sox have concluded the man in the dugout is not the problem. The White Sox are reportedly interested in bringing back Robin Ventura as the team’s manager for the 2017 season, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
The news comes as a bit of a surprise, as Ventura has failed to lead the White Sox to the playoffs in five seasons. The club came the closest in 2012, finishing second in the American League Central during Ventura’s first season at the helm. Since then, the White Sox have finished fifth, fourth and fourth in the division. Another fourth place finish is likely in 2016. In five seasons with the team, Ventura has compiled a 373-432 record.
While the White Sox are willing to bring back Ventura for another season, it’s unclear whether he wants to return. When asked about his situation Wednesday, Ventura said he enjoys his job, but will deal with his contract after the season.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew8 hrs ago
With the National League wild card race as tight as can be, the St. Louis Cardinals’ playoff hopes may depend solely on the arm of Mike Leake. If the 28-year-old hopes to keep the Cardinals in the hunt, he’ll have to do so against his former team, the Cincinnati Reds.
There will be no lack for narratives as Leake takes on his former club for the fourth time this season. Whether Leake can finally figure them out will be the focus of Yahoo Sports’ MLB Free Game of the Day on Wednesday. Leake and the Cardinals will take on Joey Votto and the Reds. The contest, which starts at 8:15 p.m. ET, can be streamed on Yahoo’s Sports Home, MLB index, video home and this very post. Local blackouts apply, per MLB rules.
The Cardinals are hoping the fourth time is a charm for Leake. Since leaving Cincinnati, Leake has not experienced success against his former team. In three starts this season, the Reds have pounded Leake for 16 earned runs over 17 1/3 innings. He’s given up 24 hits, and has struck out just seven batters in those starts.Thu, Sep 297:15 PM EDTCincinnati at St. LouisPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew8 hrs ago
St. Louis Cardinals prospect John Kilichowski will forever be the answer to a trivia question no one thought would exist even two months ago. During Wednesday’s instructional league game against the New York Mets, he was the pitcher who allowed a home run to Tim Tebow in Tebow’s first ever professional at-bat.
— Katie Johnson (@Katie_Johnson_) September 28, 2016
On the first pitch he saw, Tebow took a high-and-outside fastball from Kilichowski and basically tomahawked it over the fence in left-center field. It was an impressive feat of strength that left Tebow undeniably giddy as he sprinted around the bases and talked to the media after the game.
- Big League Stew at Big League Stew9 hrs ago
Can the team with baseball’s highest payroll actually turn themselves into an underdog? That was the case with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who somehow overcame a record number of injuries to push themselves into the postseason.
At multiple times during the regular season, you could have easily written the Dodgers off. The team lost starter Brett Anderson to injury before the season even started, demoted former standout Yasiel Puig to the minors and were without ace Clayton Kershaw for two months due to a back injury.
All of those issues could have held the Dodgers back. Instead, the team has won 90 games and captured its fourth-straight National League West title.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew10 hrs ago
The architect of the Chicago Cubs’ resurgence is going to stick around to enjoy the fruits of his labor. Team president Theo Epstein has agreed to a five-year deal to remain in the organization, the team announced Wednesday.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 28, 2016
Epstein joined the organization in 2011, and was tasked with turning around one of the worst franchises in the game. The rebuild may have taken a few seasons, but through shrewd trades and excellent drafts, Epstein has built the Cubs into baseball’s premier franchise. With Epstein’s initial contract set to expire following the 2016 season, it was no surprise the club wanted to keep him around.
Given Epstein’s track record, his price was not cheap.
The #Cubs have signed Theo Epstein to 5-year extension that’s expected to be worth in excess of $50 million.Thu, Sep 297:05 PM EDTChi Cubs at PittsburghPreview Game