Big League Stew
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
It always helps to have a little bit of devil magic on your side. The St. Louis Cardinals kept themselves firmly in the National League wild card race with a huge, walk-off win over the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday. Problem is, the hit that won the game may not have been called properly.
With two outs in the ninth inning, catcher Yadier Molina stepped to the plate with a man on first. On the 2-0 pitch, Molina lined a ball deep to left field. The ball bounced off the ground just prior to reaching the wall, and appeared to hit the area one of the advertisements just above the wall in left field. The runner on first base came around to score, and it looked as though the Cardinals won the game.
Not so fast. There’s actually some uncertainty as to whether the area above the left field wall is in play. According to some, Molina’s hit should have resulted in a ground-rule double.
WHAT DO I BELIEVE HERE. pic.twitter.com/cjBty3rxLh
— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) September 30, 2016
- Jay Busbee at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
ATLANTA, Ga.–There’s a strange vibe at Turner Field these days that has nothing to do with the baseball-like product that the Braves are playing.
The team’s touting a countdown of the final days at its perfectly serviceable stadium while pumping up the hope and promise of next year’s home, the still-unfinished SunTrust Park, and it’s … unsettling. The most charitable view is that it’s like a high school senior walking through the halls crowing how much more awesome next year’s gonna be at college. At its worst, it’s the awkward tone-deafness of a guy singing the praises of his new girlfriend while the old one’s still in the apartment they shared for years. Either way, the Turner Field story isn’t so much a story of what was, but what could have been.
- Liz Roscher at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
The Los Angeles Dodgers have been yanking their rookie pitcher Julio Urias around a bit this month. At the beginning of September, Urias was starting for the Dodgers. Then, on September 13, manager Dave Roberts said that they’d move Urias to the bullpen after his next start, meaning his start at Yankee Stadium would be his last of the season. But that’s not quite true, since the Dodgers have slotted him back into the rotation on Thursday, 16 days after they moved him to the bullpen.
You can watch Urias make his actual final start of the season when the Dodgers face the San Diego Padres, and you can watch it for free because it’s Yahoo Sports’ MLB Free Game of the Day! You can stream the game on Yahoo’s Sports Home, MLB index, video home and this very post. First pitch is at 9:10 p.m. ET. Local blackouts apply, per MLB rules.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew7 hrs ago
This is The StewPod, our baseball podcast with a dash of pop culture. If you dig the show, please subscribe and review us on iTunes.
As baseball still processesthe shocking death of Jose Fernandez, this week’s StewPod offers you a new perspective on the life of Fernandez.
It belongs to Pedro Martinez, the Hall of Fame pitcher and analyst for MLB Network’s “MLB Tonight,” who had built a friendship with Fernandez since his emergence as one of the best pitchers in the game. In fact, Martinez says, he was looking forward to going fishing with Fernandez soon.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew10 hrs ago
It probably wasn’t the greatest moment of Jose Fernandez’s career by the usual baseball standards, but God, if he didn’t love that night in 2013 against the Atlanta Braves when he smacked his first career home run.
He was a pitcher, so this was a big deal. He was a 20-year-old rookie, so this was a thing of dreams. And he had a big fun-loving personality, so this was a moment he wanted to watch.
He watched that homer so long the Braves felt like they needed to fight him. The benches cleared. People yelled at and pushed each other. At one moment, if you looked off the side, you saw Fernandez, a big, happy, smiling face among the angry ballplayers shouting at each other about a perceived slight of their unwritten code.
This was Jose Fernandez. He had fun playing baseball and didn’t apologize for it, even if the tired ol’ unwritten rules frowned on such things.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew11 hrs ago
Just how eager are Chicago Cubs fans to break the 108-year World Series drought? Eager enough that one fan has already etched “World Series Champions” and “Curse Broken” onto his body in tattoo form. The Cubs, of course, won’t play their first playoff game until next week.
That didn’t stop this dude Noel from Des Moines, who answered a call from radio station 1460 KXNO, which was looking for a Cubs fan brave enough to predict the World Series in a far more permanent way than us baseball pundits. The Cubs ARE the World Series favorites, but this is nonetheless a fate-tempting exercise.
Here’s how the tattoo looks, followed by a video from the radio station:
Now, the Cubs are playing for more than just 108 years of history and breaking the goat curse and every person on the North Side who has lived their entire life without seeing a World Series winner. Now, they’re planning for this dude Noel in Des Moines and his leg tattoo.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew12 hrs ago
Jose Fernandez was remembered at a candlelight vigil Wednesday at Alonso High School in Tampa, the school he attended, the school where he became a baseball star. And now, the school says, something unthinkable has happened.
Someone stole one of Fernandez’s high-school jerseys that was on display in his old dugout during the vigil. The news comes from Anastasia Dawson of the Palm Beach Post, who says the school is “unbelievably sad.”
Alonso ball coach: boggles my mind someone would tarnish what we did last night for Jose. Fernandez jersey missing pic.twitter.com/Vl0Sl7A5Wg
— Anastasia Dawson (@adawsonwrites) September 29, 2016
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew12 hrs ago
A-Rod’s back in the postseason! And, no, this has nothing to do with the New York Yankees and their teeny-tiny playoff hopes.
Alex Rodriguez is, in fact, returning to Fox Sports for a stint as a postseason analyst. The news comes from A-Rod himself, since he’s media now:
— Alex Rodriguez (@AROD) September 29, 2016
This will be his return to baseball after retiring from the Yankees in August, ending a 22-year MLB career filled with controversy, awards and 696 homers.
- Liz Roscher at Big League Stew13 hrs ago
Baseball and bad weather do not mix. Right now, no one knows that better than Detroit Tigers rookie Michael Fulmer. A long rain delay during the Tigers’ game against the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday cost him the chance to qualify for the AL ERA title, which would have made him the first rookie to lead either league in ERA since 1976, when the Tigers’ own Mark Fidrych led the AL with a 2.34 ERA in 250.1 innings.
Before his start on Wednesday, Fulmer had a 2.95 ERA — lowest in the league — and had pitched 155.2 innings, leaving him just 6.1 innings short of the 162 innings he needs to qualify for the ERA title. He managed just 3.1 innings against the Indians, allowing one run through three innings before a 45-minute rain delay. He surprisingly came back to pitch the fourth inning, and it didn’t go well. He got a groundout but allowed two singles (both would come around to score) before manager Brad Ausmus pulled him from the game.
- Liz Roscher at Big League Stew13 hrs ago
Every now and then, a player hits a home run that is so huge, so ridiculously enormous, that it feels like your brain has split into a million pieces and every brain piece is dancing for joy in your head. There are a few guys in the majors who can hit homers like that: Mark Trumbo, Giancarlo Stanton… but how about Hunter Renfroe?
Renfroe is an outfield prospect for the San Diego Padres who was called up on September 21. And just a handful of games into his major league career, he’s already making a name for himself. On Wednesday, he hit a towering, earth-shattering home run at Petco Park that landed where so few homers have landed before: the roof of Western Metal Supply Co.
Renfroe did it in the third inning of the Padres’ game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. With two runners on, Dodgers hurler Jose De Leon threw him just two pitches: a 78 mph curveball for a ball, and a 93 mph fastball that was down and outside the zone.
Renfroe went down to get that fastball, gave a mighty upward swing, and then sent it into the stratosphere.
It looked like it might never come down, and when it finally did, it landed in the crowd standing on the roof of Western Metal Supply Co.