Big League Stew
- Big League Stew staff at Big League Stew36 mins ago
The New York Mets have reached the point where they have a Matt Harvey problem again. And the 2016 version of the Matt Harvey problem is unlike any the Mets have faced with their ace thus far in his career.
It's not like last season when they were arguing about how many innings he'd pitch coming off Tommy John surgery. Or like when they clashed with him about his rehab plans after surgery. Nope, this one is all the way on the other side of the baseball spectrum. Matt Harvey is a mess and, so far, he hasn't been able to fix himself.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew1 hr ago
Talk about a long shot. If the Major League Baseball season ended today, Texas Rangers rookie Nomar Mazara would finish the year with the longest home run of the season.
Mazara accomplished the feat Wednesday against the Los Angeles Angels. In the top of the second inning, Mazara belted an 83 mph cutter from Angels starter Hector Santiago deep into the upper deck in right field for a solo shot. The ball traveled an incredible 491 feet, making Mazara's blast the longest hit this season.
It's early, of course, and Mazara could eventually lose this accomplishment. That said, hitting a ball 491 feet is no easy task. And while Mazara has proven himself to be a tremendous player thus far, the odds that he would hit the longest home run of the season had to be astronomical.
- Israel Fehr at Big League Stew1 hr ago
To the chagrin of baseball fans everywhere, the Vin Scully farewell tour will not include the All-Star game.
Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated writes that Scully, who is in his 67th and final season calling Dodgers games, has declined an invitation from Fox to take part in their broadcast of the upcoming Midsummer Classic. The network made it clear to Scully they were willing to accommodate him and proposed a number of options to get him in the booth.
With the game in San Diego, there was some hope Scully would be willing to come down from Los Angeles, but even a short trip wasn't enough to get him to change his answer.
Scully's reasoning lines up with his principles: he doesn't want to take any attention away from the players who will take the field July 12 at Petco Park representing their respective leagues.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
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It's still early, but the Philadelphia Phillies have easily been the most surprising team in baseball. Many projected the club to be among the worst teams in the majors prior to the start of the year. Instead, they are 25-21, and sit just three games out of first place in their division.
While the Phillies have shown they have more talent than most people expected, the club occasionally has to resort to clever tricks in order to get ahead. The team proved as much Wednesday against the Detroit Tigers, pulling off a rare steal of home.
Andres Blanco steaks home. pic.twitter.com/p57KJmJ5vO
Anyone who has played Little League will understand what happened here. With men on first and third, the Phillies called for a steal of second base. In doing so, they decided to utilize one of the oldest tricks in the baseball book.
- Will Laws, PointAfter at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
Any day now, Major League Baseball will reveal its first fan voting update for the 2016 All-Star game in San Diego. It might seem too early to consider who deserves to earn bids to the Midsummer Classic, but online fan voting commenced on April 24.
One can debate the merits of that starting point, but since the ballot boxes have been stuffed for more than a month now, it’s high time to discuss which players have matured into All-Star caliber performers this year.
Though Weekly Rotation, brought to you by PointAfter, usually ranks five baseball-related things, the format is being mixed up a bit this week. Like some clubs occasionally need to stretch out to a six-man rotation to cruise through particularly grueling sections of their schedule, Weekly Rotation will instead highlight six players who deserve All-Star calls: two pitchers and four batters.
Note: All statistics are accurate as of games played through May 24.
2016 Stats: .346/.415/.622 slash line, 54 hits, MLB-best four triples, 8 HRs in 44 games
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
Frisco RoughRiders manager Joe Mikulik is known for one thing. No, it's not his 11-year minor-league baseball career, or the fact that he has a .520 winning percentage in 18 seasons as a minor-league manager. Anyone would be proud of those accomplishments.
Instead, the manager of the Texas Rangers Double-A affiliate is defined by something far more sinister. Any time he's ejected from a game, he completely loses his mind.
Mikulik was at it again Tuesday. In a game against the Tulsa Drillers, Mikulik went on a three-minute tirade after being ejected from the contest.
The whole thing started after the umps enforced the new slide rule at second base. The umps ruled double-play, and that sent Mikulik into a rage. There's a lot going on during this tirade, so we figured it might be easier if we just broke it down by event.
This ejection features the following:
- Liz Roscher at Big League Stew5 hrs ago
Shifts are the best or worst thing in baseball, depending on which side you're on. They're great when your favorite team uses them, but less so when they stop your favorite team from getting on base.
Regardless, they're a useful weapon for teams to employ against batters who routinely hit to a certain area. The San Diego Padres, who need every bit of help they can get, tried an outfield shift on Tuesday night during their game against the San Francisco Giants. It didn't go so well.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Padres decided to try an outfield shift against Giants third baseman Matt Duffy. They moved center fielder John Jay into right center field, moved right fielder Matt Kemp into far right field, and had left fielder Melvin Upton Jr. move to left center.LiveSan Diego1 - 3San FranciscoFollow Game
- Liz Roscher at Big League Stew6 hrs ago
This past offseason, the San Francisco Giants made two big free agent signings to replenish their starting rotation. They snatched up Johnny Cueto, who had spent 2015 with the Kansas City Royals and the Cincinnati Reds, and Jeff Samardzija, who pitched for the Chicago White Sox in 2015. They joined Giants' rotation mainstays Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain, and Jake Peavy.
Signing Cueto and Samardzija wasn't without risk. Their 2015 seasons had been less-than-ideal — Cueto had a 4.76 ERA with the Royals, and Samardzija a 4.96 ERA with the White Sox — and bounce-back years were far from a sure thing. But a quarter into the 2016 season, and in the middle of a stretch of games where they've won 12 of 13, the Giants' free agent pitchers are their greatest strength, while Cain and Peavy have struggled, and struggled mightily.
- Liz Roscher at Big League Stew8 hrs ago
When a baseball is pitched and it comes off the bat, a player isn't always sure where it's going to land. Sometimes it hangs up there just long enough for a fielder to get to it. Or it looks like it's going to be a fly ball, and instead it hits the cheering crowd. But sometimes the opposite happens, and a no-doubt homer hits the wall and the player is left scrambling for safety. That's what happened to Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig on Tuesday, and he paid the price.
In the bottom of the sixth inning of Tuesday night's Dodgers-Cincinnati Reds game, Puig came up to bat with one out and men on the corners. Puig sent the first pitch from Reds reliever Daniel Wright high in the air, sailing toward the right field wall. It looked like it might be out of the park, and Puig certainly thought so too, as he took an extra second after he swung to watch it.Wed, May 2510:10 PM EDTCincinnati at LA DodgersPreview Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew14 hrs ago
Welcome to The Walk Off, the nightly MLB recap from Big League Stew. Here we'll look 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.
Opposing pitchers should already know this, but don't take the Chicago Cubs offense lightly this year. In case they needed the reminder, the Cubs were up to their usual antics again Tuesday, this time against Michael Wacha and the St. Louis Cardinals.
Chicago wasted no time getting to work. Dexter Fowler led off the contest with a double. He moved over to third on a groundout by Jason Heyward.
Kris Bryant then struck, driving in Fowler on a single. Anthony Rizzo and Ben Zobrist would each reach, loading the bases. That was followed up with a Jorge Soler walk, forcing in another run.