Big League Stew
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew5 hrs ago
If you were curious what type of reaction Aroldis Chapman would receive upon his debut at Wrigley Field, wonder no more.
The hard-throwing left-hander had won over Cubs fans even before taking the mound in the ninth inning. By the time he struck out Avisail Garcia to wrap up a perfect inning and a Cubs 8-1 win over the White Sox, he’d whipped them into a frenzy.
Chapman’s off-the-field issues were not a consideration on this night, whether people like that thought or not. It was all about baseball and the overwhelming optimism Cubs fans obviously feel now that they’ve added Chapman as their closer.
The #Cubs fans going wild watching Chapman stroll to the mound, and no one is leaving the park, waiting to see the scoreboard readiings
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) July 28, 2016Thu, Jul 288:05 PM EDTChi White Sox at Chi CubsPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew7 hrs 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 St. Louis Cardinals are starting to show the resilience that has made them so dangerous in recent seasons.
For the third time in the last week, St. Louis rallied from a late-inning deficit to secure a needed win on Wednesday. It was by far their most impressive comeback to, as they toppled New York Mets closer Jeurys Familia’s and his streak of 52 consecutive saves to win 5-4 at Citi Field.
It’s the first time Familia has blown a save since July 30 of last season, so he nearly completed a calendar year unblemished. Familia’s streak was also the third longest in MLB history, so we’ve established here that the Cardinals had their work cut out for them.Thu, Jul 287:10 PM EDTSt. Louis at MiamiPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew8 hrs ago
In his third start off the disabled list, Pittsburgh Pirates ace Gerrit Cole looked like he’s ready to roll.
As seen in the MLB Free Game of the Day on Yahoo Sports, the 25-year-old right-hander went the distance in a 10-1 win against the Seattle Mariners, which marked his first career complete game at the major-league level.
Cole needed just 93 pitches to record his 27 outs. He allowed one earned run on three hits while walking none and striking out six. Needless to say, it was a true gem. However, he did require some assistance from his defense, which stepped up all night and provided some fancy outs at key times.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew11 hrs ago
The Stew’s Trade Deadline Digest recaps the day in news and rumors as MLB gets closer to the non-waiver trade deadline on Aug. 1. If you missed any of Wednesday’s action, we’re here to help you catch up with all the important links and tidbits .
MAKE IT HAPPEN: Offers for Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy have intensified. A number of clubs, including the Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers and New York Mets have been mentioned in rumors. [@jcrasnick]
KEEP GOING: Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Chris Archer just keeps going despite the trade rumors. [Tim Brown]
STILL LOOKING: The San Francisco Giants have shown interest in San Diego Padres pitcher Andrew Cashner. [@jonmorosi]
REACHING OUT: The Seattle Mariners are one of the teams that contacted the Cincinnati Reds about outfielder Jay Bruce. [@jcrasnick]
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew11 hrs ago
In April, the San Diego Padres set a record in offensive futility, becoming the first National League team to be shut out in the first three games of a season.
That was then, this is now.
As the month of July draws to a close, the Padres offense is now in the midst of one of the most impressive power surges ever seen in MLB.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew12 hrs ago
Over the years we’ve seen numerous circus catches from players as they tumble into the stands. Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Logan Morrison took things to a new level though on Wednesday afternoon after crashing over the wall and almost bringing the wall down with him to make a catch in foul territory at Dodger Stadium.
Morrison had a lot working against him. In addition to the fast approaching wall, Morrison was also fighting an unforgiving sun that would later cause Tampa Bay to botch a popup. Aside from that, Morrison was making his first start in nine days after dealing with a wrist injury that could have been easily aggravated.
Nonetheless, Morrison would not be denied of making the catch. The end result of which showed off incredible toughness and even more remarkable focus as he hit the wall, lost his balance and still caught and then held the ball while seemingly landing on his head or shoulder.
Check it out from a couple other angles.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew12 hrs ago
Major League Baseball has once again found a way to eradicate fun from the game. The league issued a warning to Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, telling the 25-year-old that he would be fined if he wears his Vin Scully spikes again.
A few days after wearing the cleats, Puig received a letter from the league according to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register. That letter stated that the outfielder would receive a $5,000 fine the next time he wore his Vin Scully spikes.
According to MLB senior vice president of standards and on-field operations Joe Garagiola Jr., the shoes violate MLB’s uniform policy. Curiously, the league’s Twitter page didn’t seem to have a problem with the cleats when Puig wore them.
These Vin Scully cleats are ????. pic.twitter.com/TQ3Im1NJ4e
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew12 hrs ago
For a while there, things looked bleak for the Pittsburgh Pirates. After a strong April, and a passable May, things bottomed out in June. The club went an awful 9-19 during the month.
During that stretch, some questioned whether the team’s run had come to an end. After many years of futility, the Pirates have become one of the best franchises in the game. With June’s awful play, their stretch of three straight consecutive playoff appearances was in jeopardy. On top of that, there were suggestions the team might be better off trading superstar outfielder Andrew McCutchen.
At the time, it was tough to argue with some of those sentiments. The Pirates’ record was 34-39 on June 23, putting them five games under .500. They were also five games out of a wild card spot in the National League. Maybe their magic had finally run out.
- Israel Fehr at Big League Stew14 hrs ago
Rock-paper-scissors is one of the all-time classic games. It remains the most democratic way of making coin-flip decisions, and the most fun too.
The Detroit Tigers are a team full of grown men, but they certainly haven’t forgotten their roots on the playground, as evidence by Ian Kinsler and Jose Iglesias going head-to-head in rock-paper-scissors before their game Wednesday afternoon in Boston, courtesy of Justin Verlander’s Instagram account:
A video posted by Justin Verlander (@justinverlander) on Jul 27, 2016 at 9:40am PDT
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew14 hrs ago
What you’re about to watch is the most wheeling-and-dealing episode of “Opening 25-Year-Old Baseball Cards,” which is just about perfect for trade-deadline week.
The guest is a great one: Baseball super agent Scott Boras, who knows a thing or 17 about negotiating deals. As he proves in the video, he also has an encyclopedic brain when it comes to baseball players.
I’m not going to spoil everything for you, but Boras essentially takes our wax-pack busting and turns it into something else entirely, by installing his own grading system on a moment’s notice. As you watch this, just know you’re watching a genius at work.