Big League Stew

  • Dodgers put four defenders on right side of infield — and it works

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew27 mins ago

    Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly took the term "defensive shift" to a new level on Friday night, successfully debuting an alignment we can honestly never recall seeing before.

    With the game tied in the 12th inning, San Diego loaded the bases against Dodgers reliever Kevin Correia with one out, setting the stage for left-handed swinging Seth Smith to be the hero. Because Smith tends to pull the ball , the Dodgers usually put on a standard shift with an extra infielder taking up shop in short right field during his plate appearances. In this case, though, Mattingly decided to tighten things up even more with the winning run 90 feet from home plate.

    Center fielder Andre Ethier was called in to the infield, which again is not all that unusual. Five man infields are used frequently in game-ending situations such as this one, because even a medium fly ball stands a good chance to score the winning run. It's a percentage play, with the extra infielder giving the defense a better chance to prevent the run.

    What was unusual here is how the extra infielder was used and how the defense was ultimately aligned.

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    Sat, Aug 30
    5:40 PM PDT
    LA Dodgers at San Diego
    Preview Game
  • Watch a Japanese baseball player try to hit a 186 mph fastball (Video)

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 day ago

    It's tough to figure out exactly what's going on in the video above because it's in Japanese, but we know the important stuff: That's former Nippon Pro Baseball home-run king  Takashi Yamasaki guesting on some sort of funny Japanese TV show.

    His goal is to try to hit a 186 mph fastball from a pitching machine. Yikes.

    You know how fast that is? It's so fast Yamasaki couldn't even swing before the ball passed him. It's so fast that all he could do was laugh. By all means, watch the video above, but check out this slow-motion GIF. Notice how everything is slow except the ball.

    After watching this, my life won't be complete until someone rounds up 20 of the best MLB hitters and makes them try.

    Mike Trout could do it, right?

    BLS H/N:

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