Big League Stew

  • The Grand Slam: Mariners survive two Bryce Harper home runs

    David Brown at Big League Stew11 hrs ago

     

     

     

    Dustin Ackley's figurative hand — one home run and four RBIs — beat Bryce Harper's two solo home runs — and led the Seattle Mariners to a 5-3 victory against the Washington Nationals on Sunday. The Mariners avoided a three-game sweep at Safeco as a result, and also brought themselves within a half-game of the American League's second wild card spot.

    Ackley struggled mightily for two seasons after being the second overall pick in 2009 and breaking into the majors with a strong rookie campaign in 2011. He's batting .260 with a .721 on-base plus slugging in 2014, a step up over his recent past.

     

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    ''He was the best college hitter in the (2009) draft,'' Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said of Ackley. ''Sometimes it just takes time.''

    The Mariners had lost three in a row. They also had been 0-11 against the Nationals since the franchise moved from Montreal to Washington for the 2005 season.

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  • Brandon Crawford momentarily saved Jake Peavy's no-hit bid with diving play

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew1 day ago

    On Saturday night at AT&T Park, Jake Peavy came up five outs short of pitching his first career no-hitter. Had he been able to cross the finish line with that historic milestone, he definitely would have owed a big thank you (and perhaps a dinner, or two) to Brandon Crawford, who made two incredible defensive plays that at the moment preserved his bid.

    In the fifth inning, Crawford ranged deep into the hole at shortstop to rob and retire Aramis Ramirez with a slick backhand and an Andrelton Simmons like throw across the diamond. That simply means strong and accurate from an angle that isn't conducive to either.

    He made it look remarkably easy, too, which added to its beauty. 

    Ahd that wasn't even his best play. 

    In the seventh, Crawford made one of the best defensive plays of the entire season, diving towards the middle of the diamond to grab Scooter Gennett's sizzling grounder. Crawford quickly collected himself and then flipped with his glove to Joe Panik to start a ridiculous 6-4-3 inning-ending double play.

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