Big League Stew
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew1 hr ago
Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout may rewrite the entire baseball history book before he walks away from baseball, but for now he'll have to settle on joining baseball's most notable triple digit club younger than any other player in history.
With his sixth-inning two-run home run off Houston Astros starter Roberto Hernandez, Trout reached 100 home runs for his career. That alone is actually pretty remarkable considering he's just 23 years and 253 days old. However, Trout had already surpassed the 100 stolen base mark — he's at 104 to be exact — which officially makes him the youngest player ever to join the 100 home run and 100 stolen base club.
The previous mark, by the way, was held by another famous player who had a noteworthy night on Friday. He would be none other than New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez, who reached the 100/100 club at 23 years old and 309 days old.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
As Alex Rodriguez closes in on another home run milestone, he's leaving very little doubt that he's still among the most powerful and productive hitters in MLB.
On Friday night at Tropicana Field, the New York Yankees slugger connected for career home runs No. 657 and 658, which moved him to within two of Willie Mays for fourth place on the all-time home run list. If that wasn't enough, he also came through in the eighth inning with a go-ahead RBI single, which held up as the difference in New York's 5-4 victory.
It was a breakthrough game for A-Rod on several levels. But purely from a power perspective, it proved that he can still change a game at any time with one swing.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew5 hrs ago
Boston Red Sox outfielder Hanley Ramirez is off to a blazing start this season. The 31-year-old is hitting .278/.341/.611, with four home runs, over 41 plate appearances.
When Ramirez has made contact, he's absolutely smoked the ball. That was evident Friday, when Ramirez hit a ball so hard during batting practice that he actually put a hole in the outfield wall.
Hanley Ramirez hit a liner so hard in batting practice that it drilled a hole in padded wall in CF, above 379 foot marker. Never seen that.
Much like footage of the Loch Ness Monster, or Bigfoot, we have only hearsay and a blurry picture to offer as proof the hole exists. As far as we know, this is the only picture in existence of the center field hole.
Update: Thanks to the Red Sox's broadcast, we have a better picture.
Seeing something like that might lead one to say, "no one hits the ball as hard as Hanley Ramirez." In this case, that's not hyperbole.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew5 hrs ago
With the Los Angeles Angels traveling to Houston for a weekend series against the Astros, many Angels players were finally able to touch base with teammate Josh Hamilton, who's been staying in Houston since undergoing surgery on his right shoulder on Feb. 4.
Of course, it's well known that Hamilton has been kept separated from his teammates since admitting to a drug and alcohol relapse just prior to the operation. Hamilton was not brought in to spring training to continue his rehab. He doesn't even have his own locker at Angel Stadium, which is notable considering he's on the disabled list but not suspended. It's also reported he won't be making any appearances at Minute Maid Park.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew6 hrs ago
Major League Baseball games have been delayed for a great number of reasons over the years, most often by weather, but also by food wrappers flying around, lights malfunctioning and even possums running onto the field.
Here's a new one, though: Thursday night's game between the San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks was delayed by a chicken finger. Yes, a delicious chicken finger. It was dropped onto the field, near the pitcher's mound and everybody playing was baffled for a minute.LiveArizona9 - 0San FranciscoFollow Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew7 hrs ago
The Chicago White Sox dropped a tough one Friday against the Detroit Tigers, losing on a walkoff single in the ninth inning. While any walkoff loss is demoralizing, this one probably hurts more than usual. That's because the whole situation could have been prevented.
With the game tied 1-1, Nick Castellanos led off the inning with a line shot to right fielder Avisail Garcia. Castellanos decided to head for second, drawing a throw from Garcia. The throw beat Castellanos, but he was ruled safe after it was determined shortstop Alexei Ramirez did not apply the tag.
The glove came extremely close to Castellanos' foot, leading many to believe White Sox manager Robin Ventura would challenge the play. Ventura did come out to argue the play, but said the team's video crew advised him that Castellanos was safe.
Ventura said got a safe call from team video crew so did not challenge
There's some debate over whether this was the case. While the Chicago feed of the game could not find evidence that Ramirez made the tag, the Tigers' feed showed clear evidence Ramirez made contact with Castellanos' foot.Sat, Apr 181:08 PM EDTChi White Sox at DetroitPreview Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew8 hrs ago
After 648 at-bats in the minors, Chicago Cubs prospect Kris Bryant received his first chance to hit major-league pitching Friday. There was plenty of hype surrounding the event, so would Bryant deliver in his debut?
Kris Bryant struck out swinging on 3 pitches in his first MLB at-bat https://t.co/Y00LCamDM4
Not at the plate. Bryant struck three times in his first three MLB at-bats then grounded to third in his fourth trip to the plate. He finished his first game 0-4, as the Cubs lost 5-4 to the San Diego Padres.
In the first at-bat, Padres pitcher James Shields got the best of Bryant, striking him out on just three pitches. Shields led off Bryant with a low 89 mph cutter that Bryant was able to tip. He then threw his trademark changeup for a swinging strike. With an 0-2 count, Shields again turned to his changeup for the swinging strikeout.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew8 hrs ago
One person in attendance Friday at Wrigley Field for Kris Bryant's first MLB game — we hesitate to call this dude a Chicago Cubs fan — had already grown sour of Bryant by the fifth inning.
Bryant notched his third strikeout of the game, waving at a cutter from James Shields. The Cubs had runners at second and third base, so the disappointment was two-fold. Bryant, the young slugger entering the game with all the hype, just couldn't figure out Shields and that prompted heckling from at least one fan who yelled "You suck" at Bryant.
Judgment comes swiftly in The "Friendly" Confines. Stick around until the final seconds of this video for proof.
Hear that? Loud enough that the TV audience could make it out clearly. That, of course, was probably the goal of the heckler — get some attention for himself on Kris Bryant day. Nothing we haven't seen before from a sports fan.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew11 hrs ago
Happy Kris Bryant day! The 23-year-old Chicago Cubs uber-prospect has been called up, and is set to make his major-league debut Friday against the San Diego Padres.
Bryant has mashed at every level of the minors, hitting a ridiculous .327/.426/.667 over 648 career minor-league at-bats. That performance has led to Bryant being named the best prospect in baseball by a number of organizations.
Bryant's spring performance only fed his legend. Due to that, the levels of hype among fans have reached a critical mass. Bryant is the savior Cubs fans were promised when this rebuild started years ago. He's a true centerpiece who can lead the team to the World Series eventually.
- Ian Denomme at Big League Stew13 hrs ago
Bryan Stow, the San Francisco Giants fan who was nearly beaten to death four years ago outside Dodger Stadium, took another big step in his inspirational road to recovery on Thursday night.
Stow attended the home opener of the Class-A San Jose Giants and threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Jimmy Durkin of the San Jose Mercury News described the scene at Municipal Stadium:
Bryan Stow waves to fans as he's wheeled onto the field. http://t.co/dD0hts9PdB
Stow was accompanied by his sister and two children for the event, and said he will attend the Giants-Dodgers game in San Francisco next week. More from Durkin:
"A lot was going through my brain," Stow said. "I would love to do it again. When do they play again? Tomorrow? I can be here tomorrow."