Big League Stew
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 hr ago
It's September. Divisions are up for grabs, wild card races are wild and half of MLB still has a chance at the playoffs. Over the next two weeks, we'll plan out how 16 contenders could win the World Series, "could" being the operative word. Some plans will be more absurd than others.
Team: Miami Marlins
Status: The fact that we're talking about the Marlins in September is a win for the franchise. They've lost at least 90 games each of the past three seasons. The Marlins chances at making the playoffs are pretty slim — they're 5 1/2 back for the NL wild card with the Pirates, Braves, Brewers and Giants all ahead of them. But that just means their World Series plan needs to be a little more aggressive, right?
THE MARLINS WILL WIN THE WORLD SERIES IF THESE FIVE THINGS HAPPEN
1. Giancarlo Stanton, the team's star slugger and MVP candidate, hits a home run every single at-bat from now until Halloween.LiveNY Mets3 - 0MiamiFollow Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
Miami Marlins super slugger Giancarlo Stanton somehow doesn't have the longest home run of 2014, but he has hit the longest homer of the month for the third time this season. That counts for something.
Since it's now September — already?! — we're doing our monthly look-back at MLB's most mammoth homers. August belonged to Stanton, after he hit a 470-foot bomb to left field on Aug. 11. Overall, it's the sixth longest homer of the year.
- David Brown at Big League Stew6 hrs ago
Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw is running away (pitching away?) with the National League's Cy Young race, say gamblers who make their living on that kind of thing. Bovada.lv apparently believes that Kershaw is such a lock for Cy Young that they've taken him off the board. You can't even bet on him anymore.
No matter that Kershaw missed six starts near the beginning of the season because of a back injury — enough time away that almost always kills a player's chances at winning a major award — he's still compiled enough wins above replacement to be considered better than any other pitcher.
Coming into his start Tuesday night, Kershaw has posted a 1.73 ERA with 194 strikeouts and 23 walks in 161 1/3 innings, which adds up to 7.0 WAR. He's allowed 32 runs — 31 earned — in 22 starts. Just amazing, though the current dead-ball era we're in and the wide confines of Dodger Stadium aren't hurting him.Tue, Sep 27:10 PM PDTWashington at LA DodgersPreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew6 hrs ago
After slugger David Wright lined a single to center in the third inning Monday night, Miami Marlins outfielder Marcel Ozuna charged it and came up firing and...
The ball appeared to slip from Ozuna's hand in medium center field, because it went in a crazy direction, into the home dugout at Marlins Park. It's like the ball slipped on a banana peel. If Ozuna was trying to keep Curtis Granderson from advancing from second base to third, it didn't work out. Because the ball went out of play, umpires awarded Granderson home. Wright, credited with a two-run single, was given second base.
The New York Mets had been trailing by a run but suddenly led 4-2 — on a single.
- David Brown at Big League Stew7 hrs ago
Wrigley Field gave Chicago Cubs rookie Jorge Soler a sunny and warm ovation before his first home at-bat Monday afternoon, and he responded with a double to right field in the bottom of the second. In doing so, Soler became the third player since 1914 to start his major league career with at least one extra-base hit in each of his first five games. The others: Hall of Famer Enos "Country" Slaughter, and Boston Red Sox infielder Will "No Nickname Yet" Middlebrooks.
Soler, a 22-year-old from Cuba who slugged .700 at three levels in the minors this season, whacked a hanging breaking ball from Jimmy Nelson into the right-field corner and later scored. He added another double in the sixth to finish 2-for-4 in the Cubs' 4-2 victory against the Milwaukee Brewers.Tue, Sep 25:05 PM PDTMilwaukee at Chi CubsPreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew8 hrs ago
Denard Span's teammates on the Washington Nationals got right to the point Monday night after he connected for his second home run of the game. Span came in with two home runs in 574 plate appearances all season, but he has been on an unholy tear for a week, going 8 for 22 with five extra-base hits since Wednesday. His homers helped the Nats continue their progressive road trip with a 6-4 victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Dodger Stadium isn't exactly a home run haven, either. Span was at a loss to explain his power surge. Via the D.C. Bog:
“I couldn’t tell you, man,” Span told MASN’s Dan Kolko after the game. “Just seeing the ball good and trying to put good swings on the ball. Fortunately they’ve been getting out of the park for me.”
Kolko asked Span for the best joke he heard in the dugout Monday.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew15 hrs ago
Great Scott! Andrew Susac, the rookie catcher for the San Francisco Giants has altered the timeline of his rookie season, rewriting both the date of his MLB game and his first hit.
The Giants resumed Monday a suspended game against the Colorado Rockies from May 22 that was delayed three months and 10 days because of rain. Susac, who spells Buster Posey behind the plate these days, was still in Triple-A when the game began.
But when he was inserted into the lineup for Monday's continuation, Susac was *technically* making his MLB debut.
The game goes down in the books for May 22, so even though this was Susac's 18th game with the Giants, it was *technically* his first.Tue, Sep 25:40 PM PDTSan Francisco at ColoradoPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew16 hrs ago
When four pitchers combine to throw a no-hitterlike a Philadelphia Phillies foursome did Monday, it's probably easier to give the final ball to someone else than decide which pitcher gets to keep it.
Starter Cole Hamels and relievers Jake Diekman, Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon threw the combined no-hitter, the first in MLB since 2012 when the Seattle Mariners did it. And the four of them knew just whom the final ball should go to.
Team president David Montgomery took a leave of absence from the Phillies on Thursday because of ongoing health issues. He had surgery in May to remove cancer from his jaw. Montgomery, 68, has been the Phils president since 1997, making him the perfect choice to get the last ball from the franchise's 12th no-hitter.Tue, Sep 27:05 PM PDTSeattle at OaklandPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew16 hrs ago
For the first time this season, the St. Louis Cardinals are alone in first place in the NL Central.
That might seem untrue, since we've grown so accustomed to these modern Cardinals as the class of the division, but this year hasn't been a gimme by any means. The Milwaukee Brewers have been the surprise team of the 2014 season, and the Cardinals have been chasing them in the NL Central for months.
The Cardinals had been tied for first place in the division on seven different days this season, the most recent being after Sunday's game. But by the end of the business Monday — when the Cards beat the Pirates 5-4, while the Brewers lost to the Cubs — the Cardinals were No. 1.
It happened in somewhat dramatic fashion too. The Cardinals were facing a 4-2 deficit in the bottom of the seventh inning. Pinch-hitter Kolten Wong hit a two-run homer to tie the game, then Matt Holliday put St. Louis ahead with an RBI single four batters later.
- David Brown at Big League Stew1 day ago
Before he retires, slugger Adam Dunn says he wants to win a World Series ring, and the Oakland Athletics "probably" will be his last chance to make it happen — unless someone unexpectedly talks him out of retiring at the end of the 2014 season. Conversely the A's, who have mortgaged a lot to win now, need help in order to pull themselves out of a late-season tailspin and get right for the playoffs.
Dunn and the A's started working together Monday afternoon and good first impressions were made. Dunn hit a two-run homer in his first plate appearance for Oakland, which beat the Seattle Mariners 6-1.
Batting cleanup and wearing No. 10, Dunn connected against right-hander Chris Young on a 1-1 count in the bottom of the first, hitting a towering fly just out of the reach of Seattle's Endy Chavez, who leaped at the fence. After he circled the bases, A's players greeted Dunn with a collective celebratory "knighting" in the dugout.
The A's came in having been swept against the first-place Los Angeles Angels, posting a 19-22 record in the second half after owning the best record in the majors for much of the season.