Big League Stew
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 hr ago
There's been flip-flopping since the end of last season about whether the Washington Nationals or Los Angeles Dodgers should be the World Series favorites for 2015.
Now, you guessed it, the Nats are No. 1 again.
This isn't so much about Bovada changing its mind over and over again. The Nats got off to a rough start this season, but got it together in May, going 18-9 with a red-hot Bryce Harper playing like an MVP.LiveLA Dodgers3 - 4ColoradoFollow Game
- Israel Fehr at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
So far 2015 has provided more questions than answers for San Diego Padres right-hander Andrew Cashner and his outing Monday night was no exception.
In most cases a pitching line of 12 strikeouts and no walks means a starter has thrown one heck of a game. Well, Cashner had the 12 K's and didn't allow a free pass but that did not equate to great success. The New York Mets pounded him for 11 hits and six runs, five of them earned, and he was out of the game after 4 2/3 innings, having thrown 104 pitches.
It was such a bizarre start that it doesn't come as a total surprise that it was the first of its kind:
Andrew Cashner: 1st P in modern baseball history to strike out at least 12, walk nobody and not make it through 5 IP (via @eliassports)
Most strikeouts, less than 5 IP: Alex Cobb 13, 5/10/13 ANDREW CASHNER 12, yesterday Nobody else in history with more than 10!
The modern era goes all the way back to 1900, which is to say a long time.Tue, Jun 210:10 PM EDTNY Mets at San DiegoPreview Game
- Israel Fehr at Big League Stew6 hrs ago
At five-foot-nine, St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong is typically one of the shorter dudes on a major league diamond.
He makes up for his lack of height with great leaping ability though, and he showed off his hops on Monday night.
With the Brewers trying to add to their 1-0 lead in the ninth, Jason Rogers hit a two-out chopper off the mound and up the middle that seemed destined to reach the outfield and give Milwaukee runners at first and third.
Not on Wong's watch. Wong ranged to his right and went way up to snag the ball before making a strong throw to retire Rogers at first base and end the inning. Just look at how high he gets off the ground!
St. Louis couldn't rally in the bottom of the ninth and took a 1-0 lossas Wong made the final out of the game, but that certainly doesn't take away from his impressive display of athleticism.Tue, Jun 28:15 PM EDTMilwaukee at St. LouisPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew13 hrs ago
Nope. Rene Rivera this is not how the whole sliding-into-second-base thing works.
Rivera, trying to avoid a double play Monday night during the Tampa Bay Rays game with the Los Angeles Angels, wasn't even close to making it to the base. You could fit an entire person in between where Rivera's slide ended and where Erick Aybar was standing, right in front of second.
For anybody schooled in the ways of great baseball movies, it's impossible not to think of the famous scene in "Major League" where Willie Mays Hayes slides into second base headfirst and doesn't even come close to the bag.
The main difference, we suppose, is that Hayes ended his slide with a middle finger to the guy who tagged him while Rivera laughed with Aybar about his own hilarious attempt at a slide into second.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew13 hrs ago
Take a look around the league with Big League Stew's daily wrap up. We'll hit on all of the biggest moments from the day that you may have missed, while providing highlights, photos and interesting stats.
On the third anniversary of the only no-hitter in New York Mets history, Jacob deGrom looked, for a while, like he might be joining Johan Santana in the team record books. The no-hitter didn't happen, thanks to a Clint Barmes single in the sixth inning, but deGrom was still very, very good Monday night against the San Diego Padres.
He gave up just two hits — Will Middlebrooks' infield single was the other — facing one batter over the minimum in eight innings of work. deGrom struck out eight, didn't walk a batter and threw 105 pitches. The Mets, meanwhile, gave him seven runs of support, so there was no need for deGrom to come back out for the ninth.
As for the no-hitter, well ...
In case he didn't realize he was throwing a no-hitter, deGrom said, a fan yelled at him after the fifth: "You're throwing a no-hitter!"
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew14 hrs ago
It's one thing when you can reach into the crowd to make a nice catch like Seattle Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager did Monday night against the New York Yankees. But it's another thing when that nice catch saves a toddler from imminent danger.
Watch the clip above and notice that (most of) the crowd reacts accordingly as Seager makes his way toward them. They get out of the way. Except the pacifier-sucking toddler standing in the front row with absolutely no idea what's going on.
It's tough to say for sure the foul ball would have hit the kid, but it looks likely enough that any parent watching this highlight may have the urge to reach through the screen and protect him. Luckily, Seager was there to make the catch and we didn't have to find out just where the ball would have hit.Tue, Jun 210:10 PM EDTNY Yankees at SeattlePreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew16 hrs ago
You might recall last week when Mike Trout was robbed of a home run on a very Mike Trout-esque play by Will Venable. On Monday night, Manny Machado learned that feeling too.
Credit here goes to Marwin Gonzalez, the Houston Astros shortstop, who made an incredible play in the fifth inning to rob Machado of a hit and save a run in what would eventually be a 5-2 win for his team. Machado hit what looked like a single to centerfield, but Gonzalez ranged to the middle of the field, grabbed the ball, then fell/spun/jumped and made the throw to first base.
Watch closely and you'll see his throw happened pretty much on blind faith. Gonzalez didn't have much of a chance to see first base, but was able to hop a ball to Chris Carter in time to beat Machado to the bag.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew21 hrs ago
The future is now for the Texas Rangers. With Adrian Beltre set to miss at least two weeks due to a finger injury, the club has called up 21-year-old super-slugger Joey Gallo.
Gallo is considered not only the team's top prospect, but one of the best young players in the game. Baseball America ranked Gallo sixth on their top 100 list coming into the season.
Because of that, there's plenty of reason for excitement surrounding his promotion. With that in mind, here are five things to know about the young slugger.
1. HE HAS STUPID POWER
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- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew21 hrs ago
Legendary New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera put in some hard work during his 19 seasons in the majors.
Despite playing the highest-pressure position on the most popular team in the game, Rivera racked up an incredible 652 saves and a 2.21 ERA over his career.
Rivera could have called it quits in 2012 after suffering a season-ending knee injury, but opted to work his way back for one final season.
A player who has put in that much over such a long period should be able to appreciate the relaxation that comes with retirement. For Rivera, though, being active after leaving the game has been important.
In an interview with Big League Stew, Rivera admits that, while he still watches the Yankees, he doesn't really have a desire to get back into the game in any capacity. We're not just talking coming out of retirement to play, we're talking about coaching, managing or taking on active roles in the front office.
"I'm watching the game, and staying in contact with a few guys from the team, but right now, no." He adds, "working, or doing something with the New York Yankees, perhaps, no. Not right now."
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew23 hrs ago
For as long as we've been collecting the longest homers of the month here on The Stew, we've never seen a month like May 2015 and that's because the top four homers of the month belong to one man — Giancarlo Stanton.
If this were a movie, it would be written, produced, directed by and starring Giancarlo Stanton. That's how much he dominated the home-run distance game. Bryce Harper hit the most homers in May (13), and Paul Goldschmidt and Josh Donaldson also did really well (10 a piece), but Stanton won for distance. He hit nine homers in May (as did five other players), but his traveled the furthest.
He now owns four of the top six homers of 2015, which is pretty good. A-Rod's 477-foot blast from April is still No. 1 on the overall leaderboard though. (Note: All data in this post comes from ESPN's Hit Tracker Online)