Big League Stew
- David Brown at Big League Stew1 hr ago
Gerardo Parra of the Milwaukee Brewers made an unforgettable gesture at Busch Stadium on Tuesday night, and it wasn't anything like the Jonathan Papelbon gesture from over the weekend.
A fan watching from the front row in foul territory reached over the fence and interfered with Parra as he tried to catch Matt Carpenter's fly ball in the bottom of the third inning. The fan actually grabbed Parra's arm as his glove closed on the ball, but Parra caught the ball anyway. Obviously embarrassed, the man quickly retracted his hands and sat down.Wed, Sep 175:15 PM PDTMilwaukee at St. LouisPreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
This is not what Jake Peavy meant when he said he already was thinking about Dee Gordon in preparation of his next start against the Los Angeles Dodgers. But it's still probably worth a few brain cells to remind Peavy of Gordon's wizardry at second base, a position which he has managed to glamorize like few others who have played it.
Gordon's latest work of art was a double play against the Colorado Rockies in the sixth inning Tuesday night that was possible only because of an unlikely flip to shorstop Justin Turner. Colorado's D.J. LeMahieu appeared to get enough topspin on his grounder to sneak it into center for a single against Brandon League, but Gordon dived and got in the way. He not only stopped the ball, but somehow re-directed it, rolling it on the ground no less, into Turner's glove with a flip/push that looked impossible to practice.Wed, Sep 1712:10 PM PDTLA Dodgers at ColoradoPreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
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The Minnesota Twins just wouldn't let Detroit Tigers slugger J.D. Martinez get the last word this time.
After Martinez hit yet another ninth-inning home run to give the Tigers a lead, the Twins came back with two runs in the bottom of the ninth against Joe Nathan to escape with a 4-3 victory at Target Field on Tuesday night.
Aaron Hicks hustled to beat out an infield RBI single with two outs, scoring pinch runner Chris Herrmann from third base with the winning run. Pinch runner Doug Bernier had scored the tying run from first base after Kurt Suzuki hit a sinking line drive to center that outfielder Ezequiel Carrera missed after a foolish diving attempt.Wed, Sep 175:10 PM PDTDetroit at MinnesotaPreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
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It takes right-hander Jake Peavy very little time to start thinking about his next start, especially these days with the San Francisco Giants in the thick of a pennant race with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Peavy allowed a run, five hits and a walk over seven innings Tuesday night, leading the Giants to a 2-1 victory against the Arizona Diamondbacks. With the Dodgers losing at Colorado, the Giants closed to within three games of the NL West leaders. In a few short days, Peavy will make his next start at Dodger Stadium, where first place might be on the line.
And Peavy can't wait. He's not waiting, actually. He's already thinking about it.
“I won’t lie, I was just in the shower thinking about Dee Gordon,” Peavy said of the Dodgers leadoff batter.
Hey now! Talk about working up a lather, to quote Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area. Wow, that's some progressive talk from a major league ballplayer.Wed, Sep 1712:40 PM PDTSan Francisco at ArizonaPreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew5 hrs ago
Not everyone at Turner Field took it in stride as the Washington Nationals clinched the National League East against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night.
Word on the street is that umpire Tim Welke had been coexisting with a fan who was heckling Bryce Harper for several innings. By the time the sixth inning rolled around, and the fan refused to stop yelling such creative taunts as "You [bleeping stink], you piece of [bleep]!" Welke drew a line and had security eject him.
Here's a link to video of the event that includes some NSFW language you can barely make out.
"Hey! Hey! Get rid of that guy! Get rid of him now!" Welke said heroically to an usher.
Harper otherwise appeared ready to get on with the game, but apparently Welke had heard enough F bombs.Wed, Sep 174:10 PM PDTWashington at AtlantaPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew5 hrs ago
The Washington Nationals are back on top in the NL East following a disappointing 2013 that found them on the outside looking in during the postseason.
Under rookie manager Matt Williams, the Nationals rebounded and separated themselves from the pack in a division that proved more competitive than most anticipated. Washington's playoff ticket was punched Tuesday night as they knocked off their nearest competitor and the team that unseated them in 2013, the Atlanta Braves, 3-0 at Turner Field.
The division championship is Washington's second, both of which have come in the last three seasons. Washington won 98 games in 2012, but fell 3-2 to the St. Louis Cardinals in a disappointing NLCS showing. Now they have a chance to redeem themselves for two seasons of falling short on expectations.
Before that journey begins though, here's a look back at five key factors that have led to their success in 2014.
All of the aces
- Jeff Eisenberg at Big League Stew6 hrs ago
Never before has anyone been so excited to wipe sticky pie filling off their faces than Orioles fans targeted by outfielder Adam Jones.
Each of the victims clearly considered it an honor to participate in the team's trademark celebration.
In the giddy afterglow of the Orioles' division-clinching 8-2 victory over Toronto on Tuesday night, Jones grabbed as many pies as he could find and smashed them in the faces of eager fans in the first row of the stands. It's unclear how many victims Jones racked up, but video of three different fans being pied had already surfaced on social media by late Tuesday night.
The pies were a clever way for Jones to involve Orioles fans in the team's division title celebration and a fitting method considering how the smashed desserts have become a staple of Baltimore victories.
- David Brown at Big League Stew6 hrs ago
In a span of 58 days, the Washington Nationals turned a tight National League East race into a cakewalk. The Nats got seven shutout innings from Tanner Roark, along with a two-run homer by Ian Desmond in a 3-0 victory against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night that clinched Washington's second division title in three years. The Nats, who were tied with the Braves for the NL East lead July 21, put away Atlanta with 12 games to play in the season.
Washington celebrated at Turner Field by whoopin' and hollerin', and pouring champagne and beer, like teams that clinch are wont to do. Bryce Harper wore a firefighter's helmet and goggles. There was a sense of relief and accomplishment, but also of goals not yet achieved. Nats reliever Craig Stammen is one of the players who was with the club in 2012, a season that ended bitterly with a loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 5 of the NL Division Series.
"For us, this isn’t good enough. We’ve got bigger goals in mind. That’s probably the difference. We’re not satisfied." -- Craig Stammen
- Jeff Eisenberg at Big League Stew7 hrs ago
The former Breaking Bad antihero added to repertoire by starring in a hilarious newly released six-minute commercial promoting the upcoming American League playoffs on TBS.
The premise of the videol is that Cranston's new project is a one-man show in which he portrays the entire American League playoffs without so much as a cameo appearance from a co-star. The video that follows includes Cranston imitating everything from Babe Ruth calling his shot before homering, to Derek Jeter's backhand flip throw, to Carl Yastrzemski's dramatic home run, to Kirk Gibson's famous World Series home run trot.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew8 hrs ago
The Baltimore Orioles were built to contend in 2014. It just seemed like they were built to contend in the wrong division at the wrong time.
The Boston Red Sox were coming off a World Series championship and looked just as good on paper. The New York Yankees signed Japanese star Masahiro Tanaka, and though they had obvious holes on offense, everyone expected them to be filled adequately eventually. The Toronto Blue Jays were disappointing in 2013, but a bounce back was anticipated. And the Tampa Bay Rays are always there, waiting to strike when given an opening.
Yet here the Orioles are, popping champagne bottles on Sept. 16, with 12 days remaining in the regular season. The AL East is theirs following an 8-2 victory over the second-place Blue Jays. Their ticket to the ALDS is officially punched, which barring a big letdown they will host.
They are, arguably, the best story heading into October, and here are five big reasons why they have been able to shock the baseball world.
The signing of Nelson CruzWed, Sep 174:05 PM PDTToronto at BaltimorePreview Game