Big League Stew
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew52 mins ago
On a day that the Los Angeles Dodgers watched the MLB trade deadline pass without a single move, they reminded us of one simple but important fact — they have Clayton Kershaw. And Kershaw, as he's continuing to prove this season, is the best pitcher in the game.
Kershaw was great again Thursday, pitching the Dodgers past the Atlanta Braves 2-1 and helping L.A. complete a three-game sweep of the Braves. Kershaw pitched a complete game and struck out nine. He could have had another shutout if not for a Braves run that crossed the plate with two outs in the ninth. It was the Dodgers' sixth win a row. They now have a 3 1/2 game lead in the NL West standings.
Kershaw improved to 13-2 with a 1.71 ERA. He's been operating at an MVP level the past two months since he returned from injury. Just look at the numbers:Fri, Aug 17:10 PM PDTChi Cubs at LA DodgersPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 hr ago
As it turns out, not making a single trade wasn't the worst thing to happen to the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday.
They also lost starting pitcher Cliff Lee to an elbow injury, mostly likely for the rest of the season. Lee had just returned from the disabled list last week after an elbow strain sidelined him for nine weeks. If Lee proved himself to be healthy, he was considered a candidate for an August trade (he'd have to clear waivers before the Phillies could deal him).
But his unfortunate Thursday night assured that won't happen. Lee had retired eight of nine batters he faced, before re-aggravating his elbow injury in the third inning. He knew right away something was wrong and was overrun with emotion. From Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Cliff Lee threw an 85-m.p.h. cutter, yelled an expletive, and waved his arms in disgust. That is how it ended.
Lee looked as if he might cry in the dugout. Incredible emotion from a man who never shows it.Fri, Aug 14:05 PM PDTPhiladelphia at WashingtonPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
Never let it be said that a man without arms can't throw out a ceremonial first pitch at a baseball game. Tom Willis has proven that to be false, time and time again.
Willis, a motivational speaker, who was born without arms, tossed out the first pitch at Thursday night's Kansas City Royals game. It's something that Willis has done at 22 different ballparks through his Pitch for Awareness campaign.
Willis, 54, was born without arms, so he learned how to do everything in his life with his feet. He has an organization called Tomsfeet Productions, where the mantra is "No hands. No arms. No problem."
In 2011, Willis told The Post Game that his goal is to throw out the first pitch at all 30 MLB ballparks. He's well on his way, having already done it places such as Dodger Stadium, Fenway Park and Petco Park. He also explained to The Post Game how he throws a ball:Fri, Aug 16:35 PM PDTKansas City at OaklandPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
Baseball's new home-plate collision rule has made another enemy.
The Miami Marlins were livid Thursday night after an application of Rule 7.13, often called the Buster Posey rule, overturned a play at the plate and gave the opposing Cincinnati Reds a run in the eighth inning of a 1-0 game. Not only that, but the overturned play at the plate, which would have been the third out, extended the Reds' inning. They went on to score two more runs and win the game 3-1.Fri, Aug 14:10 PM PDTCincinnati at MiamiPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
Stop us if you've heard this one before: Manny Machado, the Baltimore Orioles third baseman who is quite good at defense, made a highlight-worthy play to throw out Albert Pujols.
He ranged to his right, falling into foul territory, then gathered himself and threw an absolute rocket to first base to get Pujols. We'll offer the same caveat as last time: Yes, Pujols isn't a very fast runner and, yes, lots of other guys would have beaten that out. But holy moly, look at that throw. It's like Machado's arm is a T-shirt gun.
Here's Machado's Wednesday night play, which is the better of the two. But as a pair they're further proof that his play at third base is special.Fri, Aug 14:05 PM PDTSeattle at BaltimorePreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
The Oakland Athletics made the biggest move of MLB's trade-deadline day by getting Jon Lester. The biggest, that is, until the Detroit Tigers made a deal to acquire David Price from the Tampa Bay Rays in a three-team swap.
It was evidence that the AL arms race is serious this year.
The Tigers' trade was made public shortly before the 4 p.m. ET trade deadline, and as the minutes ticked toward the deadline, Tigers president/GM Dave Dombrowski shot a funny text to A's GM Billy Beane. It was evidence there was still room for fun too.
Re: Price to Tigers, Beane "had a feeling it was going to happen." Dombrowski jokingly texted, "You have 1 minute to acquire Chris Sale"
The pitching rich joking with the pitching rich, it's just wonderful. If you've ever wondered how baseball suits correspond with each other, you are now enlightened.Fri, Aug 14:08 PM PDTColorado at DetroitPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew10 hrs ago
You look at the Philadelphia Phillies roster and then their place in the standings and it would seem pretty obvious. The Phillies should have been sellers Thursday, the day of MLB's non-waiver trade deadline.
The San Diego Padres have been selling for weeks, and they actually have a better record than the Phils. The Cleveland Indians were selling. The Tampa Bay Rays were (sort of) selling. And they're both within sniffing distance of the playoffs. That goes to show there was value to be had and opportunistic teams weren't going to stand there and do nothing.
It was value, apparently, the Phillies either weren't interested in or, if you listen to general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., weren't being offered. Because the Phillies did nothing on trade deadline day.
- David Brown at Big League Stew10 hrs ago
Right-hander Phil Hughes of the Minnesota Twins evidently saw something nobody else at Kauffman Stadium did Wednesday night. As slugger Salvador Perez of the Kansas City Royals took a big swing and pulled a pitch to left-center for a double, Hughes reacted as though Perez had lined the ball back through the middle.
Hughes flinched and reached to his left, snapping his glove shut in an effort to catch something that wasn't there. Hughes continued to turn his body toward center field, perhaps to see if anyone on the Twins infield could catch up to Perez's BB. But they all had turned around to watch the ball short-hop the fence in left-center, before setting up for a relay throw from the outfield.
"But what about the line drive up the middle?" Hughes might have been saying to himself?
It was bi-ZARRE.
Perez's double tied the score, and Kansas City won 3-2. That's all secondary, though, to Hughes and the invisible liner (via @AaronGleenman on Twitter):
Hughes eventually caught on, but so did teammates like Glen Perkins:
- David Brown at Big League Stew11 hrs ago
Detroit, trying to stand on its feet after decades of decay, is an easy target for pot shots. Crime, urban blight, whatever, Detroit is low-hanging fruit when it comes to rusty jokes. Someone running the Twitter account for the Fox TV station in Tampa Bay thought it would be funny Thursday afternoon to give David Price an idea of what he was in for after being traded from the Tampa Bay Rays to the Detroit Tigers. He or she used Detroit's problems to marginalize Price's new surroundings.
Even though the tweet already has been deleted and apologized for, this is what it described to Fox 13's 40,000 followers plus others: It compares a white sandy beach of Tampa Bay (presumably) with a condemned block in Detroit (presumably). The captions read: "Take some comfort, Rays fans," along with "Good luck, David."
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew11 hrs ago
Major League Baseball's 4 p.m. ET deadline for non-waiver trades has passed and it was quite a ride. It was one of the best trade-deadline days in years, with aces moving, contenders getting better and a large number of major leaguers – not just prospects – swapping teams.
It was a lot to follow, especially in that final 45 minutes or so. We thought you, our wonderful reader, might be well served if The Stew collected every trade and put it in one single list.
Here you are. Enjoy ... while we exhale some more.
DAVID PRICE GOES TO THE TIGERS IN A THREE-TEAM SWAP It happened. David Price finally got traded. He's a member of the Detroit Tigers now, joining Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander and Anibal Sanchez in what soon might be renamed Cy Young City. The Tampa Bay Rays and Seattle Mariners were also part of the deal, with the Rays getting pitcher Drew Smyly and shortstop Willy Adames from Detroit, plus infielder Nick Franklin from the Mariners. Seattle added outfielder Austin Jackson for their part in the deal. [More]