Big League Stew
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
If it seems like Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley is losing his grip this week, it's because he actually has lost his grip this week. Twice.
First, during Monday's game against the Seattle Mariners, Utley lost his bat after fouling a pitch off, sending it helicoptering past the pitcher's mound. Then on Wednesday afternoon, Utley literally tossed his bat at a pitch from Mariners left-hander James Paxton, and this time he not only made contract, but somehow kept it fair and turned it into an RBI.
Ultey seemed to be fooled by Paxton's knuckle curve, which is the breaking pitch he effectively mixes in with his four-seam fastball and change up. It looks like it would be especially difficult on left-handed hitters, but even when you fool a veteran like Utley, he can still find a way to spoil a pitch and keep an at-bat alive. That's all it appeared Utley was trying to do here by throwing his bat at this pitch, and the ball went sailing over the head of Robinson Cano at second base and dropping into right field for an RBI single.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
Nick Swisher's frustrating and painful season is officially (and perhaps also mercifully) over after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on both knees on Wednesday. The Cleveland Indians announced his status late Wednesday afternoon.
Nick Swisher is undergoing surgery today +Dr Neil ElAttrache performed an arthroscopic debridement in both knees. Full recovery is 8-10 wks
Swisher, 34, has been slowed by knee issues since May, leading to his least productive season in the big leagues. In 97 games, Swisher slashed .208/.278/.331, to go along with eight home runs and 42 RBIs. The average is his lowest in 11 seasons, and he was on pace to finish with fewer than 21 home runs for the first time since 2005.
The latter stat speaks to Swisher's consistency over the years, while making it clear that his bad wheels have been a major drain on his production.Thu, Aug 2110:10 AM PDTCleveland at MinnesotaPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
The reeling Detroit Tigers are starting to regain their footing at Tropicana Field, and Wednesday's exceptional outing from Rick Porcello may be the one that gets them balanced again. The 25-year-old right-hander picked up his 14th victory by tossing a three-hit, complete game shutout in the Tigers 6-0 win.
The complete game is Porcello's third of the season, which is significant for a few reasons. It's the first time a Tigers pitcher has thrown three complete game shutouts in a season since Jeff Weaver did it in 2002. It also equals the number of shutouts thrown by all other Tigers' starters dating back to Sept. 23rd, 2012. And perhaps most interesting, Porcello entered the season with zero shutouts in 149 career starts. This makes three in 24 starts this season.
'Nine shutout innings. You literally can't ask for anything more,'' said Tiger manager Brad Ausmus.Thu, Aug 2110:10 AM PDTDetroit at Tampa BayPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew6 hrs ago
Every now and then, even the pros fail to communicate effectively on the field, leading to awkward plays and bad results for their respective teams. Such was the case in the Atlanta Braves outfield on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh, only this miscommunication is more notable than most for two big reasons.
The first, it ended up costing Atlanta an important game in the standings and snapped its five-game winning streak.
The other, it involved and nearly cost the Braves a pair of brothers, Justin and B.J. Upton.
It happened in the ninth inning after Jody Mercer singled and Andrew McCutchen popped out to start the frame. Starling Marte stepped in next and hit what seemed to be a routine fly ball to left-center field. The ball hung up in the air long enough that either defender could have caught it, even though both had to run a long distance to get there.Thu, Aug 214:10 PM PDTAtlanta at CincinnatiPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew9 hrs ago
After becoming the first female to pitch a shutout in Little League World Series history, and also the first Little League player to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated, Taney Dragons star Mo'ne Davis returned to the Lamade Stadium mound on Wednesday. She had an opportunity to lead her team to the United States Championship game Saturday.
Standing in her way was the undefeated team from Las Vegas, which was coming off a most impressive 13-2 win over Chicago on Sunday. It was without question her most difficult challenge of the summer, and not surprisingly the Las Vegas kids didn't make life easy.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew9 hrs ago
Garrett Richards' breakout season for the Los Angeles Angels is in jeopardy after a gruesome left knee injury sustained Wednesday night against the Boston Red Sox.
Richards, the team's best pitcher, was running to cover first base in the second inning when his knee buckled. He tumbled to the ground and lay in agony while trainers huddled around him. He was on the ground for about eight minutes before being carted off the field on a stretcher.
From the stretcher, Richards signaled to his teammates and to the Red Sox fans who applauded him, as he was taken to the clubhouse. Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com says it's a a patellar injury.Thu, Aug 214:10 PM PDTLA Angels at BostonPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew10 hrs ago
The 25th anniversary of Pete Rose being banned from MLB is Sunday and baseball's controversial hit king sat down for an interview with ESPN to mark the occasion. Like most things Pete Rose, the interview — which aired Wednesday on ESPN's "Outside the Lines" — was far from mundane.
The headline born from it: Rose says 25 years ago when he signed an agreement to be banished for life, it was a mistake. He thought he'd only been suspended for a season.
He told ESPN's Jeremy Schaap:
"It was a mistake because I didn't read the fine print," Rose said. "When I signed that agreement, if you looked at my news conference the day I was suspended ... I looked at it really as a year suspension. To this day, I have no idea why my lawyers would accept a lifetime suspension. Sure, I'm there listening to them, but most players when I played, when you look at your contract and stuff, you don't read the fine print."
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew10 hrs ago
Though there was a lot of anger and frustration being vented by the San Francisco Giants late Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning, few expected their official protest of the unbelievable tarp incident at Wrigley Field to actually pay off.
Less than 24 hours later, we all stand together stunned and corrected.
Source: Giants prevail in protest of tarp-snafu game. Game to be resumed at 4 pm Thursday before reg scheduled games. To start B5. Cubs 2-0.Thu, Aug 215:05 PM PDTSan Francisco at Chi CubsPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew13 hrs ago
Sports customs say that players can swap numbers upon arriving at a new team, but they don't always come cheap. Baltimore Orioles pitcher Kevin Gausman, for instance, recently got a Rolex for agreeing to give Ubaldo Jimenez No. 31 after Jimenez signed with the Orioles this season.
Most of the time, jersey-number trade negotiations involve luxury items or big checks. But when John Lackey was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals at the July 31 deadline, he saw that Pat Neshek wore his No. 41. Lackey would get the number, but this wasn't a simple give-the-man-a-nice-watch transaction.
Neshek is an avid baseball memorabilia collector and even has a website where he shows off his autographed cards. So, in exchange for No. 41, Lackey gave Neshek an autographed Babe Ruth ball.
Huge Thanks to John Lackey for the incredible gift for changing my uni # pic.twitter.com/SFnuTh2d7x
Obligatory "Who is she?" reference:
- David Brown at Big League Stew13 hrs ago
Yasiel Puig has shown himself to be capable of many amazing feats on a baseball field. Athletic catches. Powerful throws. Distant home runs. Artful bat flips. Soulful singing. But what happens when he tries to throw his helmet?
It comes back at him like a boomerang — and he catches the rebound anyway, like Mad Max. This might be the most Puig Thing ever.
He also did this later in the game:
[GIF] Yasiel Puig cuts ball in gap between his legs: http://t.co/pqJqINeXRT
Big BLS H/N:
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