Big League Stew
- Israel Fehr at Big League Stew1 hr ago
TORONTO – This was supposed to be all about the Toronto Blue Jays, their first postseason home game since 1993, and how the joy of baseball had returned to a city so desperately starved for a winner. And it was, right up until the game started Thursday. The fans roared at every little thing and ferociously waved the white towels they were given when their Blue Jays took the field for the top of the first.
Then, everything went wrong, and now Toronto is staring at a 1-0 series deficit after dropping Game 1 of the ALDS to Texas Rangers by a score of 5-3.
- Israel Fehr at Big League Stew1 hr ago
TORONTO – The boos and cries of "Let's go Blue Jays" were so loud Thursday during Game 1 of the ALDS that it was impossible to hear the public address anouncer call out the Texas Rangers' starting lineup.
It was fitting, really. Even with stars such as Prince Fielder, Adrian Beltre and Cole Hamels, the Rangers' roster paled in comparison to the star-studded Toronto Blue Jays, the popular pick to win the World Series. It almost didn't matter who the Blue Jays were facing, so what difference did it make actually recognizing who was taking the field opposite them?
All the difference in the world, apparently. Texas scored five runs off David Price on its way to a momentous 5-3 road win and a surprising 1-0 series lead.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew1 hr ago
Being a member of a major-league baseball grounds crew can be stressful. Weather can strike at any time, meaning you have to be ready to act at a moment's notice. On top of that, you have to do your job despite awful situations, and that can be dangerous.
That's precisely what happened during Thursday's ALDS game between the Kansas City Royals and the Houston Astros. The Royals' grounds crew had to spring into action during a rain delay, and one of their members was nearly swallowed by the tarp.
The good news is, the tarp didn't completely roll over the person in that video. The grounds crew was able to stop the tarp from rolling, and he escaped, hopefully unscathed.
Sometimes, seeing a member of the grounds crew run into trouble with the tarp can be funny. This seemed a bit more serious. That tarp requires a lot of people to move, and probably weighs a lot. We're pretty glad he was able to get out of there.LiveHouston5 - 2Kansas CityFollow Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew1 hr ago
After 123 years and 2,361 regular season games, the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals are set to meet in their first-ever postseason series.
That fact alone probably makes this series the marquee matchup of the opening round. However, we also must take into account that both of these teams entered the postseason with better records than anyone else still playing. That's because the NL Central absolutely dominated the competition this season with St. Louis (100 wins), the now-eliminated Pittsburgh Pirates (98) and Chicago (97) finishing with the three highest win totals in MLB.
That may lead to changes in the postseason seeding down the road. For this season, only one can reach the NLCS, and that should only add to the intensity of the series. The Cardinals enter as the top dog with the best record, the most postseason experience and the championship pedigree, but there's a hunger in this Cubs team that will be difficult to deny.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
Anybody who watches sports on TV with any regularity knows this hard truth: There are way too many commercials about erectile dysfunction.
So, in a way, when Adam Wainwright called out Fox on Thursday for its abudance of "performance"-enhancement drug ads, we could all identify.
Here's what Wainwright — the St. Louis Cardinals star pitcher — tweeted near the end of ALDS Game 1 between the Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers.
- Kyle Ringo at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
Pete Rose earned the nickname 'Charlie Hustle' during his remarkable baseball career because of how hard he played the game and the toughness he showed on numerous occasions. Running over Ray Fosse at home plate to win the 1970 All-Star game is probably the most famous example of the grit and determination that helped him become the all-time leader in hits.
So maybe we shouldn't be surprised that Rose seemed so perplexed by two Toronto Blue Jays players leaving Game 1 of the ALDS with what he perceived as minor injuries. The Blue Jays lost to the Texas Rangers 5-3, prompting Rose to ask, "does everybody know what we’re playing for now?"
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
The Toronto Blue Jays aren't unstoppable. Given the team's dominant offense, and the fact that David Price was on the mound, many thought the club had Game 1 wrapped up. That wasn't the case. The Texas Rangers got to Price during the team's 5-3 victory against the Blue Jays on Thursday. Rougned Odor and Robinson Chirinos added home runs off the lefty, while Adrian Beltre tagged Price for an RBI hit before leaving the game with a back injury. The Blue Jays' bats showed some signs of life late, but were ultimately shut down by the Rangers' bullpen.
• Robinson Chirinos had the biggest hit of the night, smacking a two-run shot off Price in the fifth inning. With the Rangers leading 2-1, Chirinos stepped to the plate with a man on first and a chance to break things open. He did not disappoint. On the second pitch of the at-bat, Chirinos hit a 94-mph fastball out to left center, giving the club a 4-1 lead. It was Chirinos' only hit of the game.
- Kyle Ringo at Big League Stew5 hrs ago
No matter what happens on the field, baseball's postseason will be a lot less poetic.
Los Angeles Dodgers Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully's iconic voice won't be heard for the rest of the season after Scully underwent an unspecified medical procedure and decided not to participate in the postseason on the advice of his doctors. The Dodgers reported Scully is in good condition and is resting comfortably.
Scully, who is 87 and will turn 88 in November, missed the final series of the regular season last weekend because of a cold and also missed a game earlier this season.
Scully has been calling Dodgers games since 1950 when he was just a year removed from Fordham University. His 66 years of service with the club are easily the most for any broadcaster in any sport.
Dodgers statement on Vin Scully having to sit out the postseason. pic.twitter.com/L2vmcCEp5b
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew5 hrs ago
No one personified the Toronto Blue Jays' dominant offensive push for the playoffs this season more than Josh Donaldson. The MVP candidate turned into an absolute monster at the plate his first season in Toronto, hitting .297/.371/.568, with 41 home runs, in 711 plate appearances.
Now, they'll have to play the rest of Game 1 without him. Donaldson was removed from the contest in the fifth inning after taking a knee to the head on a take-out slide in the bottom of the fourth.
Officially, Donaldson was removed for precautionary reasons. That's somewhat misleading considering the possible severity of the injury, though. He'll be evaluated for a concussion.
Donaldson removed for precautionary reasons after getting kneed in the head. Being evaluated now.
- Kyle Ringo at Big League Stew6 hrs ago
Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre had to be removed from Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday after suffering a lower-back injury.
Beltre hit an RBI-single to center in the top of the third inning and had a hard time running to first base, but the club said the injury actually occurred when Beltre was sliding into second base during the first inning while trying to break up a double play.
Beltre remained in the game as a baserunner but was clearly in pain and seemed unable to run. When the inning ended and Rangers manager Jeff Banister came out on the field to take Beltre out of the game, the 36-year-old was in tears.
UPDATE: Beltre has a back strain. There is no structural damage to his back. While he has not been ruled out for Game 2, it seems unlikely he will play.
Adrian Beltre has a back strain. No structural damage. Not ruled out for Game 2 but seems unlikely. Got an injection. #Rangers