Big League Stew
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew4 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.
Chris Sale was four strikeouts short of history Monday night — and that wasn't the only thing that was short.
Sale and the Chicago White Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays by the count of 4-2 in a game that lasted just one hour and 55 minutes, making it the shortest MLB game in four years. Don't attribute this to those new pace-of-play rules, rather it's what happens when Sale and Blue Jays pitcher Mark Buehrle, two brisk workers on the mound, are matched up against each other.Tue, Jul 78:10 PM EDTToronto at Chi White SoxPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew5 hrs ago
If you were rooting for anarchy to breakout on MLB's All-Star roster announcement day, then you were disappointed to learn that Alex Rodriguez was named neither an AL All-Star reserve Monday, nor was he one of the five competitors put in the "Final Vote" race.
Has A-Rod been good enough to warrant All-Star inclusion? That's quite debatable, but some people think so. His OPS, for example, is .902 and that's 14th best in baseball, better than All-Star starters Josh Donaldson, Buster Posey, Albert Pujols and Lorenzo Cain. A-Rod's hitting .284 with 16 homers and 47 RBIs. Pretty good. Better than almost anybody expected from him.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew5 hrs ago
The process by which we determine who starts the MLB All-Star game is completely up to fans. If you've been paying attention the last two months, you know this quite well. It was hard to miss all the handwringing about how many Kansas City Royals players might start because of their fans' feverish online ballot-stuffing.
In the end, four Royals were voted as starters — catcher Salvador Perez, shortstop Alcides Escobar and outfielders Lorenzo Cain and Alex Gordon. As many as eight Royals were leading their positions just a few weeks ago, so four Royals seems like a fair enough compromise between over-eager K.C. clicksters and the rest of baseball.
But you know who wasn't nearly as keen on Kansas City's All-Star class? MLB players.Tue, Jul 72:10 PM EDTTampa Bay at Kansas CityPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew6 hrs ago
Certainly no one expects much from Jon Lester at the plate. He's a pitcher who spent his entire career in the American League before joining the Chicago Cubs this season. Still, Lester held the dubious honor of the most at-bats to start a career without a hit. We're talking the longest in the history of baseball.
Lester was 0-for-66 for his career when he stepped to the plate Monday night against St. Louis Cardinals starter (and former teammate) John Lackey. Lester put a good swing on Lackey's offering and smacked it back at the mound, where it ricocheted off Lackey. Lester arrived safely at first base, with a history-beating base hit.Tue, Jul 71:20 PM EDTSt. Louis at Chi CubsPreview Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew10 hrs ago
The wait is over! At long last, the full All-Star rosters have been revealed. Don't worry, though, there are still plenty of things to debate. Which pitchers should get the starting nod? Who should win the final vote? Why did your favorite player get snubbed?
Let's start to answer those questions by looking at the rosters. First, we'll kick things off in the National League:
The full 2015 National League All-Star Roster: pic.twitter.com/BY9sNI4IvM
And now, the American League:
The full 2015 American League All-Star Roster: pic.twitter.com/WC6XL1LFuc
Remember, pitchers and reserves are picked by the players and the managers of the game. In this case, that means Bruce Bochy and Ned Yost had a major hand in determining which players came along.
Were you glad fan voting was over? Well, don't get too comfortable. The final vote candidates appear at the bottom of those lists. Fans will have until Friday to cast their votes for the most deserving player.
In the NL, that includes Johnny Cueto, Jeurys Familia, Clayton Kershaw, Carlos Martinez and Troy Tulowitzki.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew12 hrs ago
Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale will take the mound Monday with a lot at stake. If he can strike out 10 or more Toronto Blue Jays, Sale will set a major-league record with nine consecutive games with double-digit strikeouts.
The pressure is going to be on in more than one way, however. The Blue Jays have been the best offensive team against left-handers by a wide margin this season. On top of that, Sale will be opposed on the mound by his former mentor, Mark Buehrle.
Buehrle had a big impact on Sale's development when the two were teammates during the 2010 and 2011 seasons, according to Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com. While Sox pitching coach Don Cooper told Chisholm Buehrle's relationship with Sale at that time is exactly how teammates should operate.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew14 hrs ago
Robinson Cano hasn't played like a $24 million man this season for the Seattle Mariners. He's hitting .248, far below his career batting average of .306, with five homers and 27 RBIs. He's one of the reasons the Mariners are a disappointing 38-44 and in fourth place in the AL West.
As it turns out, though, this isn't a run-of-the-mill baseball slump. Nor is it a typical decline for a former star. Cano, 32, admitted to USA Today's Jorge L. Ortiz, in a Spanish-language interview, that he's been battling a stomach problem for almost a year and the results have been draining.
Cano was in the midst of his sixth All-Star season last year when he started experiencing stomach discomfort in August. With the Mariners in the playoff chase, he didn't get it checked until their season was over, in October. Cano said he was told he had a common parasite, which was treated with antibiotics, but he was left with acid reflux to this day.Tue, Jul 710:10 PM EDTDetroit at SeattlePreview Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew14 hrs ago
Washington Nationals superstar Bryce Harper will not participate in the Home Run Derby this season. Harper told reporters Monday that he is going to skip the event.
Harper cited a couple of reasons for declining the invite.
Bryce Harper won't participate in HR Derby. Wants to stay in routine & says, more than anything, wouldn't feel right w/o dad throwing to him
Harper's father, Ron, had rotator cuff surgery recently, and wouldn't be able to throw to Bryce during the contest. Last month, Harper told the Washington Post that it wouldn't be the same without his dad throwing to him.
“If I win it for the first time, I want it to be with my dad,” Harper said . “That’s something really special. We’ll see. I’ve still gotta make the all-star team.”Tue, Jul 77:05 PM EDTCincinnati at WashingtonPreview Game
- Yahoo Sports Staff at Big League Stew16 hrs ago
Teams around MLB began hitting the 81-game mark — and thus, the midway point of the season — late last week. As of Monday, 26 of 30 teams are halfway through their season. Yes, the All-Star break isn't until next week, but midseason is upon us. Like, right now.
So we at The Stew thought the time was right to look back at the first half of the 2015 baseball season and forecast what's coming in the second half. This is the first installment of a five-part series that will run all week. We'll talk about surprises, disappointments, who's poised for redemption in the second half and which managers might be out of jobs next.
First, though, we look at the big picture: What have been the biggest stories of the MLB season? Our crew of bloggers picked the five biggest and explain why. As you'd expect, our list contains some on-the-field action and some off-the-field controversy. Every story, though, had people talking.Tue, Jul 77:10 PM EDTHouston at ClevelandPreview Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew17 hrs ago
Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer has incredible focus. He's proven as much this season, following up his one-hitter with a no-hitter. In both starts, Scherzer could have crumbled under the immense pressure. Instead, he proved to be unflappable, maintaining his tenacity and energy as the games went on.
Apparently, Scherzer carries that same demeanor off the field. During an interview with the Sunday Night Baseball crew, Scherzer's teammates did everything they could to knock him off his game. It didn't work.