Big League Stew
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
There hasn’t been a pitcher in baseball this season more valuable to his team than Clayton Kershaw is to the Los Angeles Dodgers. And we may see soon just how much better he’s made the mostly unspectacular Dodgers this season.
The club announced Tuesday that Kershaw would be leaving its current road trip in Milwaukee and traveling back to the Los Angeles to see the team’s back specialist.
This, as you might imagine for a Dodgers team that’s trying to make the best of a depleted rotation, is not good news. Here’s what skipper Dave Roberts relayed to the press, via Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times:
Dave Roberts said the team is "hopeful" Kershaw can make his next start. But his back condition has not improved.
— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) June 28, 2016LiveLA Dodgers6 - 4MilwaukeeFollow Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
Tim Lincecum’s first start in his MLB comeback with the Los Angeles Angels was quite a sight. He pitched well, fending off the Oakland Athletics and allowing just one run in six innings. Tim Lincecum 2.0, hey, it could be a thing.
But then came the second start. There wasn’t as much fending and instead of Timmy 2.0 there were the four runs scored in the second inning. Lincecum lasted three, throwing 83 pitches and looking more like the downtrodden ex-ace we saw with the San Francisco Giants.LiveHouston3 - 0LA AngelsFollow Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
Sometimes you get frauds. This is the kind of thing that happens when you let the public decide. It’s the downside of any popularity contest. Because getting the most votes doesn’t actually mean you’re the best.
And that’s especially true in Major League Baseball the past couple years, where the shift to online-only voting has led to some serious ballot-box-stuffing.
Remember Omar Infante nearly becoming the starting second baseman last season even though he was one of the worst hitters in the AL? Fun fact: Infante was released by the Kansas City Royals recently, but he’s still No. 4 at his position this season.LiveSt. Louis8 - 4Kansas CityFollow Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew8 hrs ago
Alex Rodriguez surprised us all with his successful 2015 season. He hit 33 homers and drove in 86 runs. For a 39-year-old with two surgically replaced hips coming off his full-year PED suspension, that was pretty great.
As it turns out, maybe that was A-Rod’s last hurrah.
Rodriguez has struggled mightily this season, hitting just .229 with eight homers and an OPS that’s down nearly 200 points. So the Yankees, currently 37-38 and fighting for relevancy in the American League as the trade-deadline approaches, have decided to reduce his role.
According to general manager Brian Cashman, the Yanks will have A-Rod on the bench most days, like they have the past two games. Instead of being their full-time DH, he’s now their platoon DH, meaning he’ll only start against left-handed pitchers. The Yankees have faced right-handers in two-thirds of their games this season, so you can figure out what that means for A-Rod’s likelihood of at-bats.
- Liz Roscher at Big League Stew11 hrs ago
Baseball is a funny game. From play to play, anything can happen. Just because you make a heroic play doesn't mean you're immune to doing something embarrassing later in the game. Or, if you're Texas Rangers center fielder Ian Desmond, it doesn't mean you're immune to doing something embarrassing on the very next play.
This is a tale of two plays, both which happened in the bottom of the third inning of the Rangers' game against the New York Yankees on Monday night. In the first one, Desmond showed off his best outfield defense. Brett Gardner lined a pitch from Chi Chi Gonzalez directly to center field, and it was sinking fast. Desmond saw the ball coming and ran in, making a forward dive as he slid his glove between the ball and the grass right before it touched the ground. It was a fantastic play.
- Liz Roscher at Big League Stew13 hrs ago
Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout and Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve may not look anything alike, but they're brothers now. They're brothers for life after Trout tripped over second base on Monday while legging out a triple, just like Altuve did on Saturday. And he did it right in front of Altuve.
Their bonding actually started before the game between the Angels and the Astros. While they were doing their pre-game warm-ups, Trout good-naturedly razzed Altuve about his tumble. He had no idea that in just a few innings, he'd be eating his words. And some infield dirt.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew20 hrs ago
Welcome to The Walk Off, the nightly MLB recap from Big League Stew. Here we'll look at the top performers of the night, show you a must-see highlight and rundown the scoreboard. First, we start with a game you need to know about.
The New York Mets have some pitcher drama, but this time it doesn't involve Matt Harvey. After struggling during an 11-4 loss against the Washington Nationals, Noah Syndergaard denied reports he's been dealing with a bone spur in his elbow.
While Syndergaard was able to pump his usual velocity during the start, he had issues with his control and command. Syndergaard uncharacteristically walked two during the first inning, but managed to escape a bases-loaded jam. He looked like his normal self in the second, striking out the side.LiveNY Mets0 - 3WashingtonFollow Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew21 hrs ago
Relievers tend to miss out on the action during a baseball brawl. Unless they are responsible for throwing the pitch that sparked the brawl, it's pretty rare that you see them throw any punches. By the time the bullpen reaches the action, things have calmed down. Normally, relievers are crucial peacekeepers.
That wasn't the case during Monday's game between the New Orleans Zephyrs and the Memphis Redbirds.
Your browser does not support iframes. The brawl began in the fifth inning, after Zephyrs pitcher Jose Urena threw a pitch near Redbirds outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker's head. Hazelbaker immediately took offense to the pitch, flipped his bat and ran out to the mound to take on Urena.
After Urena appears to throw a punch, Hazelbaker attempts a spear. At that point, he's placed in a headlock. Urena may hit Hazelbaker with a jab to the ribs, but then both benches envelope the two players.
At that point, the brawl continues on its normal path. Both benches try to separate the players involved. Once that happens, things normally die down.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew1 day ago
Breaking news: Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant is good. OK, fine, everyone knows that by now. Bryant has had high expectations ever since he began destroying pitchers in the minors. He entered last year as one of the top prospects in the game, and proved he belonged in the majors with a standout rookie season.
While it's too early in Bryant's career to start saying he's going to be a historically great player, he was able to turn in a historically great performance Monday in an 11-8 win against the Cincinnati Reds.
Bryant was a one-man wrecking crew, absolutely destroying the Reds every time he stepped to the plate. Below is a summary of Bryant's results during each of his five plate appearances from Monday's game:
Yes, you read that right. Bryant finished the contest 5-for-5, with three home runs and two doubles.
And now, courtesy of Baseball Reference, here's a list of all the players who have accomplished that feat:LiveChi Cubs2 - 2CincinnatiFollow Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew1 day ago
St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright almost did something that would have put him in the same conversation as Randy Johnson on Monday. It was not a statistical milestone, though. Wainwright almost recreated Johnson's infamous bird incident.
Take a look for yourself. A bird flies dangerously close to the strike zone during one of Wainwright's pitches during Monday's game against the Kansas City Royals. Somehow, the bird makes it out unscathed.
Adam Wainwright almost just Randy Johnson'd a bird ... pic.twitter.com/ysZ173GGAt
That was a close call. On top of somehow avoiding Wainwright's pitch, the bird also manages to get out of the way of Chelsor Cuthbert's bat.
Everything about the Johnson incident seemed surreal at the time. So many things had to come together at exactly the right moment in order for a bird to be hit with a pitch mid-flight. On top of that, it just so happened that the pitcher with the hardest fastball delivered the pitch. It seemed impossible.