Big League Stew
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew1 hr ago
San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence has missed most of the season due to a forearm injury. The club has been able to tread water without him, going 42-42 despite Pence playing in just 18 games.
Pence returned to the team Tuesday, and immediately showed why he can be difference-maker moving forward.
With the New York Mets threatening in the sixth inning, Pence showed off his range and his arm. Pence was able to track down a Ruben Tejada fly ball in foul territory, making an excellent diving catch.
The catch was impressive enough, but what Pence did next elevated the play to one of the best of the season. Pence had the wherewithal to get up, and immediately fire a strike to home.
Curtis Granderson, who was on third at the start of the play, attempted to score after Pence's catch, but was nailed by his throw. Following the completion of the double play, the Giants' fans went absolutely bonkers. Even Pence seemed fired up by the play.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
Andrew McCutchen isn't just the Pittsburgh Pirates' savior on the field. As he showed Tuesday, he can assist in other areas as well. While his latest act of heroism technically did take place on the field, it's not in the way you think.
With rain starting to come down in the top of the third inning, the Pirates' grounds crew was tasked with rolling the tarp onto the field. Things seemed to be going fine at first, but then the team was hit with some pretty strong wind.
This caused the tarp to start moving off course, swallowing a member of the grounds crew in the process. Just as things were starting to look bleak, McCutchen, as usual, stepped up.
Your browser does not support iframes. McCutchen, Sean Rodriguez and Gregory Polanco all helped the grounds crew get the situation under control. You can see the man previously swallowed by the tarp emerge shortly after the players stepped in.
The three then remained on the field in the rain until the tarp was put in place. During the process, the rain began to come down even harder, but the players wouldn't budge. They would only leave once the grounds crew got things mostly under control.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew5 hrs ago
For 12 seasons, Chase Utley has been one of the Philadelphia Phillies' best players. At times, he was the best second baseman in the game. Though he didn't become a major-league regular until age 26, Utley built a dark horse Hall of Fame candidacy for a while.
Then, injuries and age-related decline struck. One of those is unfortunate, the other inevitable. While Utley had a reprieve from those issues the last two years, they combined to sink him again in 2015.
After hitting just .179/.257/.275 in 249 at-bats, Utley was sent to the disabled list with a right ankle injury. When he returns, he may find that his run with the Phillies has come to an end.
Is Utley still team's everyday 2B upon return? "Not for me he's not," Amaro said. "Cesar Hernandez is our best second baseman."
Those are pretty strong words from general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.
Hernandez has performed well over the first few months of the season, hitting .302/.385/.385 over 207 plate appearances.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew8 hrs ago
Former Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Roy Halladay had his perfect driving record broken up by a police officer Tuesday afternoon. Halladay had gone 38 years without a speeding ticket before his chance at a perfect driving record was ruined.
Halladay was caught speeding Tuesday afternoon. He celebrated his first ever ticket with a selfie.
Halladay's tweet was pretty respectful. He acknowledged that he was speeding, and added the hastag #protectandserve, implying that the officer was just doing his job.
If the goal of the ticket was to discourage Halladay from speeding again ... well ...
Got me again!! I ask if he was stalking famous people. He said no none live around here except the washed up pitcher! pic.twitter.com/CnSG9A9WfP
Yep, Halladay got pulled over by the same cop on the same day. We actually don't know why he was pulled over the second time, or if Halladay received another ticket.
- Yahoo Sports Staff at Big League Stew9 hrs ago
Editor's note: Most teams in MLB have passed the 81-game mark of their seasons, so The Stew is spending this week looking back at the first half of 2015.
We all love a good surprise and, in sports, we love them even more. That's why the Kansas City Royals were the feel-good underdogs of 2014. And why there are people outside of Houston hoping that the Astros can keep up their surprising success of 2015.
In the first installment of our midseason review, we looked at the biggest stories of the season. Some people were stumped that the Astros didn't get any love. We were just saving it for this post. Here are our five biggest surprises of 2015, including the Astros and beyond.
THE ASTROS The Houston Astros haven't posted a winning record since 2008. In fact, the team lost at least 90 games in each of the last four seasons. In three of those four seasons, the club piled up more than 100 losses. For those reasons, the Astros have to be viewed as the biggest surprise of 2015.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew12 hrs ago
No, those weren't diehard St. Louis Cardinals fans who walked into a Starbucks near Wrigley Field in full uniform Tuesday. Those were actual members of the St. Louis Cardinals sent on a coffee run in their baseball gear.
Why? Because they're rookies, of course. Let's scope it out, thanks to these photos from Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The players in question are Marcus Hatley, Miguel Socolovich and Mitch Harris. Assistant bullpen catcher Kleininger Teran was sent with them. It was a good day for a Starbucks run, since the Cardinals and Cubs are playing two Tuesday. Goold writes that veteran Mark Reynolds was most likely the organizer and explains the scene in the St. Louis clubhouse:
- Israel Fehr at Big League Stew13 hrs ago
Jonathan Papelbon hopes that next week's All-Star game isn't the last time he takes the field alongside All-Star teammates this season.
On the day he was named to the Midsummer Classic for the sixth time in his career, Papelbon reiterated his desire for a trade from the last-place Philadelphia Phillies before the July 31 trade deadline. As he has been saying for over a year now, he wants to pitch for a team that has a shot to play in October.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew14 hrs ago
For the baseball fan who has to rep their favorite team on everything, even their headphones, comes this: a limited-edition line of headphones that's a collaboration between Beats By Dr. Dre and MLB.
The baseball logo-emblazoned Beats were announced Tuesday, featuring five teams plus a set decorated in honor of this year's All-Star game in Cincinnati. The teams aren't surprising, considering what we know about market size and merchandise popularity. The five teams picked are the ones that sell best: the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees and San Francisco Giants. The All-Star version is available now. The others are available for pre-order. Here's a look:
- Israel Fehr at Big League Stew14 hrs ago
You don't see this happen very often.
San Fransisco Giants right-hander Chris Heston saw Curtis Granderson creeping off first base in the third inning of their game against the Mets on Monday night and attempted a pickoff throw hoping to keep Granderson honest.
That's not the part that's unusual.
Unfortunately for Heston, first baseman Brandon Belt was nowhere near the bag. With a full count and two outs, Belt had assumed his position behind the runner when Heston threw over. The ball bounced off the wall and Granderson wound up safe at second base. Heston was charged with an error and filled with embarrassment.
Granderson deserves at least a little share of shame too. Even though there was no one covering first, he still instinctively dove back into first trying to avoid a tag that was never going to come because there wasn't anyone there to make it.
There was sure a lot of bad on this play.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew23 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 shy 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.