Big League Stew
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew22 mins ago
The Kansas City Royals and Oakland Athletics put the wild in wild card Tuesday night. At the end, Kansas City was going crazy once again, celebrating like they haven't in 29 years. The Royals won a five-hour, 12-inning game on Salvador Perez's walk-off single that went down the third-base line, just under the glove of A's third baseman Josh Donaldson.
The A's blew it three times — including a 7-3 lead in the eighth and ninth innings, and a 8-7 lead in the 12th. The Royals scored twice in the 12th to overthrow the A's and win 9-8. Now Kansas City will face the Angels in the ALDS.
• Salvador Perez, who found sweet redemption, in the 12th. He was 0-5 in the game before that, including a crucial strikeout in the eighth inning that stopped a Royals rally.
• Eric Hosmer's 12th inning triple — just out of the reach of two Oakland outfielders — got the Royals going in the final inning. He eventually scored the tying run and finished the night with three hits.
- Nick Bromberg at Big League Stew1 hr ago
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – During Tuesday night's wild card game between the A's and Royals, the TBS camera briefly focused on a Royals fan who was holding a sign with an interesting proposition.
If the Royals won the game, the man she was with would buy her a real, live puppy.
The offer quickly went viral on the Internet and the puppy was often mentioned during a classic game that the Royals would end up winning 9-8 in 12 innings.
While the Royals were leading by a run at the time she was on camera, the Royals soon gave up five runs in the top of the sixth and trailed the game 7-3. The woman's hopes for a puppy were looking bleak.
- Nick Bromberg at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Oakland A's catcher Geovany Soto left the game with what the team said was a left thumb injury after a play at the plate with the Kansas City Royals' Eric Hosmer in the first inning.
Hosmer attempted to score after A's pitcher Jon Lester picked off Billy Butler at first base. As Butler got into a rundown, Hosmer broke for home and was tagged for the third out of the inning.
The tag from Soto was high up on Hosmer's body and Soto's glove ricocheted off Hosmer.
Soto batted in the top of the second inning and struck out looking. He was replaced by Derek Norris behind the plate. Soto, who was acquired from the Rangers in August, hit .262 with a .354 on-base percentage and a .357 slugging percentage in 49 plate appearances with the A's.
His absence may hurt the A's most defensively. The Royals have the most stolen bases in baseball, and Soto caught nine of 17 baserunners stealing against the A's this year. Norris has thrown out 12 in 72 stolen base attempts against him. Norris also had never caught Jon Lester, who the A's acquired before the trade deadline from the Boston Red Sox.
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- Nick Bromberg at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – As Royals fans poured into Kauffman Stadium Tuesday night for their team's wild card game against the Oakland A's, you had to look harder than usual to spot George Brett jerseys.
Five years ago, the star of the Royals' 1985 World Series win and last playoff appearance might have been the most popular player apparel item. While the links to the ghosts of the Royals' 29-year playoff drought were visible – there were a few fans wearing shirts from that series with the Cardinals, including Mark Gruber's Don Denkinger shirt (pictured at right) – Tuesday night was all about the present.
When you're the fan of a team always thinking back to the glory days of a World Series that gets further and further in the rearview while simultaneously waiting for next year, living in the present is an odd feeling. And one Royals fans were ready to seize.
"I was 6 years old [when the Royals went to the World Series]," Morgan Grippin said while donning a Royals flag like a cape. "I don't remember a thing. This is, in my opinion, my very first playoff game ever."
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
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When Brandon Moss stepped to the plate in the top of the first inning of Tuesday night's AL wild-card game, TBS' play-by-play guy Ernie Johnson gave the requisite intro about Moss' recent struggles — how he had only hit four homers after the All-Star break, compared to 21 before it, and how since the Oakland Athletics traded slugger Yoenis Cespedes, Moss' production had decreased more than anyone's.
Johnson was in the middle of explaining all this, when Moss swung at a second-pitch changeup from Kansas City Royals starter James Shields and hit it deeeeeep into the right-field bleachers. The homer, Moss' first since Sept. 16, gave the A's a 2-0 lead. The Royals scored one in their half of the first to make it 2-1 early.
Brandon Moss had no homers in last 11 games (25 at-bats) and just two since July 24 (154 at-bats). #Athletics. Had 25 for the year.Tue, Sep 30Oakland8 - 9Kansas CityGame Recap
- David Brown at Big League Stew6 hrs ago
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin said he let slugger Adam Dunn know "earlier in the day" Tuesday that he would not be in the lineup at designated hitter for the American League wild-card game against Kansas City. Melvin didn't want Dunn, who's never played in a postseason game in 14 years in the majors, to find out he wasn't starting once he reached Kauffman Stadium and saw the lineup posted.
Right-hander James Shields starts for the Royals, with Jon Lester going for the A's. Dunn's left-handed bat is among the more likely to hit a home run, or reach base via a walk, for either team. He's frequently a fixture against right-handers. As Melvin points out, just because Dunn isn't starting doesn't mean he won't play, or even figure prominently in the outcome.
"He understands, too," Melvin said. "All our guys know that we do things a little differently here at times. We're trying to play for the day. ... He may have the biggest at-bat of the game. So he's ready for that."
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew9 hrs ago
Playoff baseball is upon us. Ten teams have a chance at advancing to the World Series, and they'll need a combination of great performances and great luck to get there. This time of year isn't just about stars excelling. It's also about a player making a big play when it's most needed. Likewise, when you're thinking about the most intriguing players of the postseason, it's not always just a team's biggest star (though in some cases, that player is the most intriguing). Our list of most intriguing players includes guys with a compelling story, guys who could be a hero, guys with a lot on the line. So here they are, 10 players we'll be watching — some for different reasons than others — as the MLB postseason begins. Click the image of Mike Trout above to begin the slideshow and read about each player.
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:
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- David Brown at Big League Stew13 hrs ago
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — One of the reasons for Major League Baseball's enduring popularity is the frequency and simplicity with which its enjoyment is passed among the generations. Almost everybody has stories, or at least memories. Playing catch with dad. Mom driving you to Little League practice. Going to games with your grandfather.
One of the emerging themes leading up to the Kansas City Royals hosting the Oakland Athletics in the American League wild-card game Tuesday night was how history divides Royals fans into two kinds: One, a younger generation that had witnessed little or no success since the Royals won the World Series 29 years ago. The other: An older group that also lived the good-old days.
- David Brown at Big League Stew15 hrs ago
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Having to face left-hander Jon Lester in a postseason game is a task no opponent should relish. Lester's reputation in the playoffs is second to few, and his 2.11 ERA in 76 2/3 career innings for the Boston Red Sox backs it up. And yet as postseason neophytes, the Kansas City Royals could benefit from Lester being on the mound for the Oakland Athletics, if players take stock in what he said before, and how he acts during, the American League wild card game Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium.
"Believe it or not, I've always tried to take the same approach, whether it's April 15th or this game now," Lester said Monday afternoon. "The competitiveness in me does not allow me to throttle back or throttle more, or whatever. Same mentality, same preparation, same routine. Nothing changes because the game means more. I think that keeps me even-keeled."
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 day ago
Talk about two teams desperate to win — the Oakland Athletics haven't won consistently since the start of August and the Kansas City Royals haven't even played in the postseason since 1985.
When they enter Tuesday night's AL wild-card game, a good portion of both fanbases will be hoping for the best, but fearing the absolute worst in the back of their minds. Losing sticks with you like that, whether it's short-term, like the Athletics' sluggish second half or long-term, like the Royals nearly 30 years of disappointment.