Big League Stew
- Israel Fehr at Big League Stew21 mins ago
A first baseman has one job above all others: catch the ball when it's thrown to you. Brandon Belt had a little trouble with that Monday night.
With closer Santiago Casilla in the game, the Giants were two outs away from closing out a victory over San Diego when Justin Upton hit a routine ball back to the mound. Casilla picked it up and lobbed it toward first base.
What happened next is best described accompanied by zany circus music. Belt didn't get a good read on the throw, took an awkward route to the base, and bobbled the ball as it hit his glove. While he scrambled to pick up the ball off the ground, Upton slid into the bag feet-first to give San Diego a much-needed baserunner.
Fortunately for Belt, Upton never advanced past first as Casilla retired the next two Padres batters with ease to secure the 2-0 win.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew7 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.
For those of us who thought the Houston Astros would never lose again (you know you were on board), Monday night was the end of the dream. The Astros' 10-game winning streak was snapped by the Texas Rangers, who edged the Astros 2-1 after a ninth-inning sac fly.
So close to 11!
The Astros, the surprise team of the MLB season thus far, are still 18-8, the best mark in the American League and they have a seven-game lead in the AL West. In case you hadn't been paying attention, no, these aren't those 100-loss Astros anymore.Tue, May 58:10 PM EDTTexas at HoustonPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew8 hrs ago
What's the most important thing we learned during Monday night's Los Angeles Angels/Seattle Mariners game? That Mariners starter Felix Hernandez (now 5-0) is at his best in this early part of the season? That Angels starter Matt Shoemaker and his 10 strikeouts are totally legit?
While those things are important, the most important development was something else entirely: Jose Mota is always prepared.
Mota, the former big leaguer and son of Manny Mota, is a Spanish-language announcer for the Angels. When a foul ball was hit in the direction of Mota and broadcast partner Amaury Pi-Gonzalez in the seventh inning, Mota calmly reached out and caught it. No sweat, once a ballplayer, always a ballplayer.
Buuuuuuuut, wait. Did you notice something particularly interesting in the video above? Yep, Mota had his glove on, ready to go, just in case this very moment were to arise. And he did all this while calling the game.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew8 hrs ago
What can't Clayton Kershaw do? (OK, other than beat the St. Louis Cardinals in the postseason).
The Los Angeles Dodgers ace throws knee-buckling curve balls, plays a mean game of ping-pong and he can even hit a homer every once in a while. On Monday night, he impressed in yet another way — with his glove.
Watch Kershaw above with a behind-the-back stab on a comebacker hit by Elian Herrera of the Milwaukee Brewers. Who does this guy think he is? Andrelton Simmons? An NHL goalie? Sheesh, Clayton.Tue, May 58:15 PM EDTChi Cubs at St. LouisPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew8 hrs ago
What a 24 hours it was for Craig Counsell: He watched Sunday night as the Milwaukee Brewers fired manager Ron Roenicke, then installed him as skipper Monday morning. Counsell's first task on the job? Face the Los Angeles Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw.
Those 24 hours finished in the best possible way too — the game ball in Counsell's hand, his first win as an MLB manager secured when his Brewers scored three runs in the eighth inning for a come-from-behind victory against the best pitcher in baseball.
At one point Monday morning, during his introductory media sessions, Counsell talked about wanting his players to write a new story. He got one, all right. Here's more from Tom Haurdicourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Craig Counsell on improbable first win with #Brewers: "Those guys wrote a pretty good story tonight. It wasn't looking good early."Tue, May 58:10 PM EDTLA Dodgers at MilwaukeePreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew12 hrs ago
Before we say anything else, we'll say this: It's never a good idea for fans to run onto a baseball field. Not only is it a waste of their ticket and a waste of many peoples' time, but the fan-on-the-field dash pretty much never goes as well as when it's conceived — usually a couple drinks in — back in the stands.
Usually, the fan gets thrown to the ground, tossed out of the stadium and embarrasses him/herself mightily . Every once in a while, though, this happens:
This was the scene Monday night at Busch Stadium, where the St. Louis Cardinals were playing Chicago Cubs. Hand to the guy: He eluded four security guards and finished in grand fashion — with a somersault onto home plate. We still don't agree with the idea, but the guy gets points for execution.
This Cardinals fan should enjoy his 15 seconds of fame. He probably won't be welcome around Busch Stadium for quite a while.
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:
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- Mike Oz at Big League Stew14 hrs ago
Things can dicey quickly when pitchers have to do non-pitcher things — like bat or field grounders. And sometimes, that very much adds to our entertainment value as baseball-watchers.
Everybody say hi to Chase Whitley, the New York Yankees starting pitcher Monday night against the Blue Jays. Whitley fielded a bunt by Ezequiel Carrera and made a throw to first base that would make 50 Cent feel good about his baseball accomplishments.
To Whitley's credit, you can see he didn't have a grasp on the ball as he took it out of his glove. He should have held it, but he tried to toss the ball to first anyway. And it looked like a drunk duck trying to fly. Jays first-base coach Tim Leiper moved quickly to get out of the way. He probably didn't need to, but it was fun to watch just the same.Tue, May 57:07 PM EDTNY Yankees at TorontoPreview Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew15 hrs ago
It's early, but Red Sox outfielder Hanley Ramirez has looked like an MVP candidate at the plate through the first 24 games of the season.
Ramirez has been a stud offensive, but his conversion to the outfield has been an area of concern. Those issues were on display Monday as Ramirez had to leave the contest in the first inning after crashing into the left field wall.
Ramirez has had his adventures in left field thus far, but that wasn't the case here. Given the ball's placement, there was little Ramirez could do to avoid the wall if he was going to attempt to make the catch.
After slamming into the surface, Ramirez held his left arm in place.
Once the play had ended, trainers came out to take a look at Ramirez. After a few minutes, he left the game and walked straight into the team's clubhouse. He was replaced by Allen Craig in left.
Shortly after Ramirez was removed from the contest, the club announced he's dealing with a left shoulder sprain.
Hanley: left shoulder sprain. No more info.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew17 hrs ago
The Milwaukee Brewers have a new leader. Twenty-five games into the season, the team fired Ron Roenicke and replaced him with former player Craig Counsell.
Counsell has no previous managerial experience, making it virtually impossible to know how he'll perform in his new role.
Thankfully, a number of teams have hired first-time managers in recent seasons. While their performances won't help us get an idea of Counsell's style, it should help set the expectations for Counsell as he takes on this new endeavor.
Fifteen current managers were hired with no previous managerial experience. That list includes seasoned veterans like Mike Scioscia and Bud Black, guys who are still in limbo like Robin Ventura and Ryne Sandberg and newly hired rookies like Kevin Cash and Chip Hale.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew20 hrs ago
The Milwaukee Brewers reached their breaking point Sunday, firing manager Ron Roenicke just 25 games into the 2015 season. While Roenicke was the first manager let go, he certainly will not be the last. With that in mind, let's take a look at some managers who are currently on the hot seat.
ROBIN VENTURA, CHICAGO WHITE SOX