Big League Stew
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 hr ago
This was one of those wins that playoff-caliber teams have to eke out. And as weird as it may seem still, when we're talking about the Kansas City Royals, we're talking about a team that has every intention of playing in the postseason.
If that happens, Monday night's win may be one of those signature moments that makes the postseason DVD. The Royals beat the White Sox 4-3, earning a walk-off win after scoring twice in the bottom of the ninth. The Royals had lost five of seven and slipped out of first place in the AL Central. They're owners of the second AL wild card and 1 1/2 back in the division, keeping pace with the Detroit Tigers who also won in the ninth inning Monday night.Tue, Sep 165:10 PM PDTChi White Sox at Kansas CityPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 hr ago
The celebration on the field was subdued. The Los Angeles Angels knew this was only the first step. The first of many, they hope.
The Angels became the first team to clinch a playoff berth, by beating the Seattle Mariners 8-1 on Monday night. The Angels still have a magic number of three to win the AL West, but they've clinched at least a wild-card spot.
The division title will come. Heck, the 100-win plateau might come too. They're at 94 after beating Seattle. And then the postseason will come. There are lots of things to clinch for the Angels still, and they'll celebrate then, but crossing the first thing off the to-do list is always nice.
''Guys are aware that this is one little milestone that we need, and I think they're proud of that,'' manager Mike Scioscia said. ''But we have a long way to go. I think these guys know the bigger prize that we need to keep our eyes on.''
The Angels got another strong outing from rookie pitcher Matt Shoemaker, who improved to 16-4 this season after pitching 7 2/3 innings and giving up just one run.Tue, Sep 167:05 PM PDTSeattle at LA AngelsPreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew6 hrs ago
Major League Baseball players take note: Grabbing your own crotch will bring a bigger penalty than hitting another player with the baseball on purpose.
MLB saw fit to suspend Jonathan Papelbon of the Philadelphia Phillies for seven games for his perceived lewd gesture at fans at Citizens Bank Park on Sunday. Papelbon will not appeal, Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports, and he began serving his penalty Monday when the Phillies were visiting the San Diego Padres.
No word from MLB came regarding a penalty for umpire Joe West, who grabbed Papelbon by the jersey during their argument over Papelbon's ejection for making the gesture. Joe Torre, the MLB official in charge of discipline, was athis brother Frank Torre's funeral. That West wasn't published immediately didn't sit well with players such as Josh Donaldson of the Oakland Athletics:Tue, Sep 167:10 PM PDTPhiladelphia at San DiegoPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew8 hrs ago
New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom has turned into a legitimate National League Rookie of the Year candidate over the past couple months. While he may or may not win the award, deGrom has at least etched his name into the Major League Baseball record books.
In Monday's game against the Miami Marlins, deGrom struck out the first eight batters he faced, tying Jim Deshaies' modern record. Deshaies struck out eight straight in 1986, pitching for the Houston Astros.
It looked like deGrom might break Deshaies' record, as Marlins pitcher Jarred Cosart stepped to the plate in the bottom of the third inning. But Cosart singled into right field, the opposing pitcher of all people, the guy you might expect to strike out.
deGrom, 26, has been a bright spot this season for the Mets, who called him up in May. He was 8-6 with a 2.62 ERA in 20 starts, heading into Monday's game. Including his performance Monday night, deGrom has struck out eight or more batters in six times.Tue, Sep 164:10 PM PDTMiami at NY MetsPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew9 hrs ago
Lest you thoughtthe Hunter Pence Signs joke was something that died after mid August — you know, like the Oakland Athletics' chances of winning the AL West, zing! — the bleacher meme has inspired a new parody rap video.
We like parody rap videos and this one comes from Tim Gettys of San Francisco-based video-making troupe Kinda Funny and his rhyming cohort Alexis Cozombolidis (aka @LetsGetLexi, aka Pence's girlfriend). And the video stars, you guessed it, Hunter Pence, the San Francisco Giants right fielder, acting out a number of absurdist Hunter Pence Sign ideas. It's worth two minutes of your life.Tue, Sep 167:05 PM PDTTexas at OaklandPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew12 hrs ago
Five Big Things is Big League Stew's look at the week ahead in MLB action, examining storylines and matchups you should keep an eye on.
1. MAGIC-NUMBER WATCHING By next week at this time, it would be surprising if three of the six divisions in MLB weren't clinched. The magic numbers are dwindling, and in a few cities, the champagne might soon be on ice. The Baltimore Orioles, Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Angels are within a couple wins (and rival's losses) of stamping their playoff tickets. This week's matchups might accelerate things in a couple cases. Let's examine further.
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- David Brown at Big League Stew14 hrs ago
ESPN televised the Baltimore Orioles' exciting 3-2 victory against the New York Yankees on Sunday night, but did so from the bottom of the fourth inning on without one of its cameras. Baltimore's Adam Jones fouled a pitch off the lens of the "Mid-home Robo Cam," as it was described by broadcaster Dan Shulman, during an at-bat against Hiroki Kuroda.
Jones fought off a 2-1 fastball and knocked silly the camera, which was mounted on the screen behind home plate, and sent bits of glass crashing to the ground.
You can see pieces of glass highlighted below the camera's position. Also, notice the people smiling and clapping at the camera's destruction. It's because we, as a species, like to break stuff!
"Adam Jones inadvertently damaged some pretty expensive equipment," Shulman said.Tue, Sep 164:05 PM PDTToronto at BaltimorePreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew14 hrs ago
At some point, you just have to give the people what they want.
This time of the year, in Los Angeles, with the boys in blue leading the NL West, in a city without an NFL team, that's Dodgers baseball. Fans who want to watch the Dodgers on TV, however, have been mostly in the dark all season.
This is obviously an unfavorable situation for the average Dodgers fan, who just wants to watch a game and doesn't care much about which corporation is getting the ad-revenue checks. Fans in L.A. have rejoiced, for example, when they've been able to catch the team on stations like WGN without blackout. That's how desperate they are.Tue, Sep 165:40 PM PDTLA Dodgers at ColoradoPreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew1 day ago
Daniel Nava of the Boston Red Sox handed the Kansas City Royals a major setback to their playoff aspirations Sunday. But did the Royals, who haven't reached the postseason since winning the World Series 29 years ago, have to be so darned helpful to him?
With several better options seemingly available, Royals manager Ned Yost used right-hander Aaron Crow to face Nava, a switch-hitter, with the bases loaded and Kansas City leading by a run in the top of the sixth inning. Nava turned on the first pitch, a 93 mph fastball on the inside corner, and crushed it to right for a grand slam. The Royals lost 8-4 and, with the Detroit Tigers beating the Cleveland Indians, fell 1 1/2 games back in the American League Central.
Why was using Crow a bad idea?
• Nava, who hadn't hit a grand slam since his major league debut some 1,400 or so plate appearances ago, came in batting .210 with a .301 slugging percentage for his career against left-handed pitchers.
• Nava was batting .158 with a .193 slugging against lefties this season.
Daniel Nava told reporters he looked out at the bullpen, expecting a lefty to come into the game. He was surprised to face Crow.
- David Brown at Big League Stew1 day ago
A reporter asked Kelly Johnson of the Baltimore Orioles what it was like to come through with a game-winning hit Sunday night against the New York Yankees, his former team.
Kelly Johnson on getting GW hit vs former team (Yankees): "I have a lot of former teams now." #orioles
Six former teams in all, including all five from the AL East since 2012, and three in the span of a month after the Yankees dealt Johnson to the Red Sox on July 31, before they turned over Johnson to the Orioles on Aug. 30. It must be nice to be in demand. Johnson was in demand by O's teammates — for celebratory pie — after knocking in Steve Pearce to cap a two-run rally in the ninth against David Robertson to beat the Yankees 3-2 at Camden Yards.