Big League Stew
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
It's September now. And while a good chunk of the sports world is going football crazy, we over here in the land of baseball are pretty excited about the month ahead of us too. We've got playoff races to watch, divisions to decide and postseason awards to lock up.
There will be excitement, disappointment, surprise and agony — and that might only be in the NL East.
As we size up the month ahead, there are storylines abound, from these surprising teams like the New York Mets and the Houston Astros to the juggernauts hoping to escape disappointment like the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers.
So The Stew's Mike Oz and Chris Cwik are here with the 10 most important storylines for the month ahead. Get ready, baseball fans, because this is going to be a fun one.Wed, Sep 27:10 PM EDTPhiladelphia at NY MetsPreview Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
Opposing pitchers take note: Do not fall asleep when Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus is on the bases. San Diego Padres reliever Kevin Quackenbush did not take heed of this warning Tuesday, and he paid for it dearly.
With his team already up 7-4, Andrus reached third base with two outs in the seventh inning. He must have really wanted to extend the lead, because he took it upon himself to score another run.
Quackenbush got set on the mound, but apparently forgot about Andrus over at third. Noticing this, Andrus broke for the plate. Andrus made it more than halfway to home before Quackenbush finally reacted to what was happening.
Given Andrus' speed, it's no surprise Quackenbush was a bit flustered when he saw the shortstop charging towards home. A good throw may have resulted in an out, but Quackenbush's toss wound up on the first base side of home plate.
Catcher Austin Hedges snagged the ball and turned to tag Andrus, but it was already too late. Andrus beat the tag, pulling off the incredible steal of home.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew4 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.
The St. Louis Cardinals showed why they have the best record in baseball Tuesday night against the Washington Nationals. The club pulled off an incredible come from behind victory, beating Washington 8-5.
It didn't come easy. The Cardinals entered the eighth inning down two runs, but managed to come back. Washington's bullpen certainly aided in that comeback.
After putting two men on base to start the inning, reliever Drew Storen made a costly throwing error, allowing one run to score. Another run would cross the plate on a double play, tying things up.
In order to hold the lead in the ninth, manager Matt Williams called upon Casey Janssen. Janssen could not get the job done. Though he managed to pick up two outs quickly, Janssen couldn't keep the Cardinals from rallying.
Cody Stanley would double with two outs. That was followed up by a Tommy Pham walk. With two men on, Brandon Moss stepped to the plate.Wed, Sep 28:15 PM EDTWashington at St. LouisPreview Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew5 hrs ago
The Miami Marlins have decided to reverse course. The club will ask manager Dan Jennings abandon his role as manager in order to return to the front office at the end of the season, according to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.
Sources: #Marlins will ask Jennings to step down as manager and resume role as GM. If Jennings agrees, change would occur at end of season.
UPDATE: Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald took things even further Tuesday, saying Jennings could return to the front office, but it may not be as the general manager. Owner Jeffrey Loria is apparently planning on major changes within the organization, and that could impact Jennings' status. Sources also told Spencer the relationship between Loria and Jennings has become strained after the team's struggles this season.Wed, Sep 212:10 PM EDTMiami at AtlantaPreview Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew9 hrs ago
The Colorado Rockies may have lost Tuesday, but it wasn't all bad. The club pulled off the improbable, picking up a triple play against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Allow us to set the stage. Ender Inciarte led off the inning with a double. The next batter, Phil Gosselin, walked, putting men on first and second for slugger Paul Goldschmidt.
On the third pitch of his at-bat, Goldschmidt hit a line drive to Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes. Curiously, both the runners were moving on the play. Reyes made the catch for the first out, fired to second for the second out and watched as second baseman DJ LeMahieu casually tossed the ball to first for the triple play.
Even though Goldschmidt was at the center of the play, he seemed to handle it pretty well, according to Dargan Southard of MLB.com.Wed, Sep 28:40 PM EDTArizona at ColoradoPreview Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew11 hrs ago
The Normal Cornbelters are about to get a lot more interesting. On Wednesday, the independent league club will be managed by former Chicago White Sox and Miami Marlins skipper Ozzie Guillen.
It's not a permanent gig, though. Guillen will serve as the guest manager for just one game. It will be the first time Guillen has served as a manager since 2012.
The only downside to the whole event is that Guillen won't be able to wear No. 13 in the dugout. That number is worn by Ozney Guillen, Ozzie's son. Ozney is the club's right fielder, and will not give up the number to his dad for the game.
Guillen said he couldn't persuade his son to give him No. 13, according to the team's press release.
“I’m glad that I can help [Manager Brooks Carey] and this great group of guys that I get along with so well,” said Guillen. “The only bad part is that I can’t use the number 13 because I can’t persuade the guy.”Wed, Sep 28:10 PM EDTChi White Sox at MinnesotaPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew12 hrs ago
Welcome to September, when baseball gets more serious, we watch the standings closer and even the dingers matter more. There's sure to be an entertaining month of baseball ahead, but before we get there, let's have one last look back at August.
As is tradition around here, a flip of the calendar means a leaderboard of the top home-run hitters from the previous month. This month, we don't have the same star power we usually do. There's no Mike Trout or Giancarlo Stanton topping the list. But we do have a new overall No. 1.
His name is Michael A. Taylor of the Washington Nationals and he's now hit the longest homer of 2015, which is something the Nats' fan base can be proud of amid their disappointing season. Won't make it all better, though.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew14 hrs ago
Oakland's O.Co Coliseum is often a disappointment, and not just because Billy Beane's torn-down Oakland Athletics have the worst record in the American League this season. No, the Coliseum is generally just a mess. It's outdated, broken down and prone to embarrassing flooding. Plus, the A's have to share space with an NFL team, which makes for a funky bedfellow.
That was on display Monday night, as the Athletics' game against the Los Angeles Angels was delayed when part of the outfield wall came loose. Shane Victorino crashed into the left-field fence while tracking a fly ball and part of it came unhinged. That's like Single-A shenanigans.Wed, Sep 23:35 PM EDTLA Angels at OaklandPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew15 hrs ago
The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants played some weird baseballMonday — 14 innings that stretched past midnight local time. When the Dodgers scored the winning run, on an Adrian Gonzalez singlethat made the score 5-4 at close to 1 a.m., some early risers on the East Coast were starting their days.
Such times demand drastic rallying powers. If you're the Dodgers, such times demand bananas.Wed, Sep 210:10 PM EDTSan Francisco at LA DodgersPreview Game
- Israel Fehr at Big League Stew17 hrs ago
Need another example that proves how talented the young players are in MLB these days?
Here's a good one: Michael Conforto's solo blast in the Mets' win Monday was the 150th home run hit by a rookie in August and set the major-league record for most home runs by a rookie class in any single month.
Michael Conforto's HR earlier tonight provided a milestone for MLB rookies pic.twitter.com/L81dKTbuGG
Carlos Correa, Tim Beckham, Addison Russell, Adam Duvall and Mark Canha added homers later on in the night to raise that number to 155.
In total, 56 rookies contributed to the record-breaking haul. Miguel Sano of the Twins and Kyle Schwarber of the Cubs led the way with nine apiece. National League Rookie of the Year frontrunner Kris Bryant smashed seven, as did Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp and Red Sox first baseman Travis Shaw.