In what counts in recent history as an offensive explosion, the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2 on Tuesday night to win Game 4 of the National League Championship Series. One more victory, and they advance to the World Series for the 19th time.Read More »from NLCS Game 4: Cardinals bounce back with 4-2 victory to get one step from World Series
- David Brown | Big League Stew – Tue, 15 Oct, 2013 11:28 PM EDT
- David Brown | Big League Stew – Tue, 15 Oct, 2013 9:21 PM EDT
Dodger Stadium has not been a happy place, historically speaking, for slugger Matt Holliday. But he felt some joy Tuesday night in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series, turning around a fastball by right-hander Ricky Nolasco and hitting a long two-run home run to left field to give the St. Louis Cardinals a three-run lead in the top of the third inning.
They won 4-2 to take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series, which they can close out Wednesday afternoon.
Daniel Descalso led off the third with a single and, after a bunt by pitcher Lance Lynn moved him to second, Matt Carpenter brought him home with an RBI double. With two outs, Holliday got clutch and neatly hit a pickup truck parked beyond the left-field grandstand. Or it seemed like it. Holliday had been hitless in 12 at-bats during the NLCS so far, and was 0 for his past 22 at Chavez Ravine until finding playoff gold.
The Cardinals lead 3-2 in the fifth after the Dodgers respond against Lynn. St. Louis is trying to go up 3-1 in the best-of-seven set.
Dodger Stadium also was the site of, perhaps, Holliday's most infamous personal moment:Read More »from Matt Holliday breaks Dodger Stadium slump with looooooong home run in Game 4
- David Brown | Big League Stew – Tue, 15 Oct, 2013 8:27 PM EDT
The shocking death of umpire Wally Bell a day before prompted tributes from all over Major League Baseball on Tuesday. Players and teams expressed their respect, sympathy and grief over losing a colleague who also seemed to be well-liked in the industry. Bell's fellow umpires took it particularly hard, of course, but the umps assembled in Detroit for Game 4 of the American League Championship Series managed to pay a poignant tribute to Bell.Read More »from Umpires at Detroit assemble in missing-man formation to remember Wally Bell
- David Brown | Big League Stew – Tue, 15 Oct, 2013 11:38 AM EDT
MLB.com columnist Peter Gammons wrote on his blog Tuesday about Jhonny Peralta of the Detroit Tigers and the "lasting impact" that performance-enhancing drugs are having on the postseason. How they impact the chances of the Boston Red Sox to win the World Series, specifically.
Major League Baseball hit Peralta with a 50-game suspension Aug. 6 for ties to the Biogenesis case. He served the penalty, came back to the Tigers just before the regular season ended and had a big series against the Oakland Athletics in the ALDS. And he drove in the run in Detroit's 1-0 victory agains the Red Sox in Game 1 of the ALCS.
Well, we can't have THAT. Six paragraphs in, Gammons drops this:
There are several Red Sox players who have complained privately that Peralta is allowed to play. They wonder what remains in his body. But as Jonny Gomes says, “we all play by the rules, and he is playing by the rules. So go out and play.”
Jonny Gomes, the voice of reason. But about those "private" complaints. We could sit here and pick nits all day about why Peralta is allowed to play; the collective bargaining agreement says so, as Gomes implied. Because he served his time; it was a 50-game suspension, not open-ended. Not "when the Red Sox feel it's OK" for him to play.
And what about wondering "what remains" in Peralta's body? As the Red Sox should remember, Peralta wasn't nailed by a drug test. He was hit with paper evidence, circumstantial evidence. Theoretically, he's still benefiting from PEDs that he might have used. And you know who else might be like that? The 250-pound DH in the room, David Ortiz.Read More »from ‘Several Red Sox’ complain about Tigers’ Jhonny Peralta being allowed to play after PED suspension
- David Brown | Big League Stew – Tue, 15 Oct, 2013 2:22 AM EDT
This is the city. Los Angeles, Calif.
Apparently, with Brian McCann and the Atlanta Braves sent home for the rest of the Major League Baseball season, somebody else had to take over policing those who show too much emotion and have too much fun at the expense of the game's integrity.
In a heretofore secret ceremony, McCann apparently has duly deputized Adam Wainwright and Carlos Beltran of the St. Louis Cardinals into the Fun Police. They carry a badge. And they have charged Adrian Gonzalez and Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers with having too much joy, in their own respective ways.
After knocking in the Dodgers first run in 22 innings of the series Monday night, Gonzalez got really excited at second base. He waved his arms, he pumped his fists, he screamed at his own dugout, he ... got excited, OK?
Two batters later, Puig followed with a gigantic bat flip and stare-down on a long drive to right that didn't quite clear the fence. He got a triple out of it after busting into a hustling pace and he did some more fancy celebrating at third base. It's the kind of thing people who complain about Puig complain about, and they're not wrong, really.
Beltran said of Puig: "He still thinks he's playing somewhere else." Because ... Beltran knows what it's like in Cuba? Or that Puig is really from another planet. All right, it doesn't matter. We'll give this one to Beltran, because it's the Waino comment that's really out of line. This is what Wainwright said:
Adam Wainwright: “I didn’t see Puig’s reaction. I saw Adrian doing some Mickey Mouse stuff at second, but I didn’t see Puig.”
— Pedro Moura (@PedroMoura) October 15, 2013
UPDATE: Wainwright specified, in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which Gonzalez antics he didn't like:
[Wainwright] did hear Gonzalez in that same inning talking to him from third base as he tried to make pitches. Gonzalez was essentially heckling the righty as he went into his delivery. Wainwright called it Gonzalez’s “Mickey Mouse stuff” on third base. Gonzalez turned the question into a Southern California joke.
And then Gonzalez, in the perfect comeback — the best thing anybody could say in response — said:Read More »from Adam Wainwright accuses Adrian Gonzalez of ‘Mickey Mouse’ antics after key double
NLCS Game 3: Dodgers beat Cardinals 3-0 with Yasiel Puig, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Hanley Ramirez coming up bigBy David Brown | Big League Stew – Mon, 14 Oct, 2013 11:06 PM EDT
The Los Angeles Dodgers are on the board after beating the St. Louis Cardinals 3-0 on Monday night in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series. The Cardinals still lead the series 2-1Read More »from NLCS Game 3: Dodgers beat Cardinals 3-0 with Yasiel Puig, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Hanley Ramirez coming up big
- David Brown | Big League Stew – Mon, 14 Oct, 2013 10:19 PM EDT
Yasiel Puig flipped his bat in epic fashion as though he had hit a home run. Instead, when the ball hit off the bottom of the fence in right field, he had to turn on the jets for a triple. Puig celebrated hard at third base, too. Finally, he had something to celebrate in the National League Championship Series.
Puig also hit a leadoff single in the seventh. The Dodgers lead Game 2 by a 2-0 score in the seventh inning, but still trail in the best-of-seven series 2-0.Read More »from Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig awakens with RBI triple for 2-0 lead against Cardinals
- David Brown | Big League Stew – Mon, 14 Oct, 2013 5:06 PM EDT
Hanley Ramirez is giving it his best shot to play for the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday night, despite doctors finding a hairline fracture in his painfully sore ribs after taking a CT scan. Ramirez took grounders and batting practice at Dodger Stadium about three hours before the first pitch of Game 3 of the National League Championship Series.
Ramirez did not play in Game 2 after getting hit with a pitch by St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Joe Kelly in Game 1. However, after practicing (and hitting at least one home run) in a test run, he's going to try and play in Game 3.Read More »from Dodgers’ Hanley Ramirez has hairline fracture in ribs but says he’ll play in Game 3
Vintage Tube: Vin Scully interviews Sandy Koufax, ‘the fella who gave the Dodgers the championship’ in ’65By David Brown | Big League Stew – Mon, 14 Oct, 2013 1:05 PM EDT
In re-introducing him to fans watching Game 7 of the 1965 World Series on TV at home, legendary broadcaster Vin Scully reminded legendary Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Sandy Koufax that he said he "felt 100 years old" after his previous start, which came three days earlier in Game 5.
After joking that he felt "101" after winning Game 7, Koufax added: "I feel great, Vinnie. I know that I don't have to go out there for another four months."
What, you thought Koufax was going to say "I don't care"?
It's funny, but once the adrenalin from competing and the elation of the moment wore off, Koufax probably would start to feel 101 years old for real. Because of shoulder pain, he would compete only one more season, in '66, and call it career at (actual) age 30. It was our loss, as baseball fans, but understandable in Koufax's position.
It also leads us into the situation the Dodgers find themselves in Monday.Read More »from Vintage Tube: Vin Scully interviews Sandy Koufax, ‘the fella who gave the Dodgers the championship’ in ’65
- David Brown | Big League Stew – Mon, 14 Oct, 2013 11:55 AM EDT
Ten years ago Monday, a most unfortunate event occurred at Wrigley Field during Game 6 of the National League Championship Series. It's the most unfortunate event in the history of the Chicago Cubs, probably — which is saying a lot, considering how they've cornered the market on unfortunate events through the years.
Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune marks the 10th anniversary of the "Steve Bartman Game" by reminding us that the reclusively iconic Cubs fan and his team still are estranged, even though a decade has passed since Bartman and other fans interfered with a foul ball that outfielder Moises Alou couldn't catch, a "no play" that happened with the Cubs five outs away from their first World Series since 1945.
Most of the bad will among the parties involved originates with those reputed to have exploited Bartman the most: Grant DePorter, the managing partner of Harry Caray's restaurant, which blew up the ball in 2004. And ESPN, which stalked Bartman harder than anyone else when he took the high road by laying low. Consider this: It's 10 years later and we still know little about him, other than he's said to be living a normal life in the Chicago area among family, friends and co-workers who are just as devoted to protecting his privacy as Bartman himself.
Sullivan got in touch with Bartman's spokesman (yes, he has one, an attorney named Frank Murtha) while trying to catching up with a person whose elusiveness earns him comparisons to Osama bin Laden, J.D. Salinger and the Sphinx of ancient Egypt.
After doing so, Sullivan found that Bartman's camp does harbor ill-will toward DePorter and the television network.Read More »from 10 Years A.B.: It’s the anniversary of Cubs infamous ‘Steve Bartman foul ball’ game