Big League Stew
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew10 mins ago
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It's still early, but the Philadelphia Phillies have easily been the most surprising team in baseball. Many projected the club to be among the worst teams in the majors prior to the start of the year. Instead, they are 25-21, and sit just three games out of first place in their division.
While the Phillies have shown they have more talent than most people expected, the club occasionally has to resort to clever tricks in order to get ahead. The team proved as much Wednesday against the Detroit Tigers, pulling off a rare steal of home.
Andres Blanco steaks home. pic.twitter.com/p57KJmJ5vO
Anyone who has played Little League will understand what happened here. With men on first and third, the Phillies called for a steal of second base. In doing so, they decided to utilize one of the oldest tricks in the baseball book.LivePhiladelphia5 - 4DetroitFollow Game
- Will Laws, PointAfter at Big League Stew21 mins ago
Any day now, Major League Baseball will reveal its first fan voting update for the 2016 All-Star game in San Diego. It might seem too early to consider who deserves to earn bids to the Midsummer Classic, but online fan voting commenced on April 24.
One can debate the merits of that starting point, but since the ballot boxes have been stuffed for more than a month now, it’s high time to discuss which players have matured into All-Star caliber performers this year.
Though Weekly Rotation, brought to you by PointAfter, usually ranks five baseball-related things, the format is being mixed up a bit this week. Like some clubs occasionally need to stretch out to a six-man rotation to cruise through particularly grueling sections of their schedule, Weekly Rotation will instead highlight six players who deserve All-Star calls: two pitchers and four batters.
Note: All statistics are accurate as of games played through May 24.
2016 Stats: .346/.415/.622 slash line, 54 hits, MLB-best four triples, 8 HRs in 44 games
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew1 hr ago
Frisco RoughRiders manager Joe Mikulik is known for one thing. No, it's not his 11-year minor-league baseball career, or the fact that he has a .520 winning percentage in 18 seasons as a minor-league manager. Anyone would be proud of those accomplishments.
Instead, the manager of the Texas Rangers Double-A affiliate is defined by something far more sinister. Any time he's ejected from a game, he completely loses his mind.
Mikulik was at it again Tuesday. In a game against the Tulsa Drillers, Mikulik went on a three-minute tirade after being ejected from the contest.
The whole thing started after the umps enforced the new slide rule at second base. The umps ruled double-play, and that sent Mikulik into a rage. There's a lot going on during this tirade, so we figured it might be easier if we just broke it down by event.
This ejection features the following:
- Liz Roscher at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
Shifts are the best or worst thing in baseball, depending on which side you're on. They're great when your favorite team uses them, but less so when they stop your favorite team from getting on base.
Regardless, they're a useful weapon for teams to employ against batters who routinely hit to a certain area. The San Diego Padres, who need every bit of help they can get, tried an outfield shift on Tuesday night during their game against the San Francisco Giants. It didn't go so well.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Padres decided to try an outfield shift against Giants third baseman Matt Duffy. They moved center fielder John Jay into right center field, moved right fielder Matt Kemp into far right field, and had left fielder Melvin Upton Jr. move to left center.Wed, 25 May3:45 PM EDTSan Diego at San FranciscoPreview Game
- Liz Roscher at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
This past offseason, the San Francisco Giants made two big free agent signings to replenish their starting rotation. They snatched up Johnny Cueto, who had spent 2015 with the Kansas City Royals and the Cincinnati Reds, and Jeff Samardzija, who pitched for the Chicago White Sox in 2015. They joined Giants' rotation mainstays Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain, and Jake Peavy.
Signing Cueto and Samardzija wasn't without risk. Their 2015 seasons had been less-than-ideal — Cueto had a 4.76 ERA with the Royals, and Samardzija a 4.96 ERA with the White Sox — and bounce-back years were far from a sure thing. But a quarter into the 2016 season, and in the middle of a stretch of games where they've won 12 of 13, the Giants' free agent pitchers are their greatest strength, while Cain and Peavy have struggled, and struggled mightily.
- Liz Roscher at Big League Stew5 hrs ago
When a baseball is pitched and it comes off the bat, a player isn't always sure where it's going to land. Sometimes it hangs up there just long enough for a fielder to get to it. Or it looks like it's going to be a fly ball, and instead it hits the cheering crowd. But sometimes the opposite happens, and a no-doubt homer hits the wall and the player is left scrambling for safety. That's what happened to Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig on Tuesday, and he paid the price.
In the bottom of the sixth inning of Tuesday night's Dodgers-Cincinnati Reds game, Puig came up to bat with one out and men on the corners. Puig sent the first pitch from Reds reliever Daniel Wright high in the air, sailing toward the right field wall. It looked like it might be out of the park, and Puig certainly thought so too, as he took an extra second after he swung to watch it.Wed, 25 May10:10 PM EDTCincinnati at LA DodgersPreview Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew11 hrs ago
Welcome to The Walk Off, the nightly MLB recap from Big League Stew. Here we'll look the top performers of the night, show you a must-see highlight and rundown the scoreboard. First, we start with a game you need to know about.
Opposing pitchers should already know this, but don't take the Chicago Cubs offense lightly this year. In case they needed the reminder, the Cubs were up to their usual antics again Tuesday, this time against Michael Wacha and the St. Louis Cardinals.
Chicago wasted no time getting to work. Dexter Fowler led off the contest with a double. He moved over to third on a groundout by Jason Heyward.
Kris Bryant then struck, driving in Fowler on a single. Anthony Rizzo and Ben Zobrist would each reach, loading the bases. That was followed up with a Jorge Soler walk, forcing in another run.LiveChi Cubs6 - 2St. LouisFollow Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew13 hrs ago
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto hates fun. Either that, or he loves playing the heel in front of opposing fans.
Either way, Votto's antics were on display Tuesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers. During a pitching change in the seventh inning, some of the Dodgers faithful decided to throw a paper airplane onto the playing field. It landed near first base, and Votto wasn't too happy about it.
lol joey votto pic.twitter.com/acM53kPLtG
Wow! That is an emphatic stomp. Joey Votto has no time for your fun and entertainment, baseball fans. He's all about being serious.
As expected, Votto was roundly booed for the move.
Joey Votto just stomped a paper airplane and got booed for it
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew14 hrs ago
Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale doesn't have much to be upset about this season. His team is in first, and he's currently the leader in the clubhouse for the AL Cy Young award. Coming into Tuesday's start against the Cleveland Indians, Sale was 9-0, with a 1.58 ERA.
Tuesday's start, however, didn't go so well. Sale was knocked around against Cleveland, giving up six earned runs over 3 1/3 innings. He allowed seven hits and was uncharacteristically wild, walking four. When the dust settled, Cleveland defeated the White Sox 6-2, and saddled Sale with his first loss of the season.
Following the contest, Sale went off on a pretty vicious tirade ... on himself.
Sale: " I stunk. I was bad. I was terrible. Embarrassing, quite honestly."
That wasn't all. Sale made it clear that he wasn't upset with any of his teammates. He took sole blame for the team's loss.LiveCleveland3 - 0Chi White SoxFollow Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew16 hrs ago
The New York Mets and pitcher Matt Harvey may be at odds again soon. After another poor outing Tuesday against the Washington Nationals, there's a chance Harvey won't make his next start.
Terry Collins said he will convene with Sandy Alderson about the next step with Matt Harvey and whether he... https://t.co/EszQ0LKDYi
On top of Collins saying he would have to meet with general manager Sandy Alderson to discuss the next steps, he made it seem as though it was doubtful Harvey would start the next time his spot came up in the rotation.
Collins certainly sounded tone-wise like Harvey won't be making next start.LiveNY Mets2 - 0WashingtonFollow Game