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SF Giants Fan

Tim Hudson posted by SF Giants Fan

Born July 14, 1975, Tim Hudson plays MLB for the San Francisco Giants as their pitcher. He mainly uses the sinker pitch at a speed of around 89 to 91 mph. The next most used pitch by him is the cutter at a range of 85 to 88 mph. However, for left-handers he also includes splitter at 79 to 82 mph and the curveball at 76 to 78 mph, apart from the sinker.

Hudson started playing baseball for his school and finished with a record of 12-1 and ERA of 1.78. Through college too, Hudson pitched excellently and in 1997, he played for the Tigers as an outfielder and pitcher. He finished with a record of 15-2, and ERA of 2.97, which earned him SEC Player of the Year honor.

Oakland Athletics drafted Hudson in 1997 in the sixth round of the draft, and he made his MLB debut in June 1999 when he played against the San Diego Padres. In the game, he allowed only three runs, but Athletics lost 5-3. Hudson recorded the first win of his career in June, playing against Los Angeles Dodgers. Here, in seven innings, he allowed only a single run with a 9-3 record.

In 2005, Hudson was traded by Athletics to the Atlanta Braves, and in August of the same year, Hudson earned his 100th win of his career, playing against St Louis Cardinals. However, he did not play well in the second season, but was back in good form in 2007, finishing the season with a record of 16-10 and ERA of 3.33. In November 2013, Hudson signed a two-year contract with the San Francisco Giants for $23 million. In August, he led his team to win 4-2 against the Colorado Rockies, and managed the 2000th strikeout of his career as well.

Continue reading "Tim Hudson"


David

New season brings new hope posted by David

Two thousand eleven was a difficult year for Major League Baseball.  There was no strike, no brawl in which a player grabbed an elderly coach and threw him to the ground, and no collision between players that proved to be career-ending for anyone.  (Buster Posey should be fine this season.)  On the field, things were good.  In the stands and outside the park, however, tragedy struck the baseball world.

Christina Taylor Green, the nine-year-old granddaughter of former Phillies GM Dallas Green and daughter of Dodgers scout John Green, was shot and killed in Tucson at the Gabrielle Giffords Congress on Your Corner event in January.

Bryan Stow, a San Francisco Giants fan, was beaten nearly to death outside Dodger Stadium on Opening Day.

Shannon Stone, a firefighter, fell 20 feet in front of his six-year-old son at Rangers Ballpark in July and was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.

Greg Halman, a 24-year-old Mariners outfielder, was stabbed to death in his native Holland in November, allegedly by his own brother.

Despite the tragedies that occurred in 2011 – both during the season and before it began, inside and outside the stadium, accident or intentional – it was heartening to hear about Barry Bonds’s offer to pay for Stow’s children to go to college.  I have personally never been a Bonds fan – and I’m still not – but I give credit where credit is due.  Detractors may say that it was just a publicity stunt to improve his image, and I can’t say for sure that it wasn’t, but does it really matter?  A wealthy athlete did something he didn’t have to do in order to help someone in need.

Continue reading "New season brings new hope"


David

Longer series are good for ball posted by David

Postseason sweeps are great if your team comes out victorious, but for the fan who just wants to see a good series because his team is already done for the year, sweeps make October less exciting.  The Phillies and Yankees outplayed their first-round opponents so it was no surprise that the Reds and Twins failed to win a single game, but the other two division series were more fun to watch.  Additionally, the League Championship Series in both the AL and NL will last a minimum of six games, which is how it should be.  A postseason series that features one team in complete control over the other is like a boxing match in which one fighter KO’s the other in the first round, but then fights him again the next night and does it all over again.  A series that goes the distance (or a game shy of it), on the other hand, is good for ball.

How ‘bout that?

How about Cody Ross?  The Giants outfielder hit two home runs against Roy Halladay in Game 1 of the NLCS and added one off Roy Oswalt in Game 2 to provide San Francisco with its only run of the game.  This feat of power against two of the league’s best pitchers comes after Ross hit only three long balls in 33 games after coming over in a trade from the Marlins.  Though closer Brian Wilson has struck out six in 3.1 scoreless innings of work, Ross’s .375/.474/1.063 line as an everyday player makes him the favorite for the series MVP should his team eliminate the two-time defending NL Champs and play in the Fall Classic for the first time since 2002.

Continue reading "Longer series are good for ball"


David

Pair of Triple Crown candidates duel it out posted by David

Albert Pujols and Joey Votto are having monster seasons.  Not only are the sluggers leading their teams in the playoff hunt – the Cardinals are 1.5 games back in the Wild Card race while the Reds lead the NL Central – but Pujols (.321, 34 HR, 93 RBI) and Votto (.326, 31 HR, 90 RBI) are the top two National Leaguers in each of the Triple Crown categories.  Both have strong cases for the MVP award, but if either one wins the first Triple Crown since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967, it would be awfully hard for the voters not to choose him as the league’s Most Valuable Player.

How ‘bout that?

How about Billy Wagner?  The 39-year-old anchor of the Atlanta bullpen has saved 30 games, holds a 1.68 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP, and did not give up a run in the entire month of June (11.1 innings, six hits, five walks, 17 strikeouts).  Wagner plans to retire at season’s end, and with the Braves currently leading the NL East, he’s looking for his first crack at the World Series and the opportunity to go out on top.

How about Carlos Gonzalez?  The Venezuelan outfielder is enjoying a fine year in his first full season as a big leaguer, hitting .320 with 26 homers, 84 RBI’s, and 20 stolen bases.  His batting average, .569 slugging percentage, and .922 OPS put him behind only Pujols and Votto in the National League.  Rockies fans can look forward to many years of watching Gonzalez display his talents at Coors Field.  At 24, he has a very promising career ahead of him.

How about the Twins?  Despite almost getting no-hit and losing three of four to the Rangers earlier this week, the Twinkies are 27-13 since the All-Star break, and hold a three-and-a-half game lead over the White Sox in the AL Central.  After losing cleanup man Justin Morneau to injury the week before the All-Star break, several Minnesota players have stepped up to the plate.  Since the break, birthday boy Jim Thome (now 40) is slugging .651, Delmon Young and Jason Kubel have driven in 33 and 32 runs, respectively, in 39 games, and Joe Mauer has raked to a line of .399/.476/.594 with 32 RBI’s in 36 games.

Continue reading "Pair of Triple Crown candidates duel it out"


David

Buyer or Seller? posted by David

With the Dog Days of August about to begin, now is the time for teams to decide whether they are buyers or sellers – that is, whether they should mortgage their future and go for it this year or trade away their veterans for up-and-coming prospects.  “Going for it” says to a team’s fans that the organization thinks it has a legitimate chance to win it all, but a more conservative approach can send just as strong a message.  While a middle-of-the-pack team may have to acknowledge that this isn’t the year, going out and building for the future – as long as it is not the distant future – can usually be taken to mean that the front office is willing to sacrifice an outside shot at the playoffs in order to increase its chances of winning in the long term.  Buyer or seller, every GM will be busy until tomorrow’s trade deadline.

How ‘bout that?

How about Buster Posey?  The 22-year-old rookie has been on fire since taking over as the Giants’ starting catcher when Bengie Molina was traded to the Rangers.  Though his 21-game hitting streak came to an end on Thursday, Posey has helped San Francisco go 17-8 in the month of July, in the process taking the lead in the Wild Card race.  It won’t be easy to edge Jason Heyward and Stephen Strasburg, but Posey has a legitimate chance to claim the National League Rookie of the Year award.

How about José Bautista?  Bautista leads the power-happy Blue Jays with 75 RBI and a .585 slugging percentage (teammate Vernon Wells, who is second, has driven in 55 and slugged .515), but more impressively, leads the majors in homers.  The journeyman played for Baltimore, Tampa Bay, Kansas City, and Pittsburgh before finding a home in Toronto, and while he has always shown some pop, the Dominican native’s previous career highs were 16 homers (2006), 63 RBI (2007), and a .420 slugging percentage (2006).

Continue reading "Buyer or Seller?"


Michael McGauley

"Where Have You Been Pablo Sandoval?" posted by Michael McGauley


Could "The Panda" be snapping out of his slump? Pablo Sandoval was hitting bullets all over the place Friday night as the Giants finally offered some run support behind Matt Cain in a 5-0 win. Sandoval went 2-for-3 with a home run, a single, and a sac fly, driving in three of the team's five runs which was MORE than enough for Cain. The Giants' right-hander tossed a complete game, one-hit shutout with nine strike outs and zero walks in 122 pitches. Cain pitched well enough to win his last start against the A's, going 8-innings, and getting knicked for an unearned run in a 1-0 loss. The Giants scratched out seven hits off Arizona pitching, but were the beneficiary of six walks, five of which were courtesy of starter Edwin Jackson, who only allowed four hits through seven innings. Sandoval's eighth-inning blast over the center field wall came off struggling reliever Chad Qualls, who may be in jeopardy of losing his closers' job with the D-Backs. By the way, Freddy Sanchez banged out two more hits and drove in a run, boosting his average to .290 while playing brilliantly at second base. Sandoval's average was bumped up to .283, and inched closer to the .300 plateau that we've come to expect (.330 in 2009). NOW FOR THE NEWS... Buster Posey's time is now! The Giants have called up their prized prospect to play some first base and maybe catch once a week, as he continues to get his feet wet at the major league level (after last year's brief September debut). Posey has been tearing up Triple-A with a .349 average, .442 on-base percentage, and 32 RBI's. ApContinue reading ""Where Have You Been Pablo Sandoval?""


Michael McGauley

"The Giants' Bats Show Some Signs of Life Against the Nats" posted by Michael McGauley


Hey, nothing like snapping out of a five-game slide with some timely hitting! The Giants beat the Washington Nationals 4-2 Tuesday night in the first game of a fresh nine-game home stand after limping through a miserable 1-and-6 road-trip.  The Giants took a few innings, by finally settled in against old friend Livan Hernandez with two outs in the fith. Five consecutive hits plated all four runs, highlighted by a two-run double off the bat of Freddy Sanchez. Pablo Sandoval folliwed with a double off the left field wall to score Sanchez. The rally against Livan was rare thus far in 2010, as the veteran Nationals right-hander came into the game with an ERA below two (it ballooned to 2.08 after last night).  Four runs was enough for Todd Wellemeyer: a guy who was really pitching with his back against the wall, and one foot out the door if he didn't come through. Not only did Wellemeyer toss a solid six-innings (two runs and four hits and two strikeouts), but he actually ignited "the rally" at the plate with a two-out bloop single. Wellemeyer actually has one more victory (three) than both Matt Cain and Jonothan Sanchez (two each). The line-up: I like the changes, and I'm very impressed that Aubrey Huff didn't blink. He just went out there and manned left field like he'd been out there all season. Unfortunately, Mark DeRosa is probably not going to contribute much this year if anything at all, and moving Huff to left allows Juan Uribe to play everyday at third base, and takes some pressure off Pablo by moving him over to first base. This one-Continue reading ""The Giants' Bats Show Some Signs ..."


Michael McGauley

"Time for the Giants to Focus on the Rockies and Not Wednesday's Disaster" posted by Michael McGauley

Okay Giants' fans, it's time to get over Wednesday's loss, and get ready for the Rockies Friday night. Hey, I can be just as greedy as anyone, especially when it comes to a potential three-game sweep of the defending N.L. Champion Phillies. Everything was looking good: Lincecum on the mound, a three-run lead in the top of the 9th, and Brian Wilson getting loose in the pen should Timmy run out of gas. Then, with one out, a four-pitch walk to Shane Victorino, Bochy yanks Lincecum after 106 pitches, and Wilson cannot close the door. Jayson Werth's bases-clearing bloop double down the right field line tied the game at 4-4. In my opinion, total fluke! Wilson had not allowed a single run all season, and actually retired the first batter he faced. There were two outs before Utley singled and Howard walked to load the bases. Listen, if Wilson had finished off the game as he usually does, we wouldn't be having this endless discussion about Bochy's ill-fated pitching change. If he had left Timmy finish the game and he blew it, the same people would be criticizing Bochy FOR NOT making a move. It's really an impossible position for the skipper. I don't mind seeing Lincecum throw 120 pitches, but you have to figure it will make a difference later in the season once he exceeds the 200-inning plateau. If Bochy can save him, and limit the pitch count here and there, it could keep him fresher into September, and that's really the big picture. Don't pound your horses into the ground in April. Yes, it would have been nice to see the complete game, but IT IS Wilson's job to slam the door, and Wednesday just wasn't his day.

Continue reading ""Time for the Giants to Focus on ..."


David

Jason Heyward: Instant Hit posted by David

When the Atlanta Braves announced during the last week of spring training that Jason Heyward had made the big league roster, it made headlines in part because both Stephen Strasburg and Aroldis Chapman were being assigned to the minors.  However, after winning the starting right fielder’s job in Atlanta, the 20-year-old phenom wasted no time before impressing the baseball world by launching a three-run home run in his very first major league at-bat.  Batting seventh in the lineup behind Chipper Jones, Brian McCann, and others has limited the pressure on the 14th overall pick in the 2007 draft, but before long, you can expect to see Heyward taking his hacks in the cleanup spot.

How ‘bout that?

How about Albert Pujols?  Picking up where he left off at the end of the 2009 season, Pujols collected four hits – including two home runs – on Opening Day.  The Cardinals slugger has been nothing but superhuman in the batter’s box; unless he suffers an injury, he will likely win his third straight (and fourth overall) Most Valuable Player Award.

How about Vernon Wells?  Looking to bounce back from a disappointing season (.260/.311/.400), Wells has already hit four home runs and boasts a .600 batting average.  The centerfielder became the first Blue Jay in history to homer in the team’s first three games of the year and played a major role in Toronto winning its first series of 2010 over Texas.

How about the Giants?  Led by shortstop Edgar Renteria’s .727 batting average (eight hits in 11 at-bats), San Francisco has continued to play well, sweeping a three-game series in Houston following a 23-12 record in spring training.  Not only are the Giants the only team yet to lose a regular season game, they have not even trailed at any point.  Though it is far too early to call a winner, the Giants will hope their fast start is a sign of things to come as they eye their first division title since 2003.

Continue reading "Jason Heyward: Instant Hit"


Michael McGauley

"The Braves will Pose a Tougher Test for the Giants this weekend" posted by Michael McGauley


AT LAST, regular season baseball to discuss! I wasn't too shocked by the final roster moves, and like the veteran additions to the bull pen with Mota, and to the starting staff with Wellemeyer. More on that in a minute. Not to bring up a sore point right out of the box, but I saw that Brad Penny pitched very well (seven strong innings and a no decision) in his St.Louis debut Thursday -- a 2-1 loss to the Reds. Hey, nice start for the Giants in Houston, and a rock-solid start for Lincecum, Zito, and (almost) Cain. The "Cainer" got burned by a couple of bad breaks Wednesday, and pitched better than the final stat line may indicate (notice zero walks in the stat line). Timmy and Barry though were quite good. I expected as much from the two-time defending Cy Young winner (seven shutout innings), but Zito has been consistently bad in the early stages of the season, only to finish with a flurish. He leaves us wanting more through a long off-season only to disappoint all over again in April. Well, at least for one start, we as fans definitely got some pleasure with five k's and just three hits allowed in six shutout innings. The Astros are wounded without Lance Berkman in the middle of that line-up, and the Giants needed to and did take advantage. However, they also beat a pair of top-notch starters in Roy Oswalt and Wandy Rodriguez with just enough offense.  The Giants were putting rallies together in the first couple of games that make a baseball geek like me excited. Sustained rallies, advancing the runner, taking some walksContinue reading ""The Braves will Pose a Tougher Test ..."

San Francisco Giants News

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MLB unveils limited edition Beats headphones featuring five teams (Big League Stew)

For the baseball fan who has to rep their favorite team on everything, even their headphones, comes this: a limited-edition line of headphones that's a collaboration between Beats By Dr. Dre and MLB. The baseball logo-emblazoned Beats were announced Tuesday, featuring five teams plus a set decorated in honor of this year's All-Star game in Cincinnati. The teams aren't surprising, considering what we know about market size and merchandise popularity. The five teams picked are the ones that sell best: the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees and San Francisco Giants. The All-Star version is available now. The others are available for pre-order. Here's a look: [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


A-Rod deserves All-Star consideration (The Associated Press)

Alex Rodriguez finished fifth in fan voting at designated hitter for the All-Star Game, but he's worthy of serious consideration. Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost and San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy have tough tasks filling out the rosters. It's remarkable that Rodriguez even warrants discussion considering he missed the entire 2014 season while serving the longest penalty in baseball history related to performance-enhancing drugs. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Astros complete sweep of Royals, close in on AL's best record (Big League Stew)

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. If for some reason you're still not convinced the Houston Astros are for real, perhaps their three-game sweep of the defending AL champion Kansas City Royals can sway your opinion. The Astros completed the sweep with a hard-fought 6-5 victory on Wednesday night. After falling behind 3-0 in the second inning, Houston rallied to score five in the middle innings to take the lead. Chris Carter's 100th career home run opened its scoring. After Marwin Gonzalez homered and likely All-Star Jose Altuve tied the game with an RBI single, Evan Gattis put the Astros ahead with a two-run single in the fifth. The resilient Royals didn't fade away, though, tying the game again in the seventh on Jarrod Dyson's two-run triple. Houston scored the winner in its half of the seventh on Carter's fielder's choice – not exactly the most thrilling winning run, but very fitting for the Astros. With the win, Houston now owns the AL's second-best record at 47-34. They're only percentage points behind Kansas City, which fell to 44-31. [ Check out Big League Stew on Tumblr for even more baseball awesomeness. ] The only dark cloud hovering for Houston is the condition of outfielder George Springer. Springer was hit with a pitch on the wrist and left the game with a reported contusion. However, the team didn't sound overly optimistic about his condition following the game. AJ said he's not optimistic Springer will avoid the DL. #Astros — Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) July 2, 2015 Springer has been a stabilizing force since being moved into the leadoff position on May 24. In 36 games since, he's hitting .317/.391/.504. In other words, the Astros can ill-afford to lose his bat. JUSTIN BOUR LAUNCHES THREE-RUN WALKOFF HOMER The Miami Marlins aren't contenders, but they're starting to look like awfully good spoilers. Since losing Giancarlo Stanton to a broken hamate bone on Friday, they've gone 3-1 against the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants, including a dramatic 6-5 walkoff win against San Francisco on Wednesday night. Justin Bour was the hero. After Christian Yelich and Adeiny Hechevarria started the ninth inning with singles against Giants closer Santiago Casilla, Bour lifted off, depositing a three-run shot into the right-field seats. The home run was Bour's seventh of the season. More important for Miami, it completed a rare late comeback. Miami had been 0-38 when trailing after seven innings this season. It also helped the Marlins overcome hitting into a franchise record five double plays during the game. Four of those double plays came against Giants starter Chris Heston, who was in line for his ninth victory before the ninth inning. Now the Giants will focus on avoiding a sweep on Thursday, and it won't be easy with Marlins ace Jose Fernandez making his return from Tommy John surgery. BLUE JAYS ERUPT ON CANADA DAY Wednesday was a day of celebration in Canada, and the Toronto Blue Jays' offense provided plenty of fireworks to make the celebration even grander. In an 11-2 victory against the Boston Red Sox, the Blue Jays connected for five home runs, including two from first baseman Justin Smoak. Toronto also got a three-run shot from Edwin Encarnacion, which opened the scoring in the first inning. Jose Bautista and All-Star vote leader Josh Donaldson each added a two-run shot later in the game to complete a thrilling performance for the 45,392 fans at Rogers Centre. Jose Reyes did not homer, but contributed four hits and scored four runs. Donaldson, Smoak and Kevin Pillar each had three hits in the 16-hit attack. [ David Price joins The StewPod to talk social media, baseball brotherhood and more. ] On the hill, Toronto's Mark Buehrle improved to 9-4 with six innings of one-run ball. Buehrle's remarkable season of run support continued as Toronto has now topped 10 runs in six of his 16 outings On the other side, Rick Porcello was lit up for seven runs over two innings, including three home runs. His ERA ballooned to 6.08 over 94 2/3 innings. CUBS SILENCE METS WITH ANOTHER SHUTOUT For the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets, offense has been difficult to come by in recent days. Well, for the Mets it's actually been much longer, but you get the point. In Tuesday's series opener, one run was enough for the Cubs to be victorious. The same would be true again on Wednesday, only this time the Cubs went and scored twice in the 11th inning to win 2-0.   How the Cubs rallied was actually quite fitting given how the teams are playing. With runners on first and second and one out, Chris Coghlan laced a single to right field that should have scored a run or loaded of the bases. It did neither. Anthony Rizzo was held at third base while Kris Bryant continued around second base completely unaware that Rizzo wasn't headed home.  Bryant was tagged out, which seemed to set the stage for another missed opportunity. However, Starlin Castro followed with about a 75-foot infield single to get Rizzo home. Miguel Montero then followed with an RBI single to make it an insurmountable two-run lead.  Jon Lester and Bartolo Colon each got a no-decision. Each pitched seven scoreless innings, but perhaps more notable than that, each was 0 for 2 at the plate. Colon lined out to right field with the bases loaded in the second inning in what may have been New York's best scoring chance.  Want to see more from Wednesday’s slate of games? Check out our scoreboard . More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: - - - - - - - Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813 [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Dallas Keuchel dominates the Yankees with complete game shutout (Big League Stew)

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. Houston Astros ace Dallas Keuchel was in peak form Thursday against the New York Yankees. Keuchel was fantastic, going nine shutout innings during a 4-0 win. Keuchel allowed just six hits. He walked one and struck out 12 during the contest. All of the Yankees' hits were singles. The team didn't have a baserunner reach second until the top of the ninth inning. Aside from the ninth, Keuchel was never really in trouble. With two outs, he allowed a single to Alex Rodriguez. A walk to Mark Teixeira put a man in scoring position for the first time all game. Carlos Beltran would also single, loading the bases. With the bases juiced and two outs, Keuchel came through. Jose Pirela grounded out to third, ending the threat and the game.  After the game, Keuchel received some high praise from one of his rivals. A-Rod didn't talk about the strike zone: "Tonight was just a complete domination...[Keuchel] made me look as silly as I’ve looked all year.” — Erik Boland (@eboland11) June 26, 2015 Rodriguez was one of the few players who managed a hit against Keuchel during the game, but he struck out in his other three plate appearances. With the performance, Keuchel lowered his ERA to 2.17 on the season. The win moved the Astros to 43-32, good for first place in the American League West. WHO WILL STOP THE ATHLETICS? The hottest team in the American League is the Oakland Athletics. After picking up a 6-3 victory over the Texas Rangers, Oakland has won five straight games. While the club sits at just 34-4 and remains nine games out of first place, there's still some hope for a second-half run. Oakland actually has the fourth-best run differential in the AL. The club has scored 41 more runs than they have allowed this year. So, why have the A's been so bad despite their strong run differential? Well, the team is just 6-18 in one-run games. That type of thing tends to even out over the course of the season, so that could lead to more wins in the second half if the team's luck turns. That's not always the case, though, particularly if a team has a poor bullpen. That's exactly what has plagued Oakland early. The club's relievers have posted a 4.16 FIP, which is good for 27th in the league. There's some hope Oakland makes things interesting by the trade deadline, but only if they can find some luck and pitch effectively in the late innings.  For now, the five-game winning streak is a start. DEGROM DOES IT AGAIN The New York Mets might be calling up another pitcher soon , but do they really need one? Jacob deGrom was fantastic again, leading the Mets to a 2-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday. DeGrom went eight innings, allowing just four hits and striking out seven. He did not issue a walk during the outing. Following the performance, deGrom has a 2.15 ERA on the year.  The start helped the Mets in more than one way as they snapped their seven-game losing streak.  After his 2014 breakout, deGrom has been basically the same pitcher in 2015. He's shown better control, however, which is partially responsible for his improved numbers.  Behind deGrom, New York improved to 37-37 on the year. The team is 3 1/2 games back of the Washington Nationals in the NL East. GIANTS TRIPLE THEIR WAY TO VICTORY The San Francisco Giants' offense broke out in the big way Thursday against the San Diego Padres in a 13-8 win. The Giants managed to score 13 runs without hitting a home run during the game. Instead, the team relied on the triple. [ Check out Big League Stew on Tumblr for even more baseball awesomeness. ] San Francisco hit four triples during the contest. Brandon Belt was responsible for two of them, while Matt Duffy and Brandon Crawford each added one.  Buster Posey, who hit a grand slam Wednesday, stayed hot at the plate Thursday. Posey went 3 for 5, with two doubles. He scored three runs and drove in three.  With the win, the Giants improved to 40-34. They trail the Los Angeles Dodgers by one game in the NL West. Want to see more from Thursday's slate of games? Check out  our scoreboard . More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: - - - - - - - Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Mets drop seventh straight, fall one game under .500 (Big League Stew)

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. Exactly two months to the day the New York Mets had their 11-game winning streak snapped by the New York Yankees, they lost their seventh straight, 4-1 to the Milwaukee Brewers, and fell to one game under .500. Oh how quickly things can change around Major League Baseball. On April 27, the Mets were a season-best 10 games over at 15-5. As recently as June 4, they were 30-25, good enough for a half-game lead over the Washington Nationals. Now on June 24, they've fallen to 36-37, putting them 3 1/2 games behind those same Nationals. It's not a huge drop in the division standings, but it's a concerning drop in terms of quality of play and their overall postseason chances if they need to rely on the wild card. The Pirates, Cubs and Giants have all forged ahead, and the Braves and Diamondbacks aren't far behind. The biggest of New York's issues was on display again Wednesday. After falling behind 2-0 in the first inning, the offense was unable to put any pressure on Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson. A Curtis Granderson home run was one of only two hits they could muster against Nelson over seven innings. Overall, the Mets had just three hits and four baserunners. Bartolo Colon continued trending backward as well, dropping his fifth decsion in eight starts. Colon was tagged for four runs on 10 hits in six innings. That after allowing seven runs in four-plus innings his last time out against Toronto. His nine wins are still tied for second in the NL. His 4.89 ERA, however, is not. [ Check out Big League Stew on Tumblr for even more baseball awesomeness. ] The Mets will look to avoid the sweep on Thursday at Miller Park. As if fans weren't squirming enough already, another loss to the woeful Brewers could be the tipping point in terms of demanding some action. All eyes on Milwaukee. BUSTER POSEY HITS ANOTHER GRAND SLAM IN GIANTS WIN Ryan Vogelsong and the San Francisco Giants bullpen didn't need a lot of support in Wednesday's 6-0 win against the San Diego Padres. In fact, Buster Posey provided all that was needed and then some in the third inning when he connected for his second grand slam over his past five games.  With his second slam, Posey joined St ephen Vogt, Todd Frazier and Kyle Seager as the only players with multiple grannies this season. Overall, it was Posey's  fourth career grand slam during the regular season. He also hit one off Cincinnati's Mat Latos during the 2012 NLDS. Vogelsong pitched six scoreless innings, allowing five hits while striking out four. Javier Lopez, George Kontos and Jean Machi each followed with a perfect inning to wrap up the dominant victory and remain within one game of the first-place Dodgers.   YANKEES AVOID SWEEP AGAINST PHILLIES Letdowns are inevitable during the course of a 162-game season. You can't avoid them, you can only try to lessen their impact, which the New York Yankees effectively did on Wednesday in defeating the Philadelphia Phillies 10-2. After dropping each of the first two games to the league's worst club, the Yankees fought back against Cole Hamels, perhaps baseball's most desired trade chip, to the tune of five earned runs on eight hits over five innings. [ On this week's StewPod: Joc Pederson talks talented MLB rookies, video games. ] New York continued piling on against Philadelphia's bullpen, collecting 15 hits overall. Mark Teixiera led the attack with three hits and two RBIs. Five other Yankees, including Alex Rodriguez, had two hits. Rodriguez and Jose Pirela each drove in two. The offense was in support of Ivan Nova, who was making his return following Tommy John surgery last season. Nova was very effective, tossing 6 2/3 scoreless innings while allowing just three hits and two walks. A healthy, effective Nova from here on out would be a large addition to New York's rotation, and Wednesday was about the best step possible. ONE IS ENOUGH FOR BLUE JAYS In a season dominated mostly by pitching, the Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays played the fourth game this season to be scoreless through at least 11 innings. For all we know, had Toronto's Chris Colabello not connected for a one-out home run off Tampa Bay's Brandon Gomes in the 12th, the game might still be going. Colabello's homer stood as the only run in the Blue Jays 1-0 victory, which allowed them to win the series and their league-best 16th game in June. Pitching was the name of the game, and for Toronto's Marco Estrada it was nearly a historic performance. He carried a perfect game into the eighth inning before Logan Forsythe's one-out infield single snapped the string. Estrada finished with 8 2/3 scoreless innings on two hits. In his previous outing last Friday against Baltimore, Estrada carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning. From out of nowhere, the 31-year-old right-hander is among baseball's hottest hurlers. On the flip side, Tampa Bay's Nathan Karns allowed just three hits over six scoreless. That's good for several pats on the back, but no victory. Want to see more from Wednesday’s slate of games? Check out our scoreboard . More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: - - - - - - - Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813 [read full article]

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