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Bartolo Colon posted by Mets Fan

Born May 24, 1973 in the Dominic Republic, Bartolo Colon is an MLB pitcher with the New York Mets. Colon's four-seam fastball is in the range of 90 to 94 mph, and his two-seamer is around 88 to 91 mph. However, earlier in his career, his four-seam fastball used to reach 100 mph at times. He mainly uses the seam combination, but can also throw a slider and a changeup as well.

Bartolo Colon started his professional baseball career in 1993, when he was selected as a free agent by Cleveland Indians. In 1995, he was a pitcher for Kinston, a Single-A team of the Carolina League. He was the top pitcher of the circuit, striking out 152, and ERA of 1.96. Even though he was injured in August, he was still named Pitcher of the Year, and Minor League Player of the Year, for the Indians. In 2003, Colon was traded to the Chicago White Sox, and after the season, he became a free agent and signed a deal with the Anaheim Angles. In 2004, he won 18 games, and in 2005, he had a record of 21-8 and ERA of 3.48.

After 2007 season, Colon has played for the Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees, and Oakland Athletics. The Athletics signed him for a one-year contract in 2012, and in April he managed 38 strikes consecutively, which is the most in MLB since 1988, when such data was recorded first. The start of the 2012 season was with 2.64 ERA and 3-1 record, but later Colon faltered in the next seven starts, with 5.80 ERA and a record of 1-4. In December 2013, Colon signed a two-year contract worth $20 million, with the New York Mets. In June 2014, he made the first double hit of his career, and in August, he earned his 200th win, which was against Philadelphia Phillies 5-4.

Continue reading "Bartolo Colon"

Richard Kagan

Sox in Ist, 9 Games over .500, Wow. posted by Richard Kagan

People are talking about the Mets being the surprise team of the Majors in the first half.  Well, what about the ChiSox?  Led by a manager who has never worked in minors or majors, Robin Ventura, the storied former third baseman for Chicago, took helm of the team, and let them breathe.  Perhaps, Ozzie Guillen didn't work anymore with the team, and they needed a new face.  That, and an improved Adam Dunn HR production (25) and a fine year from Alex Rios who is hitting around .312 with a high slugging percentage, and a breakout year from starter Chris Sale, who is leading the league in ERA with a .229 ERA, plus or minus a few points, and you've got an improved team.

Getting Kevin Youkilis, the third baseman from the BoSox in a trade may be the heist of the year.  Youk has alread found a place with the Sox faithful.  All you have to do his hit a few Hr's, and drive in runs.  He has done this.  His 2 run HR'er were all the runs Gavin Floyd needed as he earned his 7th win.  The Sox have won 5 straight and are playing well at home.  Now they have a new guy at the keystone position has has a few WS rings won with Boston. 

It helps that Dayan Viciendo, A.J. Pierzynski, and Paul Konerko are hitting for power and driving in runs.  Pierzynski is just 2 HR's short of his career high and we have half a season to play.  Jake Peavy is pitching with command like he did in his CY Young days.  You've got a team that is a for real contender in 2012.  Don't forget Phil Humber's perfect game earlier in the season.  Humber got roughed up after that outing and has been on the DL.  Here is hoping he can regain his form.

Continue reading "Sox in Ist, 9 Games over .500, Wow."


Nationals handle Strasburg’s schedule with brilliance posted by David

The hype over Washington Nationals’ phenom Stephen Strasburg has been followed by terrific pitching from the young right-hander, but the Nats’ front office also deserves a lot of credit.  In his first three starts, Strasburg has faced the Pirates, the Indians, and the White Sox, all of whom rank near the bottom offensively.  While I think Strasburg has a tremendous amount of talent and is going to be a great pitcher for quite some time, I’d like to see how he fares against the heavy-hitting lineups of the Yankees, Reds, and Red Sox.

How ‘bout that?

How about Mike Leake?  The Reds’ rookie pitcher finally took his first loss of the season this week, but still boasts a 3.02 ERA to go with his 5-1 record.  His most impressive stat, however, is that he has gone at least six innings in 12 of his 13 starts.  In addition to his contribution on the mound, Leake is hitting .385 – more than 100 points higher than the batting average of the hitters he has faced (.270).  Leake has been Cincinnati’s most consistent – and best – pitcher in 2010.

How about Carlos Peña?  After hitting just .120/.233./.250 with three home runs in the month of May, Peña homered in six straight games last week and is slugging .667 so far in June.  For a guy hitting just .197 on the season, Peña has been awfully productive.  The Rays’ first baseman leads his team in home runs (15), and his 46 RBIs are second only to Evan Longoria’s 51.

How about the Braves?  Atlanta won only nine of 23 games in April but is 31-14 since the beginning of May and leads the NL East by a half-game over the Mets, who have won eight in a row.  The Braves have been particularly strong at home, evidenced by a 22-7 record at Turner Field.

Continue reading "Nationals handle Strasburg’s schedule ..."

Michael McGauley

"Bengie Molina is Back in the Squat for San Francisco" posted by Michael McGauley

I thought that ship had sailed? I also thought it was certain that Bengie Molina would be a New York Met in 2010. New York was dangling a two year deal, but Molina's camp wanted a third year option. Something went terribly wrong in the negotiations, and the two sides parted ways, which is good news for the Giants! It's hard to get greedy in this current market place, especially when you're an older player (who turns 36 in July), and playing a demanding position like catcher. I thought Molina might have ended-up in the American League where he could also be a DH.   Whatever happened at the end of last season (not playing hurt?), I say forget any bad blood that may have bubbled to the surface between Molina and the Giants, and welcome him back behind the plate with open arms. The pitchers love him. He's a club house presence and leader. He will be an excellent mentor to the young Buster Posey. He comes at a relative bargain for one year and $4.5-million, and can hit! Fortunately though, he won't be relied upon to bat clean-up for San Francisco this year (assuming the off-season acquisitions come through as expected). Molina should be much more comfortable further down in the order as a number-six hitter, behind a 3-4-5 combination of Sandoval, Huff, and De Rosa. Now I'm digging this line-up a lot more than I was just a couple of weeks ago.  Yorvit Torrealba? Rod Barajas? Bengie's going to be a better hitter than both of those guys. Last year, Molina struggled through some injuries, but still managed to play in 132 games and had 491 at-bats. The rest of the pertinent numbers: 130 hits, (only) 52 runs scored, 25 doubles, 20 homers, 80 RBI's, and an incredibly low 13 walks...Yikes! That's reflected in a .285 on-base percentage, but a fairly solid .265 batting average. Molina drove in 95 runs with 16 homers and 33 doubles in 2008; with a .292 average, and .322 on-base percentage. So, assuming he plays most of the season, you know roughly what kind of numbers you're going to get. But what if Posey is ready to go mid-season and gets the call-up? That remains to be seen. I would say Eli Whiteside begins the year as Molina's back-up with Posey down in Triple-A Fresno.  By-the-way: Torrealba sported a .351 on-base percentage and a .291 average in just 64 games with the Rockies last season, sharing time with Chris Ianetta. It's hard to really compare any other stats with fewer than half the number of at-bats, but Yorvit did manage to work 21 walks in just 213 at-bats. So, he would easily have more than 50 BB's with 500 A.B's. Barajas, meanwhile, had a descent season with the Blue Jays in 2008 as far as power numbers (19 and 71), but his batting average and on-base were dreadful in roughly the same number of at-bats. So, considering Bengie's familiarity with the Giants' pitching staff, and his overall better hitting, he was clearly the best choice of the three. The fourth choice, Miguel Olivo, had already signed with Colorado -- essentially replacing Torrealba.   Merkin Valdez, who was designated for assignment earlier last week, has been traded to Toronoto for cash considerations. Valdez just never realized his potential, but maintained a dominant fastball even after returning from Continue reading ""Bengie Molina is Back in the Squat ..."

Michael McGauley

"Randy Johnson Officially Announces His Retirement" posted by Michael McGauley

 HAPPY NEW YEAR to all Giant fans! College Football is nearly complete, and the Super Bowl is a month away...  And before you know it, Spring will be back in the air, and pitchers and catchers will be reporting to spring training in about six weeks. Personally, I just can't get enough baseball (thank you MLB Network), and keep hoping the Giants will make some more moves to improve on an 88-win season in 2009. Yes, they re-signed Juan Uribe (because he couldn't get a multi-year deal elsewhere), and picked-up the versatile Mark De Rosa; however, that's just not enough for me. Assuming Bengie Molina doesn't return (he's been offered two years by the Mets), another bat must walk through that clubhouse door come spring training. Brad Penny walked away from the Giants, who seemingly made a comparable offer to the one year deal he inked with the Cardinals ($7.5 million with incentives that could boost the deal closer to nine-million dollars). Penny joins Cy Young runner-ups Carpenter and Wainwright in a solid rotation, and Matt Holiday appears certain to remain in a line-up featuring the great Albert Pujols. Maybe Penny thought the Cards were closer to the NL Pennant than San Francisco. One pitcher who will not be in Arizona this spring is 46-year-old veteran Randy Johnson, who has officially announced his retirement after twenty-two seasons and 303 victories. A 10-time all-star, 5-time Cy Young Award winner, and World Series MVP, Johnson's accomplishments stack-up against almost any other left-handed pitcher ever in the history of the game. Too bContinue reading ""Randy Johnson Officially Announces ..."

Randolph Charlotin

Deep 86-ed posted by Randolph Charlotin

Pardon me while I go off track for a moment.


Last night I watched one of ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentaries. It was “Without Bias: The Len Bias Story” or something like that. It didn’t blow me away as far as storytelling goes, but it was well done.


Near the end of the program, the documentary quickly reviewed what happened the year Bias died. In 1986, the New England Patriots were stomped by the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XX. The Red Sox blew the World Series against the New York Mets. And though the Boston Celtics won the NBA Championship that year, Len’s June death began the 1986-87 season. A season the Celtics were unable to repeat as champions without Bias.


Not mentioned by the documentary was the Boston Bruins. The Black and Gold lost in the Division Semi-Finals in 85-86 and 86-87.


All in all, it was a very bad year for Boston sports.

 Questions? Comments? Send to reading "Deep 86-ed"

Michael McGauley

"Carney Lansford the Scape Goat for Giants' Offensive Struggles" posted by Michael McGauley


  Do we really blame Carney Lansford for a bunch of over-anxious, free-swinging hitters?  The stats certainly don't lie.  Only the Padres, Pirates, and Astros scored fewer runs than the Giants' 657 runs in 2009.  San Francisco's 122 home runs was second-to-last in the N.L., behind only the Mets, who stroked just 95 homers with a half-injured team in their brand-new, spacious Citi Field. Walks: 392 for the Giants was dead last in the league (the Rockies had 660 walks to lead the league). And that leads us to on-base percentage; where the Giants ranked last at .309!  That is just dismal, anemic, pitiful....any other good adjectives to throw in there?

  Bottom line, this has been a consistent problem for the Giants for several years now. They never really replaced Bonds and Kent - the last time they had a legitimate three-four combination in the batting order.  Yes, they've built up the pitching big time. Yes, Pablo Sandoval can rake. But that's not enough -- we need two or three more hitters like Pablo. Hey, you've got to give up something to get something, and the time is now to part with a starting pitcher, and acquire a bat. It's not the most desirable scenario, but consider the lack of available sticks in free agency. In addition, they will have to invest some money to keep the young guys happy (Tim Lincecum and Brian Wilson are due for BIG raises, and I say, give them whatever they want!).

  Back to Lansford, I don't blame him. He won a batting title (1981 with Boston), and knows how to hit. That doesn't always translate into being able to teach others how to do the same however. Just to use a brief basketball analogy -- how good of a coach was Magic Johnson with the Lakers? Same idea, but on a smaller scale. Lansford is bright and knowledgeable, but without a couple of big thumpers, this line-up loaded with number two and number six hitters (besides Sandoval) is not going to get the job done. We all know this. The Giants know this. But for some reason, they felt like they had to make a statement with this firing. The rest of the staff was retained by the way, when it was officially announced that Bruce Bochy would be returning for two more years with a club option for a third year. Same goes for GM Brian Sabean.

Continue reading ""Carney Lansford the Scape Goat for ..."


Twins-Tigers game was exactly what I wanted posted by David

The 12-inning thriller that was the last regular season game ever played at the Metrodome was exactly what I wanted to see.  When the Twins and Tigers played a four-game series in Detroit last week, I found myself rooting for the Twins to close the gap in order to create an exciting finish to the regular season – ideally a one-game playoff.  When that happened, I decided it would be great for the city of Detroit to send their team to the playoffs, but what I wanted most was to see a great game.  My wish came true when the two teams played a nail-biter that could have gone either way, but eventually sent Minnesota to the postseason.  Props to both teams for giving the fans what they deserved.

How ‘bout that?

How about Jason Kubel?  The Twins slugger hit a pair of three-run home runs in his team’s must-win game against Kansas City just to force Game 163, and added a solo shot in the game against the Tigers that decided the AL Central.  For the season, Kubel hit .300 with 28 home runs, 103 RBI’s, and a .907 OPS – all career highs.  Additionally, since taking over in right field when Justin Morneau went on the disabled list and Michael Cuddyer moved to first base, Kubel has not made a single error, giving Manager Ron Gardenhire confidence in his team despite the loss of one of his best players.

How about John Lackey?  With history on their opponent’s side, the Angels were not expected to beat the Red Sox in their American League Division Series, but after Lackey’s performance last night the Halos have to be feeling good about their chances.  In the series opener, Lackey threw 7.1 innings of scoreless baseball, giving up only four hits and walking just one, leading the team to a 5-0 victory over the Sox, who had beaten the Angels in their last three postseason series (2004, 2007, 2008) while losing a single game out of 10.  If the Angels send the Sox packing early, it will be news to the remaining teams that there’s a new player on the block.

Continue reading "Twins-Tigers game was exactly what I wanted"

John Frascella

Bobby Parnell is NOT a starting pitcher. posted by John Frascella

If the Mets head into next season with Bobby Parnell in their plans for the starting rotation, I'm becoming either a Phillies or Yankees fan. I can't take it anymore...I just can't. Parnell is garbage!

Can he be decent as a one inning middle reliever in not-so-tight situations? Probably, because he has a 94-99 MPH fastball when he works short appearances. But other than that, this guy is probably closer to a AAA pitcher than a major leaguer. 

Unless you have natural ability the likes of Ubaldo Jimenez, you have to have a BRAIN to be a successful starting pitcher at the game's highest level. Parnell stays on a plain with the opposing hitters' belts, which is an obvious recipe for disaster. He has extreme difficulty shooting the knees, and that's why his 96 MPH heaters get smacked around like 87 or 88. 

He doesn't locate well, he doesn't think, and his breaking stuff is awful. He has a hard slider that he continually bounces in the dirt (ever hear of adjusting?), and his change-up is like 90 MPH and flat. What's the point of throwing a change-up if it's 4 MPH slower than your fastball?

No point, obviously. There's nothing about Bobby Parnell that tells me he can be an effective starting pitcher at ANY point in his major league career. Let's send him back to the bullpen in 2010, or I'm ordering my Jimmy Rollins jersey as soon as I get a chance. 

Continue reading "Bobby Parnell is NOT a starting pitcher."

John Frascella

Cubs Say They Will Shop Zambrano posted by John Frascella

When the 2009 MLB season comes to a close, the Chicago Cubs have announced that they will shop starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano in hopes of swinging a trade and dumping much of his monstrous contract. The question is, should the Mets be interested in the massive right-hander?

That's the question a friend asked me earlier today, and I said, "Sure. It's not like we have anyone better" -- with the obvious exception of Johan Santana. As far as physical ability goes, Zambrano isn't the 97-99 MPH flamethrower he was four or five seasons ago, but he maintains an effective power sinker that would work nicely at Citi Field. I thought he looked hurt in 2008, but I've seen the life return to his sinker this season. 

The obstacle in the Mets' way would be of the financial variety. By now many of you know that the Wilpons were ripped off by Bernie Madoff, and reports have suggested as much as $700 million in losses. If the actual number is anywhere near that figure, it would be awfully difficult for the Mets to house Zambrano's hefty contract. Only time will tell, I guess. 

Continue reading "Cubs Say They Will Shop Zambrano"

New York Mets News

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Marlins-Cubs Preview (The Associated Press)

The Chicago Cubs have languished offensively of late, but they inspired some optimism with a better showing their last time out. Chicago (42-35) had scored two runs or fewer in eight consecutive games before winning 6-1 against the New York Mets on Thursday, completing a three-game sweep at Citi Field. [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 or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813 [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Yankees ride Chris Young's three-run homer to victory in Houston (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. The AL East is getting tighter by the day and on any given night can swing a different direction on one swing of the bat. In Friday's action, the biggest swing may have belonged to New York Yankees outfielder Chris Young. One pitch after breaking his bat on a foul ball against Will Harris, Young grabbed his new lumber and muscled up for a three-run homer. Those three runs would be all New York mustered against Vincent Velásquez and Houston's bullpen, but it would be enough to pull off a 3-2 victory. [ Check out Big League Stew on Tumblr for even more baseball awesomeness. ] Young's blast immediately followed singles from Carlos Beltran and Garrett Jones. Young finished the game with three hits, which gives him four multi-hit games in a row. He's also a big fan of hitting at Minute Maid Park. Chris Young's .405 BA at Minute Maid Park is 2nd-highest by any player (min. 100 AB). Joey Votto (.415) is 1st. — Katie Sharp (@ktsharp) June 27, 2015 Houston native Nathan Eovaldi picked up the win for New York after tossing six innings of two-run ball. He struck out six. Dellin Betances bounced back from his first career loss on Tuesday by retiring all four batters he faced. With the win and a Tampa Bay Rays loss to Boston, the Yankees moved back to within one-half game of first place. The Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays now sit one game behind headed into Saturday's action. CARDINALS INCH CLOSER TO 50 WINS The most intriguing series of the weekend is taking place down in St. Louis, where the first-place Cardinals are hosting the rival Chicago Cubs. We say intriguing, because everybody wants to know if the quickly improving Cubs can prove to be a real threat to St. Louis in the NL Central. Verdict after game one: Not quite yet. In typical Cardinals fashion, they received a quality outing from starter John Lackey and found just enough offense to break the Cubs hearts, winning 3-2 on a walkoff error in the 10th inning.  The Cardinals loaded the bases with no outs when Cubs skipper Joe Maddon went to the five-man infield. Naturally, Peralta hit a grounder to Mike Baxter, Chicago's fifth infielder, who threw home wide.  As noted, Lackey was good, tossing seven innings of two-run ball. Jake Arrieta was even better for Chicago, allowing one run over seven innings. Pedro Strop, however, coughed up the slim lead on a pinch-hit home run by Greg Garcia. The win was St. Louis' league-best 49th this season. Houston is next in line with 43. The Cardinals are 27-7 at home, which is also the league's best mark. They own an eight-game division lead over Pittsburgh and are 9 1/2 in front of Chicago.    NOAH SYNDERGAARD PITCHES METS BACK OVER .500 Lack of offense was the New York Mets key issue during their recent seven-game losing streak, which pushed them one game under .500. Now the team's young starting pitching is looking to take charge and turn things back around. On Thursday, likely All-Star Jacob deGrom did his part, allowing just four hits and striking out seven in a win against the Milwaukee Brewers. On Friday, rookie Noah Syndergaard got them back over .500, allowing one run on five hits in a 2-1 victory against the Cincinnati Reds. Syndergaard needed just 89 pitches to complete eight innings. He struck out five and walked none. It was easily the best start of his rookie campaign, and considering the Mets' recent struggles it couldn't have come at a better time. Now they'll look to build their winning streak with Matt Harvey taking the ball on Saturday afternoon. [ On this week's StewPod: Looking back at a fun week in baseball with Jeff Passan ] Offensively, the Mets did very little against Johnny Cueto. Curtis Granderson led off the game with a solo home run. They also pieced together a run in the fifth on Dilson Herrera's triple and three walks. Lucas Duda's walk drove in the go-ahead run. Jeurys Familia pitched a perfect ninth for his 21st save. JAYS LAUNCH FOUR HOMERS IN WIN OVER RANGERS After eeking out a 1-0 win in 12 innings against the Rays on Wednesday, the Toronto Blue Jays offense wasted no time taking over on Friday. Trailing by an early run on Prince Fielder's 300th career homer, the Jays answered quickly and emphatically thanks to Edwin Encarnacion's grand slam and went on to a 12-2 triumph. Overall, Toronto connected for four home runs. That included a separate solo shot from Encarnacion, as well as solo shots from Russell Martin and Danny Valenica. The latter of which came off Rangers position player Adam Rosales. The outburst made a winner of Mark Buehrle, who's now 8-4 on the season. Buehrle has received at least 10 runs of support in five of his 15 outings this season, including a total of 37 over his first three starts. Want to see more from Friday’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 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 or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik [read full article]

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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 or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813 [read full article]

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