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Anthony Rizzo posted by Cubs Fan

Born August 8, 1989, Anthony Rizzo is currently the first baseman for Chicago Cubs MLB team. Rizzo started his minor league baseball career in 2007, when he was drafted by the Red Sox as their sixth round choice. He played with Salem Red Sox, Greenville Drive, Portland Sea Dogs, and Gulf Coast League Red Sox. During 2009, Rizzo hit 12 home runs, and in 2010, he made 25 home runs, with .480 slugging percentage.

Anthony Rizzo started his major league career in December 2010, when he was traded to the San Diego Padres. In 2011, he was invited by the Padres for major league spring training, but he was not on the roster. He started the season playing with Tucson Padres, hitting 6 home runs, .452 average, and 24 RBIs in 15 games. However, he was called up to the major league in June 2011, when he hit 16 home runs, .365 percentage, and 63 RBIs in more than 52 games. In July 2011, he was demoted, but was again called back to the majors in September. Rizzo finished his initial season with only .141 in Dallas.

In January 2012, Anthony Rizzo was acquired by the Chicago Cubs along with Zach Cates the pitcher. At the start of the season, Rizzo excelled in the Iowa Cubs minor league batting, scoring 23 home runs, .342 average, and 62 RBIs. He was recalled to the major league in June, to help the team in its offense, which was struggling. In July, he hit seven home runs, which was a record for a rookie in a calendar month. Rizzo also created history, by being the first Chicago Cubs player to have three game-winning RBIs in the first five games. In May 2014, Rizzo made the second walk-off home run of his career, and he was voted to be in the All-Star game as well. 

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Cubs Fan

Futures Sports Betting on the Chicago Cubs posted by Cubs Fan

While the opening day for the 2013 Major League Baseball season is not slated to officially kick off until 1 April of 2013, the sport is still a hot topic for sports betting. To some this may seem rather odd given the fact that baseball is not even being played right now. However, there really is no down time in the wide world of sports betting. Actually, the sort of baseball betting being placed right now at online sports betting sites pertains to futures. Futures are a type of sports bet where bets are placed on predictions about futures events and results. This might seem a bit risky and it is but given the risk some terrific odds can be procured that could lead to a rather appealing payout. In this manner, fans such as those of the Chicago Cubs can keep involved with their team.

The betting areas of online sports betting and casino sites will provide odds listed by teams. Online casinos are a bit more new in the field of sports betting but many of them have added bets to their array of games. Some just offer sports themed games instead, which is almost as good – there are even baseball themed casion games, like the slots game Hot Shot found in many of the best casinos. Sports bets are a logical step forward from themed slots to better provide entertainment for sports enthusiasts. Odds, for example, are an integral part of any casino game, and for someone used to thinking about them a change of platform can be quite easy, even when they are a lot more complicated when you have to understand the individual players as well as the teams and the whole league.

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Richard Kagan

Cubs Sinking on Left Coast posted by Richard Kagan

The Chicago Cubs went to the west coast on a long road trip and it is looking like a lost summer or dead end trip to Cali.  The Cubs lost 3 straight to the Dodgers where they can't win for losing, actually, that sounds quite Cub-like.  And then they went down to sunny San Diego and it feels like they hit a sandstorm and are in the process of dropping another one to the Padres.  Again, a shut-out.  The Cubs can't buy a hit in California.   Get one from your local fruitstand.  It ain't happening for this team on this trip.  This current road woe has set the Cubs further back and now it looks like a lost season.  They traded away half the team. And gave the rest on waivers.  The only hold-over they kept was Alphonso Soriano, whose contract scared away any potential buyers.  Dempster, Garza, and Malhom are history.  If Chicago wanted to break in new players why not do a swap with Iowa and send some guys out there?  Their contracts and egos probalby won't let them go.  Oh well, It is a rebuilding year.  It seems every year is a rebuilding year.  Try bringing back Rick Sutcliffe.  He can still pitch.

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Richard Kagan

Cubs Are Gettin' Better Now posted by Richard Kagan

Here come the Cubs!  Chicago has won 13 of 18 games. including 9 of its last 11 at home to claib back to "decent-land."  This move is surprising and shows the drive of the front office.  What they do filters down to the ballclub.  Lately, things are looking up for the Northsiders.  The starting pitching has gotten much better. Dempster, Garza, and Smarajzna have improved.  The rumors are hot that Dempster is on his way out before the trade deadline to a contending club.  He will bring in good prospects.  Theo Epstein wants to find a starter, either a pitcher or position player in the deal, and chances are improving given Dempster's fine season.  Carlos Marmol has cut down on his propensity to blow saves.  He's difficult to watch if he lacks control because things can get out of hand quickly with him.  But his slider is virtually unhittable.  If the Cubs had one more solid hitter, there would be a defininte improvement.  They need someone who can drive in runs...maybe the rookie from Cuba is just the player.  One thing for sure is, the rebuilding process is proceeding well.

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Richard Kagan

Cubs May Have a Team posted by Richard Kagan

It's mid-season and in the last 13 games, the Chicago Cubs have won 9 of them.  Not a small undertaking for these Cubbies.  This is a rebuilding year, and next year may be the same.  But by adding rookie Anthony Rizzo, the Cubs have added punch, and an ability to get extra base hits.  They no longer have to rely on Brian Lahair or Starlin Castro or Alphonso Soriano.  Soriano is often talked about in terms of his bloated contract and he has two years left and no one wants to pick up the remaining two years.  He has 15 Home Runs, all have come after May 15th, so he is no slouch.  It's Rizzo who is turning faces and getting opposing managers' attention.  This guy can hit.  He's batting .375 and his OB% is almost off the charts.  He looks like a Cubs' version of Ted Williams up there.  Or you can add Billy Williams, and that's just fine.  The team needs players to drive in runs. 

Rich Dempster has pitched terrific in the past month.  He's pitching 25-6 shutout innings.  Inching close to what Ken Holtzman did with the team in 1971.  I say Keep Rich, you don't want to get rid of good pitching.  Unless you get Warren Spahn in return.  I don't see anyone resembling Spahn out there.  If these Cubs fan finish someone near 14 games under .500 or better, that is a darn good save by Dale Sveum and company.  The team plays hard.  They just need more talent.

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Richard Kagan

Rizzo Hot, Cubs Win 8-7 posted by Richard Kagan

Anthony Rizzo hit a 3 run-HR in the 5th inning against Johann Santana and the Cubs went on to prevail 8-7 despite a late NY Mets rally in the 9th.  The Mets appeared poised to make another late comeback but Carlos Marmol snagged a liner back to the mound and threw to first base to double up Ike Davis.  Since Rizzo has been a Cubs starter, the Cubs have looked like a different team, Yes, a winning team.  They are 7-3 in their last ten games.  And are playing much improved baseball.  Suddently, the team has some pop, some confiidence to compete. 

The Cubs won without arguably their best player, Starlin Castro, who had a rare night off.  Dale Sveum, Cubs manager, said he wanted to talk about the game, with him.  This is such a young team.  You would think management would acquire a guy who has had experience to help these younger players along.  But getting a vet to come into the Cubs situation might not be so easy.  The Cubs have picked it up and might not be as bad as we had thought.  Even if they finish the season 14 games under .500 that is signicant improvement over the first 80 games of this season.

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Richard Kagan

Cubs beat Mets 6-1 posted by Richard Kagan

I've been a long time Cubs fan, and that means a long time suffering Cubs fan.  The Cubs are on a pace to lose more than 95 games this season, which is a lot.  But at least they beat the Mets at Wrigley on Monday night.   They bested Johann Santana, former two-time Cy Young winner and owner of the Mets' first no-hitter.  Ok, the ump at third missed a call that was an apparent base hit, but ruled it foul.  I call it an no-hitter with an Asterisk next to it.  Wait, one of these days, a Met pitcher will throw a great game for no hits, and there won't be any doubt about it.  Talk will go back to Santana's game.  But, I have to give him credit, he pitched a gutsy game.

But the Cubbies got to him tonight.  Courtesy of three Met errors that allowed 4 runs to score in the 7th inning.  The Cubs will get to their 30th win, when everyone else has's been that kind of season.  I'm hoping for a real winning streak, but the Cubs don't have a rotation to make that happen.  It's playing on the fly.  It's awkward and painful to watch.  But Cub fans are used to this.  At least the team is putting together some young talent.  Shawn Castro at Shortstop is an emerging star.  He is an All-star hitter.  Eventually, he will make that team.  But the Cubs have to get good.  I don't know when that's going to happen.

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Richard Kagan

The Cubs Are Not Good posted by Richard Kagan

Yippee, The Chicago Cubs beat the Minnesota Twins 8-2 behind the solid right arm of Ryan Dempster (2-3), who may be on the trading block.  Dempster bolstered his status with an excellent outing, his second win in a row.  I have been a long-time cubs fans.  I was there for Don Cardwell's no-hitter in the second game of a DH.  I fell asleep and missed most of the game, as a child.  I was more alert for Kenny Holtzman's gem vs. the Atlanta Braves in 1969, when the Cubs looked so good.  I was sure they were going to win the pennant.  But....stuff happens, if you're a Cubs fan.

What still surprises me is that 32,000 fans come of the park every home game if the weather is decent.  The Cubs draw well over 2.5 million.  In a good season, it could be 2.8 million.  In this tiny ballpark in Wrigleyville...The fans still come out and root for the Cubbies.  Who are as lovable as ever, even if they are on pace to lose 100 games this season.  And, that is not a laughing matter.  How do you get paid, and get up in the morning and come to the park?

The Cubs were picked by most baseball experts to finish 4th or 5th in the division.  Unfortunately, they make the Pittsburgh Pirates look good.  Manager Dale Sveum looks like he is on an out of control train in that Denzel Washington thriller.  That train threatened to cause disruption all over the landscape.  It's a stretch to say this team could win 4 or 5 games in a row.  They don't have the players to do that.  And, coming from a fan, that is a sad thing to say.

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Richard Kagan

Santana's No-hitter posted by Richard Kagan

As a long-time Cubs fan, I view Johan Santana's no-hitter as a bit of a gift.  Carlos Beltran, an ex-Met, now playing for the St. Louis Cardinals sent a drive down the 3rd base line that touched the chalk.  The 3rd base umpire ruled the ball foul, and Beltran made an out in his at-bat.  But that ball was a fair ball and likely would have been a double, if the umpire saw the play fairly.  So, Santana's no-hitter, I don't buy it.  He pitched a great game, a probable one-hitter and benefited from a great play by the left-fielder Mike Baxter on a ball hit deep.  Baxter made the catch, and hurt his shoulder on the play.  Great pitching performances always need a little luck.  But Beltran's foul ball was fair, and a hit.  Call it an imperfect no-hitter.Continue reading "Santana's No-hitter"

Richard Kagan

Mike Quade Gone As Skipper of Cubs posted by Richard Kagan

The Cubs managerial merry-go-round takes another spin as Mike Quade was not re-hired by Theo Epstein, the new honcho for Cubs baseball.  Epstein was recently hired in talks so compicated that they a resembled U.S.-Russia nuclear pact to reduce nukes.

So Quade is out.  He had a good showing in 2010 at the end of the year when he led the Cubs to a great finish.  That got him the full-time job in 2011 and he presided over a 71-91 team.  Not exactly great.  But oh so Cub-like.

The Cubs will get a makeover.  They will be young and  hungry, with a few veterans.  Shawn Castro, the shortstop will be the fulcrum of this re-building project.  Castro has star written all over---He had over 200 hits for the season. The youngest Cub player ever to do that.  The Cubs are not going to win it next year.  But they may be more exciting.  With this team, you never know.

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The Walk Off: Cubs offense explodes in lopsided win over Cardinals (Big League Stew)

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. > [ Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Baseball contest now ] 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. Addison Russell would ground into a force out for the second out of the frame, but the bases remained loaded. That didn't last long. David Ross drove in two more runs with a double, and then pitcher Jason Hammel did the same. Before Hammel even took the mound, the Cubs had scored six runs.  That wasn't enough for Chicago, though. Soler would hit a two-run homer in the fifth, and the club would manage four more runs in the top of the ninth inning. St. Louis attempted a rally late, scoring three runs in the final two innings, but it just wasn't enough. With the 12-3 victory , the Cubs improved to 30-14 on the year. TOP PERFORMERS   Gregory Polanco: Polanco's breakout season with the Pittsburgh Pirates continued Tuesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Polanco wasted no time getting to work during the contest, smashing a three-run homer in his first at-bat. Polanco knocked in two more runs with a double in the sixth. He also added a single, finishing 3-for-5 with two runs scored and five RBIs in the 12-1 victory . Justin Verlander: Verlander turned in a vintage performance for the Detroit Tigers during Tuesday's contest against the Philadelphia Phillies. The 33-year-old threw eight scoreless innings, holding the Phillies to just three hits. He walked two and struck out 10 in the 3-1 win , earning his fourth victory of the season. [Elsewhere: Dodgers fans gave Joey Votto a new nickname after paper airplane incident ] Daniel Murphy: Washington Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy stung his old team, the New York Mets, on Tuesday. In the bottom of the fifth, Murphy delivered a huge blow to Matt Harvey, taking the righty deep for a two-run shot. Harvey remained in the game for two more batters, but Murphy's hit was the final nail in the coffin  in another bad start by the Mets ace. Murphy also singled, finishing 2-for-4 in the 7-4 victory. MUST-SEE HIGHLIGHT The Colorado Rockies didn't have much to cheer about during Tuesday's 8-3 loss against the Boston Red Sox, but Nolan Arenado managed to change that briefly. In the bottom of the eighth, Arenado made another spectacular defensive play. Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts hit a sharp grounder down the third base line, but Arenado was able to make a diving stop. He then got up and fired a bullet to first, easily nabbing Bogaerts. Though it was a superb play, it's one we've come to expect from Arenado. He's that good with the glove. THE REST OF THE SCOREBOARD Rays 4, Marlins 3: Jake Odorizzi turned in a scoreless start over five innings, but the Rays bullpen almost allowed a comeback. Alex Colome was called on to pick up a two-inning save, and got the job done. Yankees 6, Blue Jays 0: Nathan Eovaldi turned in another excellent start, allowing just two hits over six scoreless innings for the win. Brewers 2, Braves 1: Jimmy Nelson turned in a quality start, while Ryan Braun hit his eighth home run in the victory. Rangers 4, Angels 1: Nomar Mazara was 3-for-3 at the plate, including his seventh home run of the season. Indians 6, White Sox 2: Cleveland jumped all over Chris Sale, scoring six runs off the ace and saddling him with his first loss of the year. Royals 7, Twins 4: Lorenzo Cain went 4-for-5, with two RBI and Salvador Perez hit his seventh home run of the season during the victory. Astros 3, Orioles 2: Carlos Correa only had one hit on the night, but it was a big one. With the bases loaded, Correa delivered a walk-off single in the 13th. Mariners 6, Athletics 5: A back-and-forth game was decided in the bottom of the ninth as Leonys Martin clubbed a walk-off two-run shot against Ryan Madson. Dodgers 8, Reds 2: Justin Turner drove in three runs on three hits, while the Reds lost their ninth-straight game. Giants 8, Padres 2: Brandon Crawford went 2-for-4, driving in four runs during the victory. 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]

From Yahoo Sports

The Walk Off: Madison Bumgarner does it all in win against Cubs (Big League Stew)

Welcome to The Walk Off, the nightly MLB recap from Big League Stew. Here we'll look at 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.   Eight players took the field behind San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner on Sunday, but he was the only one who mattered. Bumgarner did everything during a 1-0 win against the Chicago Cubs. [ Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Baseball contest now ] Bumgarner was masterful against a tough Cubs offense, limiting the club to just three hits over 7 2/3 scoreless innings. Bumgarner walked two and struck out six during the outing.  That wasn't all. Bumgarner also contributed with the bat. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Bumgarner drove in a run on a double against Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks. It wound up being the only run of the game. Bumgarner was the sole reason for the Giants win. It didn't look like things would be that easy early. Bumgarner actually loaded the bases in the first inning after hitting a batter, giving up a single and issuing a walk. With the bases loaded, Bumgarner managed to strike out Addison Russell on a 3-2 fastball.  From there, he mostly cruised. David Ross would single in the second, but then the Cubs failed to muster anything offensively. At one point, Bumgarner set down 16 straight Cubs hitters. With the win, Bumgarner improved to 6-2 on the year.  TOP PERFORMERS   David Ortiz: Is Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz sure he wants to retire? The 40-year-old turned in another fantastic game Sunday against the Cleveland Indians. Ortiz was a perfect 4-for-4 during the 5-2 win. He finished a triple shy of the cycle, belting a single, two doubles and his 11th home run of the season. Ortiz also walked in his only other plate appearance, reaching base all five times he stepped to the plate. He's hitting .329 during his final season. [Elsewhere: Yasiel Puig's base-running blunder drew the ire of one teammate ] Cole Hamels: Yu Darvish's return may have been the big news for the Texas Rangers, but Cole Hamels stole some of Darvish's spotlight Sunday against the Houston Astros. Hamels gave up two runs, one earned, over eight strong innings. He allowed five hits and two walks during the contest. Hamels also managed 11 strikeouts. With the 9-2 victory , Hamels improved to a perfect 5-0 on the season. Carlos Perez: No Mike Trout, no problem. The Los Angeles Angels exploded for 10 runs against the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday, mostly without their star outfielder. Catcher Carlos Perez picked up the slack after Trout left the game, going 3-for-5, with two singles and a home run. Perez finished the 10-2 win with one run scored and five RBI. MUST-SEE HIGHLIGHT   Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar deserves a cape to go with his uniform . He was up to his usual antics Sunday against the Minnesota Twins, laying out for another diving catch on what looked to be a sure extra base hit off the bat of Brian Dozier. Pillar's grab kept the Twins off the board, allowing the Blue Jays to pull off the eventual 3-1 victory . THE REST OF THE SCOREBOARD   Tigers 9, Rays 4: Jordan Zimmermann and Miguel Cabrera lifted the Tigers early, but both eventually left the contest due to injuries.  Mariners 5, Reds 4: Leonys Martin went 4-for-5 at the plate, while Robinson Cano drove in two runs in the victory. Mets 3, Brewers 1: Noah Syndergaard struck out 11 Brewers over seven innings. Michael Conforto added his eighth home run of thr season in the win. Nationals 8, Marlins 2: Anthony Rendon smacked a double and a triple, and drove in three runs, helping Max Scherzer pick up his fifth win of the season. Phillies 5, Braves 0: Jerad Eickhoff tossed seven scoreless innings and Maikel Franco drove in two during the win. White Sox 3, Royals 2: Melky Cabrera delivered a two-run single in the bottom of the fifth, keeping the Royals from completing the sweep. Diamondbacks 7, Cardinals 2: Zack Greinke allowed just one run over eight strong innings. He struck out seven and gave up one walk to earn his fifth victory of the year. Yankees 5, Athletics 4: Michael Pineda picked up a quality start over six solid innings. Then, the Yankees three-headed monster preserved the lead, giving New York its fifth win in a row.  Dodgers 9, Padres 5: Ross Stripling picked up the win in the 17th inning while coming on in relief. Yasiel Puig knocked in a go-ahead two-run single in the top of the frame and Stripling held on in the bottom of the 17th for the win. Rockies, Phillies: PPD:  This game has been postponed. It will be made up Monday, May 23 at 12:35 p.m. ET. More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: The StewPod: A baseball podcast by Yahoo Sports Subscribe via iTunes or via RSS feed - - - - - - - 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]

From Yahoo Sports

The Walk Off: Gerrit Cole disses Cubs after shutting them down (Big League Stew)

Welcome to The Walk Off, the nightly MLB recap from Big League Stew. Here we'll look at 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.   Pitchers are going to have to bring their absolute best in order to shut down the Chicago Cubs lineup this season. Pittsburgh Pirates ace Gerrit Cole did just that during the club's narrow 2-1 win Sunday. [ Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Baseball contest now ] Cole was fantastic during the start, giving up just three hits over eight innings. The Cubs lead the league in walks, but failed to draw one against Cole. He struck out seven during the outing.  Even then, it wasn't easy to come out ahead. Cole was matched by Cubs starter Jon Lester throughout most of the game. In fact, Lester took a no-hitter into the top of the seventh inning against Pittsburgh before Starling Marte hit a single with one out. Marte would come around to score later that inning on a Jung-Ho Kang double. Kang would strike again in the top of the ninth, knocking a solo home run against closer Hector Rondon. That run became crucial, as the Cubs mounted a comeback in the bottom of the inning.  Mark Melancon entered the game in the bottom of the ninth looking for the save, but ran into some trouble. A walk to Dexter Fowler and a single by Jason Heyward put men on first and third with no outs. Anthony Rizzo hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Fowler, but Melancon managed to get Ben Zobrist to ground out to end the game. While it might seem like a tough task to shut down the Cubs, Cole didn't seem too impressed with the team following the win. Gerrit Cole on the Cubs: "I don't really think they're the best team in baseball." — Travis Sawchik (@Sawchik_Trib) May 15, 2016 He may have been able to get away with that after today's performance, but the Cubs will have plenty of chances to prove him wrong over the course of the season. The two teams still play each other 13 times, and that doesn't include a possible meeting in October.  TOP PERFORMERS   Danny Valencia: Valencia was a one-man wrecking crew during the Oakland Athletics' 7-6 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday. Valencia collected three hits, all of which left the yard. His third and final home run wound up being the difference. With the game tied at six in the ninth inning, Valencia blasted a solo shot off Steve Geltz for the go-ahead run. He finished the game 3-for-5, with three runs scored and five RBI. Jose Fernandez: Fernandez turned in one of his finest starts of the season Sunday against the Washington Nationals. The Miami Marlins ace lasted seven innings, giving up just one run during the 5-1 win . He struck out 11 and walked three during the outing. He also helped his own cause, driving in two runs on a single during the sixth inning. [Elsewhere: Jose Bautista got punched in the jaw during a huge brawl with the Rangers ] Ian Desmond: Sunday's Toronto Blue Jays-Texas Rangers contest will be more known for huge brawl and the punch heard round the world , but before all of that, Ian Desmond's giant home run was the main story. With the Rangers down by two, Desmond delivered a three-run homer off reliever Jesse Chavez in the seventh inning. It was the biggest hit of the contest ... until Rougned Odor got to Jose Bautista. Desmond finished 2-for-4, with one run scored and 4 RBI in the 7-6 win. MUST-SEE HIGHLIGHT   New York Yankees outfielder Carlos Beltran only had one hit during the team's 7-5 win over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday, but it was a big one. Beltran's sixth inning home run not only gave the Yankees a lead, but it also helped him reach a milestone. The blast was Beltran's 400th home run of his career.  With the hit, he joined an elite club: At least 400 homers, 75 triples, 1,000 walks and 300 stolen bases in a career: Carlos Beltran, Willie Mays, Barry Bonds. — Katie Sharp (@ktsharp) May 15, 2016 Beltran also had a sacrifice fly earlier in the contest. He finished 1-for-3, with two runs scored and three RBI in the win. THE REST OF THE SCOREBOARD Twins 5, Indians 1: Tyler Duffey held Cleveland scoreless over seven innings and Eddie Rosario drove in three runs during the win. Tigers 6, Orioles 5: A back-and-forth game was decided in the top of the eighth when J.D. Martinez and Miguel Cabrera decided to go back-to-back to give the Tigers the game-tying and game-winning runs. Red Sox 10, Astros 9: Xander Bogaerts and Ryan Hanigan provided most of the offense for Boston, driving in a combined seven runs during the victory. Reds 9, Phillies 4: Adam Morgan had a rough start, giving up seven runs in 3 2/3 innings. Eugenio Saurez contributed to that, clubbing a three-run shot in the fourth. Brewers 3, Padres 2: Chris Carter went 3-for-4, hitting a home run and a run-scoring double during the contest. Jonathan Lucroy went yard for his second straight game. Royals 4, Braves 2: The Braves mounted a late comeback against Wade Davis, but Kendrys Morales' two run shot in the thirteenth gave the Royals the win. Angels 3, Mariners 0: Hector Santiago allowed just two hits over eight scoreless innings against Seattle. He struck out five and walked one in the win. Rockies 4, Mets 3: Ryan Raburn's pinch-hit home run in the seventh proved to be the difference as the Rockies completed a sweep of the Mets. Giants 2, Diamondbacks 1: Arizona nearly rallied back in the ninth, but lost on a review after a safe call was overturned at first. Cardinals 5, Dodgers 2: Corey Seager hit two home runs, but that was all the Dodgers' offense could muster against Mike Leake. 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]

From Yahoo Sports

Weekly Rotation: The five most disappointing offseason additions (Big League Stew)

Every year, fans are cautioned not to overreact to bold Hot Stove transactions. The 2015 Padres, 2014 Yankees, 2013 Blue Jays and 2012 Marlins were all proclaimed as the “winners” of their respective offseasons, yet none ended up qualifying for the postseason. [ Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Baseball contest now ] Still, the early goings of 2016 have proven to be exceptionally disappointing for most of the big names who changed addresses over the winter. Upon reviewing Yahoo’s top 20 free agents , a dozen of them are experiencing extremely slow starts. Though the level-headed among us preach patience and small sample sizes in this scenario, it’s not abnormal to feel panic setting in if your team’s shiny new toy appears to have arrived defective. The Weekly Rotation is here to provide a voice of reason for those fans already self-aware of a creeping sense of anxiety. Using PointAfter visualizations, I’ll rank the five most disappointing additions of the offseason thus far and assess if it’s viable to panic about each player and their respective team’s playoff chances. Notes: All statistics are accurate as of games played on May 10. 5. Jason Heyward, Cubs 2016 Stats: .211/.312/.257 slash line, 0 HR, 13 RBI, 23 K in 28 games Salary: $21.6 million Jason Heyward famously went yard in his first major league at-bat on Opening Day in 2010, instantly endearing himself to Atlanta Braves fans. We’re 126 plate appearances into his career in the Windy City, and Cubs fans are still waiting for a reason to similarly embrace the former phenom guaranteed $184 million by Chicago. Heyward currently has a lower batting average and OPS than teammate David Ross, a 39-year-old catcher who was basically signed to serve as Jon Lester’s personal catcher. His slugging percentage (.257) is far lower than his on-base percentage (.312), since he’s mustered just five doubles as his only extra-base hits thus far. His performance has frankly been sort of embarrassing for someone blessed with his talent and stature (6’5”, 240 pounds), let alone for a guy regarded as the crown jewel of the winter’s free agent class. Jason Heyward Career Batting Triple Slash | PointAfter All that said, Heyward is still drawing a ton of walks while providing value in the field and on the basepaths. He’s gone through these sort of power outages before, including seven droughts of at least 25 games and a career-high 45-game homerless streak with St. Louis last year. This current slump is made more understandable by his recent wrist ailment . The 26-year-old could launch a home run beyond the ivy into those new Wrigley bleachers at any moment, at which point Cubbies fans will breathe a collective sigh of relief. For now, they’ll continue to enjoy the best team in baseball and try to ignore Heyward’s initial struggles. Panic level: Snooze button 4. David Price, Red Sox 2016 Stats: 4-1, 6.75 ERA, 12 BB, 53 K in 41.1 IP Salary: $30 million If this ranking was done purely by looking at statistics like ERA or WAR, David Price would surely be a couple spots higher. The highest-paid pitcher in MLB history has given up more earned runs (31) than anyone in the American League entering Tuesday. However, Price is also pacing the Junior Circuit in strikeouts (53) with a career-high rate of 11.5 strikeouts per 9 innings. Though the results have yet to show up in the scorebook, the Red Sox coaching staff (with some help from Dustin Pedroia ) has seemingly pinpointed an inconsistency in the lefty’s leg kick that could be the root of his issues. [Elsewhere: How many games will the Chicago Cubs win this season? ] Price has also simply been a victim of awful luck. Opposing hitters hold a batting average on balls in play (BABIP) of .383 against him, the second-highest mark in the AL. For context, league average BABIP is right around .300 and Price has never recorded one higher than .306. His defense will eventually get better at converting live balls into outs. David Price Career BABIP by Season | PointAfter It also helps matters that Price hasn’t cost Boston many games yet. The AL’s highest-scoring offense has backed up the former Cy Young winner and lifted the Red Sox to first place in the AL East. Accordingly, Beantown can’t be too disappointed with Price’s tenure yet. A rough 2 mph decrease in velocity this season might not portend well for Price’s long-term outlook, but this is still a guy with excellent command and above-average stuff. Panic level: Forgot to go to ATM for cash-only food truck, but your friend has you covered 3. Scott Kazmir, Dodgers 2016 Stats: 2-3, 5.54 ERA, 12 BB, 36 K, 9 HR allowed in 37.1 IP Salary: $12.7 million Looking at the Dodgers rotation during spring training, Scott Kazmir would have been the obvious choice as the No. 2 starter behind Clayton Kershaw. But a homer-riddled beginning to 2016 has seen Kazmir post the worst ERA in Los Angeles’ rotation by nearly a full run. Kazmir has served up nine home runs thus far, the second-most in the NL. That includes two given up against the Rockies in the thin Denver air, and a three-tater day courtesy of the Giants, who benefited from wall scrapers by Angel Pagan and Brandon Belt . As a result, his HR/9 rate is easily the highest it’s ever been, aside from a disastrous 1 2/3 inning cameo that served as his lone appearance in 2011. Scott Kazmir Career HR/9 | PointAfter Kazmir’s slump has hindered L.A.’s ability to pull away in an uninspired NL West despite excellent showings from Clayton Kershaw and Kenta Maeda. The cash-laden Dodgers will almost certainly look to upgrade their rotation this summer. Depending on the quality of that inevitable acquisition and the progression of Kazmir, the 32-year-old could feasibly find himself pushed out of Los Angeles’ playoff rotation come October. [Elsewhere: This Twins ballboy deserves a Gold Glove for this catch ] Panic level: Found a hair in your food at a four-star restaurant 2. Justin Upton, Tigers 2016 Stats: .228/.267/.325 slash line, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 51 K in 32 games Salary: $22.1 million Diamondbacks, Braves and Padres fans know how streaky Justin Upton is at the plate. It’s one of his defining characteristics . Tigers faithful have learned that the hard way in 2016, as Upton has exhibited the worst plate discipline of his career in 2016. Justin Upton Career Walk/Strikeout Rates | PointAfter Upton’s 51 strikeouts are the most in the Majors. He has seven three-strikeout games under his belt. It took until May 3 for him to start a game and not strike out, and he hasn’t done it again since. A seven-game hitting streak between April 28-May 5 has given way to an 0-for-17 slump. If there’s been a bright side, it’s Upton’s defense. He leads all AL leftfielders in range factor per game, a skill put on display while robbing poor Chris Coghlan of a homer recently. The Tigers didn’t sign Upton for his defense, though. If he doesn’t find his groove soon, the Tigers could fall too far behind the upstart White Sox in the AL Central for a second-half surge from their $132 million man to matter. If Detroit does indeed miss the playoffs, it’d mark the third straight year a team employing Upton fancied themselves as contenders yet fell short of the postseason. Panic level: Is this seat getting warmer ? 1. Shelby Miller, Diamondbacks 2016 Stats: 1-3, 7.36 ERA, 21 BB, 20 K in 29.1 IP Salary: $4.4 million Shelby Miller was the league’s “biggest loser” last year, as he took 17 L’s to go along with six wins during his only season in Atlanta. The dubious title was entirely unfair, as Miller received the worst run support of any starter while recording a 3.02 ERA and earning his first All-Star bid. The Diamondbacks saw enough in him to trade the No. 1 overall pick of the 2015 MLB Draft, Dansby Swanson, to acquire him. That move was roundly criticized, even with most of the naysayers assuming Miller could replicate his production as a No. 2 or No. 3 starter for Arizona. [Elsewhere: A player in Japan won a year's supply of beer for hitting this home run ] Well, Miller has been arguably the worst starter in the Majors. This year, he’s wholly deserved all three losses he’s been tagged with, and should probably have a couple more to his name. The 25-year-old holds a 7.36 ERA through seven starts, and that’s the lowest it’s been all season. Shelby Miller Earned Runs and ERA by Game in 2016 | PointAfter Miller has failed to get out of the third inning in two outings, and has yet to see the seventh frame. Entering Tuesday, he led the National League in walks (21), and has handed out more free passes than strikeouts (20) through 29.1 innings. The D-backs mortgaged their future to contend immediately, but have stumbled out to a 16-18 start. Miraculously, they’re only one game out of first place in the dreadful National League West, which has been far worse than anyone expected. But the point stands that the team looks nothing like the contender its front office expected them to be. At least Zack Greinke (40/9 K/BB in 43.2 IP), Arizona’s other major offseason acquisition, has promising peripherals that indicate a return to form is in the cards. Miller, meanwhile, has looked utterly lost while Swanson has torn up the minor leagues, making the Diamondbacks’ decision makers look more inept than even their worst critics previously suggested. Panic level: CODE RED Close calls: Mike Leake (Cardinals), Ken Giles (Astros), Drew Storen (Blue Jays), Zack Greinke (Diamondbacks), Erick Aybar (Braves), Chase Anderson (Brewers), Jon Niese (Pirates) This story  was published by PointAfter ,  a partner of Yahoo Sports. Will Laws is a writer for PointAfter , a sports data aggregation and visualization website that's part of the Graphiq network. PointAfter is a platform for shot charts, scatter plots and other data visualizations about NBA players, NFL teams and dozens of other topics. [read full article]

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The Walk Off: Steven Wright tosses complete game against Yankees (Big League Stew)

Welcome to The Walk Off, the nightly MLB recap from Big League Stew. Here we'll look at 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.   Boston Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright's early season performance might not be a fluke. With knuckleballers, it's always tough to tell.  [ Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Baseball contest now ] But if Sunday's start is any indication, Wright may have earned himself a much longer stay in the Red Sox's rotation moving forward. The right-hander absolutely shut down the division-rival New York Yankees, holding them to just one run on three hits during a complete-game. The start was nearly much more impressive until outfielder Brett Gardner played spoiler. Wright had a shutout heading into the ninth, and even managed to pick up two outs before Gardner clubbed a solo home run to right field. While the hit ruined any chance at a complete-game shutout, and a possible Maddux  (a complete-game shutout while throwing fewer than 100 pitches), Wright rebounded to strike out Ronald Torreyes to end the game. He had to settle for the complete-game three-hitter, which isn't a bad consolation prize. Through six starts, Wright has compiled a 1.52 ERA, with 38 strikeouts in 41 1/3 innings. Only three pitchers have a lower ERA than the knuckleballer right now. The complete list of pitchers in MLB who have a lower ERA than Steven Wright: Jordan Zimmermann Jake Arrieta Jose Quintana That’s it. — Joon Lee (@iamjoonlee) May 9, 2016 Following the contest, manager John Farrell was asked whether Wright would keep his spot in the rotation once the Red Sox get their injured pitchers back. Farrell on Wright's spot in the rotation: "His pitching is speaking loud and clear." — Tim Britton (@TimBritton) May 9, 2016 With the 5-1 win , the Red Sox improved to 18-13 on the season. TOP PERFORMERS Manny Machado: Machado led the charge in the Baltimore Orioles' 11-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics. He aided in the team's comeback early, smashing a two-run homer in the first inning. With things already out of hand late, Machado added to the Orioles lead, hitting a grand slam in the eighth. He finished 2-for-4, with two runs scored and six RBI. Machado is now hitting .350. Ross Stripling: Stripling continues to surprise for the Los Angeles Dodgers. On Sunday, he was able to hold the vaunted Toronto Blue Jays offense to just one run over six innings in the 4-2 win . Stripling gave up just one hit, did not issue any walks and struck out six. He lowered his ERA to 3.82 with the performance.  [Elsewhere: Bartolo Colon's home run is already featured on a baseball card ] David Ortiz: Steven Wright may have grabbed the headlines, but Ortiz was fantastic in the Red Sox's 5-1 win over the Yankees. Ortiz went 2-for-4, with two home runs. The first came against Luis Severino in the first inning. In the fourth, he was able to repeat the task. Both were solo shots. Ortiz is hitting .308 with nine home runs in what is supposed to be his final season. Jose Quintana: Chicago White Sox starter Jose Quintana is looking to shed the underrated tag this season. Quintana turned in another strong performance Sunday, this time at the expense of the Minnesota Twins. He tossed seven innings, giving up one run on six hits. Quintana issued one walk and struck out five in the 3-1 win . He has a 1.38 ERA through seven starts.  MUST-SEE HIGHLIGHT   The Chicago Cubs employed some interesting strategic moves during Sunday's game against the Washington Nationals, but eventually it all worked out. The Cubs walked Bryce Harper six times, including three intentional walks, just so he wouldn't hurt them . Ultimately, it was a success. Harper only scored once in the contest, and that allowed the Cubs to come back and send things to extras. Once there, Javy Baez came through in the 13th. With Blake Treinen on the mound, Baez smacked a walk-off solo home run to left center, giving the Cubs the 4-3 victory .  THE REST OF THE SCOREBOARD Indians 5, Royals 4: Though he gave up four runs over six innings, Josh Tomlin improved to 5-0 after the Indians jumped over Royals starter Edinson Volquez. Volquez was charged with all five runs in the 5-4 loss. Rangers 8, Tigers 3: Justin Verlander tossed seven scoreless innings, but the Tigers bullpen imploded, giving up all eight runs in the final two innings. Rangers catcher Bobby Wilson hit a grand slam in the eighth, breaking open the game for Texas. Brewers 5, Reds 4: Jonathan Lucroy homered in the eighth inning to give the Brewers a one-run lead. Jeremy Jeffress turned in a scoreless ninth to pick up his eighth save.  Phillies 6, Marlins 5: Rookie Tyler Goeddel doubled in the eighth to tie things at five, and was driven in by Andrés Blanco later in the frame to score the eventual game-winning run. Diamondbacks 5, Braves 3: Chris Herrmann's second home run of the game was the game-winner for the D-Backs. He finished the day 2-for-5, with two runs scored and three RBI. Astros 5, Mariners 1: Collin McHugh gave up just one run over seven innings while the Astros tagged Hisashi Iwakuma for three runs and chased him after five. Pirates 10, Cardinals 5: Gregory Polanco and John Jaso homered, giving Gerrit Cole his third win of the season. Rays 3, Angels 1: Brad Miller and Curt Casali each hit a home run, which was all Rays pitcher Matt Andriese needed to pick up the win. Rockies 2, Giants 0: Eddie Butler held the Giants scoreless over six innings. Nolan Arenado picked up three hits during the contest, raising his average to .320. Mets 4, Padres 3: Matt Harvey allowed two runs and struck out 10 over six innings. Yoenis Cespedes clubbed his 11th home run in the win. More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: The StewPod: A baseball podcast by Yahoo Sports Subscribe via iTunes or via RSS feed - - - - - - - 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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