The San Francisco Giants completed their 3-1 series comeback against the St. Louis Cardinals to reach the World Series for the second time in three years. A big reason that the Giants won Game 7 was Hunter Pence's bases clearing, broken bat double in the five run third for San Francisco, but should the double have counted?
According to MLB rules, Rule 6.05 states, "A batter is out when... (h) after hitting or bunting a fair ball, his bat hits the ball a second time in fair territory. The ball is dead and no runners may advance."
When you look at Pence's hit in super slow speed, you can see the ball bounce off the bat a second time after the bat broke, so it appears as if the ball was indeed struck a second time, technically.
It was nearly impossible to tell in real speed, so, really the Cardinals couldn't complain about it and, since the Cards were shutout, it didn't totally win the game for the Giants.
The Cardinals only have themselves to blame for blowing a 3-1 series lead and only scoring one run in the last three games of the NLCS. Still, it was a great first season for Mike Matheny and his Cardinal squad.
The San Francisco Giants trotted out Misa Malone, a performer from the San Francisco based show Beach Blanket Babylon, to sing "God Bless America" during the seventh inning stretch and it was very odd to say the least.
Malone had probably the biggest and most dumb hat I have ever seen, which is actually a commonplace on Beach Blanket Babylon. If you knew anything about the show than you weren't surprised, but I willing to bet about 90% of the audience had no idea what the hell the hat was all about.
She started to sing a flubbed a couple of lines and sighing in the middle of the song after messing up a line. Good thing for her though is that the big dumb hat worked as a deterrent as more are actually talking about the said big dumb hat rather than a lackluster singing performance.
Another note, aren't you supposed to take off your hat during "God Bless America"?
The San Francisco Giants mustered up enough strength after that and held onto the lead and force a Game 7.
Word is this guy will sing "God Bless America" for Game 7 in keeping with tradition.
Atlanta Braves pitcher Ben Sheets announced today that after his start against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday, he will retire.
"I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt I'm not playing again," Sheets said. "No matter what, there is not enough help or money to pull me out of this one."
Sheets, 34, has had an injury plagued career since his breakout 2004 season that saw him having an ERA of 2.70 and striking out 264, however, he went 12-14 on a pretty bad Milwaukee Brewers team.
Sheets had Tommy John surgery in 2010 and his arm never fully regained its strength. After starting out with the Braves at 4-1 with an ERA of 1.41, his arm started to give him some trouble and his start Wednesday will be the first since coming off the disabled list.
Sheets is trying to attempt to pitch two innings against the Pirates on Wednesday as the Braves prepare for a one game wild card playoff.
"I don't think I could have got to the point of throwing six innings again," Sheets said. "I would have liked to have gotten another shot out of the 'pen. But getting another start is cool."
Sheets only had one regret with signing with the Braves and that is being so far from his family in Louisiana.
"I'd do it again," he said. "I definitely enjoyed it. I had a front-row seat for [Chipper Jones' final games]. Some people paid for that, which was worth it if they did."
Sheets also won a gold medal for Team USA at the 2000 Sydney Olympics before starting his four All-Star appearance MLB career.
When Sheets looked backed on his career he said, "It was better than I thought it was going to be. God forbid, I had a great career, because this is good enough."
The Chicago Cubs wrap up their dreadful season this weekend against an even worse Houston Astros squad at the Friendly Confines.
The Cubs are at 60-99 and the Astros are at 53-106. That's right the two worst teams in baseball. Why would anyone want to see these teams play? That's probably why two tickets on StubHub are for sale at $0.19.
Pittsburgh Pirates fans have been waiting to see top prospect Starling Marte in action. Last night, he didn't disappoint.
The young Dominican outfielder homered on the first pitch he ever saw in the Majors. He took a Dallas Keuchel cutter into the left-center field seats.
Marte knew something special was going to happen in his at bat, he told teammates in the dugout, "I told some players in the dugout before the game that if he threw a fastball down the middle I was going to take a hack at it and that’s exactly what I did."
Keuchel expected Marte to work the count considering Marte was the leadoff batter and, after all, it was his first ever at bat.
"I figured he’d take a strike to see what I got; I never thought he would hit a homer on the first pitch of the game." The young Astro pitcher said.
Marte became the first Pirate since Walter Mueller in 1922 to homer on his first big league pitch.
Milwaukee Brewers general manager Doug Melvin confirmed to USA Today that the Brewers will indeed trade Greinke before the trade deadline.
The Brewers are in the midst of a disappointing season and are looking to sell after being swept by both the Cincinnati reds and Philadelphia Phillies.
Greinke and the Brewers have not had contract negotiations since Spring Training and he informed the team that he intends to test the free agency waters at the conclusion of this season.
"I don't think Zack is about the money personally,'' Melvin said. "You get a young guy that's , and in my conversations with him, you get a chance to be a free agent one time. You've got to look at that opportunity."
There are concerns that Greinke might not perform well in a big market due to his social anxiety disorder that kept him out most of the 2006 season in Kansas City. He was not shown any signs of relapse or attacks since.
"He's been in a small market here. A small market in Kansas City. He's always said he enjoyed it, but he wants to take a look at everything out there.'' Melvin said.
Greinke is having a great year so far with a record of 9-3 and an ERA of 3.44. The Atlanta Braves, Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals, and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are all interested in the 28 year old ace.
The Brewers are also looking at unloading Aramis Ramirez, Randy Wolf, Corey Hart, Francisco Rodriguez, and George Kottaras, who was just designated for assignment by Milwaukee.
During the Milwaukee Brewers-Philadelphia Phillies game yesterday afternoon, Carlos Gomez was at the plate in the first against the Phillies' Vance Worley. Gomez hit a ball deep to left and Gomez rounded to bases to give the Brew Crew a 1-0 lead.
Except for one minor detail. The ball was foul.
That didn't stop Gomez as he continued to round the bases thinking he had just hit a leadoff homer. He didn't realize until he touched home and the Phillie faithful got a good laugh out of it.
Gomez of course had to make it worse by striking out on the next pitch.
The Phillies beat the Brewers 7-6 in 10. So, Gomez's homer would have come in handy.
Milwaukee Brewers outfielder and reigning National League MVP Ryan Braun has won his appeal and will not serve a 50 game suspension.
Braun went before a three member panel last month to argue that he should not serve a 50 game suspension for a failed drug test. Braun said of the panel's decision, "I am very pleased and relieved by today's decision".
Major League Baseball said in a statement that it "vehemently disagrees" with the panel's decision. The three member panel voted 2-1 to overturn Braun's suspension.
The panel consisted of MLB Players Association executive director Michael Weiner, MLB executive VP for labor relations Rob Manfred, and independent arbitrator Shyam Das. Das and Weiner were the ones that voted in favor of overturning Braun's suspension.
Braun has said ever since the result was announced in December, that his test was positive due to a medication that Braun has been taking. The failed test did not include a PED, but instead had a substance banned under MLB's drug policy.
The New York Yankees and the Pittsburgh Pirates have been talking about trading A.J. Burnett to Pittsburgh.
The Yankees are willing to unload Burnett since the Yanks now have a surplus in pitching with the acquirement of former Seattle Mariners pitcher Michael Pineda. However, the Yankees want the Pirates to go somewhere around 50-50 when it comes to paying the rest of the $33 million owed to A.J. Burnett.
New York is trying to clear some salary to sign more position players, rumored to be Raul Ibanez, Johnny Damon, and Eric Chavez.
Burnett has been a bust for the Yankees going 11-11 with a 5.14 ERA, the second straight year with an ERA over five. Since Burnett signed a five year, $82.5 million deal with the Yankees in 2009, he has gone 34-35 with an ERA of 4.82. His 2010 season might have been one of the worst seasons for a Yankees starting pitcher ever, going 10-15 with an ERA of 5.26.
We continue our Year in Review, albeit a bit late, with our look at the Best Sports Moments 0f 2011.
Abby Wambach Keeps US Hopes Alive With Miracle Goal
Remember in the 2010 World Cup when Landon Donovan's goal lifted the US into the knockout round, only to lose to Ghana, GHANA!, and made Americans care about soccer for a hot minute. Well, Abby Wambach's goal in the 2011 Women's World Cup was perhaps bigger than Donovan's. If not for that goal, the US don't make it to the Finals, where they eventually lose to upstart Japan. This goal does not get nearly enough credit like Donovan's did.
Mavericks Defeat Big Three, Nation Rejoices
The Miami Heat have become the villains of the NBA ever since LeBron and Chris Bosh decided that it would just be easier to join a team of superstars to win a title rather than lead one, like Michael Jordan did. So when they reached the NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks, most of the US, except for a smattering of people in South Florida, were rooting for the Mavs. The Heat finally met their match going up against Dirk Nowitzki and Jason "Jet" Terry as the Mavs won the series in six games. I don't think I've been that happy during an NBA Finals since Jordan pushed off Byron Scott in the '98 Finals to give the Bulls their most recent title.
David Freese Goes From Goat To Hero In One Game
St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese had quite a postseason winning the NLCS MVP and World Series MVP, but Game 6 every baseball fan can agree was quite a roller coaster. Freese had committed an awful error in the 5th inning when he dropped a routine pop up from Michael Young. That error allowed the Rangers to score later in the inning to take a one run lead. Then in the 9th inning, Freese stepped up to the plate with two outs against a young flame throwing closer in Neftali Feliz and hits a bases clearing triple to tie the game.
After the Rangers blew a two run lead in the 11th inning, Freese once again came to the plate against Mark Lowe, perhaps the Rangers weakest reliever, and hit a bomb to dead center field to force a Game 7 that the Cards would eventually win. ESPN's Buster Olney has said that Game 6 was the greatest game in baseball history.
Eric LeGrand Leads His Team On The Field After Spinal Cord Injury
This is perhaps the most inspirational moment of the year. Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand had suffered a severe spinal cord injury while making attempting to make a tackle last season in a game against Army. Doctors said that LeGrand would be paralyzed from the neck down, but in January, LeGrand defied the odds and regained feeling in his shoulders and sensation throughout his entire body. In July, LeGrand was able to stand with some assistance and was gaining feeling back in his arms.
On October 29, Eric LeGrand led his Rutgers teammates onto a snowy field for its game against West Virginia. LeGrand sat in his wheelchair with an ax across his lap symbolizing coach Greg Schiano's message to "Keep Chopping". LeGrand has indeed taken that motto to new heights.
Tim Thomas, Tim Thomas, Tim Thomas
As a Bruins fan, I feel I need to put this down on my list of moments. Without the outstanding goaltending of Thomas, the Bruins don't win the Cup. Hands down. Sure the Bruins have great pieces around him, but without solid goaltending you can't go far. Case in point, the Philadelphia Flyers.
In the epic seven game series against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Thomas was perhaps his best in Game 7. The Bruins won Game 7 by the score of 1-0 and Thomas was a huge, if not the main, reason they won that game and the series. The Lightning gave the best challenge to the Bruins all playoffs, not the Canucks. Dwayne Roloson would not back down and if the Canucks had Roloson in net, Vancouver would be hoisting the Cup not Boston. Thomas' GAA was an outstanding 1.98 and his save percentage was .940. So, yeah Tim Thomas big, huge part of the Bruins Cup run.
September 28, 2011: Greatest Night of Baseball Ever
Four teams entered the final night of the baseball regular season with two spots on the line. The Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox were trying to find a way to stop the bleeding and back their way into the postseason. The St. Louis Cardinals and Tampa Bay Rays were just trying to complete to epic comebacks and surprise the baseball world by making the postseason.
The Cards won rather easily over the Major's worst Houston Astros, but the other three games were of epic proportion. The Atlanta Braves blew a 9th inning lead to the Philadelphia Phillies and lost the game in extras to complete the meltdown. The Red Sox seemed to have the game locked up, at least according to Boston Globe writer Dan Shaughnessy, and all of New England was calling for the umps to call the game early due to rain, but to no avail. Papelbon ends up blowing the save when Red Sox killer Robert Andino lined a hit to left field that came up short from a diving Carl Crawford's glove. The Red Sox lost to the Orioles and were now rooting for the Yanks.
The Yankees had a SEVEN run lead in their game against the Rays, but in true Boston sports fan tradition the Rays came all the way back to tie it in the 9th inning when seldom used Dan Johnson just cleared the right field fence to tie the game. Red Sox fans should have known something was up when Joe Girardi kept one of his seldom used, worst relievers in the game for 2 and 2/3 innings and didn't use Rivera to close the game. Again in true Boston sports fans tradition, Evan Longoria launched a ball just over the left field wall and sent the Rays to the postseason and the Red Sox, and Terry Francona, packing.
I'm sure there is more, but I can't keep typing forever. If you have any more moments I should have mentioned, feel free to comment below. Have a Happy New Years, folks.
Yahoo Sports reporting that the Texas Rangers have won the rights to Japanese pitching phenom Yu Darvish. Major League Baseball has confirmed that the Texas Rangers were the highest bidder and that the Nippon Ham Fighters, Darvish's Japanese team, have accepted the bid.
The reports also say that the Rangers winning bid was $51.7 million, topping the Boston Red Sox record $51.1 million bid for Daisuke Matsuzaka. If Darvish and the Rangers do not agree to a contract in 30 days, Darvish returns to the Ham Fighters and they receive no money from Texas.
Darvish, 25, had an ERA of 1.44 and averaged 10.7 strikeouts last season for the Ham Fighters and he hasn't posted an ERA of 2.00 since 2007.
The Toronto Blue Jays were reportedly the only other high bidder for Darvish's services. The Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees also placed bids for Darvish.
Reports from the New York Times are reporting that the Chicago Cubs will name Milwaukee Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum as its next manager.
Another report out of Chicago is reporting that the Cubs could name Sveum the new manager as early as tomorrow.
Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein has not confirmed nor denied the reports, only saying that, "We've got to get to the 27th out".
Dale Sveum briefly managed the Milwaukee Brewers in 2008, taking over for Ned Yost for the final 12 games of the year when Brewers management fired Yost when the Brewers were free falling in September. Sveum went 7-5 in the 12 games managed as the Brewers held onto the NL Wild Card. Sveum also went 1-3 in the postseason as the Brewers lost the 2008 NLDS to eventual World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies.
Sveum was once considered the front runner for the Boston Red Sox vacancy, but the Red Sox did not offer him a contract when they met for a second time earlier this week.
The Houston Astros will soon get a new owner and now it appears they will be in a new league in two seasons.
Houston area businessman Jim Crane was told by Major League Baseball that in order to buy the team, he must move the Astros from the National League to the American League.
Crane is said to be getting a $70 million discount from the $680 million used to buy the team for moving to the American League. With Houston's move, both the AL and NL will now have an equal 15 teams each. The most likely destination for Houston in the AL is the AL West which only has four teams, the smallest in MLB.
The Astros have been in the National League since their existence in 1962. They have also won a National League pennant in 2005, when they defeated their division rival St. Louis Cardinals in a six game series.