Sunday a banner day for hitting pitchers

August 17, 2015 – 2:12 am by Hickey
    Zack Greinke

For one day, pitchers with bats told the designated hitter rule to suck it.

Two aces, the Dodgers’ Zach Greinke and the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner, helped their own cause with home runs on Sunday.

Bumgarner blasted his fourth home run of the season and also added a double in a 5-0 win over the reeling Nationals. Oh, and he struck out 14 Washington batters along the way, making him the first Giants pitcher since Juan Marichal to strike out 10, hit a homer and toss a shutout in the same game.

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Matt Kemp hits for first cycle in Padres history

August 15, 2015 – 12:12 am by Ryan Phillips
    Matt Kemp cycle

The San Diego Padres had played 7,443 games in their history entering Friday night, and the franchise had never had a player hit for the cycle. So when Matt Kemp stepped to the plate in the top of the ninth inning against the Colorado Rockies needing only a triple to complete the feat, I expected to be disappointed once again. I was wrong to feel that way.

Kemp blasted a 1-0 pitch from Justin Miller into the right-center field gap. The ball was crushed and Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon ran after the ball as if he thought he had a play on it. Instead, it caromed off the wall about a foot shy of leaving the yard, and shot back past the onrushing outfielder. Had Blackmon played for the bounce off the wall, there is no way Kemp could have gotten to third safely. But luck was with the Friars, and Blackmon completely misplayed it, allowing Kemp to hustle in to third base with the first cycle of his career and setting off massive celebrations among Padres fans.

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Doug Melvin Returned Brewers to Relevance

August 14, 2015 – 1:28 am by Zach Rastall
    Doug Melvin

After months of speculation regarding his future with the Milwaukee Brewers, Doug Melvin brought the rumors to an end Tuesday by announcing that he’s ready to step down as the franchise’s general manager and transition into an advisory role. Read the rest of this entry »

Harlem Globetrotters drop Washington Generals as opponent

August 14, 2015 – 1:23 am by Hickey

generals

The most prodigious losers in sports history are no more — and no, that does not mean Indiana has dropped its football program.

After more than six decades, the Harlem Globetrotters have dropped the Washington Generals as their primary opponent. The Generals’ first — and only — win in the rivalry came in a 1971 game.

“I got a call about a month ago, and they just told me that that was it,” Generals GM John Ferrari told ESPN’s Darren Rovell. “I turned to my wife and just said to her, in disbelief, ‘It’s over.'”

Ferrari said he was given no explanation, though it seems possible the Globetrotters have grown bored with their 44-year winning streak. Or, more likely, an ever-dwindling fanbase has. There was a time when the Globies were bigger than any NBA team, but you won’t find them hanging out with Scooby-Doo on Saturday mornings these days.

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Don’t look now but Madison Bumgarner is heating up

August 12, 2015 – 12:42 am by Ryan Phillips
    Madison Bumgarner

Last October, San Francisco Giants lefty Madison Bumgarner went on an insane roll to absolutely dominate the postseason. During the playoffs he went 4-1 with a save, a 1.03 ERA, 0.65 WHIP, two shutouts and 45 strikeouts in 52.2 innings while leading the Giants to a World Series title. Don’t look now, but it appears he’s heating up again.

On Tuesday night Bumgarner was absolutely dominant, hurling a complete game during a 3-1 win over the Houston Astros. He allowed just one run on five hits, while striking out 12 and walking none. He was masterful and he secured his fifth win in his last six decisions. At one point Bumgarner set a career-high by striking out seven Astros in a row.

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Report: Chase Utley put on waivers by Phillies

August 10, 2015 – 10:29 pm by Ryan Phillips
    Chase Utley

In a move that has been long suspected, the Philadelphia Phillies have placed second baseman Chase Utley on revocable waivers in an attempt to move the 36-year-old. Utley has spent his entire 13-year career in Philadelphia and would have full no-trade protection if he were to slip through waivers unclaimed.

Utley is a 10-and-5 guy, which means he’s a 10-year veteran with at least the past five years on the same team, which affords him that no-trade protection. That said, it seems he would likely be willing to move to a contender in the right situation. The Angels and Cubs have both been rumored to have interest and the Giants had a scout watching Utley in San Diego this weekend.

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Video: Squirrel interrupts Royals-Tigers game

August 6, 2015 – 11:41 pm by Ryan Phillips
    Squirrel Tigers Royals

The Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals were in the middle of an intense contest on Thursday afternoon at Comerica Park when something crazy happened. The game was tied 6-6 in the bottom of the eighth inning when a squirrel – yes a squirrel – caused a break in the action and may have changed the game.

The black squirrel appeared from somewhere near home plate, then ran in foul territory along the first-base line. Tigers first-base coach Omar Vizquel walked towards it, prompting it wandered near the pitching mound and across the infield. The Royals infielders clearly didn’t know what to do, but it eventually scrambled into the Tigers dugout.

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Nelson Cruz is on fire, homers in fifth-straight game

August 5, 2015 – 1:59 am by Ryan Phillips
    Nelson Cruz

In case you’re not plugged in to the world of baseball in the Pacific Northwest, Nelson Cruz is absolutely on fire right now. The Seattle Mariners slugger, hammered a mammoth home run during his team’s 10-4 stomping of the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night, giving him five straight games with a round-tripper.

Cruz isn’t just crushing home runs right now, he is also in the middle of a 15-game hitting streak. During that stretch, he is hitting .433 (29-for-64), with four doubles, 10 home runs and 14 RBI.

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