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Anthony Rizzo’s incredible catch may have cost Cubs the game (Video)

Anthony-Rizzo-catchChicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo made an amazing catch on Sunday that may have cost his team the game. Yes, you read that correctly. How often does it happen? Hardly ever.

With runners on the corners and one out in the sixth inning, Rizzo leaned over the railing into the photographers well to make a phenomenal play on Aaron Hill’s foul popup. Rizzo’s momentum took him out of the field of play after he made the catch, which resulted in the runners automatically advancing.

Because of the bizarre rule, David Peralta scored from third to give Arizona a 2-1 lead. The Diamondbacks went on to win 3-2.

Had Rizzo not caught the ball, perhaps Hill would have grounded into a double play or the Cubs would have gotten out of the inning and kept the score tied. Are we saying Rizzo should have let the ball drop? Of course not. That’s just plain bad luck.

Amanda McCarthy got stuck in traffic on way to Brandon’s Yankees debut

Amanda-McCarthy-traffic

Brandon McCarthy pitched very well in his New York Yankees debut on Saturday, allowing just six hits and one earned run over six innings to pick up a win over the Cincinnati Reds. Unfortunately, his lovely wife Amanda missed the start of the game.

Amanda probably thought she wouldn’t hit much traffic heading to a Saturday afternoon game, but the McCarthys live in New York now. Things in the Big Apple are much, much different from Arizona.

And stop telling Amanda she should take the subway to the game. She knows her approach is flawed — she doesn’t want to be reminded.

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Clayton Kershaw sticks up for Hanley Ramirez by plunking Matt Holliday

Hanley Ramirez was hit by a pitch during the 4th inning of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday night. As you might remember, Ramirez was hit by Cards starting pitcher Joe Kelly in the first game of the NLCS last year and suffered a broken rib. Clayton Kershaw had finally seen enough.

With LA leading 3-1, runners on first and third and two out, Ramirez was drilled in the shoulder by a fastball from Carlos Martinez that was thrown in a very dangerous area.

Kershaw plunked Matt Holliday in the backside with his first pitch in the next half inning.

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Giancarlo Stanton thinks Home Run Derby helped him break out of slump

Giancarlo Stanton home runEach year as we head into Major League Baseball’s All-Star break, one of the more popular topics of discussion is who will be the participants in the Home Run Derby.

The idea that the competition can mess with a player’s swing, to a detriment, is as old as the derby itself. Then there are some, like Mike Trout, who feel there’s a physical toll from the number of big swings taken. In any case, there are generally a few players each year who decline to participate for various reasons.

This year, Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins was one an overwhelming majority of fans wanted to see take part because of his ability to hit moonshots such as this. During the derby, the young slugger gave fans what they wanted to see, hitting a ball that was a few rows shy of leaving Target Field.

Prior to the All-Star break, Stanton was in a bit of a slump, with his last home run coming on June 26. Stanton has homered in two of the three games played since the Marlins’ schedule resumed and seems to believe the Home Run Derby played a part in getting himself back on track.

“Having to lock in for the Derby made me feel better,” Stanton said via MLB.com. “I wasn’t myself the last couple of weeks. The short time off and the Derby kind of helped me out. I think it will be all right.”

Perhaps Stanton’s perspective on participating in baseball’s power event varies a bit from the norm, but if it proves to be true, lookout. A locked in Giancarlo Stanton is bad news for pitchers around the majors and good news for a Marlins team that isn’t completely out of the playoff picture.

Stanton is tied with Anthony Rizzo of the Chicago Cubs for the National League lead with 23 home runs on the season.

H/T HardballTalk

Albert Pujols, Mike Trout mock Fernando Rodney with arrow exchange (Video)

There’s a little bit of a beef brewing between the Angels and the Mariners this year.

The teams have been two of the best in the AL this season and are competing for a playoff spot from the AL West. They also had a great 3-game series in Anaheim over the weekend, with the teams splitting 3-2 extra-innings wins the first two games, and the Angels getting a walk-off 6-5 win on Sunday.

Albert Pujols arrowDuring their comeback in the 9th inning Sunday, Angels stars Albert Pujols and Mike Trout even mocked Mariners closer Fernando Rodney, who blew the save and took the loss.

Rodney walked Trout to start the 9th, and Pujols inside-outed a fastball down the right field line for a tying double to make the score 5-5. After Trout scored the tying run, he and Pujols exchanged arrows to mock Rodney, who fires a bow and arrow as his save celebration. Keep in mind that after escaping a jam in the 8th inning, Rodney did his arrow celebration and pointed it towards the Angels dugout.

As @lbsports notes, Rodney did the bow and arrow thing after ... on Twitpic

After allowing the tying run, Rodney gave up a single, intentional walk and got a double play. Following another intentional walk, Grant Green hit a walk-off RBI single to give the Angels their 59th win of the season.

There will be other days for Rodney, but you know this had to hurt. And he has no room to get mad at the Angels for mocking him when he started things by pretending to fire one of his arrows at the Angels dugout.

“Fernando’s animated. Our guys noticed it,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said after the game.

Angels starter Tyler Skaggs, who took a no decision, had even better quotes.

“I did not,” Skaggs said when asked if he saw Rodney fire the arrow at the Angels dugout, “but I heard about it and I’m glad we scored and won because that’s ridiculous. Just goes to show you — don’t rile up our team because we have a lot of good players. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. I’m looking forward to the next time we play them.”

What goes around comes around. Also keep in mind that Rodney pitched for the Angels in 2010 and 2011 and was not happy by the end of his stint with the team. After losing the closer job in 2011, Rodney complained about his lack of a role and said the team should trade him. Maybe some of that beef with the coaches still lingers for him.

Here’s another angle for Pujols doing the bow and arrow:

Jackie Bradley Jr. throws ball over center field fence from home plate (Video)

Jackie Bradley Jr throwDid you know how strong Jackie Bradley Jr.’s arm was? If you didn’t before, you sure do now.

The Red Sox outfielder has 11 outfield assists this season and has combined for six double plays. He was challenged by NESN reporter Gary Striewski Friday to see if he could throw a ball over the fence at Fenway Park.

Bradley took off from just up the first base line and launched a throw over the center field wall — a throw estimated to have traveled 420 feet. Bradley also told Striewski he’s thrown the ball further than that.

Colby Lewis takes unwritten rules to next level with possibly dumbest complaint ever

Colby Lewis has seriously taken the unwritten rules of baseball to a level you probably didn’t realize they could go.

Be warned: you may struggle to comprehend his complaint.

Lewis’ Texas Rangers were down 2-0 to the Toronto Blue Jays Saturday when Toronto outfielder Colby Rasmus bunted for a hit with two outs in the fifth inning. The Rangers were playing Rasmus to pull and had the shift on, so Rasmus decided to beat it with a bunt towards the third base side of the field. He executed the bunt perfectly and got aboard with a hit. The Rangers gave him half an empty field and he took advantage. Fair and square.

Not according to Lewis.

Lewis immediately began barking at Rasmus, suggesting he felt the outfielder took the easy way out by dropping down a bunt.

Colby Lewis

“Swing the bat,” Lewis could be seen mouthing to Rasmus.

Lewis explained his complaint to reporters after the game. Don’t even bother trying to figure out what Lewis meant.

“I told [Rasmus] I didn’t appreciate it,” Lewis said to reporters via MLB.com. “You’re up by two runs with two outs and you lay down a bunt. I don’t think that’s the way the game should be played.

“I felt like you have a situation where there is two outs, you’re up two runs, you have gotten a hit earlier in the game off me, we are playing the shift, and he laid down a bunt basically simply for average.

“[Rasmus] didn’t steal within the first two pitches to put himself in scoring position,” Lewis said. “That tells me he is solely looking out for himself, and looking out for batting average. And I didn’t appreciate it.”

I mean how unbelievably dumb is that? Is he suggesting that a player is violating the unwritten rules by trying to get on base and get a hit with a two-run lead in the 5th inning of a game? I guess two runs is too much for the Rangers these days. Is he suggesting that bunting is cheating or taking the easy way out? Don’t give him the shift next time. Or, better yet, don’t fall off the mound towards the first base side, Colby, and then you might be able to get someone out.

And it’s somehow a bad thing that Rasmus was playing to get a hit? That means he’s just trying to pad his stats?

Not one thing Lewis said made sense. The guy was obviously just frustrated about being beaten. That’s how players react when they’re frustrated. They just start talking nonsense. That’s all Lewis was spewing. Nonsense.