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Grant Balfour, Victor Martinez trade F-bombs in fight (Video)

Oakland A’s closer Grant Balfour and Detroit Tigers DH Victor Martinez got into a verbal fight during the ninth inning of Monday’s ALDS Game 3 between the teams, and their words led to the benches clearing.

Balfour was in to close out the game with the A’s up 6-3 on the Tigers. He threw a 1-2 93 mph fastball that Martinez fouled off. Martinez looked over at the mound after the foul ball as if to let Balfour know he was on the pitcher’s fastball. That definitely bothered Balfour.

“The f— you looking at me for b—h?” Balfour could be heard saying.

Martinez sent the f-bombs right back, and the two started walking toward each other.

“The f— is your problem b—h?” Balfour continued, leading the umpire to separate them.

Both team’s benches cleared and the bullpens emptied, but no punches were thrown.

Balfour wound up retiring Martinez after everything settled down. Warnings were issued to both sides.

MLB Network had to apologize for the audio getting out, and the A’s held on for the 6-3 win.

“If you’re going to stare me down, come on. That’s all I said. So he did. We had a jaw match. It’s all fun and games,” Balfour said after the game, per MLive.com’s James Schmehl.

“Obviously Balfour’s is a character on the mound, so there’s going to be some fireworks sometimes,” A’s first baseman Brandon Moss admitted after the game.

Moss is absolutely right. We’ve seen this act from Balfour more than a few times in the past.

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Dee Gordon called out on controversial stolen base attempt

The Los Angeles Dodgers were hurt by a controversial call from second base umpire Bill Miller during Game 2 of their NLDS series with the Atlanta Braves.

The Braves were up 4-3 on the Dodgers in the top of the ninth inning. After striking out Skip Schumaker to start the inning, Craig Kimbrel walked A.J. Ellis. Manager Don Mattingly pinch ran for Ellis with the speedy Dee Gordon. Kimbrel tried to pick off Gordon, then threw a ball to Ethier. Mattingly decided to send Gordon on the second pitch.

Catcher Gerald Laird made a good throw to second and Gordon was called out to clear the bases and give the Braves two outs. TBS showed the play several times on replay, and it was hard to tell whether Gordon got in there safely, though I think he did.

This is the best angle that seems to show Gordon’s hand touched the base before he was tagged out:

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Wil Myers error leads to big inning for Red Sox (Video)

Wil Myers might not live down the mistake he made in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Boston Red Sox for quite some time.

Wil MyersThe Tampa Bay Rays rookie outfielder was tracking a David Ortiz fly ball to deep right field in the fourth inning at Fenway Park when he screwed up. Myers was going back and seemed to be close to making the catch, but he backed away at the last second, allowing the ball to land for a hit and bounce over the fence for a ground-rule double.

Instead of having one out and Dustin Pedroia on first, the Sox then had runners on second and third with nobody out. Jonny Gomes delivered a game-tying 2-run double, and the Sox added three more after that to take a 5-2 lead.

Myers obviously thought he had been called off by center fielder Desmond Jennings on the play, because there is no other explanation for him pulling away from the ball at the last second. But that wasn’t the only play that inning that showed everything was going Boston’s way. Stephen Drew reached on an infield single that scored Gomes from second, and Jacoby Ellsbury reached on a dropped third strike. It was just one of those days for the Rays.

In the GIF below, you can see Myers back away from the ball more clearly:

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Carlos Beltran is best playoffs hitter ever

Carlos BeltranCarlos Beltran still takes endless crap from New York Mets fans for taking a called third strike with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth of Game 7 of the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals in 2006, but to the rest of baseball fans, he’s going down as the best postseason hitter of all time. In fact, Beltran’s 1.244 career postseason OPS is the highest in baseball history for any player with at least 100 postseason playoff plate appearances. That mark is higher than Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, who trail him on the list.

Beltran delivered the big blow in Game 1 of the NLDS on Thursday, sending an A.J. Burnett pitch deep to right field for a 3-run home run to put the Cardinals up 3-0 on the Pittsburgh Pirates. The dinger gave Beltran 15 career postseason home runs, which ties him with Babe Ruth for most all time. Babe Ruth. Think about that. Any time you’re tying with Babe Ruth for records, you’re in the best company ever.

Beltran’s studly postseason history began in 2004 when he went nuts with the Houston Astros. Beltran was acquired by the Astros midseason after spending his career with the Kansas City Royals. He went 10-for-22 in the NLDS against the Braves, clubbing two doubles and four home runs for an OPS of 1.591. It was more of the same in the NLCS, which the Astros lost to the Chicago Cubs. He went 10-for-24 with four home runs and eight walks, giving him an OPS of 1.521.

Even in the 2006 playoffs where he took the called third strike from Adam Wainwright, Beltan was still pretty awesome. He posted a 1.054 OPS in the NLCS and won Game 1 of the series with a 2-run home run off Jeff Weaver in the Cards’ 2-0 win. People conveniently forget that he gave them the Game 1 win and only remember the Game 7 strikeout.

Then last year in the playoffs, Beltran refreshed everyone’s memories about how great of a postseason hitter he is.

After a five-year absence from the postseason, Beltran returned with the Cardinals and had terrific series against the Nationals and then Giants. He hit three doubles, two home runs, and walked five times in the NLDS against the Nats. He had three doubles, a home run, and two walks in six games against the Giants.

Beltran has 10 doubles, 15 home runs, 25 walks, a .357 average, and 1.244 career OPS in 35 playoff games. Yes, as of now, Beltran is the most productive postseason hitter ever.

Evan Gattis cost Atlanta Braves with Game 1 errors (Video)

The Atlanta Braves were faced with a difficult task when they drew Clayton Kershaw in Game 1 of the NLDS, and errors from Evan Gattis certainly didn’t help them. Gattis made two bad mistakes in the second inning that hurt his team.

Gattis cost the Braves a run in the second by whiffing on a fly ball from A.J. Ellis that resulted in an RBI double, giving the Los Angeles Dodgers a 2-0 lead. Gattis isn’t a particularly fast player, so he had to lay out for the fly ball and missed the catch.

As if the misplay in left wasn’t bad enough, Gattis burned the Braves in the bottom of the inning, too.

Gattis was on first with one out and Chris Johnson up. Johnson blooped a ball into shallow right that was clearly within Yasiel Puig’s range. But Gattis misjudged the ball and was so far off the bag when Puig caught it that he got doubled off first to end the inning. Below you can see the play and how close to second he was after Puig made the catch:

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David DeJesus has drink thrown at him by Cleveland Indians fan (GIF)

David DeJesus drinkThe Cleveland Indians were getting shut out by the Tampa Bay Rays in their one-game playoff on Wednesday night, so the home fans were pretty bummed out. One fan decided to take out his frustration by tossing a drink cup at David DeJesus after the Rays left fielder caught a Michael Brantley foul ball down the left field line in the bottom of the eighth.

There was initial speculation that the beverage thrown was a beer, but our friend Timothy Burke at Deadspin thinks it may have been a fan’s dip cup (where you spit your tobacco juice) thrown at the outfielder. Gross. In that case, let’s HOPE it was a beer.

GIF via @corkgaines

Pirates fans rattle Johnny Cueto with Darryl Strawberry-like chant (Video)

Pirates fansPittsburgh Pirates fans created an electric environment at PNC Park on Tuesday for the team’s one-game playoff with the Cincinnati Reds. They packed the house, were loud throughout the game and really helped boost the Pirates to a 6-2 win. And once the team got on top, they smelled blood and jumped all over Reds starter Johnny Cueto.

The Pirates fans had a stadium-wide “Cue-to, Cue-to” chant going the first few innings. The chant was reminiscent of how fans used to taunt Darryl Strawberry with the “Darryl, Darryl” chant. During the second inning, it looked like the chant got to Cueto. He dropped the ball in between pitches, and then gave up a home run to Russell Martin after missing badly on a fastball.

Cueto allowed seven hits, four runs (3 earned) and walked one over 3.1 innings. He gave up two home runs and really should have been pulled in the second. Great win for Pittsburgh.