Nothing goes together quite like baseball and America. Don't believe us? Just ask Bryce Harper, who stepped to the plate during the Nats' July 4th matchup with the Giants rocking some highly patriotic lumber that we can only assume was harvested from a forest using nothing but freedom and was then transported to Nationals Park on the backs of bald eagles.
All-Star starters unveiled tonight, full roster Monday
Watch selection shows on ESPN; Final Vote to get underway Monday
By Mark Newman
It was historic because it happened exclusively online. It was personal because it decided the fate of your favorite players. It was intense because you argued a lot. And it was teamwork because you helped shatter a Major League Baseball record.
After 65 consecutive days of relentless fan voting to determine starting positions players for the 86th All-Star Game on July 14 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, the largest All-Star balloting program in sports closed at 11:59 p.m. ET Thursday.
It's the time of year when division races become clearer, the Trade Deadline looms and the baseball world prepares to descend upon one lucky city that has been selected to play host to one of Major League Baseball's jewel events -- the All-Star Game.
With the All-Star Game, comes All-Star confusion -- not about the game itself, but the rosters, and how exactly they're configured.
Within the first two innings, the rookie belted two home runs, including his second career grand slam, and drove in six runs. The effort was Bryant's second career multihomer game, and he now leads all Major League rookies as well as all Cubs players with 49 RBIs.
There are many ways to celebrate the Fourth of July. You could grill some hot dogs and light some sparklers in your backyard. You could defend the Earth from aliens. You could hit a home run with a USA-themed bat. Or, like three Major Leaguers on Saturday, you could make an instant-highlight reel play that leaves fans asking, "he caught that?!"
But a truly fitting way to celebrate is by voting, in true democratic fashion, on which of those bonkers catches was the most impressive.
DETROIT -- For the first time in his career, Miguel Cabrera is headed to the disabled list. The American League's hitting leader and two-time Most Valuable Player Award winner went on the 15-day DL on Saturday morning with a left calf strain sustained on the basepaths in Friday night's 8-6 victory over the Blue Jays.
An MRI taken on the calf revealed a Grade 3 calf strain -- including tearing of muscle fibers -- which is expected to keep Cabrera out for around six weeks. The Tigers were expecting to get an additional opinion from Dr. Robert Anderson, the specialist who performed surgery last fall on Cabrera's left ankle and foot.
Righty's seven shutout frames vs. Mets bring total to 27 2/3 innings
By Steve Bourbon
LOS ANGELES -- It was more of the same from Zack Greinke on Saturday at Dodger Stadium, although there's nothing ordinary about the way he's been pitching.
Saturday's outing was nearly a carbon copy of his last three starts: seven innings, four hits, zero runs and four strikeouts. The only runs for New York came off the Dodgers' bullpen as Los Angeles held on for a 4-3 win.
During Saturday's game against the Nationals, the Giants experimented with a rather unique pick-off move. Bryce Harper had a bit of a lead off second base, so they tried to get him out … using center fielder Gregor Blanco.
For something as odd as this to work, it would require Blanco to sneak into the infield as smoothly as a ninja cat. However, that's not quite what happened.
Quicken Loans sweepstakes offers chance to win mortgage payment valued at up to $1,500
By Austin Laymance
Aggressive baserunning by the Astros on Friday capped a four-run 10th inning in a 12-8 win over the Red Sox, but it could pay even greater dividends for a lucky fan, thanks to the Quicken Loans "Steal A Home" program.
Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Key things to watch for in today's games
By Chad Thornburg
By the end of the day Sunday, we'll know the All-Star fate of 17 of the game's top stars.
After more than 500 million votes were cast over 65 days, the starters for the 86th All-Star Game will be announced at 7:30 p.m. ET on the Esurance All-Star Starters Selection Show on ESPN, just before the evening's matchup between the Giants and Nationals in Washington.
Falls into Astros' dugout on catch; starts 5-6-3 DP in shift
By Alec Shirkey
BOSTON -- Although he's not quite known for his fleetness of foot, Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval still has a penchant for flashing moments of highlight-reel defense at the hot corner. On Saturday, he reminded fans that the dugout railing is no match for a fast-moving Panda during Boston's 6-1 win over the Astros at Fenway Park.
In the fourth inning, outfielder Preston Tucker led off by hitting a popup into foul territory along the edge of the Houston dugout. Sandoval tracked the ball, reached over the railing and tumbled into the dugout, but he held on to make an impressive catch for the out.
NEW YORK -- The Yankees and Rays were tied in the ninth when Ramon Flores laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance pinch-runner Jose Pirela to third and Chris Young to second. But reliever Brad Boxberger's errant throw to first base allowed Pirela to come sliding into home as the Yanks topped the Rays, 3-2, on Saturday at Yankee Stadium with their second straight walk-off victory.
"I just yanked the throw," Boxberger said. " ... I should have made that play and I didn't."
WASHINGTON -- Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg left Saturday's 9-3 win over the Giants in the fourth inning because of tightness in his left side and was replaced by right-hander Tanner Roark.
Strasburg was cruising for 3 2/3 innings, allowing one hit and striking out three batters, as the Nationals led the Giants, 3-0. Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos believed that Strasburg was having his best game of the season.
'Tis the season for giving. Well, it is if you believe in Half Christmas or Christmas in July or some other such mid-summer ode to the actual season for giving. No matter what you celebrate, you should at least be able to appreciate the kindness displayed by Carlos Gomez on Saturday.
Here's a complete breakdown of which 2015 Draft picks from the first 10 rounds have agreed to terms, along with their reported bonuses and starting assignments. The list will be updated through the July 17 signing deadline.
OAKLAND -- Even on a bad day, Felix Hernandez is good enough to keep his team in a game. But even the King needs a little help, and he didn't get any on Saturday as the Mariners fell to the A's, 2-0, to end his string of 13 straight games without a loss at the Coliseum.
Hernandez gave up a season-high 10 hits but wiggled out of trouble and limited the damage to two runs over seven innings. But two runs, on a day when the Mariners couldn't muster any offense against A's rookie Kendall Graveman, were too much to overcome.
PHOENIX -- Patrick Corbin tossed five solid innings to earn the win in his first start since Sept. 27, 2013 as the D-backs beat the Rockies, 7-3, on Saturday night in front of a sellout crowd at Chase Field.
Corbin, who underwent Tommy John surgery in March, 2014, allowed two runs on eight hits while striking out three. The D-backs gave Corbin some early run support in the first when they capitalized on a Nolan Arenado error to score a pair of runs.
CHICAGO -- Outfielder Jorge Soler, sidelined since June 3 with a sprained left ankle, will be activated from the disabled list on Sunday and rejoin the Cubs. Soler played nine innings on Friday for Triple-A Iowa, participating in his fourth rehab game. Soler was 2-for-13 during his Minor League stint, but manager Joe Maddon said he wasn't that concerned about the statistics.
"I don't worry about that stuff," Maddon said before Saturday's 7-2 Cubs win over the Marlins. "To me, it's a matter of, 'If he's healthy and he's seeing the ball, what does his timing look like?' Those are the kinds of things you're trying to get from the guys down there."
Jonathan Lucroy wore Captain America catcher's gear
By Ben Cosman |
Sure, David Wright has the nickname and Bryce Harper has the star-spangled bat, but Jonathan Lucroy's Independence Day catcher's gear may have earned him the moniker of Captain America for at least one day.
American hero Bryant wins July 4 with 2 HRs (1 slam)
By Mike Bertha |
"On the Fourth of July, the whole sky would brighten up with fireworks giving us just enough light for a game. We played our best then because, I guess, we all felt like big leaguers." - Scotty Smalls, "The Sandlot"
Teams in first place on the Fourth are likely to be playing in October
By Paul Casella
Perhaps no holiday coincides better with Major League Baseball than Independence Day.
The two have long gone hand in hand and, this year in particular, the patriotic holiday just so happens to fall square in the middle of the national pastime's season. With that in mind, what better time than now to check in on the postseason prospects of the current division leaders?
ARLINGTON -- Angels left-hander Hector Santiago continued his dominance of the Rangers in their own ballpark with seven scoreless innings in a 13-0 victory before a sellout crowd on Saturday night.
Designated hitter C.J. Cron led the offense, going 3-for-4 with a home run and six RBIs. The Angels have won two straight over the Rangers, outscoring them 21-2 in the first two of a three-game series.
LOS ANGELES -- This time around, Steven Matz will have no family in the crowd, no screaming throngs of friends behind the home dugout. When Matz takes the mound for his second career start Sunday at Dodger Stadium, it will be normal.