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Tag:Brian Wilson
Posted on: July 30, 2011 1:53 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Renteria stings old team



By C. Trent Rosecrans

Edgar Renteria, Reds: The reigning World Series MVP stuck it to his old team with an RBI single in the 13th inning, ending Cincinnati's four-game losing skid. Renteria hasn't been very good this year -- hitting .238/.305/.298 -- but he came up big against Giants closer Brian Wilson, lining a single down the right-field line to score Jay Bruce from second for a 4-3 Reds win. It was his second walk-off RBI of the year in extras and he's now 5 for 9 in extra innings. A little extra praise here for Reds reliever Jose Arredondo, who not only picked up the victory, but also singled off Wilson in his first big-league plate appearance after the Reds had run out of position players.

Jeremy Guthrie, Orioles: With several teams scouting Baltimore's right-hander, the 32-year-old impressed, holding the Yankees to just four hits and one run in seven innings. The Cardinals, Tigers, Brewers, Rangers and Red Sox have all expressed interest in Guthrie, who lowered his ERA from 4.33 to 4.18 and improved his record to 5-14.

A.J. Pierzynski, White Sox: In a washing machine, the red socks will overpower the white ones -- but recently it's been the other way around on the baseball field. Pierzynski's two-run homer in the seventh inning led to Chicago's seventh straight victory over Boston and its 14th win in the last 16 battles of the Sox. Both teams managed just three hits, but Pierzynski made his lone hit count, homering off of Tim Wakefield to break a 1-1 tie in the seventh to deny Wakefield his 200th career victory.


Hitting streaks: Florida's Emilio Bonifacio and Boston's Dustin Pedroia both went 0 for 4 on Friday, ending a 26-game hitting streak for Bonifacio and a 25-game hitting streak for Pedroia. Both of their teams also lost while managing just three hits -- the Marlins 5-0 in Atlanta and the Red Sox 3-1 to the White Sox.

Charlie Morton, Pirates: Much has been made of the similarities between Morton and Roy Halladay -- their motions do look awfully similar. But on Friday, the results couldn't be more different. Morton allowed eight runs on nine hits in four innings, while Halladay allowed just a single hit over seven innings in Philadelphia's 10-3 victory over the Pirates.

Carlos Carrasco, Indians: After giving up his third homer of the game -- a fourth-inning grand slam by Melky Cabrera (that Cabrera admired for way too long) -- the Indians right-hander threw at the head of Royals DH Billy Butler, who had homered in the first. Carrasco was immediately ejected by home plate umpire Scott Barry. Butler was restrained by Indians catcher Lou Marson and both dugouts and benches cleared. Not to be outdone, Carrasco yelled back at Royals players as he exited the field. Carrasco took his ninth loss of the season and allowed seven runs on seven hits in 3 1/3 innings. Butler added his second homer later in the game.

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Posted on: July 19, 2011 10:04 am
Edited on: July 19, 2011 10:15 am
 

Pepper: Victorino rounds bases on foul ball



By Matt Snyder


Let's go the light-hearted route in leading off Pepper on this Tuesday morning. Phillies All-Star center fielder Shane Victorino had a moment in a rehab assignment Sunday that prompted him to say he was embarrassed. No, it wasn't an angry embarrassed caused by poor play. In fact, Victorino crushed a ball down the left-field line in his first at-bat. As he rounded first base, he heard a loud cheer from the crowd and assumed it was a home run. The umpires evidently signaled home run, but no one ever verbally told Victorino. He had his head down and was running hard, so he just keep on running, until manager Jeff Parent -- who was coaching third -- told Victorino.

“Parent stopped me at third and said, ‘It wasn’t a home run,’” Victorino said (NJ.com). “I said, ‘Well, I appreciate you letting me trot around the bases.’ No one stopped me. It was an embarrassing moment.”

Don't be so hard on yourself, Shane. Could've happened to anyone who was getting around the bases quickly.

There is a GIF of the play over at SB Nation.

CATCHING THE FEVER: As the Pirates moved into sole possession of first place Monday night, the popularity of the team has continued to rise. It's been 18 years since the Pirates have had a winning season, so the fans are taking everything in here in 2011. Merchandise sales are reportedly on a huge rise in the Pittsburgh area, with one store owner saying he had to pull some Penguins gear to make room for Pirates' merchandise. That's a great sign for a franchise that had for so long seemingly lost its fan base. (Pittsburgh Live)

MORE SUPPORT: White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen isn't shy in speaking his mind, we know that. This time around, he's saying Major League Baseball should do more to support the Negro League Museum in Kansas City, which is having financial troubles. (Chicago Tribune)

ON-AIR RESIGNATION: A minor-league play-by-play announcer quit on the air. He went out in a blaze of glory, going with a near-four-minute speech on how people in the organization are treated unfairly and mentioning how he hasn't been paid in full. He had lots of good points and was quite measured and sane. Check it out over at Awful Announcing.

PARALYSIS ONLY A 'SETBACK?' Former San Jacinto pitcher Buddy Lamothe would have been drafted much higher than the 40th round, had he not suffered a swimming accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. He was in Houston Monday to throw out the first pitch and called the accident "just a little setback," and said he hopes to be on the mound one day as an Astros pitcher. That would be amazing. (Ultimate Astros)

OH, TORII: Torii Hunter of the Angels occasionally throws out a tweet that is funny in a "did we really need to think about that," kinda way. On his 36th birthday, Monday, he did it again. He thanked everyone who had tweeted him birthday wishes and noted that, at the ripe old age of 36, he still doesn't need Viagra. Well, that's a relief. I'll sleep tonight. (Torii's tweet)

NEW MENTAL APPROACH: The Nationals have brought in a sports psychologist to work with some of the players, including the struggling Jayson Werth. The psychologist is one that has been previously used by the Braves -- back in the early 1990s. You might recall a lengthy streak of division title beginning around that time. Maybe this guy knows what he's going? (Big League Stew)

SAFETY FIRST: Big league ballparks are focusing more on safety after the tragic death at Rangers Ballpark at Arlington a few weeks ago. They're looking at everything from the railing to security guards to discussing with the players how to throw the ball into the crowd. This is all good, but we as fans need to keep the surroundings in mind also. The Texas thing was a freak accident where a man simply lost his balance, but I saw several people doing pretty stupid things at the Home Run Derby in Arizona just to catch a baseball. If you're stepping one leg over the rail, maybe some priorities need to be re-examined. (San Jose Mercury News)

ABOUT THAT BOOING: Remember how one of the dominant themes of the All-Star Game was how the Arizona fans were booing everyone? I certainly do. Giants closer Brian Wilson does, too, and he doesn't understand it. Wilson has basically the same point of view as I do, in that it's not anger, but it's not understanding the point of view. Why spend all that money to just be angry the entire time? (Big League Stew)

END OF AN ERA? It's possible we're seeing the last few months of Mark Buehrle's career. The veteran pitcher is only 32 and surely has several more season's worth of production in that left arm. But he has openly discussed retirement and is a free agent at the end of the season. He's also made it known there aren't many other places he'd want to play. So this could very well be it. If he's content with his earnings and career achievements, there's nothing wrong with retiring to spend time with his family. (Chicago Tribune)

BARTON AND KOUZMANOFF TOGETHER IN TRIPLE-A: Daric Barton and Kevin Kouzmanoff opened the season as the A's first and third basemen, respectively. They're still working opposite corners of the infield together, it's just in the minors. MLB.com has a lengthy update on the duo, including Barton taking full accountability for his futility at the plate and Kouzmanoff discussing how he was surprised by the demotion.

PITCHERS IN THE BOX: Here's an interesting stat. Seeing pitchers get a base hit occurs almost as frequently as position players triple. (WSJ.com blog)

STILL IN LIMBO: Brewers All-Star left fielder Ryan Braun is not going on the disabled list for the time being, at least that's the plan, despite Braun having missed 10 of the Brewers' last 13 games. He did pinch hit Sunday, so the Brewers are definitely taking a risk that a possible DL stint would go deeper into the season. (Journal-Sentinel)

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Posted on: July 13, 2011 12:47 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2011 4:21 pm
 

K-Rod out of New York, Beltran may be next

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Carlos BeltranPHOENIX -- Francisco Rodriguez was the first Met to be dealt and Carlos Beltran could be the second.

Before Tuesday night's All-Star Game, Giants closer Brian Wilson said on Fox that there had been talks about the Giants adding Beltran. After the game, he stood by those comments.

"You know, talking facts. I guess we're in talks and we're talking about Beltran," Wilson said.

Unlike Rodriguez, though, Beltran has a complete no-trade clause and could seek compensation to waive it, FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal writes. Rosenthal also adds Beltran's agent, Scott Boras, may prefer Beltran to go to the American League where he could serve as a designated hitter. However, as CBSSports.com senior writer Danny Knobler points out, Beltran isn't crazy about DHing. He served as DH just three times during the Mets interleague games this season. It would also stand to reason that Beltran would be better off showing potential teams he could still play a full season in the outfield, because having 30 teams bid on you is better than 14.

Rosenthal notes the Mets may not hurry to deal Beltran, but they are expected to move him. And they hope to get more in return for Beltran than they did for Rodriguez.

And, just because, here's video I shot of Wilson last night talking about his shoes with his own picture on them:


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Posted on: July 13, 2011 2:22 am
Edited on: July 13, 2011 7:42 am
 

Bell's slide steals the show

Heath Bell

By C. Trent Rosecrans


PHOENIX -- Heath Bell was sure he wouldn't get hurt sliding into the pitchers mound in the eighth inning -- he'd practiced it after all.

Wait… what?

"Yeah, I practiced," Bell said of his slide.

Where?

"On my lawn. Last week," Bell said. "I'm not going to do something stupid… well, I'm not going to do something stupid without preparing myself."

 Bell has sprinted in from the bullpen for every appearance since 2009, but for his third All-Star Game, he wanted to do something a little special. The result had players and fans alike laughing as the 6-foot-3, 260-pound Bell came in to face Jhonny Peralta with two outs in the eighth and just before he got to the mound, he slowed his run and slid feet-first, tearing up a little of the infield sod along the way.

See the play here.

The idea was hatched in the Padres' bullpen recently as Bell tried to conjure a signature move for his All-Star appearance. Finally, fellow right-hander Anthony Bass suggested the slide.

Even with the practice under his belt, Bell had second thoughts during the game. First manager Bruce Bochy gave his "this game really counts" speech before the game and Bell reconsidered. Then during his run, he thought maybe it was just a bit too much. But when he saw third baseman Pablo Sandoval clear the way for his slide -- he went for it.

At second base, Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips had gotten full warning that Bell was going to do "something." He saw the sprint and thought it was nothing new -- Phillips' former teammate Todd Coffey has been doing that for the last five years. And then Bell went into a slide.

"What in the world?" Phillips recalled. "It was funny. It was classic."

What about first basmean Joey Votto? What did he think?

"I think he was safe. I wasn't really that surprised," Votto said. "I was expecting more from Brian Wilson afterwards, though. I thought maybe he'd do something cool, like parachute in."

Wilson said he enjoyed Bell's slide, but had just one thought.

"You better get the guy out," Wilson said.

Bell needed five pitches, but did get Peralta to pop up to Phillips, ending the inning.

"It was my third All-Star Game and I wanted to have a blast," Bell said. "I did and I did my job."


For complete All-Star Game coverage, keep up with Eye on Baseball in Phoenix

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Posted on: July 11, 2011 6:53 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 7:56 pm
 

Brian Wilson doesn't speak Chinese

By C. Trent Rosecrans

PHOENIX -- The MLB All-Star Game brings media from around the world -- including China. Giants closer Brian Wilson says he's been to China, but refuses to speak a phrase because he doesn't want to butcher the language. He also compliments my beard, which is nice.



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Posted on: July 11, 2011 1:14 pm
Edited on: July 12, 2011 12:30 pm
 

Valverde, Wilson to close for All-Star teams



By C. Trent Rosecrans

PHOENIX -- Not only did the All-Star managers announce their starters on Monday, both Bruce Bochy and Ron Washington announced their closers for Tuesday's game -- if they get that opportunity.

It's no surprise Bochy is going with his Giants closer, Brian Wilson, while Washington said he'll go to the Tigers' Jose Valverde if he has a lead in the game's last inning.

Valverde is making his third All-Star appearance, which is why Washington chose him as his closer over first-timers Jordan Walden of the Angels, Chris Perez of the Indians and the Mariners' Brandon League. This of course is an issue because the Yankees' Mariano Rivera is inactive for Tuesday's game.

"I wanted to have a veteran that may be able to handle whatever pressures are there and that's why I  chose Valverde," Washington said. "I want to win bad, I want to make sure I had someone who can stand whatever heat is applied."

Valverde leads the American League with 24 saves and has a 2.70 ERA, striking out 39 batters in 40 innings. 

For Bochy, the decision was a bit easier -- Wilson's the guy he trusted to close out the World Series, so he's going to close out the All-Star Game if he's in position to close out a National League victory.

Wilson is in his third All-Star Game and gets the nod over the Padres' Heath Bell and the Braves' Craig Kimbrel.  Bochy did note that he'll have to talk Wilson on Tuesday because his right-hander has pitched four of the last five days, picking up saves on Thursday and Sunday, taking the loss on Friday.

"That was part of my reasoning for picking Kimbrel over [Braves starter Tommy] Hanson," Bochy said. "I wanted another reliever to help out late in the game."

For complete All-Star Game coverage, keep up with Eye on Baseball in Phoenix

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Posted on: July 9, 2011 1:30 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: McKenry's unlikely bomb



By Matt Snyder


Michael McKenry, Pirates. McKenry dug into the batter's box against the Cubs' Carlos Marmol in the bottom of the eighth Friday night with the game tied at four and two men on base. McKenry hit a three-run homer that would be the eventual game-winner. Sure, Marmol is a fickle closer, but he does not cough up the long ball with any semblance of regularity. Check this out: In the past three seasons (coming into Friday night), Marmol had faced 840 hitters and allowed four home runs. Four! McKenry had zero career major-league home runs before the at-bat. He does have 69 minor-league homers, but that's in over 2,000 plate appearances. So this was the longshot of the night. Meanwhile, the Pirates would have been tied for first place had the Reds not blown a lead in the ninth inning. Still, the Bucs sit a game out of first and had a dramatic victory in front of the home fans.

Travis Snider, Blue Jays. The Jays had to have felt a bit deflated after losing on a walk-off grand slam Thursday night to the Indians, but they came back strong with an 11-7 win. Sure, the bullpen tried to blow the game again (it was 8-2 at one point), but the offense was relentless. It pounded out 11 runs on 16 hits. Rajai Davis was great, but Snider stood out for me. He went 3-5 with a double, home run, two runs and five RBI. He's been a promising prospect for a while but never really put things together for an extended stretch. Maybe he's doing so now, because he's hitting .409 with five doubles, a home run and eight RBI since resurfacing in the lineup on July 4.

Josh Hamilton, Rangers. I don't even want to think what he's going through. Had I been the one who tried to toss a ball up into the crowd for a father to give to his young son, and then seen that father plunge to his untimely demise ... well, I don't know. I'm sure I'd keep playing it over and over in my head that had I just not thrown the ball ... Or thrown it higher ... Man, it would be so tough to get past that. It's not Hamilton's fault at all, but it's human nature to start thinking about things like that. He heard the boy screaming for his Daddy, for God's sake. How can you get through that? And Hamilton showed up for work Friday and answered all the questions with grace and sensitivity. He played in the Rangers' 8-5 win, too. Kudos to him for keeping himself together and let's hope that continues.



Zach Britton, Orioles. It would be safe to say the future ace has hit the proverbial wall. Through nine starts, Britton had a 2.14 ERA and easily would have been a Rookie of the Year candidate. He had a quality start next time out. Since then, however, it's been ugly. From May 29 leading into Friday, Britton had a 5.35 ERA and 1.58 WHIP. And then Friday night was a catastrophe. Britton only recorded two outs while allowing six hits, two walks and eight runs. At age 23, and with the Orioles going absolutely nowhere this year, it's worth thinking about optioning him to Triple-A to salvage some confidence.

Brian Wilson, Giants. I thought people feared the beard? Maybe Wilson needs to just finally give in and shave. Friday night, he entered with a tie game in the ninth inning against the Mets. He coughed up a home run to Scott Hairston and took the loss. In Wilson's past five outings, he's blown two saves and has Friday's loss. His ERA in those games is 7.20 and twice he's been pulled before finishing an inning on his own. Maybe he's overworked, but the only people fearing this small sample are Giants fans who realize the offense isn't good enough to overcome Wilson faltering.

Padres' offense. One week ago, almost to the minute, I posted that the Padres would make dubious history before the All-Star break. They did Friday night. They have now been shutout 14 times before the All-Star break, which amounts to 15.6 percent of the time they suit up. No team in recent memory has been so futile offensively. The closest match was the 2004 Expos, who were shutout 13 times before the break.

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Posted on: July 3, 2011 12:39 pm
Edited on: July 3, 2011 3:39 pm
 

National League pitchers and reserves

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Albert Pujols may be back before the All-Star Game, the Cardinals said on Saturday, but he won't be on the All-Star team. Here's the rest of the National League team:

National League

Pitchers

Jonny Venters, Braves (players' pick)

Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers (players' pick)

Cole Hamels, Phillies (players' pick)

Jair Jurrjens, Braves (players' pick)

Joel Hanrahan, Pirates (players' pick)

Heath Bell, Padres (manager's pick)

Matt Cain, Giants (manager's pick)

Roy Halladay, Phillies (players' pick)

Tim Lincecum, Giants (manager's pick)

Brian Wilson, Giants (players' pick)

Ryan Vogelsong, Giants (manager's pick)

Cliff Lee, Phillies (player's pick)

Tyler Clippard, Nationals (manager's pick)

Reserves

OF Justin Upton, Diamondbacks (manager's pick)

3B Chipper Jones, Braves (players' pick)

SS Starlin Castro, Cubs (manager's pick)

2B Brandon Phillips, Reds (players' pick)

OF Jay Bruce, Reds (players' pick)

1B Joey Votto, Reds (players' pick)

SS Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies (players' pick)

1B Gaby Sanchez, Marlins (manager's pick)

OF Hunter Pence, Astros (players' pick)

OF Carlos Beltran, Mets (manager's pick)

OF Matt Holliday, Cardinals (players' pick)

C Yadier Molina, Cardinals (players' pick)

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com