Brandon Finnegan to be the first player to play in two World Series in one year

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

College and Major League, that is.

Brandon Finnegan was the first round selection of the Royals — the 17th pick overall — just this past June, signing for slot at $2,200,600. He signed out of Texas Christian University, where he posted a 2.04 ERA with 134 strikeouts in 105 and two-thirds innings this year. Also: TCU happened to appear in the College World Series.  He’s about to appear in the World Series with the Royals, making him the first player to do that ever. The Boston Herald has his story today.

Here’s hoping, for his sake, his current World Series run goes better than TCU’s did.

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Spanish play-by-play of Travis Ishikawa’s pennant-winning homer for the Giants

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

You have likely heard the Joe Buck, Jon Miller, and Dan Shulman calls of Travis Ishikawa’s pennant-winning home run on Thursday night, but here’s the Spanish-language one from KTRB in San Francisco. It’s pretty great.

I won’t claim to know all of the words the announcer was saying, but it doesn’t really matter. The emotion speaks for itself and transcends whatever language barrier might exist.

(Hat-tip to Grant Brisbee of McCovey Chronicles for the link)

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Fan gives Travis Ishikawa his NLCS-winning home run ball, gets World Series tickets

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

Travis Ishikawa lined a three-run home run to right field in the bottom of the ninth inning in Game 5 of the NLCS against the Cardinals, sending the Giants into the World Series against the Royals. Frank Burke, who owns a transmission repair business, about two hours east of San Francisco, was the lucky fan who came up with the baseball.

Burke could have taken the baseball home and kept it as a collectible, or sold it on the Internet or personally to a memorabilia merchant, but instead gave the ball back to Ishikawa. From NBC Bay Area, Burke had asked for World Series tickets but was told he may not be accomodated. Burke gave the ball back anyway, saying, “Ishikawa is the guy who hit the ball. I’m just the lucky guy who caught it.” Ishikawa did give Burke a signed bat.

As it turns out, the Giants were…

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Travis Ishikawa two days later, on pennant-winning homer: “It still doesn’t seem like it was me.”

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

Travis Ishikawa, who at one point this season seriously contemplated hanging up the spikes, sent the Giants into the World Series in Game 5 of the NLCS on Thursday night with a walk-off, NLCS-clinching three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning off of Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha. Ishikawa was about as unlikely a hero as there could have been in that series.

Ishikawa himself still isn’t sure that he was the one who punched the Giants’ ticket to an October match-up against the Royals. Per CSN Bay Area’s Andrew Baggarly, Ishikawa said, “I can’t describe the feeling I have each time I see it or each time I think about it. It still doesn’t seem like it was me.”

It’s an incredible story, one we’ll certainly be passing on for years to come. In case you missed or forgot what happened, enjoy Jon Miller’s call of…

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Video: Watch Travis Ishikawa’s pennant-winning homer

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

Travis Ishikawa sent the Giants to the World Series tonight when he connected for a walk-off three-run home run off Cardinals right-hander Michael Wacha in the bottom of the ninth inning. Come on, you know you want to see it again:

Ishikawa is the sixth player hit a pennant-clinching walk-off home run, fittingly joining Bobby Thomson (1951), as well as Hank Aaron (1957), Chris Chambliss (1976), Aaron Boone (2003), and Magglio Ordonez (2006).

[nbcsports_video src=http://player.theplatform.com/p/pcPFDC/bayarea/embed/select/media/NweXZJWl3shw?params=zone%3Dcsnvideo&autoPlay=true width=620 height=348]

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Jeremy Guthrie wore an Orioles-dissin’ shirt last night. It didn’t go over well.

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

Jeremy Guthrie allowed one run over five innings and his team won the game, putting them one win away from the World Series. Then, in the postgame presser, he wore this t-shirt:

A scan of Orioles Twitter — yeah, that’s a thing — reveals that this did not go over all that well. Afterwards Guthrie apologized.

But really, like the Jarrod Dyson quote the other day, the Orioles haven’t exactly done anything to disprove the premise of the taunt.

(via Fox)

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Video: Kolten Wong sends Cardinals to NLCS Game 2 win with a walk-off home run

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

Second baseman Kolten Wong ended a back-and-forth night between the Cardinals and Giants in Game 2 of the NLCS, sending the series into a 1-1 tie with a walk-off home run to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning against reliever Sergio Romo.

It’s Wong’s second home run of the post-season. He had previously hit a two-run home run in the seventh inning of Game 3 of the NLDS against the Dodgers, which proved to be the deciding factor in the Cardinals’ win.

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There’s a report that the Dodgers are shopping Yasiel Puig. It makes no sense.

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

We tend to avoid highlighting dubious rumors around these parts, but since this is the first dubious rumor of the (for most teams) offseason, let’s use it to get our offseason debunking skills back into game shape, shall we?

So I saw this last night, from a sports anchor at WBBM radio in Chicago, George Ofman:

With the caveat that, sure, I suppose weirder things have happened, this makes no damn sense. Partially because Puig, his NLDS Game 4 benching aside, is still the Dodgers best every day player and the most versatile member of an outfield that needs to be made-over to some degree, making him far less expendable than, say, Andre Ethier or Carl Crawford. Partially because he’s a pretty marketable face which Dodgers’ ownership…

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Matt Carpenter homers to put Cardinals in front in NLDS Game 3 vs. Dodgers

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

Matt Carpenter continues to do it all for St. Louis.

Carpenter just hit a leadoff homer against Hyun-Jin Ryu in the bottom of the third inning to give the Cardinals an early 1-0 lead over the Dodgers in Game 3 of the NLDS. He has now homered in three straight games to begin the postseason. Albert Pujols (2004) is the only other player in franchise history to homer in three straight postseason games.

Carpenter hit eight home runs in 159 games during the regular season, with only two of them coming against southpaws. All three of his home runs this postseason have been against lefties. As for Ryu, he gave up just one home run to a left-handed batter during the regular season.

John Lackey pitched out of some trouble in the first and second innings, but he’ll carry a 1-0 lead into the top of the fourth inning at…

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