Mark Townsend

  • Kris Bryant homers twice, drives in six in big Cubs win

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 5 hrs ago

    Take a look around the league with Big League Stew's daily wrap up. We'll hit on all of the biggest moments from the day that you may have missed, while providing highlights, photos and interesting stats.

    After a quiet June, it seems Kris Bryant may be getting ready to get hot again in July.

    In the Cubs 7-2 victory against the Miami Marlins on Saturday, Bryant launched his first two home runs since June 22 — when he homered twice off Clayton Kershaw — and did so in each of the first two innings.

    In the first inning, Bryant connected for a two-run homer off Miami starter Jarred Cosart that may have clipped the new left field videoboard. One inning later, Bryant unloaded against Cosart for a grand slam, which broke the game wide open and gave him a career-high six RBIs.

    The Cubs wouldn't need any more offense the rest of the game, and wouldn't get any either. After Bryant's slam, they couldn't muster another hit against Miami's bullpen.

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  • Avisail Garcia robs Chris Davis of game-tying HR with incredible catch

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 11 hrs ago

    Holy cow! Chicago White Sox right fielder Avisail Garcia made perhaps the defensive play of the year on Saturday, robbing Baltimore's Chris Davis of a game-tying home run with a sensational leaping catch in the ninth inning.

    After blowing a two-run lead and Jeff Samardzija's chance at a victory in the top of the eighth inning, the White Sox had regained the lead in the bottom half on pinch-hitter J.B. Shuck's RBI double. That set the stage for what momentarily felt like heartbreak again for White Sox fans, as Davis teed off against closer David Robertson.

    As the baseball soared off the bat, everybody in the ballpark and watching at home anticipated the baseball landing in or perhaps clearing the Orioles bullpen in right field. Even those not watching would have anticipated the same thing based on the sound of the bat, the initial silence of Hawk Harrelson, and then his disgruntled tone as he finally described the action. 

    [David Price joins The StewPod to talk social media, baseball brotherhood and more.]

  • Trevor Bauer mimics teammates batting stances during rare plate appearance

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 13 hrs ago

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    We're not going out on a limb when we say Cleveland Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer seems like a fun guy to have in the clubhouse.

    Between his unique warm up routine, his desire to fly drones around spring training and his antics wearing boxing gloves during a game against the Kansas City Royals — who were recently in multiple altercations — he at least knows how to keep things interesting.

    Such was the case again on Friday night, when Bauer used a rare plate appearance in a National League park to mimic some of his teammates batting stances.

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    Let us repeat that again so it sinks in. Bauer used a plate appearance during a regular season game to mimic, and therefore amuse his teammates by copying their batting stances.

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  • Woman suing Marlins after mascot 'shark attack'

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 15 hrs ago

    In a world where 'Shark Week' is the most anticipated week of television every year, the 'Sharknado' franchise is now on its third television movie, and a shark is throwing out the ceremonial first pitch to Jeff "Shark" Samardzija, the following lawsuit only makes sense.

    According to the Miami Herald, a fan who visited Marlins Park two years ago is now suing the Miami Marlins after alledgedly suffering neck and back injuries as a result of a “bite” from the team's shark mascot.

    The fan, Beth Fedornak, was sitting three rows up from the field and watching the Marlins take on the San Diego Padres on June 29, 2013, when Bob the Shark approached her and pretended to bite her head. 

    [David Price joins The StewPod to talk social media, baseball brotherhood and more.]

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  • Angry pigeon gives Rays' Kevin Kiermaier a scare at Yankee Stadium

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 16 hrs ago

    If you like your baseball a little weird, then Friday night was an especially good night for you.

    Between Trevor Bauer's changing batting stances, the St. Louis Cardinals losing their fourth straight home game, and Tampa Bay's Kevin Kiermaier dodging a dive-bombing pigeon, there was plenty to make you scratch your head and/or laugh out loud.

    Wait, did we actually just say Kevin Kiermaier dodged a dive-bombing pigeon?

    Holy smokes, what in the world is going on out there?

    There's Kiermaier, enjoying the fact his 12th inning single just gave Tampa Bay the lead. Then his joy turns to temporary panic as the angry New York pigeon responds with his own version of chin music.

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    It appears the pigeon is donning Yankees' colors. He's obviously a fan, and very possibly a regular listener to the postgame show. Since he can't dial a phone, this is just one of the ways he vents his frustration. One of the cleaner ways we should add, because there are obviously much worse things he could have done to Kiermaier.

    What a life. 

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  • Bryce Harper homers using star-spangled bat on Fourth of July

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 17 hrs ago

    How does Bryce Harper celebrate America's birthday?

    The same way we all wish we could celebrate America's birthday. By playing baseball for a living, and using a Fourth of July-themed bat featuring the stars, stripes and the colors of the American flag.

    Of course that's how Bryce Harper celebrates.

    [David Price joins The StewPod to talk social media, baseball brotherhood and more.]

    But we know one thing for sure, Harper isn't just satisfied using a star-spangled bat. He had to make it memorable, and he did just that by connecting for his 25th home run off San Francisco Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner.

    Bryce Harper walked up to the plate with the DC / 🇺🇸 bat & hit his 25th home run (off of Madison Bumgarner) #Nats

    Harper finished the game 3 for 4, adding a double, single and walk to his total, as Wahington cruised to a 9-3 victory. 

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  • Miguel Cabrera makes first career trip to DL with strained left calf

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 18 hrs ago

    For the first time in his 13-year career, Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera is headed to the disabled list. 

    Cabrera was forced from Friday night's 8-6 win against the Toronto Blue Jays with a grade-three strain of his left calf, which is expected to keep him sidelined for at least six weeks. 

    The injury occurred in the fourth inning when Cabrera was running the bases. Cabrera was stationed at first with no outs and a 3-2 count to Victor Martinez when the Tigers elected to put him in motion. Martinez fouled the pitch off, which ended up being the best-case scenario for Detroit as Cabrera was only able to make it half way to second base. After being tended to by the Tigers athletic trainer, Cabrera struggled to the clubhouse and now limps to the DL for the first time after 1,896 career games. 

    Unfortunately, this news doesn't come as a surprise to the Tigers. Following the game, manager Brad Ausmus said Cabrera was in rough shape and unlikely to avoid the disabled list. 

    An MRI confirmed their fears, and now Detroit must move forward without its former MVP for the rest of July and the first-half of August.   

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  • Anibal Sanchez dominates Blue Jays, but Tigers lose Miguel Cabrera to injury

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Take a look around the league with Big League Stew's daily wrap up. We'll hit on all of the biggest moments from the day that you may have missed, while providing highlights, photos and interesting stats .

    Detroit Tigers right-hander Anibal Sanchez nearly carved out a rare place in the history books on Friday night. The 31-year-old from Maracay, Venezuela came up five outs short of pitching his second career no-hitter in Detroit's 8-6 victory against the Toronto Blue Jays.

    Yes, that score is deceiving. We'll get to that in a moment. 

    As for Sanchez, he was looking to become the 28th pitcher in MLB history to throw multiple no-hitters. He also pitched a no-hitter for the then Florida Marlins on Sept. 6, 2006 against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The near nine-year stretch between no-hitters would have been the second longest between a pitcher's first and second. 

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  • Veteran relievers Joba Chamberlain, Neftali Feliz designated for assignment

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Friday was another reminder of just how unpredictable and unstable the career of a mjaor-league reliever can be.

    Veteran right-handers Joba Chamberlain and Neftali Feliz were both designated for assignment by the Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers respectively, leaving both teams with 10 days to trade, release or place the relievers on waivers.

    Chamberlain, 29, inked a one-year, $1 million deal with Detroit during the offseason in an attempt to rebuild his value. For Detroit, it was a cheap signing they hoped would add depth to their bullpen despite Chamberlain's up and down 2014.

    Chamberlain had performed well in a relief role previously for the New York Yankees, It just didn't work out in Detroit. In 30 appearances, Chamberlain posted a 4.09 ERA and a 1.682 WHIP. He struggled avoiding contact as well, striking out just 15 over his 22 innings.

    From The Detroit Free Press: 

    Self awareness is a good thing to have. Better execution and better results are the name of the game though, so for now anyway Chamberlain will be forced to take a step back.

  • Alert fan catches flying bat in Washington, gets a kiss for his efforts

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    We've already had our fill of scary flying bat incidents this season. That's why everybody watching cringed and held their breath on Friday night when San Francisco Giants pitcher Jake Peavy lost his grip and sent his bat barreling into the stands at Nationals Park.

    Fortunately, when the camera quickly panned to the crowd, all we saw was a fan celebrating perhaps the biggest catch of his life.

    Catching a bat > catching a ball.

    That man here is a hero, and to the hero go the spoils.

    It's a happy ending this time, but we should also use this as another reminder of just how important it is for fans to constantly pay attention at the ballpark. That's especially true of fans sitting around the home plate and dugout areas. It's a vulnerable position to be in when there's no netting around, and if you're not watching the action a bat or ball can get on you awfully quick.

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