Mark Townsend

  • Zack Greinke's remarkable scoreless streak ends at 45 2/3 innings

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke was closing in on history entering Sunday's start against the New York Mets.

    Dating back to June 13, Greinke had gone 43 2/3 innings without allowing a run, a span that covers six full starts. With another 16 scoreless frames, Greinke would have surpassed former Dodgers legend Orel Hershiser's major-league record streak of 59 consecutive scoreless innings set in 1988. 

    [Elsewhere: 27 players who could be on the move before MLB trade deadline]

    Greinke did manage to inch closer on Sunday, extending his streak to 45 2/3 innings with two perfect innings out of the chute. That firmly established his streak among the top six in baseball history. 

    45 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings. Zack Greinke ranks 6th all-time.

    But it wasn't meant to carry on beyond Sunday afternoon at Citi Field.

    That in and of itself is pretty cool. This is pretty cool too. 

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  • Elvis Andrus throws glove at Kole Calhoun's soft liner, avoids costly error

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

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    Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus isn't above goofing around on the field. In fact, in years past we've seen both Andrus and Adrian Beltre attempt to agitate and even distract each other while the other camps out under a seemingly harmless pop up.

    These guys are friends, by the way, and teammates, too. It's not exactly good for business to attempt such tactics, but so far it hasn't come back to bite either player.

    With that in mind... well, actually, it's probably best to digest this with a clear mind, because we're not at all sure what Andrus himself had in mind on Saturday in Anaheim.

    In the sixth inning, the Angels Kole Calhoun poked a soft line drive to center field directly over the head of Andrus, who was shaded toward the right side of the infield. The hit scored a run, which gave the Angels a temporary a 6-4 lead, but it wasn't the hit itself that was odd. It was Andrus' bizarre decision to toss his glove at the ball.

    What are you doing, Elvis Andrus?


  • Chinese league outfielder makes juggling catch after ball rolls up his arm

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    In baseball, as in life, sometimes fundamentals and proper technique are forgotten in the heat of battle.

    Such was the case for the right fielder representing the Lamigo Monkeys during a recent Chinese Professional Baseball League game. While pursuing a fly ball well struck into the right-center field gap, the right fielder was left with only one option — a running, backhanded grab — to complete the out.

    And so that's the option he went with. It seemed as though he had it measured well, sticking his glove out at just the right moment to make the catch. Only somehow, he managed to close his glove too soon, causing the ball to clank off the webbing.

    [Elsewhere: 27 players who could be on the move before MLB trade deadline]

    Or maybe that was the plan all along?

    As it turns out, the ball ended up rolling up his extended arm. As many have stated, it actually looked like one of those fancy Harlem Globetrotters style ball-handling tricks that's often used to confuse opponents.

    For style, we give him 10 points.

    For grace, we award another 10.

  • It's official: Johnny Cueto is headed to the Royals

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    The first marquee name thought to be available ahead of MLB's non-waiver trade deadline is on the move.

    According to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, the aggressive Kansas City Royals have acquired Johnny Cueto from the Cincinnati Reds to fill the void left by James Shields, who signed with the San Diego Padres during the offseason. 

    Source: #Royals getting Cueto.

    As Rosenthal also reported on Saturday, the Royals were set to acquire Cueto moments before his scheduled start against the Colorado Rockies. The trade ended up falling through when one of the Royals prospects involved didn't check out medically, so business continued as usual with Cueto making his start. Cueto went on to pitch eight shutout innings at Coors Field in perhaps his most dominant start of the season. 

    [Related: 27 players who could be on the move before MLB trade deadline]

    Reds trade Cueto to Royals for LHPs Brandon Finnegan, John Lamb and Cody Reed.

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

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  • There are conflicting reports about Yasiel Puig's availability in trade talks

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    Major League Baseball's non-waiver trade deadline is usually good for a mild surprise or two. If we get one this season, one of the popular names being thrown around is that of Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig.

    According to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, that doesn't seem likely. Heyman reports the Dodgers recently reassured Puig that they won't be entertaining trade offers with his name attached to them.

    That would indicate Puig will remain with the Dodgers at least through the end of the season, where it's possible the Dodgers will reevaluate Puig's status and their roster makeup as a whole.

    [Related: 27 players who could be on the move before MLB trade deadline]

    Here's more from Heyman:

    He is or he isn't. They will or they won't. Who knows, maybe the Dodgers don't even know. 

    With that in mind, what would you do if you were the Dodgers? 

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  • 12 interesting stats about the stacked Hall of Fame class of 2015

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    Hall of Fame day has arrived, which means the remarkable legacies of Craig Biggio, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz are only hours away from being cemented forever with enshrinement into baseball's most elite fraternity.  

    The star-studded quartet makes up the largest class of new inductees since 1955. That fact, in and of itself, makes them interesting and noteworthy. 

    The personalities involved add a whole different layer of intrigue and interest. For as outspoken and in-your-face as Pedro Martinez could be, Randy Johnson was every bit as laid back and reserved. While John Smoltz was the very definition of a bulldog on the hill, Craig Biggio was just the same at the plate and in the field. It's all a part of who they are and what helped them sustain elite level production.

    [Related: Who's your favorite 2015 MLB Hall of Famer?]

    Check them out. 

    •  Johnson struck out 18 or more batters in a single game four times, more than any other pitcher in MLB history.

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  • Mets explode for season-high 15 runs, 21 hits in win against Dodgers

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 days 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.

    Break up the New York Mets.

    With newly-acquired veteran Kelly Johnson and top hitting prospect Michael Conforto both in the lineup on Saturday, the Mets offense exploded for a season-high 15 runs on 21 hits in their 15-2 win against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

    That's 15 runs and 21 hits.

    Those aren't typos, but it's been awhile since they visited that neighborhood. In fact, the last time the Mets notched 20 hits in one game was on Sept. 16, 2011 in Atlanta.

    [Elsewhere: 27 players who could be on the move before MLB trade deadline]

    New arrival Kelly Johnson was one of four other Mets with at least two hits. He added a solo home run. All of this came in support of Matt Harvey (two hits, two RBI), who pitched seven innings of two-run ball.



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  • After nearly being traded, Johnny Cueto throws eight shutout innings

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    There was much confusion on the field before Saturday night's Reds-Rockies game at Coors Field.

    As game time neared, Cincinnati's scheduled starter and well known trade candidate Johnny Cueto was not seen on the field going through his pregame routine. Instead, long man Michael Lorenzo was spotted warming up, which naturally brought about speculation that perhaps Cueto had been traded less than an hour before first pitch.

    Truth be told, he almost was. Or at least that's the story Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal was hearing.

    [Related: 27 players who could be on the move before MLB trade deadline]

    As Rosenthal wrote on Twitter, Cueto was moments away from being traded to the Kansas City Royals early Saturday evening. However, the deal ended up falling through when one of Kansas City's prospects failed to check out medically.

    Cueto was upset because he found out from Lorenzen before the game that he might be traded. #reds


    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

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  • Alex Rodriguez's resurgence continues with three-homer game in Minnesota

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    The incredible comeback season of Alex Rodriguez reached a new level on Saturday. The New York Yankees designed hitter connected for three home runs in their come-from-behind 8-5 victory against the Minnesota Twins, including the game-tying solo shot off All-Star closer Glen Perkins in the ninth inning. 

    The three-homer game was the fifth of Rodriguez's now 21-year career. At 39 years and 363 days, he also became the fifth oldest player to hit three home runs in a single game. 

    A-Rod (39 yrs, 363 days) is 5th oldest player in last 100 yrs with a 3-HR game. Musial, Giambi, Reggie Jackson, Babe Ruth were older

    That's right, A-Rod will turn 40 on Monday when the Yankees visit the Texas Rangers in Arlington. 

    If you had to guess by how he's swinging though, you might think A-Rod was only pushing 30. He looks that good, that strong and that quick at the plate. You'd never know he missed nearly a year and a half while suspended. You'd never guess he's had multiple hip surgeries. He's the same dangerous Alex Rodriguez from years gone by. 

    That's big boy territory, and somewhat surprisingly it was a career first for Rodriguez. 

  • Cubs Twitter buries the lede after being no-hit for first time in nearly 50 years

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    Saturday afternoon belonged to Cole Hamels. The likely soon-to-be ex-Philadelphia Phillies ace fired his first complete game no-hitter— he was part of Phiadelphia's combined no-hitter last September — and the 13th no-hitter in franchise history at Wrigley Field, and there was very little the Chicago Cubs could do about it. 

    In fact, only one Cub even reached base in the game. Dexter Fowler walked in the first and sixth innings, and that's all Chicago could muster as Hamels mowed them down one-by-one. 

    As a result of Hamels historic performance, the Cubs saw their streak of not being no-hit end at 7,920 games. That's a remarkable streak that dated all the way back to Sept. 9, 1965. With that reality comes much sadness in Chicago, and perhaps nothing exemplifies that sadness quite like this Cubs postgame tweet.  

    Yes, a two-walker. We'll go ahead and call that a convenient burial of the lede. 

    Others thought the Cubs were just being a little bit bitter. 

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