Mark Townsend

  • Jo-Jo Reyes throws one pitch, picks up win in first MLB appearance since 2011

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 31 mins ago

    Lost in the craziness that played out during the Angels wild come-from-behind 11-10 win in Texas is the even crazier story of Jo-Jo Reyes.

    The 30-year-old left-hander, who started this season in the Mexican League, thought his season was over when the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees' season ended on Sept. 7. He could not have been more wrong. On Saturday, he was on a major league hill pitching for the Angels with their season potentially on the line, and miraculously walked the winner despite throwing only one pitch. 

    We told you this was wild.

    Reyes was only added to the Angels roster on Wednesday after the team lost closer Huston Street and starter Matt Shoemaker to injury. He had not pitched in MLB since the 2011 season after struggling to live up to his potential. Obviously, he had not pitched in any type of game in 27 days. It wasn't anticipated he'd pitch for the Angels, either, unless an emergency situation popped up.

    Then Saturday happened. After starter Hector Santiago lasted just four innings and Mike Scioscia ran through six different relievers, Reyes was about the only option he had left in the eighth inning. 

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  • Max Scherzer fires second no-hitter of 2015 season, joins elite company

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 hrs ago

    The incredible Max Scherzer has done it again.

    For the second time this season, the Washington Nationals' right-hander flirted with perfection and ultimately tossed a no-hitter, this time thoroughly dominating the New York Mets in a 2-0 win at Citi Field.

    In his previous no-hitter against the Pirates on June 20, Scherzer was one pitch from perfection, but ended up hitting Pittsburgh's Jose Tabata with a pitch. This time around, he was perfect into the sixth, losing his bid when third baseman Yunel Escobar short-armed a throw to first base for an error.

    Two minor blips are all that separate Scherzer from becoming just the 24th pitcher in MLB history to complete a perfect nine-inning game. He also easily could have been the first pitcher ever with multiple perfectos. Instead, he'll settle on becoming the sixth pitcher to throw two no-hitters in the same season, which is elite territory in its own right.

    The others on that list are Johnny Vander Meer (1938), Allie Reynolds (1951), Virgil Trucks (1952) and Nolan Ryan (1973). Roy Halladay gets special mention because his second no-hitter in 2010 came during the postseason.

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  • Rusty Staub recovering after suffering heart attack on international flight

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 hrs ago

    Baseball legend Rusty Staub is recovering in an Ireland hospital after suffering a heart attack on a flight back to New York this week. 

    According to multiple reports, Staub was traveling back on Monday when the incident occurred. Two doctors on board were able to revive Staub and keep him stable until the plane could return to Ireland. Staub was taken into emergency surgery and is now recovering, but many of his friends and fans have been working to get Staub back home so his recovery can continue at home.  

    According to the New York Daily News, a man named Stephen Marro, who says he’s a friend of the Staub family started a GoFundMe page with the goal to raise the $60,000 for a medical plane to bring Staub home. As of this writing, the campaign was closing in on $4,000. 

    “When you wake up in a bed in a hospital, I guess it’s confusing,” he told The Post. “I’m doing fine, will probably have to stay another two or three days. I’ll be getting home to New York next week.”

    Good news. 

  • Staying alive: Angels stun Rangers with five-run ninth-inning rally

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 6 hrs ago

    It was a tale of two baseball teams with two completely different mindsets entering the ninth inning at Globe Life Park. 

    On one side, the Los Angeles Angels' season was hanging by a thread after they'd blown a four-run lead and entered the final frame now trailing by four runs themselves. On the other side, the Texas Rangers readied for a celebration, needing just three outs to clinch the AL West title. 

    Amazingly, by the time that decisive ninth inning ended, the scripts had completely flipped. It was the Angels celebrating their new found hope after rallying to win 11-10. And it was the Rangers who were now dejected, realizing their grip on the division title wasn't as strong as it appeared. 

    There are two sides to the story, but this is a case where both sides tell the complete truth. The Angels took this game away from the Rangers, but the Rangers also did everything in their power to give it away.

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    It's amazing the difference an inning can make, but that was the story on Saturday. Now both teams focus on the Houston Astros, who play Saturday evening in Arizona.

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  • Rangers' Twitter account seems to call for firing of Texas coach Charlie Strong

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 8 hrs ago

    Well, this probably isn't what the person manning the Texas Rangers Twitter account meant to have happen.  

    As the Rangers were attempting to clinch the AL West title against the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday afternoon, a tweet was sent out seemingly calling for the firing of Texas football coach Charlie Strong.

    @lana even the Rangers have turned against charlie strong, in what may be their best tweet of the year

    Not surprisingly, the original tweet was almost immediately deleted, but not before several people were able to screencap it and repost it.

    Nothing — and we do mean nothing — gets by the internet.

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    Update: The Rangers work quick. The staff member behind the tweet has been relieved of their duties per a team press release. 

    The Rangers statement apologizing to Charlie Strong:

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  • One LGBT group says MLB's cross-dressing rookie hazing sends dangerous message

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 10 hrs ago

    We know it's coming every year. When the final week of the season arrives, MLB teams engage in their rookie hazing rituals. 

    Often times, these rituals include having rookies and sometimes even second-year players dress up in themed costumes. The Los Angeles Dodgers, for example, had their young players dressed up as legendary professional wrestlers. 

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    It's an often unusual rite of passion into the major leagues. It's seemingly done with no ill-intent other than to perhaps embarrass the players. However, TMZ Sports is reporting that powerful LGBT advocacy group Athlete Ally believes the ritual goes too far when it forces rookies to cross-dress, citing that it sends a dangerous message to kids.

    Here's what Athlete Ally head Hudson Taylor told TMZ.

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  • Steve Bartman turns down proposed trip to Cubs wild-card game

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 12 hrs ago

    Steve Bartman will not be attending the Chicago Cubs wild-card play-in game next Wednesday. 

    Despite a GoFundMe campaign designed to raise money so the maligned Cubs fan could travel to PNC Park in Pittsburgh or return to Wrigley Field for the do-or-die game, he declined the offer.

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    Here's the official word from Bartman's longtime spokesman Frank Murtha.

    "It's nice of these people to think of Steve but he won't be taking advantage of the offer," Frank Murtha said. "He's perfectly capable of attending the game on his own, though he has no intention of being at the wild-card game."

    No surprise here. Though we're sure the gesture was well-intended, Bartman obviously has no interest in returning to the public eye.

    "Steve is glad the money will go to a good cause and will be cheering on the Cubs as always," Murtha said.

  • Magic Number Watch: Astros hold steady in AL wild card race

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 21 hrs ago

    It's that time of year again. The time where magic numbers and playoff scenarios take over our lives and leave us searching for the least confusing explanation available. That's where Big League Stew comes in. From now until the final postseason spot is secured, we'll keep you updated on all of the latest clinches, magic number changes and new playoff scenarios.

    There were no clinches on Friday, but the American League wild card race became a little more clear.

    The Houston Astros and Los Angeles Angels were both winners, meaning the Astros magic number to clinch fell to two. They currently hold a one-game lead over the Angels. The Minnesota Twins fell to two games back with their loss against Kansas City, meaning they'll need all kinds of help just to force a tiebreaker.  

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    Meanwhile, the Texas Rangers missed on their first opportunity to clinch the AL West. What does this all mean for Saturday? We have the latest for you right here. 


    Team: Texas Rangers

  • Astros score franchise-record 21 runs as Dallas Keuchel notches 20th win

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 22 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.

    The Houston Astros were not about to let their wild card lead or Dallas Keuchel's bid for a 20th victory slip away on Friday.

    Keuchel actually came to bat in the first inning before throwing his first pitch as Houston jumped out to an early three-run lead. It only got better from there, as the Astros absolutely crushed the Arizona Diamondbacks 21-5. 

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    The 21-run outburst set a new Astros franchise record for a single game. The previous record 19. They were relentless on this night, scoring in seven different innings. That included a seven-run seventh inning, which was highlighted by Carlos Correa's bases-clearing triple.

    That's big. Of greater importance in the big picture though, Houston maintains its lead for the second wild card spot. 


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  • Kevin Pillar sells out to make yet another incredible diving catch

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    If it seemed like Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar was adding another highlight to the reel every day in April, that's because he was.

    Pillar started the season with a series of memorable web gems that were absolutely mind-blowing.  He then continued to sprinkle them in at various points throughout the summer as well. As we saw on Friday though, he may have saved the best for last. 

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    During the Blue Jays 8-4 win against the Rays, Pillar struck a Superman pose, going full extension to rob Luke Maile of extra bases with a simply sensational diving catch.

    .@KPILLAR4. How? How? How?

    As good as that looked at real speed, it's absolutely breathtaking in slow motion. You'll see great plays, but you won't see many better than that. 

    Pillar leads the way in highlight plays though, and this is one more fans will be talking about for a long time.

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