Mark Townsend

  • Justin Upton's home run caps wild Padres comeback at rain-soaked Citi Field

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 7 hrs ago

    All-Star outfielder Justin Upton can be had if the price is right. The San Diego Padres have made that very clear with the trade deadline looming on Friday afternoon. He could even be had by the New York Mets if they were so inclined to take the plunge and take on the remainder of his $14.5 million salary. 

    That doesn't seem likely as of Thursday evening, and even if it did, it would be far too late to overturn the second significant gut punch Mets fans have received since Wednesday night. 

    [Friday Daily Fantasy contest: Turn $5 into $5K]

    With the rains pouring down on Citi Field on Thursday afternoon, the Mets were one out from victory when the umpires were forced to the call for a delay. When play resumed 45 minutes later, the Mets were still that one out away from victory, and closer Jeurys Familia was still the man on the hill. Then the chaos began. After a pair of singles from Derek Norris and Matt Kemp, Justin Upton launched a three-run home run that stunned the crowd and gave San Diego an 8-7 lead. 

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  • Troy Tulowitzki homers, drives in three in big debut for Blue Jays

    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.

    The Toronto Blue Jays stunned the baseball world when they acquired All-Star Troy Tulowitzki from the Colorado Rockies on Monday night. 

    On Wednesday, shock turned to awe, as Tulowitzki put on an offensive display that reinforced his position as baseball's top all around shortstop.

    With cheers raining down at every mention of his name, Tulowitzki whipped the 27,060 in attendance at Rogers Centre into a frenzy in the third inning with a blistering two-run homer off Philadelphia's Jerome Williams.  The home run actually snapped an 0-for-21 streak for Tulowitzki at the plate, which was the longest hitless stretch of his career. 

    [Friday Daily Fantasy contest: Turn $5 into $5K]

    That was just the beginning though, as Tulowitzki followed with a pair of doubles and scored two more runs to pace Toronto's 8-2 victory.   

  • MLB Trade Deadline Digest: Cole Hamels trade puts focus on David Price

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    The Stew's Trade Deadline Digest recaps the day in news and rumors as MLB gets closer to the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31. If you missed any of Wednesday's action, we're here to help you catch up with all the important links and tidbits.

    DONE DEAL: Cole Hamels is headed to the Texas Rangers in a blockbuster eight-player deal. The Phillies will receive Matt Harrison and five prospects. [Jeff Passan]

    DECISION MADE:  The Tigers are "rebooting," and will try to trade anyone whose contract is expiring. That includes David Price and Yoenis Cespedes. [ Detroit Free Press ]

    [Friday Daily Fantasy contest: Turn $5 into $5K]

    WAIT A SEC: Joe Maddon met with Starlin Castro and told him he would not be dealt. [Carrie Muskat]

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  • Marlins pipe in 'obnoxious' noises during Nationals batting practice

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Wednesday was quite an interesting day for the Miami Marlins.

    It started with reports that the team was back to its salary-shedding ways, sending pitcher Mat Latos and and top bench hitter Mike Morse to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a trio of minor leaguers. However, as the day went on, that trade struggled to cross the finish line as all players involved remained put when Wednesday's action began.

    [Friday Daily Fantasy contest: Turn $5 into $5K]

    According to Yahoo's Jeff Passan, that deal has now morphed into a three-team involving the Atlanta Braves. However, based on the sounds playing over the Marlins Park sound system during Washington Nationals batting practice, perhaps there was some concern that the Marlins.had.... well, we'll let you draw your own conclusions.

    Went back through BP tape and found the fart noise during #Nats BP. This is not a joke. pic.twitter.com/Q7dweOdk19

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

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  • Phillies rebuild reaches next phase with trade of Cole Hamels

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Despite mounting evidence that a rebuild was exactly what the Philadelphia Phillies needed, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. had remained hesitant to go all-in until this past winter. That hesitance — which many say was rooted in stubbornness — may have cost the Phillies potentially significant returns on players like Cliff Lee, who's now injured, and Chase Utley, whose value has decreased.

    As the old saying goes though, better late than never.

    Following back-to-back 89 loss seasons over the past two seasons, Amaro changed course and officially began the rebuilding process by trading Jimmy Rollins to the Los Angeles Dodgers in December. The process picked up again this week with the trade of Jonathan Papelbon to the Washington Nationals. Now he's taken perhaps the big step in the process by unloading his hottest commodity, veteran left-handed pitcher Cole Hamels, to the Texas Rangers. 

    [Friday Daily Fantasy contest: Turn $5 into $5K]

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

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  • Wilmer Flores plays through tears after learning of impending trade

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    As wonderful a game as baseball is, when you play it professionally you also have to deal with the business side of the game, which at times can lead to uncertainly and utlmately heartache. 

    For Wilmer Flores, the heartache was plainly visible as he attempted to do his job on Wednesday night. As the Mets took on the San Diego Padres at Citi Field, word began to trickle out that Flores, along with Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler, would be traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for outfielder Carlos Gomez. 

    Obviously that word got down to field level and to Flores himself, and it was difficult for him to keep his emotions in check. 

    Surreal scene. Mets trade Wilmer Flores but leave him in game. Flores then cries on field while playing. pic.twitter.com/0CDpjGpwpS

    As the innings wore on, everybody waited for Flores to leave the game, knowing it would symbolize that a trade had been completed. But the anticipation, which around social media circles has been termed as #HugWatch, simply turned to despair as Flores was left on the field. 

    It's heartbreaking, really, but perhaps there will be a happy ending for Flores after all.

  • Andrew McCutchen drives in three runs on chaotic Little League homer

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Pittsburgh Pirates star Andrew McCutchen had a huge game in Wednesday's 10-3 victory against the Minnesota Twins.

    In the fifth inning, McCutchen clubbed a conventional two-run homer against Twins starter Ervin Santana, which tied the game 3-3. The very next inning, Pittsburgh had jumped out to a 5-3 lead on a Santana wild pitch and a sacrifice fly from Starling Marte. That set the stage for McCutchen to blow the game wide open, which is exactly what he did, though this time the outcome was anything but conventional.

    [Play a Daily Fantasy contest for cash today!l]

    With runners at first and second and two outs, McCutchen laced a would-be single to right field that Minnesota right fielder Eddie Rosario aggressively misplayed in a disaster. Rosario was obviously looking to come up throwing somewhere, perhaps home or perhaps to third base, looking to cut down one of the runners and end the rally. Instead, he only added fuel to the fire by allowing the baseball to skip over his left shoulder all the way to the wall.

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

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 4 days ago

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    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. 

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

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

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 4 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?

    Weirdness.

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

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 4 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.