Mark Townsend

  • Aroldis Chapman electrifies Wrigley Field in Cubs debut

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 19 hrs ago

    If you were curious what type of reaction Aroldis Chapman would receive upon his debut at Wrigley Field, wonder no more.

    The hard-throwing left-hander had won over Cubs fans even before taking the mound in the ninth inning. By the time he struck out Avisail Garcia to wrap up a perfect inning and a Cubs 8-1 win over the White Sox, he’d whipped them into a frenzy.

    Chapman’s off-the-field issues were not a consideration on this night, whether people like that thought or not. It was all about baseball and the overwhelming optimism Cubs fans obviously feel now that they’ve added Chapman as their closer.

    The #Cubs fans going wild watching Chapman stroll to the mound, and no one is leaving the park, waiting to see the scoreboard readiings

    — Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) July 28, 2016

    Fastest pitch by Cubs reliever in '16: 98 MPH.

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  • Cardinals rally again, snap Jeurys Familia's remarkable save streak

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 20 hrs ago

    Welcome to The Walk Off, the nightly MLB recap from Big League Stew. Here we’ll look at the top performers of the night, show you a must-see highlight and rundown the scoreboard. First, we start with a game you need to know about.

    The St. Louis Cardinals are starting to show the resilience that has made them so dangerous in recent seasons.

    For the third time in the last week, St. Louis rallied from a late-inning deficit to secure a needed win on Wednesday. It was by far their most impressive comeback to, as they toppled New York Mets closer Jeurys Familia’s and his streak of 52 consecutive saves to win 5-4 at Citi Field.

    It’s the first time Familia has blown a save since July 30 of last season, so he nearly completed a calendar year unblemished. Familia’s streak was also the third longest in MLB history, so we’ve established here that the Cardinals had their work cut out for them.

    It’s one game, yes, but it’s looking like every single one of them is going to matter in this tight wild-card race.


    Get him while he’s hot, MLB contenders. Get him now.



  • Gerrit Cole fires first MLB complete game thanks to fancy defense

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 22 hrs ago

    In his third start off the disabled list, Pittsburgh Pirates ace Gerrit Cole looked like he’s ready to roll.

    As seen in the MLB Free Game of the Day on Yahoo Sports, the 25-year-old right-hander went the distance in a 10-1 win against the Seattle Mariners, which marked his first career complete game at the major-league level.

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    Cole needed just 93 pitches to record his 27 outs. He allowed one earned run on three hits while walking none and striking out six. Needless to say, it was a true gem. However, he did require some assistance from his defense, which stepped up all night and provided some fancy outs at key times.

    Easy stuff.

    It’s impossible.

    Fans too…

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  • Padres tie a very surprising National League record

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    In April, the San Diego Padres set a record in offensive futility, becoming the first National League team to be shut out in the first three games of a season.

    That was then, this is now.

    As the month of July draws to a close, the Padres offense is now in the midst of one of the most impressive power surges ever seen in MLB.

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    The @Padres have now homered in 25 consecutive games, tied for the 2nd-longest streak in MLB history (2002 Rangers – 27 games)

    — ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 27, 2016

    As you can see, the Padres will have an opportunity to tie and then break the MLB record this weekend when they host the Cincinnati Reds.

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  • Logan Morrison tears apart Dodger Stadium to make crazy catch

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Over the years we’ve seen numerous circus catches from players as they tumble into the stands. Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Logan Morrison took things to a new level though on Wednesday afternoon after crashing over the wall and almost bringing the wall down with him to make a catch in foul territory at Dodger Stadium.

    Morrison had a lot working against him. In addition to the fast approaching wall, Morrison was also fighting an unforgiving sun that would later cause Tampa Bay to botch a popup. Aside from that, Morrison was making his first start in nine days after dealing with a wrist injury that could have been easily aggravated.

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    Nonetheless, Morrison would not be denied of making the catch. The end result of which showed off incredible toughness and even more remarkable focus as he hit the wall, lost his balance and still caught and then held the ball while seemingly landing on his head or shoulder.

    Check it out from a couple other angles.

  • Ken Griffey Jr. puts cap on backward to close Hall of Fame speech

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    If we could only hold on to one image from Ken Griffey Jr.’s emotional Hall of Fame speech on Sunday, it would definitely be the final one.

    “The Kid” was back, if only for a brief moment, as Griffey turned back the clock to relive his greatest fashion statement: the backward cap.

    For those who hoped Griffey’s likeness would be sporting a backwards cap on his Hall of Fame plaque, this is a pretty strong consolation. It’s the Hall of Fame equivalent of a mic drop, of which Griffey’s impact on baseball and pop culture is most certainly worthy.

    The backward cap — the origin of which might surprise you — was Griffey’s signature look. It defined his persona and the spirit he brought to the ballpark every day. Now, it serves as the exclamation point on a career that was second to none.

    Job well done, Kid.  And thank you.

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  • Johnny Cueto annoyed with Royals after White House snub

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    Jonny Gomes wasn’t the only notable snub from the Kansas City Royals visit to the White House on Thursday.

    According to the San Jose Mercury News, Johnny Cueto, who pitched a shutout for Kansas City in Game 2 of the World Series before joining the San Francisco Giants in the offseason, was also not extended an invitation to the event. And, like Gomes, he’s not happy about it.

    Cueto on the KC White House snub: "I feel they should have had the courtesy to invite me."

    — Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) July 24, 2016

    More Cueto: "I did something for the team to win the World Series, so yes, I was expecting it. Nobody has called me or anything."

    — Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) July 24, 2016

    Regarding Johnny Cueto not getting a White House invite, a Royals official says club didn't invite any players now with other clubs.

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  • Chris Sale suspended five days after bizarre clubhouse incident

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    The other shoe has dropped on the bizarre clubhouse incident involving Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale.

    General manager Rick Hahn announced Sunday that Sale has been suspended five days for “violating team rules, insubordination and destroying team equipment.” He’s also been fined an undisclosed amount.

    Here’s the White Sox statement in full:

    The #WhiteSox have suspended pitcher Chris Sale for five days after yesterday's clubhouse incident:

    — Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) July 24, 2016

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  • Watch Live: Ichiro's quest for 3,000 hits continues in Free Game of the Day

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    It’s only a matter of time now before Ichiro Suzuki becomes the 30th player to notch 3,000 hits in Major League Baseball. The 42-year-old outfielder will enter Sunday’s game against the New York Mets with 2,996 hits, meaning Ichiro could easily reach the milestone this week.

    Unfortunately, Ichiro is not in the Marlins lineup on Sunday, but his pursuit of 3,000 still adds a whole new level of intrigue to an already important game, which we’re happy to say will be featured as the Free Game of the Day on Yahoo Sports. You can stream the game at Yahoo’s Sports Home, MLB index and video home beginning at 1:10 p.m. ET.

    That Ichiro is now on the doorstep of 3,000 hits in MLB only further cements what a remarkable career he’s enjoyed. Ichiro also accrued 1,278 across nine seasons in Japan’s Central League, which in the opinion of some already makes him baseball’s true hit king. His career total surpassed Pete Rose’s 4,256 MLB hits over 24 seasons.

    Simply put, Ichiro is amazing.

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  • Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza's Hall of Fame stage is set

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 4 days ago

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    On Sunday, two remarkable legacies forged on different paths will converge in Cooperstown, New York when Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza are officially inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

    The long-anticipated induction ceremony will air exclusively on MLB Network, with coverage beginning at 12:00 p.m. ET and the ceremony itself starting at 1:30 p.m. ET. If for some reason you’re not excited to watch the ceremony, check out the video which was produced by MLB Network and narrated by actor J.K. Simmons. It might just give you chills.

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    Not that there’s any pressure or anything.

    The day isn’t exclusively about speeches, smiles and handshakes though. It’s about truly taking their place among baseball’s immortal legends. It’s about the moment when their legacies are truly cemented: when their Hall of Fame plaque becomes an official part of the Hall of Fame museum.

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