Mark Townsend

  • Ichiro joins elite company with 500th career stolen base

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 hr ago

    In the first inning, Ichiro reached base with career hit No. 2,944, which moved him into 33rd place on MLB's all-time list ahead of Frank Robinson. What happened immediately after was an even bigger deal, as Ichiro became just the 38th player in MLB history to reach 500 stolen bases. 

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    Ichiro was off to the races against Milwaukee starter Zach Davies, stealing second base with relative ease. It was his second stolen base of the 2015 season, and his 699th overall when you factor in his nine seasons playing in Japan. 

    Those are impressive numbers to be sure, but Friday's milestone steal had even greater meaning when coupled with his career hit total. Together, they put him in a category that is exclusive to baseball Hall of Famers. 

    Ichiro is 8th player in ML history to reach 500 career SBs and 2,900+ hits, joining Cobb, Wagner, Molitor, Collins, Henderson, Brock & Bonds

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  • David Ortiz delivers on promise to sick child with home run

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 hrs ago

    According to current MLB Network analyst Kevin Millar, his former Red Sox teammate, David Ortiz, promised a sick child named Maverick that he would hit a home run during that game. Ortiz then proceeded to deliver in the eighth inning, smashing a two-run opposite-field home run against Dellin Betances that proved to be the game-winner in Boston's 4-2 victory.

    [Related: A-Rod gives home run bat to young Red Sox fan who lost his father]

    The story is pretty amazing, and it was chronicled in full on Millar's Twitter account. 

    First, we meet young Maverick and learn a little of his story. 

    This is me and @davidortiz little buddy Maverick who battles for his life daily and is a big Red Sox fan! pic.twitter.com/0BplwaDF3f

    Then Millar posts video of Ortiz sending a message and making his promise to hit one out of Fenway Park in Maverick's honor.

  • A-Rod gives home run bat to young Red Sox fan who lost his father

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 5 hrs ago

    As Chris Landers from MLB's Cut 4 tells us, the story actually goes back to last season, when David's father, Andy Moss, was diagnosed with cancer. Andy had hoped to bring his family to Fenway Park just one time so his young son could meet his hero, David Ortiz. Unfortunately, he didn't live long enough to see that dream come true, as he succumbed to his disease last September. 

    [Elsewhere: Would Dee Gordon have caught Jonathan Lucroy's no-hitter spoiler?]

    Knowing what it meant to his family, young David fought to keep the dream in honor of his father. That led to Friday night in Boston, where Moss, his mother and sister traveled all the way from Mesa, Ariz. to Fenway Park to celebrate his eighth birthday.  

    Life. Made. https://t.co/fWYmfo7A6p pic.twitter.com/aeCKZSPosP

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  • The Walk Off: Mets ride historic 12-run inning to victory

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 14 hrs ago

    The New York Mets offense remained red hot on Friday, scoring a team-record 12 runs in the third inning to help them securea 13-1 blowout victory against the San Francisco Giants.

    Not surprisingly, it was Yoenis Cespedes who led the historic charge. In the third inning alone, he collected six RBIs. That included a two-run single early in the frame, and it concluded with a 355-foot grand slam that may go down as his shortest home run of the season.  

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    When things are going well, those extra feet seem to go your way.  That would sum up how things are going for both Cespedes and the Mets right now.

    Check out some of these facts that come from Friday's win. 

    Yoenis Cespedes' 6 RBIs is franchise record for an ininng. Previously Butch Huskey with 5 RBIs in 6th inning on 5/26/98 at Florida.

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  • Would Dee Gordon have caught Jonathan Lucroy's no-hitter spoiler?

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 16 hrs ago

    Enter 26-year-old left-hander Adam Conley, who answered the call by nearly making history. 

    [Related: Bryce Harper doesn't want Dee Gordon's 2015 batting championship]

    Making only his 16th career start, Conley fired 7 2/3 innings of no-hit baseball in Miami's 6-3 win against the Milwaukee Brewers. The only thing that stood between him and a chance at history was his high pitch count. Manager Don Mattingly elected to pull Conley with 116 pitches, leaving it up to reliever Jose Urena to record the final four outs. 

    Ironically, it turns out the only thing that may have kept Urena from completing history was Dee Gordon's absence. With one out in the ninth inning, Jonathan Lucroy broke up the no-no with a soft pop up to short right field that just barely eluded the reach of new second baseman Derek Dietrich.

    Marlins manager Don Mattingly said Dee Gordon “probably” would have caught looping single by Jonathan Lucroy that ended no-hit bid in 9th.

  • Bryce Harper doesn't want Dee Gordon's 2015 batting championship

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 19 hrs ago

    Speaking to the media before Friday's game in St. Louis, Harper expressed surprise and disappointment in Gordon, whom he also cited as one of the most exciting players to watch and play against.  

    [Passan: The sad case of Dee Gordon, another unlikely PED user for MLB

    Nothing out of the ordinary or too controversial there. The general consensus has been along those very same lines, so Harper just followed suit.   

    The media had another question on its mind though. They were curious whether Harper feels slighted now after losing last season's NL batting championship to Gordon by a mere three points. The obvious inclination being that the outcome may have been manipulated if Gordon had one or both banned drugs in his system at any point last season. 

    To that question, Harper responded by placing more blame on himself, essentially saying he did more to lose the batting crown than anyone else did to win it.   

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  • Diamondbacks offer entertaining response to uniform criticism

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 21 hrs ago

    When the Arizona Diamondbacks unveiled new uniforms back in December, they did so acknowledging that they were being aggressive. According to team president and CEO Derrick Hall, they were aiming to create a style that had never been seen before, while finding a way to appeal to all segments of the fan base.

    “We always challenge ourselves to make sure that we are as pioneering and as innovating as any team in sports — we try to be,” Hall said at the time. “We looked at an opportunity when it comes to baseball to really advance the look of uniforms.

    [Elsewhere: Rapper Warren G totally butchered 'Take Me Out to the Ballgame']

    The effort was appreciated, but the response has been far less positive. In fact, in the opinion of many, the designs have been a big swing-and-miss. In particular, fans do not like the odd color combinations associated with their newest alternate road uniform. 

  • Dustin Pedroia makes Braves pay for embarrassing defensive blunder

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    On a night where they had two legitimate reasons to celebrate — Freddie Freeman's drought-ending home run and A.J. Pierzynski's 2,000th career hit — they still managed to lose in convincing fashion. In fact, they weren't even competitive, dropping Wednesday's game 9-4 to the Boston Red Sox to fall to a league-worst 4-17 on the season. 

    [Related: Chip Caray channels Harry Caray as Braves home run drought ends]

    As always, the numbers help tell story. The Braves four wins are the lowest in baseball. Their four team home runs are the lowest in baseball. Their 18 errors are the second most in baseball. However, the numbers don't always tell the whole story either. Sometimes you have to watch the games to get a full understanding of what's going on, and one play during Wednesday's game really captured what the Braves are going through. 

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  • The Walk Off: White Sox complete impressive sweep of Blue Jays

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    Some people thought the Chicago White Sox would meet their match this week against the Toronto Blue Jays. Instead, they remained the American League's hottest team and perhaps proved they're here to stay.

    With Wednesday's 4-0 win at Rogers Centre, the White Sox extended their winning streak to six games overall and completed a three-game sweep that showed impressive resilience and versatility.

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    Coming into the season it was difficult to identify what exactly this White Sox team would be. So far anyway, they've looked like one of the more well-rounded teams in either league, which is further evidenced by their AL-best 16-6 record. They're doing a lot of the little things well, like identifying where their openings are, and then they're executing.

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  • Chip Caray channels Harry Caray as Braves home run drought ends

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    In the eighth inning of Wednesday's 9-4 loss against the Boston Red Sox, first baseman Freddie Freeman hit a home run off left-hander Tommy Layne to end their  15-game homerless streak. 

    [Elsewhere: Adam LaRoche wants you to celebrate take your child to work day]

    As you can tell from the call of Braves broadcaster Chip Caray, he was pretty excited. Excited enough that he broke out his grandpa Harry Caray's famous "It might be, It could be, it is" home run call, even adding a "Holy Cow" for added emphasis and perhaps meaning. 

    Caray had reason to be excited too. The home run was the first hit by a Brave since April 10 at Turner Field, which was Atlanta's fifth game of the season. On that afternoon, Drew Stubbs delivered a three-run homer against St. Louis ace Adam Wainwright. The Braves only hit two home runs prior to that, when Freeman and Adonis Garcia each homered against Washington's Max Scherzer.

    So yes, the drought was somehow worse than you imagined.