Mark Townsend

  • Jose Fernandez produces in unfamiliar role to secure Marlins victory

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 hr 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.

    We know Miami Marlins right-hander Jose Fernandez is a weapon on the hill. He’s recognized as one of baseball’s elite pitchers. He’s also pretty valuable with the bat, which he showed in Friday’s 7-5, 12-inning win against the Braves.

    With manager Don Mattingly fresh out of position players, he called on Fernandez to bat with two men on base. His ace came through, ripping his fourth career double to score both runs and provide the difference in the outcome.

    You go, Jose.

    Fernandez will still make his start and will also look to continue raking. The Braves will now go with right-hander Lucas Harrell.

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  • Blue Jays emotions cost them in 19-inning loss to Indians

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 4 hrs ago

    Lost in Friday’s wild 19-inning game at Rogers Centre, which the Cleveland Indians eventually won 2-1, were three big ejections that likely aided their cause.

    Throughout the course of the game, the Toronto Blue Jays lost first baseman Edwin Encarnacion, manager John Gibbons and catcher Russell Martin, all of whom were dismissed by home-plate umpire Vic Carapazza for arguing balls and strikes.

    Encarnacion was the first to go after striking out looking in his first at-bat of the game.  He felt the pitch from Cleveland’s Josh Tomlin was off the plate, and then lost it when Carapazza rang him up. Encarnacion dropped his bat and threw his hands into the air before getting right in the umpire’s face.

    During the argument, Encarnacion appeared to nudge Carapazza with his chest, which is something Major League Baseball will certainly review for potential disciplinary action.

    Encarnación and Gibbons get tossed in the 1st.

    [MLB Network] pic.twitter.com/69wr2DHD9X

    We can’t say Gibbons’ doesn’t have his player’s backs.

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  • Indians make franchise history in craziest game of MLB season

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 6 hrs ago

    When you’re rolling like Cleveland sports teams are right now, nothing can stop you. Not even being involved in the craziest baseball game of the 2016 season in front of a raucous crowd at Rogers Centre on Canada Day.

    That’s the challenge the Cleveland Indians faced on Friday afternoon. It’s also the challenge they overcame, as they emerged with a franchise-record 14th consecutive victory by topping the Toronto Blue Jays 2-1 in 19 innings.

    Where do we even begin with a game like this? Perhaps the ending? Cleveland scored its winning run in the 19th inning on a Carlos Santana home run.

    But it wasn’t just any game-winning home run. It was a game-winning home run against Toronto infielder Darwin Barney, who was called in for emergency pitching duty. Barney ended up taking the loss, but he did have one big highlight, striking out veteran Mike Napoli.

    — Spence (@smarcus28) July 1, 2016

    Obviously, the Blue Jays didn’t, so the longest game in MLB this season continued into the decisive 19th frame.

  • Slap-happy Nationals have interesting new celebration

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 8 hrs ago

    After a rough road trip that included seven straight losses, the Washington Nationals are back on track with five straight wins, which included a three-game sweep of the New York Mets earlier this week. That put the Nationals in a dominant position atop the National League East. They’ll enter play on Friday night with a 48-32 record and a six-game lead over those same Mets.

    Needless to say, they have more than enough good reason to be feeling happy. But it seems the Nationals are feeling a little more than just happy. They’re slap-happy, which was evidenced by this unique celebration during Thursday’s 13-4 drubbing of the Reds.

    Every day is #Slapsgiving in D.C. pic.twitter.com/kgsZcX3kG7

    — MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) July 1, 2016

    Jayson started the face-slap thing with Espinosa after a big hit a few wks ago. It's been used a lot lately w/ how those two have been going

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  • Indians near franchise history after extending winning streak to 12

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days 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 Cleveland Indians have been baseball’s hottest team throughout June. That continued on Wednesday, as theytopped the Braves 3-0 in Atlanta to extend their winning streak to an MLB best 12 games. The Indians are now one win shy of matching the franchise-best 13-game win streak recorded in both 1942 and 1951.

    The Indians were led by potential All-Star Danny Salazar. The 26-year-old right-hander fired seven scoreless innings. allowing just five hits while walking none and striking out eight. Salazar has now won six straight starts and has lowered his ERA to 2.22.

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    Jose Altuve is hitting .420 this month. How's yours going? @astros

    — Richard Justice (@richardjustice) June 30, 2016

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  • Yankees complete wild comeback with trio of late-inning homers

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    The Texas Rangers and New York Yankees have been two teams headed in opposite directions this month. One wild and crazy game probably won’t change that, but three swings during the Yankees dramatic 9-7 victory on Wednesday reminded us that no lead is safe and no outcome should ever be assumed, especially when the right-field fence is a leisurely fly ball away.

    Trailing by five runs in the eighth inning, New York rallied for its most unlikely and exhilarating win of the season by scoring seven unanswered runs. That comeback was fueled by a trio of home runs, beginning with Brian McCann’s solo shot in the eighth inning. That trimmed the margin to four, and set the stage for an epic ninth inning filled with even more fireworks.

    Seriously, it seems like forever since we’ve seen the Yankees celebrate like that, and it has to feel especially good given how the series and this game started.

    Then again, we have seen moments like these plant seeds for big turnaround. Maybe that’s what we’ll get here too. For now, let’s just let the Yankees enjoy a moment they desperately needed.

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  • Miguel Cabrera has joined a small, but growing group of home run hitters

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    There’s not a lot missing from Miguel Cabrera’s sure-to-be Hall of Fame résumé.

    A home run against his former franchise, the Miami Marlins, was one of the rare milestones he’d yet to cross off the list. But that changed during Detroit’s 7-5 win against Miami on Tuesday, when Cabrera smacked a three-run shot. In doing so, Cabrera actually joined an elite group of home run hitters, becoming just the ninth active player to homer against all 30 active MLB teams.

    Of course, Cabrera’s opportunities against the Marlins have been very limited. He was signed by the then-Florida Marlins as an amateur free agent in 1999. He went on to spend his first five MLB seasons (2003-07) with the Marlins, before signing with Detroit prior to the 2008 season.

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  • Miguel Sano literally uses his head to help catch pop up

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    Minnesota Twins slugger Miguel Sano is currently on rehab assignment with their Triple-A affiliate, the Rochester Red Wings. The 23-year-old infielder/outfielder is expected to be back with the big league club by week’s end. However, after watching his effort on this pop up during Wednesday’s 3-2 lossto the Pawtucket Paw Sox, he may need a few extra days on the farm just to collect his thoughts.

    Sano, who was playing third base after struggling in his 37 starts in right field for Minnesota, showed why catching fly balls may not be his strong suit.

    On a high, routine pop up, Sano tracked the ball near the pitcher’s mound, but appeared to lose the ball in the sun. By the time he found it again, it was bouncing off the top of his head like the old Jose Canseco blooper from days gone by.

    — Rochester Red Wings (@RocRedWings) June 29, 2016

    It’s not how they drew it up, but they’ll definitely take the result.

  • Jake Arrieta loses embarrassing College World Series bet

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 5 days ago

    You can take the boys out of college, but you can't take college out of the boys. 

    That's probably not a real saying, but that seems to be the best way to describe Chicago Cubs teammates Jake Arrieta and Tommy La Stella.

    The former college baseball standouts still have a lot of school pride, and that led to a body-altering bet as their alma maters met at the College World Series on Saturday night with a spot in the championship series on the line.

    Arrieta, a TCU alum, and La Stella, a Coastal Carolina alum, agreed to a tattoo bet, which simply means the loser has to get the tattoo of the other school's logo. 

    Unfortunately for Arrieta, he'll be the one getting some new ink. His Horned Frogs fell to the surprising Chanticleers, 7-5, meaning Coastal Carolina will play for the National Championship in their first-ever appearance at the College World Series. 

    It also means this creature will be renting space somewhere on Arrieta's body in the not so distant future.

    That's a good attitude. Especially for someone who's not used to losing. 

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  • Minor-league team completes wild comeback with unique walkoff

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 5 days ago

    Truth be told, it may have been the craziest finish in the now 11-year history of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball.

    When you think of walkoffs, you think of dramatic home runs, bloop singles that split three defenders, walk-off walks even. Never though do you envision the winning run scoring on a strikeout.

    That's exactly what happened here. With the game tied and the winning run on third, Saints pinch-hitter Aaron Gretz swung and missed a 3-2 pitch in the dirt. The ball then went between the legs of catcher Carlton Tanabe, allowing the winning run to race home and Gretz to reach first base, where he was mobbed as if he'd gotten a hit.

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