Mark Townsend

  • Do the Mets have another surge in them?

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 4 hrs ago

    As of Sunday morning, the New York Mets are facing a cold reality that even the most pessimistic fan could have not seen coming six months ago. At 66-63, they are closer to the rebuilding Philadelphia Phillies in the NL East standings than they are the first-place Washington Nationals.

    To be exact, New York is currently seven games ahead of Philadelphia, while trailing Washington by nine games. As always though, the silver lining is the wild card picture. There, the Mets still have a better than fighting chance at 2 1/2 games back, but it’s going to require a strong finish.

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    Looking big picture though, it’s all about the Mets finding themselves and mustering enough resilience to go on a September run.

    If that happens, all bets are off.

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  • Dustin Pedroia falls one hit short of rarely challenged record

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 6 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.

    Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia got hot in a hurry this weekend and nearly tied a major-league record that hasn’t been equaled in 64 years.

    Beginning with his 3-for-4 game on Thursday night, Pedroia started a run of 11 straight hits in 11 straight at-bats. That’s one hit short of the MLB record held by Johnny Kling (1902), Pinky Higgins (1938) and Walt Dropo (1952). There was also a walk in there in Friday’s game, but that didn’t impact the streak because a walk is not an official at-bat.

    It started with hits in each of his final three at-bats on Thursday. It continued with a 4-for-4 performance on Friday. And it neared history after Pedroia started 4-for-4 again on Saturday. All he needed was one more hit to join very exclusive company, but he grounded into a 4-6-3 double play in his final at-bat.

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    MUST-SEE HIGHLIGHT

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  • Blue Jays use Little League home run to steal game from Twins

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 8 hrs ago

    With all due respect to the U.S. champions from Maine-Endwell Little League and international champions from Seoul, South Korea, there’s only one baseball term that describes the decisive play in Saturday’s Blue Jays-Twins game: Little League home run.

    That means the batter raced all the way around the bases with some major assistance from the defense. In this instance, Twins outfielders Max Kepler and Eddie Rosario literally stumbled and fumbled the game away.

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    Sadly, despite the disastrous start to the play, it would only go downhill from there.

    How you ask?

    Please observe.

    I'm not heartless enough to set Rosario & Kepler to yakety sax…maybe (h/t @BryzTwinkieTown) pic.twitter.com/7yEN1miOCF

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  • Bryce Harper's helmet slam leads to latest ill-timed ejection

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 11 hrs ago

    If there’s one thing Bryce Harper still needs to work on, it’s definitely his temper. The Washington Nationals superstar has let his anger and emotions get to him many times before, and it happened again on Saturday, leading to his eighth ejection in five big league seasons.

    It’s not just the actions that are problematic either. Many times it’s been the timing. On Saturday, Harper was tossed in the 10th inning of Washington’s 9-4, 11-inning loss to the Colorado Rockies.

    Thanks to Colorado’s big inning, it’s didn’t matter a whole lot in this particular game, but Harper’s ejection did leave the team without any extra position players. Had the game gone an additional two or three innings, not only would his bat have been lost, the Nationals would have been stuck hitting a pitcher in a potentially key situation.

    That’s a problem, though in this instance manager Dusty Baker did have his player’s back.

    Dusty on Harper: "These things happen…especially this time of year, tempers are short."

    One look at the pitch in question though doesn’t necessarily justify that level of anger.

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  • Watch Live: Pirates and Brewers battle in Free Game of the Day

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 11 hrs ago

    In baseball, there are very few certainties from season to season. One thing that’s held strong though regardless of the standing of the two franchises involved is the Milwaukee Brewers dominance against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Miller Park.

    The numbers are stunning. Since 2007, the Pirates have gone 19-64 in Milwaukee, and that’s counting their wins there on Thursday and Friday. That’s a .228 winning percentage, which quite honestly doesn’t even make sense.

    Perhaps the Pirates struggles have gone beyond baseball into the paranormal. It’s long been said that the Pfister Hotel, where opposing teams stay in Milwaukee, is haunted. It’s possible those spirits have it out for the Pirates more so than any other team and have rented space in their heads.

    After all, manager Clint Hurdle revealed this week that he once had a player summon him to his room because his television mysteriously switched on twice.

    It’s also possible the Pirates have done a little too much thinking while in Milwaukee.

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  • Drake sends shoutout to U.S. champion Little League team

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 12 hrs ago

    Hours before Maine-Endwell Little League took the field for the United States championship game against Goodlettsville, Tenn., the kids from New York were greeted with an unexpected message from an unknown fan with a worldwide fanbase.

    "I hope it ENDS WELL" #drakepuns ???? pic.twitter.com/IQIt3eINyF

    — Little League (@LittleLeague) August 27, 2016

    It’s not clear if there’s a connection here or if Drake was just looking for a new team to support since Canada was eliminated from the tournament earlier this week. Whatever the case, it appears, once again, he knows how to identify a winner.

    The New York club entered Saturday’s final with a 3-0 record, which included a win against Tennessee in the tournament’s second round. Tennessee recovered to win three straight games, meaning both entered Saturday’s final with confidence. In the end though, Maine-Endwell proved too much, winning 4-2 behind 11 strikeouts from pitcher Michael Mancini.

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  • Gary Sanchez's home run barrage leads to impressive record

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 12 hrs ago

    It’s almost like clockwork now. When another New York Yankees game begins, another Gary Sanchez home run is likely right around the corner.

    The sensational rookie slugger continued his barrage on Saturday afternoon, connecting for his 11th home run in the Yankees 13-5 win against the Orioles. That makes 11 home runs for Sanchez now in 23 major-league games, which is a feat no other player has accomplished in the game’s illustrious history.

    Gary Sanchez is the fastest player in @MLB history to 11 home runs (23 games).

    — Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) August 27, 2016

    We should also note the Sanchez has excelled defensively as well. That includes a circus catch on a tough pop foul Friday night, and another baserunner caught stealing on Saturday. Based on the early returns, teams might want to think twice before challenging him at the plate or behind it.

  • Dodgers break out Vin Scully masks for photo day tribute

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 15 hrs ago

    If it were anyone other than Vin Scully being honored, this unique tribute by the Los Angeles Dodgers might give us nightmares.

    As it is, we’re still a little weirded out. But it’s the thought that counts and the sentiment clearly is “Vin Scully is the best. We can’t get enough.”

    Vins. ???? pic.twitter.com/wzCs7gitGD

    — Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 27, 2016

    And yes, the only Vin not holding up a Vin-head is the real Vin Scully himself. He’s proudly sitting front and center, which is exactly where he belongs.

    Every member of the Dodgers current roster, coaching staff and front office appears to be included in the photos. By our count, which admittedly could be off a Vin or two, there are 105 extra Vins and one real Vin.

    Man, if only we could somehow reverse that.

    Of course, this is all a part of a greater cause to honor and celebrate Vin Scully’s legacy before he walks away from the booth at season’s end. This is Scully’s 67th season in the Dodgers booth, meaning he’s earned every ounce of every accolade he has received or will receive moving forward.

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  • Chase Utley receives standing ovation for making play on his back

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 18 hrs ago

    Under no circumstances do we endorse a baseball player laying down on the job.

    Well, unless that player is Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley. He’s the exception, because apparently laying flat on his back in no way hinders his ability to play defense.

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    If you don’t believe us, then you must watch this play from Friday night.

    Utley brought Dodger Stadium to its feet when he sprawled out to glove a Ben Zobrist ground ball in the hole between first and second base. From there, Utley rolled over on his back and from a flat position made a strong enough throw to first base to get Zobrist by a step. Let us also note that Utley was at least eight feet into the outfield grass and he saved a run because Chicago had Kris Bryant on third base with two outs.

    It was a disappointing ending, but we won’t soon forget Chase Utley doing this.

    ???? ???? ???? ????

    Filing this under Chase Utley great play #⃣ …

    Wait, what number are we on?

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  • Gary Sanchez leading Yankees resurgence with historic start

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day 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.

    It’s not just a hot streak anymore. New York Yankees rookie Gary Sanchez is officially making history while helping lead a team resurgence that few outside the Yankees organization saw coming.

    In Friday’s 14-4 win against the Orioles, Sanchez went 3-for-5 with four RBIs and three runs scored. His big game included his 10th home run in 19 games since being called up on Aug. 10. Overall, Sanchez now has 10 homers in 22 games, which is a power feat only accomplished by two other players. One of them is Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story, who did so earlier this season. The other was George Scott of the Red Sox back in 1966.

    Beyond that, Sanchez became the first Yankees rookie to hit 10 home runs in a single month, which is almost mind-boggling considering the team’s history.

    TOP PERFORMERS