Mark Townsend

  • Mets gain separation in wild-card race as Giants and Cardinals fall

    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.

    The circumstances the Mets walked into this week were not easy. As the city of Miami and the Marlins organization mourned the tragic death of Jose Fernandez, the Mets had to balance their own emotions with taking care of business.

    They managed to do so effectively. After losing the opener, New York bounced back to win the series, concluding with a 5-2 win on Wednesday night.

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    That breathing room would grow even more as the night wore on.

    The Mets are essentially 2 1/2 games up on the Giants, since they hold the tiebreaker (season series) for home-field advantage.

    The Giants remain in the second spot with a one-game lead over St. Louis.

  • John Jaso completes first-ever PNC Park cycle in dramatic fashion

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    With Jake Arrieta pitching for the Cubs on Wednesday night, many were probably anticipating a quiet night from the Pirates offense. Instead, Pittsburgh erupted for seven runs on 10 hits in five innings against the reigning National League Cy Young award winner, and the night culminated with John Jaso hitting for the first cycle in the history of PNC Park.

    Jaso did most of his damage against Arrieta. He singled in the second inning for his first hit. He connected for a three-run homer in the fourth inning, which broke a tie. In the fifth inning, Jaso added an RBI double. Then, with all eyes focusing on him in the seventh, he delivered an RBI triple against Cubs’ reliever Pedro Strop.

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    Talk about drama. The cycle-clinching triple was oozing with it.

    Ironically, the lone no-hitter belongs to Jake Arrieta, who pitched one in Cincinnati in April.

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  • David Ortiz fools fans as undercover Lyft driver in Boston

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Retiring Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz is not only among baseball’s most recognizable players, he’s one of the most recognizable superstar athletes in the world. Between his infectious personality, bright smile and remarkable talents, Ortiz has always been and will certainly remain a man who’s in demand, because he commands attention and earns respect everywhere he goes.

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    Despite that visibility though, Ortiz was able to fool some fellow Bostonians recently when he donned an afro wig and dubbed himself “Donny” while serving as undercover Lyft driver. An entertaining video featuring Ortiz interacting with and then stunning several casual and even diehard Red Sox fans was released on Wednesday, and it’s definitely a must-see.

    Here’s one particularly entertaining exchange that went right over the passenger’s head:

    Ortiz: You ever been to Fenway Park?

    Passenger: “Yeah, I’m going to the Red Sox game tonight.”

    Ortiz: “Me too.”

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  • Pitcher who allowed Tim Tebow's home run tweets funny response

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    St. Louis Cardinals prospect John Kilichowski will forever be the answer to a trivia question no one thought would exist even two months ago. During Wednesday’s instructional league game against the New York Mets, he was the pitcher who allowed a home run to Tim Tebow in Tebow’s first ever professional at-bat.

    . BOOM! @TimTebow hits a homer during instructional league game! pic.twitter.com/8h9JCzr7Br

    — Katie Johnson (@Katie_Johnson_) September 28, 2016

    On the first pitch he saw, Tebow took a high-and-outside fastball from Kilichowski and basically tomahawked it over the fence in left-center field. It was an impressive feat of strength that left Tebow undeniably giddy as he sprinted around the bases and talked to the media after the game.

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  • Dodgers overcome injuries to clinch fourth straight NL West title

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 4 days ago

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    Let there be no doubt about it, the Los Angeles Dodgers are the best in the National League West.

    Despite a historic series of injuries that would have demoralized and defeated most teams, the Dodgers survived and even persevered on their way to a fourth straight NL West crown. Now they’ll seek to be more than regular season wonders as they chase the franchise’s first World Series championship since 1988.

    The Dodgers fittingly clinched in Vin Scully’s final home broadcast, which is as good a tribute as any the legendary broadcaster has received. It was also the perfect game for Scully to call, as it featured a dramatic finish.

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    The Colorado Rockies got out to an early lead in the third, picking up two runs off Dodgers’ starter Brandon McCarthy. The Dodgers would answer back in the bottom of the frame, getting a run back on a Yasiel Puig sacrifice fly.

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  • Mets must take path of least resistance to postseason

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 5 days ago

    When it comes to playoff scenarios, fans love rooting for chaos. This season has already provided plenty of that, and there’s still time for a lot more over the final week. That’s especially true in the wild card. The AL and NL races could conceivably feature three and even four-way ties, which would be a chaos-loving fans’ dream come true.

    Well, unless you’re a fan of a team directly involved in those scenarios. In that instance you’re rooting for the clearest path possible to the wild-card game, because there’s only so much stress the heart can take. Just as there’s only so much energy the players can expend.

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    By the way, you can stream Sunday’s game at Yahoo’s Sports Home, MLB index and video home beginning at 1:10 p.m.

    What a world, right Mets fans?

    Oh, and then there’s the wild-card game itself on Oct. 4.

  • Dustin Pedroia's grand slam helps Red Sox clinch playoff berth

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 5 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.

    For most of the season it looked like the American League East would be the one division not decided until the season’s final weekend. The Boston Red Sox have all but eliminated that possibility thanks to a winning streak that was extended to 10 games in their come-from-behind 6-4 win against the Rays at Tropicana Field.

    With the win, Boston officially clinched a postseason berth. They also lowered their magic number to clinch the AL East to three.

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    The beneficiary was Rick Porcello, who notched his league-best 22nd win after pitching 6 1/3 innings of three-run ball. He also struck out nine.

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    MUST-SEE HIGHLIGHT

  • Nationals bounce back from disappointment to win NL East

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 5 days ago

    The Washington Nationals watched the playoffs from home last season after completely unraveling in the second half. They’re all the way back now after putting together a complete season under new manager Dusty Baker.

    On Saturday, Washington clinched its third NL East championship in five years by defeating the Pirates 6-1 at PNC Park. They also received help from the Phillies, who knocked off the Mets 10-8 in a wild game at Citi Field.

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    The Nationals join the Chicago Cubs as division champions in the NL. That leaves the NL West, which the Los Angeles Dodgers could clinch later on Saturday, and the two team wild card positions open. The Texas Rangers are the only AL team to punch their ticket after winning the West.

    Time will tell if Washington’s first World Series championship is in the cards, but there’s no doubt they have the talent to make it happen.

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  • Adrian Beltre tries out for new role on rare off day

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 5 days ago

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    On Friday night, the Texas Rangers clinched their second straight AL West title with a 3-0 win over the A’s. That meant it was celebration time in the visitor’s clubhouse at the Oakland Coliseum.

    It also meant Saturday would be a well deserved off day for the team’s veterans. In fact, every regular, save for shortstop Elvis Andrus, was on the bench. And that’s only because Andrus asked to play. Manager Jeff Banister is probably glad he did too, as he delivered a pair of two-run home runs in Texas’ 5-0 win.

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    Naturally, the Rangers were in good spirits on Saturday. That’s especially true of Adrian Beltre, who spent his rare off day engaging in his always playful antics on the Rangers bench.

    Well, that, or he’s considering making a run at one of the Rangers coaching positions.

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  • Watch live: Astros hosts Angels in Free Game of the Day

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 5 days ago

    The American League West championship is officially out of reach for the Houston Astros. Without a strong finish, a potential wild card spot will slip through their fingers too. Fortunately for them, they’re set up to gain ground against an opponent they’ve dominated this season, as five of their eight remaining games come against the Los Angeles Angels.

    Through 14 matchups this season, the Astors have posted an 11-3 record against the Angels. They’ll look to make it 12-3 on Saturday, when the teams meet again in the MLB Free Game of the Day at Yahoo Sports. You can stream the game at Yahoo’s Sports Home, MLB index and video home beginning at 8:10 p.m. ET.

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