Mark Townsend

  • Matt Harvey pitches through another bloody nose

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 hrs ago

    Anybody who has played sports knows they're at risk of catching one on the nose. We've all been there. Whether it's a ball, an elbow, a hockey stick, another elbow, a forehead or another person's fist, all it takes is that one direct shot to ruin your day.

    With that in mind, it's not unusual to see an athlete sporting a bloody nose. However, in the instance of New York Mets ace Matt Harvey, who was spotted bleeding from the nose during his start against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday, it was unusual because he wasn't on the receiving end of any intended or unintended physical violence.

    Bloody nose Harvey again #mets

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    On Saturday, Harvey was able to complete the inning without a delay, but the reoccurring issue had people talking and wondering what the issue might be. Harvey attempted to explain that following the game.

    It's not a major issue, but it's probably a major annoyance.

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  • Stephen Strasburg headed back to DL with left oblique strain

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 4 hrs ago

    After leaving his start early on Saturday afternoon with tightness in his left side, Washington Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg was officially placed on the disabled list Sunday with a strained left oblique.

    It's already the second DL stint for the 26-year-old Strasburg. He was making his third start off the disabled list on Saturday after missing three weeks with neck and back tightness. He'd looked healthy and effective since his return, allowing just two earned runs in 15 2/3 innings. However, one wrong move seems to have created an entirely new issue. 

    Strasburg suffered the strain while making a move to field Buster Posey's ground ball in the fourth inning. He came up holding his left side and wincing, but remained in the game to throw three additional pitches. Nationals manager Matt Williams and the team's athletic trainer eventually came out to talk to Strasburg and ultimately removed him from the game. 

    In the mean time, they've recalled Taylor Jordan to fill his roster spot. 

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  • Altoona Curve to wear Mr. Rogers-inspired sweater uniforms

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 5 hrs ago

    The Altoona Curve — Double-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates — are hoping Sunday will be a beautiful day in their neighborhood.

    For this evening's game against the Harrisburg Senators, Altoona will join WPSU Penn State and The Fred Rogers Company in presenting "A Night in the Neighborhood," a celebration of the classic children's series Mister Rogers' Neighborhood and current PBS KIDS television show Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.

    Of course, the highlight of almost any minor league promotion is the uniforms. This will be no different, especially for those who grew up watching the original program or have become familiar with Mister Rogers' collection of cardigan sweaters that he'd pluck from the closet to begin every show.

    July 5th is A Night in the Neighborhood w/Daniel Tiger + Mister Rogers' Sweater Jerseys. Be ours? #NeighborhoodNight

    There was no greater symbol of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, so we applaud the choice.

    Now, if they only came in several different colors, that would be perfect.

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  • David Ortiz makes first home start at first base since 2005

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 6 hrs ago

    Looking to shake up his lineup a bit and buy some rest for veterans Mike Napoli and Hanley Ramirez, Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell wrote David Ortiz's name into the lineup at first base on Sunday.

    That may not seem like a big deal on the surface, but it kind of is when you consider Ortiz has not started a home game at first base since July 16, 2005. That's a nearly 10-year stretch between home starts at first base. In fact, we're just 11 days short of celebrating the 10-year anniversary.

    That's a long, long time, even in baseball years.

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    Ortiz's first base appearances are typically reserved for Boston's interleague games in National League parks, when the designated hitter rule disappears. In fact, Ortiz hasn't even started a non-interleague game in the field since Aug. 5, 2006, when he also started at first against the Tampa Bay Rays. And even on those occasions it's a decision the Red Sox have to wrestle with. 

    It's something worth watching at least, and we definitely will be watching on Sunday. 

  • Alex Avila makes outstanding catch diving into stands

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 7 hrs ago

    With Miguel Cabrera expected to miss six weeks with a Grade 3 strain of his left calf, the Detroit Tigers are losing an irreplaceable piece of their offense.

    With that in mind, we're certain the veteran first baseman would have never even attempted making the catch his replacement Alex Avila pulled off on Saturday afternoon.

    Typically the Tigers' starting catcher, Avila was making his first career start at first base in Cabrera's absence. It's a role he's expected to fill at least semi-regularly while Cabrera heals, and he made a great first impression with an outstanding catch while tumbling into the first row of seats down the right-field line at Comerica Field.

    It wasn't the most convenient place in the ballpark to made such an attempt, either. Though the ball sailed beyond the Tigers first base dugout and beyond the tarp, Avila had to deal with some signage. Avila actually appeared to clip his right knee on the sign, which made his concentration and ability to hold on even more impressive.

    Avila has also dealt with concussion issues, making the fall into the stands a bit scarier. 

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  • Kris Bryant homers twice, drives in six in big Cubs win

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 18 hrs ago

    Take a look around the league with Big League Stew's daily wrap up. We'll hit on all of the biggest moments from the day that you may have missed, while providing highlights, photos and interesting stats.

    After a quiet June, it seems Kris Bryant may be getting ready to get hot again in July.

    In the Cubs 7-2 victory against the Miami Marlins on Saturday, Bryant launched his first two home runs since June 22 — when he homered twice off Clayton Kershaw — and did so in each of the first two innings.

    In the first inning, Bryant connected for a two-run homer off Miami starter Jarred Cosart that may have clipped the new left field videoboard. One inning later, Bryant unloaded against Cosart for a grand slam, which broke the game wide open and gave him a career-high six RBIs.

    The Cubs wouldn't need any more offense the rest of the game, and wouldn't get any either. After Bryant's slam, they couldn't muster another hit against Miami's bullpen.

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  • Avisail Garcia robs Chris Davis of game-tying HR with incredible catch

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Holy cow! Chicago White Sox right fielder Avisail Garcia made perhaps the defensive play of the year on Saturday, robbing Baltimore's Chris Davis of a game-tying home run with a sensational leaping catch in the ninth inning.

    After blowing a two-run lead and Jeff Samardzija's chance at a victory in the top of the eighth inning, the White Sox had regained the lead in the bottom half on pinch-hitter J.B. Shuck's RBI double. That set the stage for what momentarily felt like heartbreak again for White Sox fans, as Davis teed off against closer David Robertson.

    As the baseball soared off the bat, everybody in the ballpark and watching at home anticipated the baseball landing in or perhaps clearing the Orioles bullpen in right field. Even those not watching would have anticipated the same thing based on the sound of the bat, the initial silence of Hawk Harrelson, and then his disgruntled tone as he finally described the action. 

    [David Price joins The StewPod to talk social media, baseball brotherhood and more.]

  • Trevor Bauer mimics teammates batting stances during rare plate appearance

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

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    We're not going out on a limb when we say Cleveland Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer seems like a fun guy to have in the clubhouse.

    Between his unique warm up routine, his desire to fly drones around spring training and his antics wearing boxing gloves during a game against the Kansas City Royals — who were recently in multiple altercations — he at least knows how to keep things interesting.

    Such was the case again on Friday night, when Bauer used a rare plate appearance in a National League park to mimic some of his teammates batting stances.

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    Let us repeat that again so it sinks in. Bauer used a plate appearance during a regular season game to mimic, and therefore amuse his teammates by copying their batting stances.

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  • Woman suing Marlins after mascot 'shark attack'

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    In a world where 'Shark Week' is the most anticipated week of television every year, the 'Sharknado' franchise is now on its third television movie, and a shark is throwing out the ceremonial first pitch to Jeff "Shark" Samardzija, the following lawsuit only makes sense.

    According to the Miami Herald, a fan who visited Marlins Park two years ago is now suing the Miami Marlins after alledgedly suffering neck and back injuries as a result of a “bite” from the team's shark mascot.

    The fan, Beth Fedornak, was sitting three rows up from the field and watching the Marlins take on the San Diego Padres on June 29, 2013, when Bob the Shark approached her and pretended to bite her head. 

    [David Price joins The StewPod to talk social media, baseball brotherhood and more.]

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  • Angry pigeon gives Rays' Kevin Kiermaier a scare at Yankee Stadium

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    If you like your baseball a little weird, then Friday night was an especially good night for you.

    Between Trevor Bauer's changing batting stances, the St. Louis Cardinals losing their fourth straight home game, and Tampa Bay's Kevin Kiermaier dodging a dive-bombing pigeon, there was plenty to make you scratch your head and/or laugh out loud.

    Wait, did we actually just say Kevin Kiermaier dodged a dive-bombing pigeon?

    Holy smokes, what in the world is going on out there?

    There's Kiermaier, enjoying the fact his 12th inning single just gave Tampa Bay the lead. Then his joy turns to temporary panic as the angry New York pigeon responds with his own version of chin music.

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    It appears the pigeon is donning Yankees' colors. He's obviously a fan, and very possibly a regular listener to the postgame show. Since he can't dial a phone, this is just one of the ways he vents his frustration. One of the cleaner ways we should add, because there are obviously much worse things he could have done to Kiermaier.

    What a life. 

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