Mark Townsend

  • Clayton Kershaw becomes first pitcher with 300 strikeouts since 2002

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 18 hrs ago

    At age 27, Clayton Kershaw has already accomplished just about everything imaginable as a major league pitcher.

    Now he can add one more impressive accolade to the list after notching his 300th strikeout of the season during Sunday's game against the San Diego Padres. 

    [Related: Four things to watch on the final day of the MLB regular season]

    In doing so, Kershaw became the 34th different pitcher in MLB history to reach 300 strikeouts in a single season. That's according to records dating back to 1901, when strikeouts were first recorded. Kershaw is the third pitcher to reach the mark since the year 2000. Randy Johnson (334) and Curt Schilling (316) got there in 2002 as Arizona Diamondbacks teammates.

    Congratulations, @ClaytonKersh22! #KERSHAW300

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  • Finally! Shelby Miller ends 24-start winless streak on season's final day

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 19 hrs ago

    Shelby Miller's long personal nightmare is over.

    On the final day of the regular season, the Atlanta Braves right-hander finally got back in the win column, snapping a personal 24-start winless streak that dates back to May 17.  Believe it or not, he's actually been a good pitcher this season, despite his bad luck in the win-loss column.

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    For those scoring at home, Miller's last win came three-quarters of the season ago. It's also more than one-third of the calendar year ago. To be exact, it was 140 days ago, which is a long time to go without a victory handshake from the pitching coach. It also goes down as the Braves longest single-season winless streak in franchise history. 

    Miller also owes a big thank you to Adonis Garcia. The Braves third baseman cracked two home runs in the win. Andrelton Simmons added a two-run shot. 

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  • Class act: Joey Votto tips his cap to retiring A.J. Burnett

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 21 hrs ago

    Joey Votto may have seen his franchise-record tying 48-game on-base streak come to an end on Saturday, but his classy gesture toward A.J. Burnett was a hit in our scorebook.

    Burnett, 38, has already announced that this will be his final season. That meant Saturday's start at PNC Park may very well be his last. That will all be determined by how the Pirates fare in Wednesday's wild-card game against the Cubs. Regardless, Saturday was the last time Votto will ever face Burnett, and he showed his appreciation for a fantastic career with a tip of the cap.

    Well, technically, a tip of the battling helmet, but the meaning is all the same.

    Good on you, Joey Votto. 

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    Pirates fans also gave Burnett a great tribute, sending out thunderous cheers as he walked off the PNC Park hill for perhaps the last time.

    The only thing missing was the win. The Pirates ended up falling 3-1, meaning they'll still need a win Sunday or a Cubs loss to clinch home-field advantage in the NL wild-card game. 

  • Kris Bryant lip syncs in 'Frozen' duet with his girlfriend

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 23 hrs ago

    On Thursday, Chicago Cubs rookie sensation Kris Bryant donned the attire of Princess Elsa, a character from the Disney hit "Frozen." That was part of Chicago's rookie hazing, which saw players dressing as several different movie princesses.

    Now we've learned why Bryant looked so comfortable and confident portraying his character. He appears to know the movie quite well, and at one point even recorded a duet from the movie with his longtime girlfriend Jessica Delp.

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    Please enjoy.

    We simply don't have enough roses to toss Bryant's way.

    We're impressed by how much he appears to embrace his performance. The lip-synching is spot on, as are the facial expressions. He's telling us if he's going to do this, he's going to do it to the best of his ability.

    Two thumbs way up for the passion and the performance. And then one big cap tip for allowing his girlfriend to post this on the internet. It's one thing to appease the significant other. It's quite another to allow that to be consumed and critiqued by the masses.

  • Four things to watch for on the final day of the MLB regular season

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    The final day of the baseball regular season has arrived, but there's no time to be sad. There's still plenty left to be settled, and it's all coming your way in one action-packed afternoon. 

    Remember, every game  — except for the Cardinals-Braves doubleheader — is scheduled to begin at 3:10 ET. That means no team involved in a playoff scenario can scoreboard watch from the clubhouse or slack off once their spot is clinched. They all have to play like this one game matters, because in all likelihood it will. 

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    With that said, here's a quick look at whose postseason fate hangs in the balance on Sunday. 

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  • Wild, Wild West: Astros win again, still have shot at AL West title

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day 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.

    The wild, wild AL West added yet another layer of wildness on Saturday.

    With the Angels miraculous come-from-behind win in Texas, and the Astros 6-2 win in Arizona, the AL West and second wild card spot remain up for grabs on Sunday and could potentially spill into Monday. 

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    Focusing on the Astros, they moved to within one game of Texas in the AL West while also holding a one-game edge over the Angels for the wild card. That basically means they're guaranteed to play again after Sunday, whether it be in a division tiebreaker game, a wild card  tiebreaker or the wild card play-in itself. 


  • Jo-Jo Reyes throws one pitch, picks up win in first MLB appearance since 2011

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Lost in the craziness that played out during the Angels wild come-from-behind 11-10 win in Texas is the even crazier story of Jo-Jo Reyes.

    The 30-year-old left-hander, who started this season in the Mexican League, thought his season was over when the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees' season ended on Sept. 7. He could not have been more wrong. On Saturday, he was on a major league hill pitching for the Angels with their season potentially on the line, and miraculously walked away the winner despite throwing only one pitch. 

    We told you this was wild.

    Reyes was only added to the Angels roster on Wednesday after the team lost closer Huston Street and starter Matt Shoemaker to injury. He had not pitched in MLB since the 2011 season after struggling to live up to his potential. Obviously, he had not pitched in any type of game in 27 days. It wasn't anticipated he'd pitch for the Angels, either, unless an emergency situation popped up.

    Then Saturday happened. After starter Hector Santiago lasted just four innings and Mike Scioscia ran through six different relievers, Reyes was about the only option he had left in the eighth inning. 

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  • Max Scherzer fires second no-hitter of 2015 season, joins elite company

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    The incredible Max Scherzer has done it again.

    For the second time this season, the Washington Nationals' right-hander flirted with perfection and ultimately tossed a no-hitter, this time thoroughly dominating the New York Mets in a 2-0 win at Citi Field.

    In his previous no-hitter against the Pirates on June 20, Scherzer was one pitch from perfection, but ended up hitting Pittsburgh's Jose Tabata with a pitch. This time around, he was perfect into the sixth, losing his bid when third baseman Yunel Escobar short-armed a throw to first base for an error.

    Two minor blips are all that separate Scherzer from becoming just the 24th pitcher in MLB history to complete a perfect nine-inning game. He also easily could have been the first pitcher ever with multiple perfectos. Instead, he'll settle on becoming the sixth pitcher to throw two no-hitters in the same season, which is elite territory in its own right.

    The others on that list are Johnny Vander Meer (1938), Allie Reynolds (1951), Virgil Trucks (1952) and Nolan Ryan (1973). Roy Halladay gets special mention because his second no-hitter in 2010 came during the postseason.

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  • Rusty Staub recovering after suffering heart attack on international flight

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Baseball legend Rusty Staub is recovering in an Ireland hospital after suffering a heart attack on a flight back to New York this week. 

    According to multiple reports, Staub was traveling back on Monday when the incident occurred. Two doctors on board were able to revive Staub and keep him stable until the plane could return to Ireland. Staub was taken into emergency surgery and is now recovering, but many of his friends and fans have been working to get Staub back home so his recovery can continue at home.  

    According to the New York Daily News, a man named Stephen Marro, who says he’s a friend of the Staub family started a GoFundMe page with the goal to raise the $60,000 for a medical plane to bring Staub home. As of this writing, the campaign was closing in on $4,000. 

    “When you wake up in a bed in a hospital, I guess it’s confusing,” he told The Post. “I’m doing fine, will probably have to stay another two or three days. I’ll be getting home to New York next week.”

    Good news. 

  • Staying alive: Angels stun Rangers with five-run ninth-inning rally

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    It was a tale of two baseball teams with two completely different mindsets entering the ninth inning at Globe Life Park. 

    On one side, the Los Angeles Angels' season was hanging by a thread after they'd blown a four-run lead and entered the final frame now trailing by four runs themselves. On the other side, the Texas Rangers readied for a celebration, needing just three outs to clinch the AL West title. 

    Amazingly, by the time that decisive ninth inning ended, the scripts had completely flipped. It was the Angels celebrating their new found hope after rallying to win 11-10. And it was the Rangers who were now dejected, realizing their grip on the division title wasn't as strong as it appeared. 

    There are two sides to the story, but this is a case where both sides tell the complete truth. The Angels took this game away from the Rangers, but the Rangers also did everything in their power to give it away.

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    It's amazing the difference an inning can make, but that was the story on Saturday. Now both teams focus on the Houston Astros, who play Saturday evening in Arizona.

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