Mark Townsend

  • Indians near franchise history after extending winning streak to 12

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 9 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.

    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.

    TOP PERFORMERS

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

    — Richard Justice (@richardjustice) June 30, 2016

    MUST-SEE HIGHLIGHT

    THE REST OF THE SCOREBOARD

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

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 10 hrs 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 13 hrs 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 15 hrs 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 3 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 3 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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  • Astros and Royals battle in MLB Free Game of the Day

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    After two dominant wins against the Kansas City Royals this weekend, the Astros have now won seven straight and are a season-best three games over .500. Granted, they're still nine games behind the division-leading Texas Rangers, but they're back in the thick of the wild-card race and the arrow is finally pointing up after spending 70 games under .500.

    It's a good place to be, and they'll look to continue their ascension in Sunday's series finale against Kansas City. That game will be featured as the MLB Free Game of the Day on Yahoo Sports. You can stream the game at Yahoo's Sports Home, MLB index and video homebeginning at 2:10 p.m. ET.

    Of course, all of the attention this weekend is on the offense. Rightfully so too. In their two wins against Kansas City, Houston has combined to score 26 runs. 

    But there's a solid core in place and enough talent around them to believe Houston can sustain success in the bullpen through the summer. 

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  • Jose Altuve literally fell 90 feet short of a cycle

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    They're definitely hot, but it hasn't all been smooth sailing. There have been a few minor bumps in the road along the way. Unfortunately for Jose Altuve, one of those bumps rose up to trip him up on Saturday, costing him any chance to complete the cycle.

    True story.

    Altuve started his big night with a first-inning double. One inning later, he connected on a three-run homer, which gives him 13 for the season. In the fourth inning, he picked up a single. That left only the triple for Altuve to make history, which added some needed drama to a game that had been decided by the second inning.

    Here's the thing about cycles though. On average, there's probably one player who falls one hit shy of the cycle every single day in baseball. On Friday, Altuve's teammate George Springer was actually a double shy of the cycle. Regardless, the odds do not favor the hitter completing the cycle. The Astros, for example, only have eight in their history. But Altuve's situation felt different considering he still had at least two more at-bats to come.

    Ouch.

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  • The Walk Off: White Sox lose despite record-tying homer barrage

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    If you missed the MLB Free Game of the Day on Yahoo Sports on Saturday afternoon, you missed a wild one.

    The Toronto Blue Jays "outslugged" the Chicago White Sox by a final of 10-8. Though if you look at the stats closer, you'll actually find that Chicago did most of the slugging. 

    The White Sox actually tied a team record by hitting seven home runs. Unfortunately for them, all seven were of the solo variety, meaning they couldn't keep up with Toronto's more well-rounded attack.

    Chicago started its barrage in the most unusual manner. With two outs in the second inning, Brett Lawrie hit a long fly ball that bounced off the top of the wall and stayed in the park. There was some confusion on the field about whether or not it cleared the wall, but Lawrie removed all doubt by rounding the bases for an inside-the-park home run.

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  • Crazy fan runs on field, nearly disrupts play at Safeco Field

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    In what may be the weirdest moment we've seen all season, a fan not only ran on the field during the Mariners 5-4 win against the Cardinals at Safeco Field, he nearly disrupted a live play in the outfield.  

    For all the countless times a fan has run on the field during a baseball game, rarely, if ever, do we even see them on television, let alone getting this close to the live action.

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    This time though, the fan was literally ten feet from Mariners left fielder Seth Smith as he camped out under the fly ball. It's almost a shock to the system to watch it the first time because it's such an awkward and unexpected sight. Thankfully though, the fan kept on running and eventually ended up in handcuffs. That's the best possible outcome under the circumstances. 

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