The New York Mets have been on a real tear of late, and that led them into Friday night’s game against NL East-leading Atlanta with a ton of hope. The Mets pitching staff definitely didn’t let them down in the slightest on the evening, combining to mow down a record (tied with four others) 26 of the Braves’ hitters at the plate. Jacob deGrom was the man handed the ball to start the game and he would record half of those strikeouts, leaving after seven innings and conceding just a lone run.
The only issue for the Mets was that they also couldn’t score many runs, either. Freddie Freeman’s single in the top of the sixth drove in Ozzie Albies for the Braves’ only run in ‘regulation,’ while deGrom incredibly provided his own run support with a solo blast in the bottom half of the inning. After that, neither side would score a run until the top of the 14th when recently acquired Billy Hamilton singled to right field to drive in Tyler Flowers. Somehow, the Braves had stolen a win despite being sat down more than almost every team in history in the Big Apple. Not a bad way to start a series, is it?
The Los Angeles Dodgers are plenty good already, but as if they weren’t good enough, they continually pull out games from the jaws of defeat, such as they did on Thursday when they defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2. The Blue Jays had ran out to a 2-0 lead thanks to a second inning ground out by Derek Fisher and a sixth inning homer from Vlad Guerrero, Jr. That looked like it would be plenty for them to win for a while, especially one a night where their pitchers had combined to give up just one hit to the hosts. But these are the Dodgers who just can’t or won’t be held down.
When the bottom of the ninth began, so, too, did the Dodgers comeback. With two men on base, Corey Seager drove a double to right field to plate Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy. Seager then would be score the winning run when Kike Hernandez singled to center field, winning the game in walk off fashion 3-2. The win is the 12th walk off they have had this season and the second in two nights of action as well. On top of that, it’s the seventh time they have came back when trailing in the final frame, underlining just how much they desire to win. It’s really no wonder how they are over 20 games up in the NL West with such performances as those.
Orioles Officially Have Allowed Most Homers In A Season
It’s a record, albeit a dubious one, that had been destined for Baltimore for quite some time, but it was confirmed on Thursday night when the Orioles surrendered their 259th Home Run of the season to the Tampa Bay Rays.
The batter was Austin Meadows, and he took pitcher Asher Wojciechowski deep to hand the Orioles the unwanted record that broke the Cincinnati Reds’ from just three years ago in the process. With 34 games still left, they are on pace to obliterate the record, with projections indicating they could concede around 330 by the end of the season. To make matters worse, only about 200 fans stuck around to see the end of the game, so that’s not the prettiest sight, either.
The Chicago Cubs are in a prizefight with two other clubs in the NL Central. But Wednesday night’s game might just prove to be one of those that they look back upon fondly if they do indeed make the postseason after they twice gave up leads to the San Francisco Giants at Wrigley Field. Having led 6-2 and 10-9 at stages, the Cubs just never quit and refused to give up the win.
They let in nine runs in the middle fifth through seventh, yet they wouldn’t be denied what turned out to be their 43rd home victory of the season in 62 outings. While that does suggest they have had a very hum-ho away record, it does show that they are strong at home and up for the challenge. Kris Bryant proved to be the game winner on the night, hitting a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth that (finally) put them ahead for good at 12-11. In total, the two teams combined for seven homers in the game, including one for Mike Yastrzemski of the Giants. Thanks to the Brewers beating the Cardinals, the Cubs now have a half a game up over their division rivals.
Both the Cleveland Indians and the New York Mets know how critical each game is right now as they both chase playoff places in their respective leagues. The Indians are still hoping to win the AL Central, while the Mets are just clinging on to hopes of an NL Wild Card spot. Wednesday’s game could prove to be one of those they each remember down the line after the way it unfolded.
The Indians came into the bottom of the tenth inning with a 3-2 lead thanks to the solo shot produced by Carlos Santana in the top half of the frame. But the bottom half would see them unravel. While the big plaudits will go to JD Davis for singling in the winning run, much has to be said about the play that set it up. With a chance to end the game via a double play, the Indians had no play for the second out as a result of second baseman Jason Kipnis not racing to the first base bag in time to beat Michael Conforto to the bag. The ball never arrived, and the Mets would capitalize, with the aforementioned Davis taking advantage to make it 4-3 and walkoff. The Indians will remember this if they fail to make the postseason. They remain three games back of the Twins in the division. The Mets, meanwhile, are just 1.5 games behind the second Wild Card spot.
Kershaw Passes Koufax While Trout Breaks Personal HR Record
Isn’t it a little apropos that the Los Angeles Dodgers have had two all-time great pitchers that have last names that ended with ‘K’s?’ On Tuesday night, Clayton Kershaw continued his march through history, surpassing Sandy Koufax to become the fifth-winningest pitcher in team history.
The 16-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays was his 166th and it saw him improve to a startling 13-2 on the season. 166 wins and a fifth place ranking may not seem like much, but in the context of modern baseball it is extremely impressive. Especially considering the fact that Kershaw has not been injury-free throughout his career.
At any rate, it’s been a heck of a ride, and there promises to be much more on offer. Across town, the Los Angeles Angels own living legend, Mike Trout, kept on keeping on, smashing his 42nd home run of the season in the first of two games against the Texas Rangers.
The first-inning bomb ensured he would finish the season with more dingers that he ever had before, and he also tied the lead for the most so far this season. Despite their standing, he’s working hard to put himself in clear pole position for the AL MVP award.
Will the voters cost him, though, is a whole other matter.
In the ever so tight NL Central, every game is important, and none more so than when two of the teams in the race to win the division meet. That was the case on Monday night as the St. Louis Cardinals hosted the Milwaukee Brewers. In need of a good performance to increase their edge over the visitors, the Cardinals got just that on the mound, with Dakota Hudson going six and 2/3 innings without giving up so much as a hit.
He departed the game with a 2-0 lead, and after leaving would see it increase to a 3-0 lead when Paul DeJong homered. On this night, it would be plenty for the Cardinals to take the victory, though they did miss out on history as Giovanny Gallegos would concede a hit. That would prove to be the only one the visiting Brew Crew would manage, with Andrew Miller being the man to close out the game in the ninth. The win puts the Cardinals half a game ahead of the Chicago Cubs and three whole games up on the Brewers. However, there is no time or reason to panic as of yet since Milwaukee still have eight games remaining against the Cardinals.
Alonso Hits 40th HR Of Rookie Season In Wild Day Across NL East
There is definitely not a lack of good, compelling stories going on in the National League East right now. The Atlanta Braves, leaders of the division for a while now, managed to defeat the Dodgers twice in three days and ended up pulling young stud Ronald Acuna, Jr. on Sunday for not legging out a fly ball.
The Washington Nationals keep on fighting, and they bounced back on Sunday to win 16-8 after they had fallen the day prior to the Brewers in a wacky slugfest. But perhaps the biggest piece of news to come from the day revolved around rookie New York Mets’ man Pete Alonso. With his 40th bomb of the season coming during the afternoon affair against the Kansas City Royals, in an 11-5 victory, Alonso went to the top of the charts for most homers by a rookie ever. The previous record belonged to Cody Bellinger just two years ago with 39. Alonso now has over a month left in the season to obliterate the record. If he stays on pace he will. As for the NL East battle, the Braves remain 5.5 up on Washington and nine up on the Mets. The Wild Card race, though, continues to be anyone’s best guess.
It’s not everyday that you see tons of runs scored in a Major League Baseball game. OK, maybe it does happen everyday. But it’s usually not anything like the kind of game that took place, on national television mind you, on Saturday between the Washington Nationals and the Milwaukee Brewers. It might well have started slowly, but in the end it didn’t disappoint a bit. In total, 29 runs were scored in a hectic 14-inning contest that ultimately saw the visiting Brewers hang on and win 15-14 for what could prove to be a crucial win.
In the melee, your top performers, of course, included Christian Yelich. Yelich had two home runs and four RBIs in the win, going 5-6 and raising his batting average to a ridiculous .333 in the process. All in all, the Brewers ended up hitting a team-record seven home runs in the victory. On the Nationals side, Adam Eaton and Victor Robles impressed. Eaton drove in three runs via a home run, while Robles collected three hits and three RBIs, two of which prolonged the game in the ninth and 13th frames. Washington is now 5.5 back of the Braves in the NL East, while the Brewers are just one off the pace of Chicago and St. Louis in the NL Central.
It was not the display of two offensive juggernauts like in the Nationals and Brewers game, but the Tampa Bay Rays and Detroit Tigers still managed to play out an extremely memorable 13-inning game in Tampa on Saturday. The game’s first- and only- run would have to wait until the bottom of the 13th when Mike Brosseau came up clutch with an RBI single that drove in Eric Sogard. That was the first run they had plated since Wednesday, ending a run of 29 innings without one, somehow.
The incredible part of it, though, was the pitching performance that the Rays put on. In all of those innings, their pitchers combined to strike out 24 men while walking precisely none of them. That is a club record for the six pitchers that participated, showing exactly why Tampa are such a big threat should they indeed make their way to the playoffs. In the modern game, it’s hard to see such a highly effective bullpen, and that’s what they have, by the looks of it.