MLB News & Moments You Should Know: 4/26/24

PCA first hit is a big one and the Brewers and Guardians stay hot.

Stay updated on everything baseball with our morning MLB News & Moments articles. We’ve got you covered to keep you in the know.

Much of the sporting world’s eyes were on Detroit last night for this year’s NFL draft, but there was still plenty of action on the diamond on Thursday. Here are the biggest stories and moments from yesterday’s action:


Today’s Headlines


PCA’s First Homer Leads Cubs to Sweep over Reeling Astros


A highly touted prospect, Pete Crow-Armstrong got his first taste of big-league action near the end of the 2023 season when he was called up by the Chicago Cubs. PCA struggled in his first short stint, going hitless across fourteen at-bats. The long wait for another chance to prove himself came to an end on Wednesday when Cody Bellinger was placed on the injured list and the Cubs found themselves in need of a center fielder. On a chilly Thursday afternoon with the wind blowing in at Wrigley Field and the game knotted at one run apiece, Crow-Armstrong finally found his first career hit in a big way:

The blast to right-center field gave the Cubs a 3-1 lead that would be the final score to complete a sweep of the Houston Astros. Despite dealing with injuries to several key players, including staff ace Justin Steele and star outfielder Seiya Suzuki, the Cubs sit at an impressive 16-9, just a half-game back of the Milwaukee Brewers. PCA is just the latest of the Cubs’ role players to come through in a big way to keep the team rolling in a positive direction. Though his primary asset is his defensive ability in center field, PCA has decent contact skills with a little pop that could make the Friendly Confines jump this summer if he starts to heat up.

The Astros, on the other hand, are in entirely unfamiliar territory, sitting at the bottom of the AL West division (yes, even beneath the Oakland Athletics) with a 7-19 record. Houston has made seven consecutive ALCS appearances but will be fighting an uphill battle to make another postseason appearance in 2024. It’s the team’s worst start since 1969. One of the primary reasons for the team’s skids has been pitching, as the collective 5.07 ERA ranks above only the Rockies and White Sox in 2024. Framber Valdez’s impending return to the rotation this weekend in Mexico City couldn’t come at a better time.


Guardians Continue Surge Behind JRam’s Slam


Raise your hand if you thought the Cleveland Guardians would own an MLB-best 18-7 record at this point in the season. Yeah, me neither. The Guardians have been one of baseball’s best surprises in 2024 thus far, with their league-best +49 run differential proving that this isn’t just a fluky streak with a bunch of close wins. Cleveland closed out yet another series win on Thursday, this time against the visiting Boston Red Sox. The hero of the game was none other than superstar José Ramírez, who capped off a 10-pitch battle against Chase Anderson by pulling a ball deep to right field for his sixth career grand slam.

The slam would prove to be the difference in the 6-4 win for Cleveland, who face a tough test next with a road series against the Atlanta Braves. The Red Sox head home to Fenway Park to host the Cubs for the weekend.


Wheelin’ and Dealin’


What do you call six shutout innings of one-hit baseball? For many pitchers, it’s probably their best performance of the year. For Zack Wheeler, it’s just another day at the office.

Wheeler had some of his filthiest stuff working on Thursday as the Phillies earned a series split on the road against the Cincinnati Reds. Though he walked four batters, Wheeler kept the Reds off the board en route to his fifth quality start of the season. On the season, Wheeler boasts a 1.93 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, and .164 BAA through six starts. That’s a true, bona fide ace right there. What’s that saying we love to use on this website again? Aces gonna ace.


El Gary Comes Through in the Clutch


With the Milwaukee Brewers down 5-4 in the eighth against the Pittsburgh Pirates, it was up to Gary Sánchez to tie the game with a runner on second. Facing an 0-2 count, Gary decided that simply tying the game would not be sufficient:

The Brewers would tack on one more run and Trevor Megill would record his first save in a 7-5 victory over the Pirates to complete a 5-2 road trip and boost their record to 16-8. Much like their neighbors down I-94, the Brewers have continued to win games in the face of injury, with Christian Yelich currently on the shelf for the Brew Crew. Even without longtime manager Craig Counsell, the Brewers are finding success in 2024 and lead the NL Central just over a month into the young season. They’ll travel home this weekend for a great series against the visiting New York Yankees. The Pirates, meanwhile, are starting to struggle after their hot start to the season with a 2-8 record over their last 10 games bringing them back to .500. They’ll look to get back on track with a West Coast road trip against the San Francisco Giants.


Player’s Weekend Returns


A fan-favorite event, Player’s Weekend returns to the MLB this summer from August 16-18 for the first time since 2019.

The first day of the weekend will center entirely on the players, with an opportunity for baseball’s best to showcase their electric personalities and discuss their off-the-field interests. The second day will be a charity-focused event where players will get a chance to promote and support the causes most valuable to them. Player’s Weekend will close on Sunday with a chance for the players to express gratitude to those who have helped them along the way in their journey to reach the big leagues. It’s great to see this event returning to the MLB, even if we won’t see the awesome nickname jerseys this time around. Stay tuned for more details as we get closer to the return of this great event!


Best Moments From Yesterday


Dad Strength Hypothesis Confirmed


Phillies 1B Bryce Harper made his return to the lineup on Thursday after taking a few days off for the birth of his third child. Harper’s return to action was a loud one as he used his rejuvenated dad strength to launch a two-run homer to right field in the top of the third inning. It wasn’t the first time Harper has shown just how real Dad Strength is:


Life Comes at you Fast


It was a great outing for Yoshinobu Yamamoto on Thursday, but things nearly took a turn for the worse on a comebacker to the mound. Thankfully, his quick reflexes gave us a highlight-reel defensive play instead:


Baseball’s Newest Centenarian


Happy Birthday to Art Schallock, who turned 100 years old on Thursday! The former Yankee is MLB’s oldest living player.


Just Another Day at the Office


It was “Take Your Child to Work Day” at the MLB Network office, which unsurprisingly provided us with lots of great social media clips:

My personal favorite comes from this former big-leaguer discussing his troublemaking son:


Bregman Notches 1000th Hit


It’s been tough sledding this year for Alex Bregman, but maybe recording his 1000th career hit is exactly what he needed to get things going. Congrats, A-Breg!


It’s All in the Family


Finally, Nick Allen decided he wouldn’t take it easy on his wife’s uncle as he launched a two-run homer to help the A’s beat Aaron Boone’s Yankees on Thursday. The next family reunion is sure to be interesting…


Injuries and Other Moves


Athletics 2B Zack Gelof was placed on the 10-day IL with a left oblique strain.

Mariners SS J.P. Crawford was diagnosed with a grade 1 right oblique strain and placed on the 10-day IL. …what’s going on with these obliques?

⚾ Royals SP Alec Marsh was placed on the 15-day IL with a right elbow contusion.

Padres SS Jackson Merrill was scratched from Thursday’s game with right groin tightness but is expected to return on Friday. Still a situation worth monitoring.

Cubs pitcher Dan Straily agreed to a minor-league contract. This would be a great comeback story if the 35-year-old can make it to the big league club.

Nationals OF Stone Garrett was activated from the injured list and optioned to Triple-A Rochester.

Blue Jays pitcher Bowden Francis was placed on the 15-day IL with right forearm extensor tendinitis.

⚾ Astros SP J.P. France will be optioned to Triple-A Sugar Land before the road trip to Mexico City to make room for Framber Valdez’s return to the rotation.

⚾ Astros 1B/OF Trey Cabbage is expected to be called up to act as the 27th man for the Astros in Mexico City.


Articles You Should Read


‘Back to boring’: Chad Kuhl’s baseball comeback is a welcome return to ‘normal’ — Stephen J. Nesbitt, The Athletic

12 teams whose playoff odds have changed the most — Thomas Harrigan, MLB.com


Fantasy Baseball Coverage


Starting Pitcher Roundup

Hitter Performances

Reliever Ranks

Starting Pitcher Streamers

Christian Otteman

Christian Otteman is a hopelessly optimistic Cubs fan living in Milwaukee just looking to share his love of this beautiful game with others. He is especially a fan of the wild and weird things that only a game like baseball can produce. While he's not watching baseball, Christian is playing golf, hosting trivia, and working on his Ph.D. in Neuroscience at Marquette University.

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