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MLB News & Moments You Should Know: 5/01/2024

Beads? No, bees!

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

 

Today’s Headlines

 

TR-out for a while, again

In what has become an annual rite of passage, the Angels have announced that Mike Trout is facing a lengthy absence, after being placed on the IL with a torn meniscus in his left knee. While there is no clarity regarding a timetable for his return, the ailment will require surgery and the former MVP should be out at least four to six weeks. However, considering Trout’s recent history of absences, it is tough to be optimistic. After a solid start that saw him lead the AL in homers and return to a more speed-based game, Trout is now facing another season full of questions around his availability. To add insult to this injury, the Angels went ahead and did Angels things, squandering a ninth inning lead to the Phillies and ultimately losing 7-5. Somewhere, the Rally Monkey weeps.

 

 

A slight bee-lay

 

In what should end up as one of the most fun and bizarre sequences in 2024, a bee swarm caused almost a two-hour delay and produced the latest-ever start in Chase Field history. The beekeeper in charge of saving the day became an instant sensation and even got to throw the first pitch, all of which was frankly awesome. Back on the field, the game went into disarray, with the Dbacks scratching Jordan Montgomery and opting to have a bullpen game. The Dodgers stayed with Landon Knack to start, and offense was scarce for most of the contest. LA’s runs scored via a wild pitch and a balk, while Arizona resorted to a late comeback to tie the game in the eighth. Naturally, the game went to extra innings, where the Dodgers scored the ghost runner but Arizona stormed back quickly to earn a walk-off win for the fans who bravely weathered the delay and stayed until the end. Christian Walker’s second homer of the game sent them all home, in what was really an un-bee-lievable night.

 

 

Orioles stifle the Bombers

 

In game 2 of their series at the top of the AL East, the Orioles followed a similar formula to Monday’s win, with strong pitching leading the way and just enough offense to secure the victory. This time, Dean Kremer was responsible to limiting the Yankees to only two solo homers, while a three-run fourth inning proved key as Baltimore moved into sole possession of first place, as well as being tied for the best record in the AL. Over these two games, the Yankees have been limited to two runs on 12 hits, as they could not break through tonight against Kremer, despite the righty allowing four hits and four walks, three double-play grounders killed potential New York rallies. With a date against Corbin Burnes to begin May, things could be even tougher for the Yanks.

 

 

Best Moments From Yesterday

 

Ragans win alert

Lefty Cole Ragans has had an uneven start to the season, mixing excellent outings with some terrible batted-ball luck that has tempered some of the hype around him. However, today he showed flashes of why he is still a Cy Young candidate, outdueling Jose Berrios en route to his second straight win against the Blue Jays. This time around, he was able to flummox a righty-heavy lineup, striking out nine over 6.2 innings. Ragans appeared to lose steam in his final inning, allowing two straight walks before being pulled, but he is considered day-to-day for the moment. Michael Massey’s first homer of the season proved to be all the offense needed for the Royals, as the bullpen pitched 2.1 perfect innings to close out the 4-1 victory.

 

 

An Incomplete Revenge for Jack

 

In the first-ever game against his former team, Jack Flaherty came out on a mission. He struck out the first seven batters he faced, tying an AL record. He would get to 12 Ks in just 65 pitches and ultimately was relieved with two outs in the seventh, with a final line that has been matched only five times since 1906, with 14 strikeouts and no runs allowed in less than 7 innings. Alas, it was all for naught, as Detroit’s offense could only spot him a 1-0 lead that was squandered in the ninth, as the Cardinals scored twice to win game 1 of the doubleheader. The run support would be held until game 2, when the Tigers got even via an 11-6 final.

 

 

Things get chippy in Milwaukee

 

Most baseball brawls are defined by screaming, posturing, and a bunch of people standing around. Today, we saw a more chaotic scene between the Rays and Brewers, teams that don’t appear to be candidates for bad blood between them. However, an early hit by pitch led to a Freddy Peralta ejection, followed by this confrontation between Abner Uribe and Jose Siri, as both threw slaps and punches after what appeared to be a routine groundout. It could all be part of a greater frustration from Tampa Bay, as the Rays were down big and eventually took an 8-2 loss in what has been a disappointing season.

 

 

Astros show signs of life

 

After winning two straight games in Mexico City, the Astros returned home to face the Guardians, who had been almost their polar opposite in terms of expectations vs. reality. Despite having a five-run lead early, Houston’s maligned staff allowed Cleveland to tie the game and then take the lead in extra innings. With two outs and light-hitting Victor Caratini at the plate as a pinch hitter, the backup catcher hit a line drive homer to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Despite the blown lead and heroics needed to win this game, the Astros should be encouraged by the first homer of the season for both Alex Bregman and Jon Singleton, as well as the two-inning win earned by Josh Hader.

 

 

Mets fans enjoy win, hot dogs

 

During the fan-favorite dollar dog night, the Mets announced a record-breaking 44,000+ sold during today’s game. While hot dogs at the ballpark should always cost a buck, to be honest, the goodwill of this promotion carried on to the field, where the Mets earned a hard-fought victory against the Cubs. Starters Sean Manaea and Javier Assad were effective, with each allowing only one run over five innings. The game was decided on a three-run homer by DJ Stewart off demoted closer Adbert Alzolay, with all runs being unearned following a key Dansby Swanson error. Here’s hoping for more owners following this initiative, especially if the positive karma makes them winners for that day.

 

 

Injuries and Other Moves

 

⚾ In a somewhat stunning move, former MVP Jose Abreu has agreed to being optioned to the minor leagues, as the Astros are giving the veteran an opportunity to work through his issues. While Abreu had a similarly bad start to his Houston tenure in 2023, his numbers in 2024 have been truly abysmal, with a .099/.156/.113 slash line that makes him the worst batter in the game with at least 70 PAs. In a corresponding move, the Astros called up Joey Loperfido, with Jon Singleton also representing an option to cover some of Abreu’s at-bats. 

⚾ The Blue Jays announced that Cuban rookie Yariel Rodriguez has been placed on the 15-day IL with thoracic spine inflammation. In his first stint in MLB, Rodriguez is still winless in four starts, with a 4.11 ERA and 16 strikeouts over 16.1 innings. His spot on the roster will be covered by Zach Pop and his awesome name. 

⚾ Following Mike Trout’s injury announcement, the Angels wasted no time in replacing his spot on the roster, signing veteran Kevin Pillar to a major league deal. Pillar started this season with the White Sox, but was designated for assignment after a terrible start at the plate. He should become a platoon player in Anaheim, while at least giving some kind of veteran presence in a team desperate for good news. 

⚾ The Brewers promoted highly-touted prospect Tyler Black, who was the 33rd overall pick in the 2021 draft and had slowly climbed through the minor leagues. Black had been a divisive prospect, with some publications placing him among their top 50, while others questioned his defense and lack of power. He wasted no time in his first taste of MLB, though, doubling in his first plate appearance and then giving us one of the most heartwarming moments of the young season. 

 

Articles You Should Read

 

The Precarious Position of the Pending Free AgentZach Buchanan, Fangraphs

Best of Baseball in AprilWill Leitch, MLB.com

 

Fantasy Baseball Coverage

 

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Pablo Figueroa

Pablo Figueroa is a Baseball Writer here at Pitcher List, with experience as a writer since 2013. He lives in Aguascalientes, Mexico - proud home of Los Rieleros. When he´s not thinking about baseball , he's a husband, owns two dogs, watches random episodes of The Sopranos , plays padel, and works on his day job to pay the bills.

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