MLB News & Moments You Should Know: 5/6/2024

Another Sunday, another Ohtani monster game.

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


Sho of Power


In an early marquee series between the top two NL preseason contenders, the Dodgers made a statement by sweeping the Atlanta Braves over three games. Even as Atlanta starter Max Fried came into the game on a roll, he was no match for the high-powered LA offense, allowing a couple of two-run homers to Shohei Ohtani and Teoscar Hernandez. Ohtani would add a solo homer to reach 10 for the season, tying him for the MLB lead. By the way, he also leads baseball in OPS, batting average, and doubles. The run support was more than enough for James Paxton, who earned his fourth win of the season and limited Atlanta to a run over 6.2 innings despite only having three strikeouts. Despite some early struggles, the Dodgers now appear to be on cruise control towards yet another NL West crown.


Twins Finally Take an L


After a 12-game winning streak that saw Minnesota climb from the AL Central cellar almost to the top, it all ended emphatically with a 9-2 loss to the Red Sox. Despite an early lead provided by a Ryan Jeffers solo homer, starter Joe Ryan was not able to make it stand, as Ceddanne Rafaela hit a two-run bomb to break the tie in the fifth and Boston would not look back. With a strong bullpen effort that included five relievers, the Red Sox ended up cruising to break their three-game losing streak, scoring six runs between the eighth and ninth innings. While win #13 would have been nice for the Twins, we know all good things come to an end.


Assad Day for the Brewers


In terms of unheralded players making noise, there might be no one better than the Cubs bespectacled righty Javier Assad, as he pitched yet another gem to lead the Cubs to a virtual tie for first place in the NL Central. With a six-inning effort in which he only allowed three hits and four walks with zero runs, Assad lowered his ERA to 1.66, which ranks fourth in MLB now that he has enough innings to be qualified. Even as Milwaukee’s Freddy Peralta matched zeroes with Assad for four innings, a clutch two-run double from Nico Hoerner was enough to break the tie and ultimately led Chicago to a 5-0 win. If for some reason Assad is still available in your fantasy league, do yourself a favor and grab him.


Best Moments From Yesterday


Bryce Bomb Alert


With the game tied at one and facing Logan Webb, Bryce Harper gave us yet another reminder that he lives for the spotlight, hitting a towering homer that gave the Phillies a 4-1 lead. Even as the Giants made it close, the 5-4 final score gave Philadelphia their first nine-game home winning streak since 2010, as well as a 2.5-game lead in the NL East. It could have been an even cooler moment, but the fan who could have caught the ball made an error on the play.


Swinging in the Rain


In a rainy day in the Bronx, the presumed pitchers’ duel between Nestor Cortes and Tarik Skubal delivered, with the lefties combining for 21 strikeouts and two runs allowed apiece in 12.1 innings of work. None of them factored into the decision, though, as the rain persisted and the bullpens took over. Shelby Miller, who somehow now has three wins and four losses despite not starting any game, left the bases loaded for Andrew Chafin, who had the unenviable task of cleaning up the mess against none other than Juan Soto. Long story short, he couldn’t. Soto pulled a 2-1 fastball to the corner, clearing the bases and giving the Yankees a comfortable 5-2 lead. With the rain getting even worse after that, the game would enter a delay and finally be called in the bottom of the eighth inning.


What is Rough Return, Alek?


Despite an uneven stretch in the minor leagues, the Blue Jays gave erstwhile ace Alek Manoah a fresh opportunity, making his first MLB start since August of last season. Despite cruising with five strikeouts over two innings and being staked to a 6-1 lead, Manoah was not able to get the job done, leaving after four innings with six hits, four walks, and six earned runs allowed, including two long homeruns. While some rust was understandable, it was still discouraging to see Manoah struggle this way yet again.


A Trip to Randyland


The Rays came into this weekend with many question marks, as one of the early season’s biggest disappointments. After debuting their City Connect uniforms and three wins later, the vibes are suddenly much better, especially as today’s win was fueled by a fan favorite. Trailing by a run with two outs and a full count in the bottom of the ninth, Randy Arozarena hit a dramatic homer off closer Edwin Diaz to tie the game. Even as the Mets retook the lead, the Rays ended it with an unlikely walk-off triple by Jonny DeLuca, which places Tampa only one game below .500.


A Signature Moment


The joy of kids in any ballpark is a constant reminder of baseball’s fun spirit and that, in the end, it is still a child’s game. Take this pregame meet and greet between a group of kids and Rays players, where a strange yet fun request came for Amed Rosario: autograph a kid’s forehead. It was just impossible to deny this, as the ink will eventually wash off, but the memory will be indelible.


Injuries and Other Moves


⚾ Closer Evan Phillips was placed on the 15-day IL due to a grade one hamstring strain, as the Dodgers will need to shuffle their bullpen. Phillips has been among baseball’s top relievers, with a minuscule 0.66 ERA and eight saves. Right-hander Blake Treinen was activated off the IL on a corresponding move, but manager Dave Roberts may opt to have a closer-by-committee approach, with Daniel Hudson and Joe Kelly among the candidates for save opportunities. 

⚾ The surprising Cleveland Guardians were dealt a blow  after outfielder Steven Kwan was placed on the IL with hamstring tightness. While an MRI is scheduled to evaluate the damage, Kwan has had several hamstring issues going back to his days in the minors, making it likely that the team will be cautious. The on-base machine leads the AL in batting average and hits, but this IL stint leaves a silver lining for Cleveland, as they will call up slugging prospect Kyle Manzardo, who should debut today in Detroit. 

⚾ Also facing hamstring issues, Rangers rookie Wyatt Langford has been placed on the 10-day IL. His absence is expected to last from three to four weeks, as the Rangers could use the DH position to rotate veterans or call up a prospect, such as Jonathan Ornelas. Langford’s start to his MLB career has been a bit rocky, with a .295 OBP after he dominated the minors in 2023. 

⚾ The Padres announced that righty Joe Musgrove is going to the 15-day IL with triceps tendinitis. This comes after Musgrove has had a rough start to 2024, with a 6.37 ERA over 8 starts and the most homers allowed by any pitcher in the majors. As the move is expected to be precautionary, San Diego’s recent form suggests that they need Musgrove to perform as he did last season. His spot on the roster will be covered by Randy Vasquez. 


Articles You Should Read


Bryce Harper is Getting Comfortable with First BaseEsteban Rivera, FanGraphs

A Field of Dreams… in FranceAdrian Garro, 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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