MLB News & Moments You Should Know: 5/08/2024

Can anyone stop the Phillies?

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Today’s Headlines


The Phillies are on a Mission

Toronto’s José Berríos entered today’s game with an AL-leading 1.44 ERA, stemming from only seven runs allowed over 43.2 innings. In less than 90 minutes, his ERA would almost double, as he could not solve the buzzsaw that the Phillies have become. Despite striking out seven in 3.2 innings, Berrios would also allow seven hits, two walks, and eight runs, including a grand slam from Bryce Harper that knocked him out of the game. It seems as if the Phillies can win any type of game now, from close pitching duels to hit-parade blowouts, as they have won 18 of their past 21 games, with a +67 run differential during that span. Even as the Dodgers have asserted their dominance, it is Philadelphia who owns the best record in the league.



Astros continue to sink


In what was billed as an intriguing pitching matchup between Luis Gil and Justin Verlander, only the Yankee starter kept his end of the bargain. Kyle Tucker’s first-inning homer was the only run allowed by Gil, while Verlander ran into trouble immediately, allowing a three-run dinger to Alex Verdugo in the opening frame and then being unable to quiet New York’s bats for the rest of the game. While Gil settled in and earned the win with only the homer and four walks allowed over six innings, Verlander would have a dismal stat line, with eight hits, three walks, and seven runs allowed, striking out only two batters. He now has a 4.43 ERA, as the Astros dropped to a troubling 12-23 record. On the other hand, the Yankees now own the best record in the AL.



Fly the W, Michael


With a 0.78 ERA in his first six starts, Shota Imanaga has been an instant sensation in Chicago. He opened today’s game against the Padres with seven scoreless frames and the Cubs appeared set to have a tight win following Cody Bellinger’s first homer since coming back from the IL. However, Imanaga would run into trouble in the eighth, allowing a two-run homer to Jurickson Profar that turned the game around. Imanaga was removed now with a 1.08 ERA, but his offense would pick him up, as Christopher Morel tied the game in the eighth with a sacrifice fly, followed by Michael Busch destroying the first pitch of the bottom of the ninth. Busch’s seventh homer of the season delivered a dramatic walk-off win, as the rain started to hit Wrigley Field hard. Imanaga may have deserved a better fate, but the Cubs will take the win, anyway.



Best Moments From Yesterday


Pinch Hit Dumper Slam

Cal Raleigh, proud owner of one of the game’s best nicknames, came through in the clutch for the Mariners, turning a 4-2 deficit into an eventual lead with a full-count, one-out grand slam. Raleigh had not started the game, but became the key player in the end, as he even worked a walk and eventually scored in the ninth, as Seattle pulled away for a late win in Minnesota. Bonus points for the unhinged call from Seattle’s announcer, who clearly loved this blast from the Big Dumper.



Big Willy Style


With the Brewers down to their last out, free-agent-to-be Willy Adames stepped up to the plate with two men on base, trailing by two. He would give closer James McArthur his second straight blown save, as Adames hit a back-breaking homer that swung Milwaukee’s win probability by over 70%. It was the seventh homer of the season for the shortstop, who now owns a solid .809 OPS and could be in line for a nice payday when the season is over. The win also kept Milwaukee at the top of the NL Central, tied with the Cubs.



Yamamoto in the Zone


In the eight-year anniversary of Bartolo Colón’s only career homer, Dodgers starter Yoshinobu Yamamoto channeled his inner Bartolo…on the mound. Despite allowing a true lead-off homer to Jazz Chisholm Jr., the righty was unfazed and followed it up with 18 straight additional strikes, which led to better results. He would retire six of the next seven Marlins hitters and cruise to an efficient win, as he finished the day with eight innings pitched, zero walks, five hits, and only two runs allowed, all in 97 pitches. The Dodgers have now won 13 of their past 15 games.



Leaving a Marcus


In a weird 3:37 ET Tuesday starting time between the A’s and Rangers, Texas wasted no time to score in bunches, with a memorable 10-run second frame that put the game away early. It was all highlighted by Marcus Semien, who opened the game with a lead-off homer and promptly hit a single and a double in the next inning. That meant he was a triple shy of the cycle before most Oakland hitters even had two plate appearances. Alas, he would only get a single in his next at-bat and flied out in his last one before being replaced in the seventh. The Rangers would end up winning 15-8, with Semien contributing five RBIs in the process.



“That’s my bat!”


The Phillies are on such a roll recently that their powers may even be transposed into the equipment. On a rest day for Alec Bohm, the sparsely used Kody Clemens, he of a career .246 OBP, borrowed Bryce Harper’s bat and immediately hit a long homer that allowed the Phils to cruise for the rest of the game. Like a proud dad, Harper simply pointed to the magic of his bat, though Clemens may have had a little bit to do with it, as well.



Injuries and Other Moves


⚾ In a truly unfortunate play, Cardinals catcher Willson Contreras suffered a severe injury in the middle of an at-bat, as a JD Martinez swing caught him straight in the forearm. Contreras left the game immediately, and soon it was confirmed that he suffered a left forearm fracture. While the timetable for his return is unclear, he will probably be out for a significant period. This means that St. Louis will be missing their best hitter, and he should be replaced mostly by Iván Herrera as the primary catcher. 

⚾ The Astros have shut down starting pitcher JP France due to right shoulder soreness. A move to the IL has not been confirmed but it is imminent, as France is expected to miss a significant amount of time. He becomes the latest Houston starter to be sidelined, as the team has battled rotation injuries all year long. France has had a rough start to the season, with a 7.46 ERA over five starts. 

⚾ Speaking of teams who are short-handed in terms of pitching, the Rays are facing another blow, as Ryan Pepiot is expected to be placed on the IL today. The injury is not arm-related, though, as the issue stems from a come-backer that hit Pepiot in his left calf during last Sunday’s game against the Mets. He has been solid in his first season in Tampa, with a 3.68 ERA in seven starts. As has been the case all season, the Rays’ depth will be tested yet again. 

⚾ Following a two-week IL stint, the Cubs reactivated former MVP Cody Bellinger for today’s game. He did not need a rehab assignment following his diagnosis of broken ribs, and promptly homered in his first game back. In related news, Chicago also announced that outfielder Seiya Suzuki will play in AAA Iowa starting today, which brings the Cubs closer to having their lineup at full force. 


Articles You Should Read


The Gospel of Juan SotoMike Baumann, Fangraphs

Where did All the Weird Batting Stances Go?Adam McCalvy, MLB.com


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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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