MLB News & Moments You Should Know: 5/24/2024

Pitcher's duels, bizarre endings, and WBC sites highlight today's news.

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


Pirates Pen Pilfers Paul’s Performance


Paul Skenes has been exactly as advertised through his first three major league starts, displaying wicked velocity on his fastball and racking up the strikeouts. He had another fantastic start on Thursday, throwing a quality start by allowing just one run across six innings of work. Even in slow-mo, you can tell how hard he throws:

Unfortunately, with a 5-1 lead in hand after six innings, this wouldn’t be enough to keep San Francisco at bay. The Giants would rally for five runs in the top of the eighth inning, with a three-run blast by the red-hot Matt Chapman being the biggest blow of the bunch.

The Giants would hang on to win this one 7-6, the second straight night in which their bullpen has blown a lead after a strong performance from one of their young arms. The good news is Skenes has racked up 20 strikeouts across his first three big-league starts and looks every bit the part of what the Pirates hoped he would be when they drafted him first overall. Hopefully next time the Bucs can hold down the lead and earn him the W.


Gil Dazzles Again as Yanks Earn Split


It was a Luis vs. Luis battle in the final game of the Mariners-Yankees series on Thursday as Luis Castillo toed the rubber against Luis Gil, who was coming off a career performance with 14 strikeouts. While he wouldn’t quite match that number, Gil turned in another dominant performance to win this battle against one of the league’s best:

Solo home runs by Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge put the Yankees ahead early and they never looked back as they cruised to a 5-0 victory to earn a series split against the Mariners. Gil has recorded five straight quality starts in May while allowing only two earned runs, making him one of the most dominant pitchers this month. The Mariners will continue their East Coast road trip by moving to the nation’s capital to face the Washington Nationals, while the Yankees will head to the West Coast for a series with the San Francisco Giants.


Bizarre Ending at Guaranteed Rate


The final game of the night came between the Baltimore Orioles and Chicago White Sox, with the latter making a late run in the bottom of the 9th. With runners at 1st and 2nd and just two runs down after entering the frame down 8-2, Andrew Benintendi hit a pop-up on the infield. What transpired next led to one of the strangest endings to a baseball game you’ll ever see:

We’ll need someone to check the history books on the last time a game ended on a runner’s interference call during a pop-out. It’s an extremely difficult loss in what’s been an already brutal season for the White Sox. The Orioles, meanwhile, get back on track with this win after being swept in a series for the first time in nearly two years.


Robo-Umps Not Coming Just Yet


While changes to the home plate umpiring system seem imminent, comments by Rob Manfred made on Thursday confirm that we’ll have to wait until at least 2026 to see this system implemented in the major leagues. From the AP article by Ronald Blum:

“We still have some technical issues,” baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday at a news conference following an owners meeting. “We haven’t made as much progress in the minor leagues this year as we sort of hoped at this point. I think it’s becoming more and more likely that this will not be a go for ’25.”

We’ve heard loud voices from fans and players alike clamoring for robo-umps for years at this point, but the exact solution to this issue is a little less clear. The minor leagues have implemented a ball-strike challenge system to varying success in recent years, and this feels like the most logical “next step” for the majors if and when this change is eventually implemented. It’s hard to envision this system won’t be changed in some way in the next few years, but at least for now, we’re still at the mercy of human error behind the plate. The best we can do for now is hope your team draws Pat Hoberg as often as possible:


2026 World Baseball Classic Host Cities Announced


The World Baseball Classic was one of the highlights of 2023, with the championship game coming down to an epic showdown between then-teammates Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout. We’re finally starting to get more details about the next contest, which will take place in 2026. More specifically, we found out where the WBC games themselves will be taking place:

While we still have nearly two years until the contest, we’ll be keeping an eye on all the teams participating and the players that will be representing their countries as we get closer to this awesome event. It’s hard to think of a better way to lead into the MLB season.


Means Heads Back to IL


One of the feel-good stories of the past few weeks has been seeing John Means return to the big-league club after spending 2023 recovering from Tommy John Surgery. Means has been mostly successful this season, recording quality starts in two of his first three outings. He was removed from his last start against the Cardinals with elbow discomfort, and it appears he’ll need some more time to heal up from this one:

Ughhhhh. All you can do is wait and hope that the news isn’t too bad for Means and the Orioles, who will likely head back to a five-man rotation with Cole Irvin resuming a starting role in the meantime. Get well soon, John.


Best Moments From Yesterday


Paul’s Biggest Fans


It shouldn’t surprise you that Paul Skenes is popular with the Pittsburgh youth. What might entertain you is this young fan’s reasons for why he loves the Pirates’ ace.


Happ Makes History


On Thursday afternoon, Ian Happ accomplished a feat that no player before him ever had and nobody ever will again:


A Shrimp in the Bay Area


Some walk-offs are towering moon shots that send the whole stadium into a frenzy. Others, like Tyler Soderstrom’s walk-off walk on Thursday, are less climactic:


Arraez Stays Hot


Few people are swinging a hotter bat right now than Luis Arraez, who has been a fantastic addition to the top of the Padres’ lineup. He continued his hot streak on Thursday by adding four more hits, extending his multi-hit streak to eight games:


Injuries and Other Moves


⚾ Rays SP Shane Baz was activated from the 15-day IL and optioned to Triple-A Durham.

Tigers optioned RP Alex Lange to Triple-A Toledo following a poor performance and outburst on the mound the other day.

Pirates optioned CF Jack Suwinski to Triple-A Indianapolis.

⚾ Reds placed RP Emilio Pagán on the 15-day IL with right triceps tightness.

⚾ Brewers SP DL Hall was sent to Triple-A Nashville to begin a rehab assignment.

⚾ Rangers placed SP Jon Gray on the 15-day IL with a right groin strain. Hopefully, this is a short stint, as the Rangers’ rotation can’t take many more hits.

Athletics OF Esteury Ruiz was placed on the 10-day IL with a left wrist injury.

Giants placed SP Blake Snell on the paternity list Thursday. Players on the paternity list can miss up to three games, so Snell should be back in time for his next start. Congrats, Blake!


Articles You Should Read


What if the Rockies Only Threw Knuckleballs? — Michael Rosen, Fangraphs

The unique, almost-impossible swing of Juan Soto — Mike Petriello, MLB.com

Answering 20 MLB trade deadline questions on the Yankees, Phillies, and other expected contenders — Jim Bowden, The Athletic


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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