MLB News & Moments You Should Know: 5/31/2024

A pitcher's duel and a reminder that we're all just human.

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


López Clarifies Comments Following DFA


We start things off with a story that isn’t much fun for anybody. On Wednesday, Jorge López was designated for assignment by the New York Mets following an ejection, a glove tossed into the stands, and a post-game interview that was quite literally lost in translation. López took to Instagram on Thursday and posted this statement to clarify his comments:

It’s crucial to note that English is not López’s first language, so it’s completely understandable (and very unfortunate) that some of the comments he made were taken the wrong way and used to garner clicks from a viral clip. As the dust settled from this incident, cooler heads prevailed with the knowledge that López is dealing with some difficult off-the-field items as well:

It’s a great reminder that you never truly know what’s going on in somebody’s life and that we’re all just humans trying to make our way. López deserves grace and empathy in this trying time, and I hope we can all rally around him to show him and his family support. You can learn more about López and the person and father he is in this article a couple of years ago from the Baltimore Sun (subscription required):


DBacks Ace Exits Game with Injury


In the first of a four game set in Queens, Arizona Diamondbacks ace Zac Gallen took the mound to get the third-place defending NL champs back on track. His outing would unfortunately last only six pitches, as he was removed from the game after allowing a leadoff single to Francisco Lindor. Gallen appeared to have some lower-body discomfort, and sure enough, it was revealed to be a hamstring issue:

As the above tweet mentions, this wasn’t the first time Gallen has left a game this year with a hamstring issue. A flare-up of the same injury is concerning, but we won’t know more until Gallen undergoes imaging back in Arizona. Here’s hoping it’s just a minor issue and that Gallen won’t need to miss significant time.


Flaherty Wins Pitcher’s Duel in Boston


It was Nick Pivetta vs. Jack Flaherty in the series opener between the Boston Red Sox and visiting Detroit Tigers on Thursday, and both pitchers brought their A game in what turned out to be a classic pitcher’s duel. In the early frames, Pivetta managed to strike out eight consecutive Tigers to tie Roger Clemens for the franchise record with eight straight punchouts.

Pivetta would surrender a couple of runs but still post a solid performance through 5.1 innings, after which all eyes would turn to Flaherty and a mounting no-hit bid. With his pitch count climbing, Flaherty would make it through 6.1 frames before allowing his first hit, a sharp single to right field by Rob Refsnyder:

It’s unclear if Flaherty would have continued to pitch into the eighth and ninth with his pitch count eclipsing 100 pitches, but it was a great performance nonetheless for the Tigers’ righty, who seems to have found a bit of his old self in Detroit. The Tigers would go on to win this game 5-0 behind this dominant pitching performance.


El Gary Plays the Hero


It’s been a contentious four-game set in Milwaukee with Craig Counsell returning to American Family Field for the first time since signing with the rival Cubs seemingly out of nowhere. With the Brewers up 2-1 in the series and holding a 4.5 game advantage in the division, the Cubs desperately needed a win to get back on track. Down one run in the eighth, Christopher Morel provided the boost the offense needed to tie the game up:

It wouldn’t take long for the momentum to shift back the other way, however. The Brewers had an answer for Morel’s game-tying blast, and that answer’s name was Gary Sánchez:

The tie-breaking blast would prove to be the difference in this one as the Brewers won 6-4 and sent the Cubs packing with a 3-1 series win. The Cubs now sit in third place in the division behind the surging Cardinals and are desperately looking for answers to solve their struggles in the lineup and bullpen. They’ll look to get back on track against the Cincinnati Reds, while the Brewers stay in Milwaukee to play host to the Chicago White Sox.


Toronto City Connects Revealed


Though some of the designs have been leaked throughout the week, the Toronto Blue Jays officially revealed their City Connect jerseys last night:

I’m not going to pretend to be any sort of fashion expert, but as far as City Connects go, these are one of the better ones in this author’s opinion (though it’s hard to top the Skateboarding Stingray from earlier this year). You can see all the details and Easter Eggs about the full uniform here:


Best Moments From Yesterday


Crawford’s Spectacular Play


Thursday’s Web Gem of the Day goes to Mariners shortstop J.P. Crawford, who made a dazzling diving play followed up by a one-handed relay flip to get Mauricio Dubón at first base:


Real-Time Announcer Jinx


Down one run in the ninth inning and facing elite closer Mason Miller, Rays outfielder Jose Siri came to the plate with a solo home run already under his belt in the game. What happened next was an announcer jinx for the ages:

The Rays would go on to win this game in extra innings on a loooong single by Richie Palacios, making it two straight extra-inning wins for Tampa Bay.


Crawford’s Biggest Fans


Hey, look, it’s J.P. Crawford showing up here once again! Crawford walked things off for the Mariners late on Wednesday night, and on Thursday, we got a look into the Crawford household to see a live reaction from some fans watching the game at home:


The Goose (was) Loose


Baseball and animals often mix in strange and unpredictable ways. From Rally Cats to this season’s infamous Bee Game, these critters produce some of the most viral moments in the sport. Six years ago, we got this great moment from Comerica Park:



Injuries and Other Moves


Gallen wasn’t the only pitcher to suffer an injury on Thursday–out of seemingly nowhere, it was announced that Yankees SP Clarke Schmidt was placed on the 15-day IL with a lat strain. Schmidt will be shut down from throwing for several weeks. It’s a big blow to the Yankees rotation, as Schmidt was having an impressive campaign thus far.

Cubs recalled OF Pete Crow-Armstrong to the big league club. Here’s hoping he stays up this time.

With SP Brady Singer scratched from his start due to illness, the Royals brought up Daniel Lynch IV to make Thursday’s start.

⚾ Athletics SP Kyle Muller was placed on the 15-day IL with left shoulder tendinitis.

Atlanta RP A.J. Minter was placed on the 15-day IL with left hip inflammation.

The Marlins designated RP Woo-Suk Go for assignment.

Tampa Bay speedster Taylor Walls began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Durham.

Mets C Francisco Alvarez began a rehab assignment with Double-A Binghamton.


Articles You Should Read


‘A great day for Josh Gibson’: Slugger’s great-grandson talks incredible legacy — Manny Randhawa, MLB.com

The long climb back for Fernando Tatis, Jr., once the next ‘face of baseball’ — Brittany Ghiroli, The Athletic

Snellinger and the Jungle of Doom — Kiri Oler, Fangraphs


Fantasy Baseball Coverage


Starting Pitcher Roundup

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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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