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MLB News & Moments You Should Know: 6/22/2024

Ohtani homers against Angels; Sale wins 10th

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

 

Ohtani Homers but Angels Win

 

“You don’t know what you have ’til it’s gone” does not apply to Shohei Ohtani. Everyone knew what the Los Angeles Angels had and what they lost when the two-time unanimous American League MVP moved to the more successful National League team in Los Angeles. Ohtani provided the Angels with this quick reminder: a 455″ home run in the fifth inning of his first regular season game against his former club.

But file this one under “that’s baseball” (or maybe under “Tungsten Arm O’Doyle moments in Dodger blue”) because Ohtani’s two-run shot was all the¬†Los Angeles Dodgers¬†lineup put on the scoreboard. The Angels scored on a bases-loaded HBP, a bases-loaded groundout, and a 10th-inning single by Taylor Ward to win 3-2. The Halos are still 15.5 games worse than the Dodgers, but being on the other side of an Ohtani feat that proved fruitless in the win column had to feel good for one night.

 

Smooth Sale-ing

 

Chris Sale pitched like an ace, Carlos Rodón struggled, and Atlanta cruised to an 8-1 win in a faceoff of big-name starters vying for double digit wins in New York. Sale (10-2, 2.91 ERA) struck out eight in five innings, including freezing Juan Soto and getting Aaron Judge to chase in the fourth.

Atlanta’s offense continued to show signs of life after struggling to recapture their 2023 slugging form for most of this season. Six players had two hits, including recently added outfielder¬†Ram√≥n Laureano, who went 3-for-5. Rodon (9-4, 3.86 ERA) gave up 11 of Atlanta’s 14 hits in 3.2 IP. This series has two more intriguing pitching matchups to go this weekend:¬†Charlie Morton¬†versus¬†Marcus Stroman¬†on today and¬†Max Fried¬†against¬†Nestor Cortes¬†on Sunday.

New York played without outfielder Alex Verdugo (day off) and infielder Gleyber Torres (groin).

 

D-backs Win in Return to Philadelphia

 

Last year, the Philadelphia Phillies and their home-field advantage got the hype, but the Arizona Diamondbacks went to Citizens Bank Park and won two elimination games to reach the World Series. On Friday, the D-backs took the first rematch between NL finalists back at the Bank 5-4. The Philly crowd could be heard after catcher Gabriel Moreno and designated hitter Joc Pederson (who played in San Francisco last season but still egged on the Philly boos) went back-to-back in the third to give the visitors the lead.

Trea Turner hit his first homer since returning from the IL, but the Phillies couldn’t complete a comeback.¬†Bryce Harper¬†grounded into a 1-2-3 double play with the bases loaded in the seventh, and¬†Kyle Schwarber¬†grounded out to end the game.

Moreno left the game in the bottom of the 6th with a sprained left thumb. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a home run but left in the bottom of the eighth with left elbow soreness.

 

Mets Batter Imanaga Early

 

Shota Imanaga gave up 10 runs in 3.0 IP and the New York Mets moved to 12-5 in June (8-1 since Grimace threw out the first pitch). J.D. Martinez hit a three-run homer in the first. In the second, Francisco Alvarez added a solo shot and Brandon Nimmo hit a two-run opposite-field home run. Imanaga pitched at least four innings in his previous 13 starts and only gave up more than two earned runs once (seven against Milwaukee on May 29). The Mets middle infield, shortstop Francisco Lindor and second baseman Jose Iglesias, combined to go 7-for-10 with 3 runs and 3 RBIs. New York is two games under .500 and, like most of the National League, is involved in the wildcard race.

 

Best Moments From Yesterday

 

Hamels Comes Home

 

Cole Hamels retired, and Phillies threw him a pre-game ceremony. Not for his number but for him. Hamels started 88 games for Texas, 39 for the Cubs, and one for Atlanta, but those numbers are dwarfed by his 294 starts for the Phillies. And the World Series MVP for 2008 champs is nice, too.

 

Availability is the Best Ability

 

2000/162 is 12.34. Carlos Santana played his 2000th game yesterday, so he’s played more than a dozen seasons worth of games at the major league level since 2010. He played 150+ games in nine seasons, missing only one in 2018 as a Phillie and playing all 60 in Cleveland during the 2020 season. In 2023, he played 146 games and hit 23 home runs at age 37. He went 1-for-4 on Friday, his 70th game of the season for the¬†Minnesota Twins.

 

Web Gem

 

Julio Rodríguez may have been bitten by a radioactive arachnid.

 

In the Big Innings

 

The Houston Astros put up nine runs in the sixth to take a 14-3 lead. The Baltimore Orioles answered with seven in the eighth, but Houston held off the Baltimore charge to win 14-11.

 

Be Like Sho

 

New Balance announced Shohei Ohtani will wear white and gold ‘Ohtani 1s’ during All-Star Weekend in July as a part of the release of his signature clothing and shoe collection. Bryan Horowitz reported that New Balance designed the new cleats to help the superstar “feel more connected with the field underneath him.” Horowitz indicated that Ohtani has already been wearing SO1s while making baseball wonder if a full-time DH can win the MVP. (The gold version in the announcement seems to match what Ohtani showed off on ESPN back in April.) Maybe the best way to see if the shoes help Ohtani is to have him try to pickle The Beast as a part of All-Star festivities.

 

Injuries and Other Moves

 

‚öĺ Right fielder¬†Fernando Tatis¬†Jr. (left triceps contusion) and¬†left fielder¬†Jurickson Profar (left knee patellar tendinitis) left the¬†San Diego Padres win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday.¬†

‚öĺ The¬†Los Angeles Dodgers¬†transferred infielder¬†Max Muncy¬†to the 60-day IL and reinstated right-handed pitcher¬†Kyle Hurt¬†from Triple-A.

‚öĺ The¬†Houston Astros called up outfielder Joey Loperfido from Triple-A to start Friday’s game. Right-handed pitcher¬†Jake Bloss¬†made his MLB debut but left after 3.2 IP and is expected to go on the IL (shoulder).

‚öĺ The St. Louis Cardinals activated right-handed pitcher¬†Giovanny Gallegos¬†from the 15-day IL and optioned right-handed pitcher¬†Adam Kloffenstein¬†to Triple-A.

‚öĺ The¬†Toronto Blue Jays reinstated right-handed pitcher Yariel Rodr√≠guez from the 15-day IL to start on Friday.

‚öĺ The¬†Miami Marlins¬†started left-hander pitcher¬†Trevor Rogers¬†instead of Jes√ļs Luzardo¬†taking his turn in the rotation on Friday. Luzardo was scratched for Saturday for evaluation.

‚öĺ The¬†Colorado Rockies¬†placed infielder¬†Adael Amador¬†on the 10-day IL (right oblique tightness) and reinstated second basemen Brendan Rogers¬†from the 10-day IL. They also placed outfielder¬†Charlie Blackmon¬†on the 10-day IL (right hamstring) and called up outfielder¬†Sam Hilliard¬†from Triple-A.

‚öĺ The¬†Cleveland Guardians¬†recalled infielder¬†Angel Mart√≠nez¬†from Triple-A and placed infielder¬†Gabriel Arias¬†on the family medical emergency list.¬†

 

Articles You Should Read

 

Why Grayson Rodriguez looks like a budding ace for the O’s ‚ÄĒ David Adler, MLB.com

 

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Scott Appleman

Scott Appleman is a utility infielder with a master's degree in sports journalism from St. Bonaventure, a JV MVP award and two career home runs. He writes Thrill Shot, a Substack newsletter about champions and contenders.

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