MLB News & Moments You Should Know: 7/01/2024

Wyatt Langford hits for the cycle, San Fran hits double-digit doubles.

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Today’s Headlines


Double the Fun


After a crushing loss on Saturday, the Giants faced another potential tough bullpen game against their biggest rivals. But after Spencer Bivens retired Shohei Ohtani to lead off the game, the energy in the stadium began to shift, and the script was flipped on its head. The offensively-challenged Giants exploded for their best showing of the season, building a 9-0 lead by the fourth inning and ending with a dominating 10-4 win. Bivens ended up earning his first big-league win as a starter, and San Francisco combined to hit ten doubles, which was the first time for the franchise hitting double-digit two-baggers since 1912. With a 41-44 record, the Giants remain in the middle of the NL wild card mess, while the Dodgers took their first 2024 series loss in the rivalry.



Cycle Race 


To start the season, Wyatt Langford was considered a sleeper pick for Rookie of the Year, and the X factor for the champion Texas Rangers. His adaptation to a full-time role in the majors was not as quick as expected, culminating with an IL trip amidst a disappointing season for the Rangers. After coming back, he slowly started to heat up, and today he showed just how special he can be. Langford produced the first cycle of 2024, with a display of power and speed that few can match. If you look at the highlight, it can be argued that all of his first three hits would have produced one fewer base, but Langford’s speed and hustle were enough to erase an out at first base and earn a triple and a double. With the first three legs in the bag and Texas carrying a big lead, the rookie completed his masterpiece with a no-doubt three-run blast, giving an exclamation point in the 11-2 win.



Dugout Ewing Theory


For all the accolades that Craig Counsell earned as Milwaukee’s manager, it is true that he never actually won anything outside of a few division titles. His shocking move to the Cubs was supposed to make Chicago an instant contender and send the Brewers into a painful rebuild, as a franchise with more resources would give the coveted manager a roster capable of reaching new heights. Instead, Milwaukee has thrived and owns a commanding lead atop the NL Central, while the Cubbies are dead last and 11.5 games behind their rivals. Today’s 7-1 win was punctuated by yet another Milwaukee grand slam, as Brice Turang turned a 3-1 close game into a 7-1 laugher. With Milwaukee now having a 6-4 lead in the season series and the Cubs facing long odds to make the playoffs, maybe Counsell is having some second thoughts.


Best Moments From Yesterday


Birthday Boy comes out on Top


With Ranger Suarez having the worst start of his season (nine hits and six runs allowed, with zero strikeouts), the Phillies faced a 6-2 deficit in the fifth inning, as it appeared that they would shockingly lose a home series to the lowly Marlins. From that point forward, the real Phillies showed up, pulling within one run as the seventh inning started. After two walks and a rare sac bunt, the tying and winning runs were in scoring position, but a shallow fly ball from Brandon Marsh failed to score either one, setting the stage for Trea Turner on his 31st birthday. Despite having an open base, the Marlins chose to pitch to Turner, who delivered a clutch two-run single that completed the comeback. Gregory Soto and Jeff Hoffman pitched consecutive perfect innings to secure the win, as Philadelphia continues to hold the best record in MLB.



Battle in the Middle


In the rubber game of the most .500 series of the year, the 41-41 Astros faced the 40-40 Mets. With both teams surging into contention, this series became much more relevant, with the Astros coming out on top and climbing over .500 for the first time in 2024. While Houston squandered an early 4-0 lead, then had to wait during a weather delay of almost three hours, and saw the Mets again tie the game in the tenth, a monster 11th inning was finally enough to secure the win. Despite quiet games from the Astros’ big bats, the bottom of the order provided clutch hits, as Jake Meyers, Joey Loperfido, and Trey Cabbage drove in five runs in that fateful frame.



Battle at the Cellar


The weekend series between the White Sox and Rockies literally gave us the two worst teams in baseball with nothing to play for, except for possible draft positioning. And yet, the concept of winning a Major League Baseball game remains serious business for the players, as these squads gave us one of the most entertaining contests of the season. Garrett Crochet added 11 Ks to his league-leading total, but his two runs allowed matched Kyle Freeland’s total, sending the game into extra innings. With the game tied at two on a getaway day, neither team seemed content with leaving Chicago without a W, as both teams traded runs in the 10th and the 13th, but Colorado finally broke through in the 14th to take the tight win. It could have ended before, but Brenton Doyle made a spectacular catch to deny Tommy Pham of a walk-off hit. Even in the middle of a lost season for these teams, we can always appreciate the effort.



Stepping with Lego


We all know that stepping on a Lego can be an awfully painful experience, but what if instead you use a few of them in your steps? Despite a quiet game and a lopsided loss, Baltimore’s Gunnar Hunderson was in the spotlight for many reasons. It all started with the announcement that he would be part of the new-format Home Run Derby, followed by him showing his Lego custom cleats on national television. With a painted Lego Henderson and four minifigures to join the fun, it was certainly an inspired design to match with such an exciting player.



A Satisfying Thump


The Blue Jays had a rough day at the office just before Canada Day, losing 8-1 as their ace was easily out-dueled by the Yankees’ ace and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had to leave the game after being hit by a pitch. Amid all this negativity, and falling back to 38-45, there was still a nice play to at least remind Toronto fans of better days. Long known for his defensive exploits, Kevin Kiermaier added a web gem to his extensive catalog, robbing a homer as his back crashed against the wall. The thump was captured perfectly by the field mic, as the league created a nice montage out of it.



Injuries and Other Moves


⚾ In a bit of rare positive news, the Angels announced that Mike Trout is basically “pain-free” and is now targeting a late-July return. After already missing two months following surgery to repair a meniscus tear, Trout is almost set to begin his recovery in earnest, even as it is likely that the franchise will take a cautious approach. Even as Anaheim is all but out of playoff contention, it is always fun to see Trout chase career milestones and showcase his preternatural talent.

⚾ The Guardians have made a significant move in their rotation, as Gavin Williams is set to return from the 60-day IL. This means that a current starter needed to be demoted, and so Triston McKenzie is headed back to AAA. McKenzie has been the weakest link in Cleveland’s division, and one of the worst starters in all of baseball, with a 5.11 ERA and the most homers and walks allowed. Williams will try to deliver on his top prospect pedigree, after already flashing some of his talent in a shortened 2023 rookie season. 


Articles You Should Read


The Marlins are ChasingDavy Andrews, FanGraphs

A James Wood FAQJessica Camerato, 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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