MLB News & Moments You Should Know: 7/3/2024

Is it time to prepare for an Orioles-Guardians ALCS?

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Today’s Headlines


The Elly Show


In a game that featured the two tallest position players in MLB, Elly De La Cruz’s first visit to Yankee Stadium one-upped Aaron Judge’s typical brilliance. A triple from De La Cruz was key to open in the scoring in the fourth inning, while his two-run homer in the fifth gave the Reds a 5-0 lead that would be just enough to secure the win. While Graham Ashcraft could not secure a shutdown inning and allowed a three-run rally, Cincinnati’s bullpen was able to navigate the back-end of the game, limiting the Yankees to a Judge solo homer in the seventh. Closer Alexis Díaz pitched a perfect ninth for his 18th save of the season, as Elly made a statement as he continues to make his case as one of the most fun and marketable players in the game.




Just a month ago, the Mets were 11 games under .500, full of dysfunction, and probably ready for a fire sale at the trade deadline. Today, they climbed above .500 for the first time since late April, winning their second straight extra-innings game in Washington. What started as a pitching duel between Sean Manaea (two runs over seven innings) and DJ Herz (one run over 5.2 innings with ten strikeouts), became a slugfest once the ghost runner was introduced, as infielder/performing artist Jose Iglesias drove in the winning run with a double, followed by four additional runs to seal the game. It may be too late to chase the Phillies atop the NL East, but the Mets appear to be a solid wild-card contender, with the vibes around the team improving with every win.



Carry On, Grayson


With two division leaders facing off in Seattle, the Mariners continued to show that their offensive woes need addressing. The M’s had scored three runs or fewer in five of their past six games, and today they suffered a two-hit shutout at the hands of Grayson Rodriguez and the Orioles. Rodriguez was masterful, earning his tenth win of the season with 6.1 innings of two-hit ball, allowing four walks and getting eight strikeouts. While George Kirby was similarly dominant, RBI hits from Anthony Santander and Cedric Mullins were enough to earn a 2-0 win. In a moment that perfectly encapsulates Seattle’s concerning offense, Julio Rodríguez came to the plate with the tying runs in scoring position and two outs in the bottom of the ninth, but he struck out to end the game against Craig Kimbrel. In terms of runs scored per game, Seattle stands as the third-worst team in the AL.



Best Moments From Yesterday


Te-Oscar Winner

In a game that saw seven runs scored and three lead changes over the final three innings, the Dodgers came out winners despite being down a run with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Consecutive hits from Will Smith, Freddie Freeman, and Teoscar Hernández shocked Dbacks closer Paul Sewald, as he blew a lead for the first team this season. This all happened after former Dodger Joc Pederson had hit a solo homer in the top half of the inning, while Shohei Ohtani hit his 27th blast of 2024 in the seventh. Despite having 53 wins on the season, this was only the third walk-off for LA.



Nathan for You


The defending champion Rangers face an uphill battle in their attempt to return to October, but games like today’s show just how dominant they can be when they are healthy. In his 14th start of a season that has been uneven to say the least, Nathan Eovaldi delivered his finest outing, needing only 92 pitches to mow down the Padres over seven scoreless innings in which he allowed only one hit. His effort was more than enough to earn his fifth win, but the Rangers still exploded with the bats anyway, as eight of their ten hits went for extra bases, highlighted by Nathaniel Lowe hitting two homers on his bobblehead day.



And Your Bird Can Sing

While several injuries were responsible for rushing Hayden Birdsong’s MLB debut, the rookie is showing that he might just belong here. Facing Atlanta on the road on just his second career start, Birdsong recovered from back-to-back homers on the second inning and having two runners in scoring position with two outs in the fifth, allowing only those two runs over five innings, with five strikeouts. As the Giants pushed the winning run in the sixth, Birdsong became the pitcher of record, earning the W in San Francisco’s 5-3 comeback victory. All-Star candidate Heliot Ramos hit his 11th homer of the season, one of three solo homers for the Giants.



Home Cookin’

Despite blowing a late 6-3 lead to the lowly White Sox, the Cleveland Guardians did what they do best – win at home. As Bo Naylor pushed a fly ball deep enough to score the winning run from third, the walk-off sacrifice fly gave Cleveland their sixth straight win at home. They also improved to an MLB-best 27-9 record as the home team, and the Guardians now own the best overall winning percentage in the AL. which is even more remarkable considering that the unbalanced schedule has made Cleveland play 11 more games on the road than at home.



Another Kind of Trade


As the trade deadline continues to approach and our news feeds are bound to become full of rumors, today we got an actual trade, albeit one involving shiny cardboard. At the beginning of the year, Royals catcher MJ Melendez posted a proposal on his personal Twitter, asking anyone who might pull a rare WBC Topps card featuring his signature to trade the card to him for a personal tour of Kauffman Stadium and catch a game. Melendez and the Royals shared the exchange happening, as a kid pulled the card and got to meet Melendez and enjoy a VIP experience at a major-league park. As usual, baseball is the best.



Injuries and Other Moves

⚾ The Diamondbacks have placed Jordan Montgomery on the 15-day IL, retroactive to June 29, with right knee discomfort. This development is yet another setback for Montgomery, who has had a dreadful debut season in Arizona. After signing late in Spring Training, his abbreviated preparation has certainly played a role in his inconsistency, as he heads to the IL carrying a 6.03 ERA over 13 starts.

⚾ Utility infielder Isiah Kiner-Falefa has been placed on the 10-day IL due to a left knee sprain, as the Blue Jays confirmed that the injury that caused him to be a late scratch from Monday’s game is more serious than expected. He has been one of the most consistent Toronto hitters, with a career-best .758 OPS while contributing at three defensive positions. In his place, Leo Jimenez has been recalled and will make his MLB debut. 

⚾ Two-time All-Star and former batting champion Tim Anderson has officially been released by the Marlins, adding to the shocking downturn of his career. Anderson, who just turned 31, followed up his career-worst 2023 season with an even worse 2024, hitting for only three extra-base hits and 9 RBI over 241 plate appearances. While it is unlikely that any contender will give him a chance, he is now free to join any team while Miami is on the hook for his base salary. 

Johnny Cueto has opted out of his minor-league deal with the Rangers, and is now free to sign with any team. While his AAA numbers in 2024 are not at all enticing, he could still draw interest from a franchise that may need a swingman or at least veteran presence. Now 38 years old, Cueto will try to pitch in the majors for a 17th straight season. 


Articles You Should Read


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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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