Stay updated on everything baseball with our morning MLB News & Moments articles. We’ve got you covered to keep you in the know.
Tuesday gave us a full slate, including a bunch of lopsided games and strong pitching performances. Let’s get into it!
Framber Valdez outduels Shohei Ohtani
Billed as one of the season’s premier pitching matchups, Framber Valdez and Shohei Ohtani delivered on the premise, with the Astros righty coming out on top. While Ohtani started the game by surpassing Babe Ruth in career strikeouts, a rough fifth inning was enough for Houston to score three times and hand him his first loss of the season. Ohtani’s line included seven Ks over seven innings while going hitless at the plate. On the other hand, Valdez allowed a solo homer in the third inning but settled quickly to finish the game with only three hits allowed over eight innings, along with 12 strikeouts. Both hurlers finished the day among the top 10 ERA leaders in the American League, with Ohtani still leading the junior circuit in strikeout rate.
West coast cruising. pic.twitter.com/Ji3yyDQUYL
— Houston Astros (@astros) May 10, 2023
Jordan Diaz has the game of his life
In a game that saw the return of Aaron Judge from the IL, surprising A’s rookie Jordan Diaz was the star. Coming into the game with one home run over his first 89 plate appearances, Diaz went off with three long balls in Yankee Stadium, driving in four runs and becoming the first Oakland rookie with three homers in a game since Mark McGwire. As has often been the case with the Athletics, Diaz’s heroics were not enough, as the pitching and defense were terrible, leading to a comfortable 10-5 Yankees win.
Jordan Diaz: God of Lumber 🔨 pic.twitter.com/f45Fl1XF7A
— Oakland A's (@Athletics) May 10, 2023
George Kirby dominates Texas
The Mariners climbed back to .500 after yet another dominant outing by George Kirby, who also sits on the leaderboard of several pitching categories in the AL. Seattle’s offense delivered enough offense to cruise to a 5-0 win, though Kirby was again the main story. Following this seven-inning, nine-strikeout performance with no walks or runs allowed, Kirby is now sporting a 2.62 ERA and 0.96 WHIP. He has gone at least seven innings during his past three starts and has allowed only two home runs over 44.2 innings for the season. While the AL Cy Young race appears crowded with household names, make sure to keep an eye on this young righty.
George Kirby with a gem pic.twitter.com/uymlo1UZQ3
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) May 10, 2023
Mookie Betts leads off, Dodgers cruise
After a rough loss to open the series in Milwaukee, the Dodgers bounced back with a convincing 6-2 win. The Dodgers had to use eight pitchers after starter Noah Syndergaard left the game early, but it all started with Mookie Betts, who hit his 39th career lead-off homer, which places him #10 on the all-time list for homers to open a game. While Rickey Henderson’s 81 probably represents one of baseball’s unbreakable records, Betts is bound to keep climbing atop the record books and could end his career among the top five (George Springer leads all active players with 53).
.@mookiebetts with his 39th career leadoff homer! pic.twitter.com/WdeTUomN4F
— MLB (@MLB) May 9, 2023
Cardinals show signs of life
Despite probably being the most disappointing team of the 2023 season so far, the Cardinals have finally earned their first three-game winning streak of 2023. After blowing an early 4-1 lead, the bullpen delivered in the late innings, while Paul DeJong hit a clutch homer in the ninth inning to secure a 6-4 win for St. Louis. While they still finished the day with the worst record in the National League, no team in the NL Central threatens to run away with the division, which could open a path for the Cardinals to right the ship and contend as the season progresses.
"THERE'S NUMBER 14!"
PAUL! DEJONG! #STLCards pic.twitter.com/QaUbFfIBsk
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) May 10, 2023
Best Moments From Yesterday
Casey Schmitt homers in MLB debut
After being called up to the Majors and starting the game at shortstop, Giants prospect Casey Schmitt made the most of his debut game. In only his second at-bat, he mashed a home run to left center field off Patrick Corbin. He did it in front of a large contingent of friends and family, which made the moment even more special. He finished the game with two hits over four at-bats, with the Giants winning the game in the end.
Casey Schmitt's first MLB hit is a homer! pic.twitter.com/S302I63w4v
— MLB (@MLB) May 10, 2023
Bobby Witt Jr. from the outfield grass
The Royals have been tough to watch for many stretches of this young season, lost for the 27th time in 37 games, but they at least have the top web gem of the day. In the fifth inning of a 1-1 pitchers’ duel, Hanser Alberto hit a ball to deep shortstop, where Bobby Witt Jr. took a dive and then delivered a perfect throw to record the first out of the innings. Words do not do justice to this play.
.@BwittJr is a VACUUM at short! pic.twitter.com/R7P8TPO0JR
— MLB (@MLB) May 10, 2023
Reds host puppies, win the game
As one of ten MLB franchises that host Bark in the Park events during the season, the Cincinnati Reds opened their field to several excited pups. Following several photo ops, the home team delivered an exciting 7-6 win over the Mets, who fell just short of a big comeback.
Got some absolute dawgs on the field. #BarkInThePark pic.twitter.com/XMNjmm6mNc
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) May 9, 2023
The Braves placed left-handed ace Max Fried back on the IL with a strained left forearm. The move is retroactive to May 6, following Fried’s worst start of the season; while an MRI revealed no structural damage to his elbow, Atlanta will probably be cautious with Fried, as he already had Tommy John surgery back in 2014. After finishing second in Cy Young voting in 2022, Fried had been dominant in his limited action so far in 2023, with a 2-1 record and 2.08 ERA over five appearances. The rehab process and a slow ramp-up is expected to last several weeks, leaving Spencer Strider as the de facto rotation leader for the Braves.
The complicated start to 2023 continues for Max Scherzer, as the veteran ace was scratched from today’s scheduled start against the Reds due to neck spasms. Scherzer expressed discomfort following a Sunday bullpen session, and the team decided to hold him back for a few days, as he is now expected to start Friday against his former team, the Nationals. Mad Max is still looking to find his groove, as he was knocked around by the Tigers in his first start following his 10-game suspension. Scherzer will enter his next start with a 5.56 ERA.
Two veteran former All-Stars were removed from games for precautionary reasons, as Dodgers pitcher Noah Syndergaard left his start after just inning with a cut in his index finger, while Phillies slugger Kyle Schwarber was removed following a sixth-inning at-bat in which he fouled a ball off his left foot. None of these problems should be considered serious, but they add to the tough starts of both players, who are far from their career norms, playing for contenders that need them to perform.
Articles You Should Read
In Celebration (Sort of) of Matt Harvey – Mike Baumann, Fangraphs
When it comes to balls in play, MLB is striking out – Ben Lindbergh, The Ringer
Fantasy Baseball Coverage
Dynasty Baseball Performance Report: Shortstop