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Tuesday gave us almost a full slate, including a series between the top two teams in MLB and the return of a former MVP. Let’s get into it!
Bryce Harper is back in action
Just 160 days removed from Tommy John surgery, Phillies star Bryce Harper returned to the field, batting third in the lineup as a DH. While he went hitless in four at-bats, with three strikeouts, his return should provide a boost for a Philadelphia squad that has struggled mightily. The original expectation was for Harper to make a return near the All-Star break, but he has made it clear that he feels ready to contribute and play at the highest level. His status will certainly be monitored closely as the season progresses, adding an intriguing storyline for the defending NL champions.
Bryce Harper back 160 days after Tommy John surgery.
It's absurd. pic.twitter.com/P4WzTNirjC
— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) May 3, 2023
Zac Gallen loses scoreless streak
Following his impressive streak of 44 and a third scoreless innings in 2022, Arizona hurler Zac Gallen entered Tuesday’s action with 28 scoreless innings. The new streak was snapped almost immediately, as he allowed an RBI single to Nathaniel Lowe in the first, eventually taking a no-decision as the Diamondbacks lost to the Texas Rangers by a 6-4 score. Gallen’s stuff was not as nasty as usual, needing 94 pitches to get through 5 innings, though he did not allow a walk and struck out six. His ERA stands at 2.53, as he will look to start another scoreless streak in his next outing.
Zac Gallen's scoreless streak is halted at 28 innings.
He set a @dbacks franchise record with 44 1/3 straight scoreless frames in 2022. pic.twitter.com/i7MEH4pgAH
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) May 3, 2023
Rays take game 1 against Pirates
In a matchup between two of the teams with the lowest payrolls but the highest win totals so far in 2023, the Pirates and Rays delivered a solid game that ultimately went Tampa’s way. The Rays used an opener and summoned seven different pitchers, who managed to allow a single run despite handing out six walks. Timely hits by Harold Ramírez and Wander Franco provided enough offense to secure the 4-1 win. These teams have now combined for 44 wins, which exceed the sum of wins for the A’s, Royals, Tigers, Rockies, and White Sox.
These are not our preferred pirates#RaysUp pic.twitter.com/EN3A99lneX
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) May 3, 2023
Mason Miller dazzles, Oakland still loses
Oakland prospect Mason Miller had his best stuff going for seven innings, as he did not allow a hit to the Mariners and left the game with a 1-0 lead. However, relievers Richard Lovelady and Jeurys Familia promptly allowed Seattle to take a lead they would not relinquish. Despite the loss, which now places Oakland at a dreadful 6-24 record, Miller’s stock continues to grow, as he could become a dark-horse Rookie of the Year candidate in the AL. The game also gave us the MLB debut of Mariners starter Bryce Miller, who struck out 10 with zero walks—a feat that had only been achieved by Johnny Cueto and Stephen Strasburg.
Mason Miller goes seven no-hit innings 🔥 pic.twitter.com/t9jaur630I
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) May 3, 2023
Disco blanks the champs
Veteran righty Anthony DeSclafani was in command against the Astros, helping the Giants snap a four-game losing streak. Despite having only three strikeouts, DeSclafani kept Houston’s potent lineup in check all game long, allowing three hits and zero walks. Following a 2022 lost to injury, he has become San Francisco’s most consistent starter, with three wins and a 2.13 ERA, while also leading all of baseball in walk rate. RBI hits by Joc Pederson and Blake Sabol were enough to hold the 2-0 win.
Did somebody say Tony Awards?
(#SFGiants x @NationalPro) pic.twitter.com/H9lYotxHk9
— SFGiants (@SFGiants) May 3, 2023
Best Moments From Yesterday
The pitch clock is powerless sometimes
In the eighth inning of a wild 11-7 Orioles win over the Royals, a truly remarkable battle between Kansas City’s reliever Taylor Clarke and Baltimore outfielder Anthony Santander broke out. It started out as a conventional 1-1 count before Santander hit 12 consecutive foul balls to extend the at-bat, much to the delight of the announcers. After finally taking a ball in pitch #15, Santander broke his bat in pitch #16 but still earned a hit and ended up scoring the last run of the game.
An EPIC 16-pitch showdown with 12 straight foul balls. Who comes out on top? pic.twitter.com/LlYckU2jXw
— MLB (@MLB) May 3, 2023
Ronald Acuña steals second unconventionally
Ronald Acuña continues to take advantage of the new rules, stealing his league-leading 14th base of the season. However, today he decided to add some flair to the proceedings. With a mix of showmanship and need for balance, Acuña somersaulted around second base after being declared safe by the umpire. The Braves ended up blanking Miami, while Acuña is hitting .362 for the season.
Ronald Acuña Jr. stolen bases: 14
Ronald Acuña Jr. somersaults: 1 pic.twitter.com/g0ErI92Wkv
— Cut4 (@Cut4) May 3, 2023
Blake Snell: future color man
In a moment of perfect timing, Padres lefty Blake Snell was being interviewed during the third inning of a scoreless game, just as Juan Soto hit a ground ball that got into the corner with the hulking Manny Machado running from first. Machado sped up and ended up scoring, much to the delight of Snell, who delivered an excellent call on the play.
🗣 Look at him go! Look at him go! @snellzilla4 | #BringTheGold pic.twitter.com/vMg0HIYQ5p
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) May 3, 2023
After leaving Monday’s game with an elbow injury, Houston starting pitcher Luis García has been officially placed on the 15-day IL. García was off to a middling start after two stellar years for the Astros, and will now have an MRI to determine the severity of his injury. He joins a long list of injured Houston players, which includes José Urquidy, José Altuve, Michael Brantley, and Chas McCormick. These setbacks will pose a huge challenge as manager Dusty Baker tries to set a starting rotation.
Speaking of another team with tough injury luck to start the season, the Yankees announced that hurler Lou Trivino will undergo Tommy John surgery. He had not pitched this season, as New York he could return and pitch out of the bullpen sometime in 2023. The news comes along with another setback for Carlos Rodón, who is now experiencing back discomfort and thus has no clear timetable to make his season debut. As if a lineup without Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton was not enough, now the Yankees have to figure out their pitching staff on the fly.
Following an unsuccessful return to action after injury, the Rockies announced that veteran starter Germán Márquez will undergo Tommy John surgery. The righty had initially been placed on the 15-day IL in early April with right forearm inflammation, then pitched last Thursday in Cleveland, but had to leave after the fourth inning as the pain returned. The team has not set a date for the surgery, but Márquez should be available to return until at least late 2024.
Articles You Should Read
Should we believe in the Pittsburgh Pirates? – Dan Szymborski, Fangraphs
What to expect from Brandon Pfaadt – Sam Dykstra, MLB.com
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