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Goldshmidt, Judge win May Player of the Month
Two red-hot hitters took home May’s Player of the Month award, with Yankee right fielder Aaron Judge winning the American League prize while the National League’s went to Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.
Judge has been the foundation of New York’s American League-best offense this season, helping the team to a 38-15 record thus far. A perennial slugger, Judge – who is on pace of 64 home runs – has seemingly found another gear in 2022. Both his statline and the Yankee’s record are in part due to his award-winning May, in which he hit 12 of those home runs while posting a 1.077 OPS. This is Judge’s third POTM award, having previously won twice during his historic, 52 HR rookie season in 2017.
There's nothing stopping @TheJudge44 right now.
See him and the @Yankees take on Detroit at 11:30am ET on @peacocktv. pic.twitter.com/JBZ74OtoSw
— MLB (@MLB) June 5, 2022
Over in the National League, Goldschmidt won the award on the back of a 25-game hitting streak that came to an end in the matinee of Saturday’s doubleheader after he went 0/2 with two walks (he did record a hit in game two). The first baseman effectively paced the majors offensively in May, as his 1.277 OPS and 33 RBIs were best in the bigs while his .404 AVG and 10 HRs were both second.
Interestingly, Goldshmidt’s award is the third-straight NL POTM award won by the Cardinals. Third baseman Nolan Arenado won in April, while Tyler O’Neill was recognized last September.
GOLDY GONE! pic.twitter.com/VV1CsGcfKq
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) June 3, 2022
Pujols Plays in 3,000th Game
Another day, another milestone for the future Hall of Famer. Albert Pujols played in his 3,000th career game yesterday, becoming just the 10th player in MLB history to do so. The next two on the list? Legends Cal Ripken Jr. and Willie Mays at 3,001 and 3,005 games, respectively.
Although Pete Rose sits at a distant first place with 3,562 games, Pujols – who has said he’ll retire at the end of this season – could hypothetically finish his historic career fourth on the all-time leaderboard. That would require him to catch Rickey Henderson, and with a 1st-percentile sprint speed per Baseball Savant, that’s extremely unlikely. Jokes aside, matching Henderson’s 3,081 total would require Pujols to play in about 80% of the Cardinal’s remaining games. More likely, he continues his current every-other-day-ish pace and finish with around 3,050, edging out none other than Ty Cobb.
Scherzer OK After Dog Bite
Max Scherzer is fine. Rumors began swirling of a more serious injury after it was reported that he’d suffered a dog bite. Scherzer took to social media to clarify the story, writing that his dog bit him after getting hurt herself. In typically intense fashion, the right-hander declared it a “non story” and that the event would not impact his recovery from the oblique strain he suffered in mid-May.
We hope both dog and man feel better soon!
— Max Scherzer (@Max_Scherzer) June 4, 2022
Best Moments From Yesterday
Position Player Pitching…Against the Rules?
In an uncharacteristic moment for the 2022 season, a position player-turned-pitcher made headlines not for lobbing 45-mph meatballs with shoddy mechanics, but because…they weren’t allowed to?
Down 9-4 to the Mets going into the top of the ninth inning, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts opted to save his bullpen and have utility player Jack McKinstry get the final three outs. However, the umpires quickly stopped McKinstry from warming up and told Roberts that a pitcher would need to come in.
The odd moment came as a result of a 202o rule stipulating that position players cannot pitch in games with a deficit of five runs or fewer. The rule had been temporarily paused during the 2020 and 2021 seasons due to COVID and reinstated prior to this season, which perhaps explains why Roberts appeared to have no idea.
Ultimately, reliever Evan Phillips came in (although not without some drama around his warm-up time) and allowed a hit while striking out two. The Dodgers failed to score in the bottom half, and after all that – the game ended 9-4.
Rockies Debut City Connect Jerseys
Baseball’s newest jerseys made their first appearance yesterday, as the Colorado Rockies wore their City Connect uniforms for their game versus Atlanta.
So fresh, so 𝙂𝙍𝙀𝙀𝙉 😮💨🤑 pic.twitter.com/UYFX26dCgj
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) June 5, 2022
‘Colorado’ is more than our namesake.
It’s all of 𝗨𝗦.
We are the fabric of our state 🏔️💚#Rockies / @nikediamond pic.twitter.com/1PoECFOPqc
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) May 27, 2022
The design takes inspiration from the state’s license plates, which employ the same font as well as a white and dark green mountain landscape.
Unfortunately, the 23-30 Rockies were unable to secure a win alongside their jersey debut as they fell to Atlanta 6-2. However, a redeeming moment was Denver-native Kyle Freeland getting the start and producing one of his best performances of the season, going 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 3 K.
Taylor Ward was placed on the 10-Day IL with a right hamstring strain.
Jacob DeGrom threw a 19-pitch bullpen session. He has yet to play this season after injuring his right scapula in Spring Training.
Max Muncy (elbow) began a rehab assignment at Triple-A Oklahoma City.
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Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)