Stay updated on everything baseball with our morning MLB News & Moments articles. We’ve got you covered to keep you in the know.
Saturday was a grand day!
Target practice. pic.twitter.com/LNKNKW7Btp
— Houston Astros (@astros) April 8, 2023
Two players hit grand slams on Saturday. The first came courtesy of slugger Yordan Alvarez. He swatted a Joe Ryan fastball over the right field wall, tying the game with a grand salami that had an exit velocity of 116 mph. Per Sarah Langs of ESPN, Alvarez’s third inning home run was the second-hardest hit grand slam in the Statcast era. The Minnesota Twins, however, would get the last laugh, beating the Houston Astros in a 9-6 game.
Rafael Devers, ladies and gents. pic.twitter.com/7DCC7zQIaz
— Red Sox (@RedSox) April 8, 2023
Rafael Devers also got into the grand slam action, launching a fly ball out to left field that just snuck over the wall. His home run gave the Boston Red Sox a 6-0 lead over the Detroit Tigers in the second inning. Devers went deep again in the seventh inning, a no-doubter off the bat at 110.3 mph. It was the 13th multi-HR game of his career.
At 8-0, the Tampa Bay Rays may never lose again.
The Rays aren't just winning.
They're dominating. pic.twitter.com/WBsyzNdeun
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) April 8, 2023
Shortly after the tweet above was posted, the Tampa Bay Rays cruised to an 11-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics. With their eighth win of the season, the Rays remain undefeated and have won each game by four or more runs.
Sarah Langs comes in clutch with all the cool numbers related to Tampa Bay’s incredible feat, including the last time a team started the season this good was the St. Louis Maroons in 1884!
The Rays also have the fourth-highest run differential through the first eight games of the season in MLB history. No team in the last century has started this hot.
highest run diff in 1st 8 games of season, MLB history:
1884 St. Louis Maroons: +68
1884 New York Gothams: +48
1882 Providence Grays: +47
** 2023 Rays: +46 **
1876 Hartfords of Brooklyn: +46
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) April 8, 2023
The Rays finish their series with the Oakland Athletics this afternoon, then they start a more competitive series against the Boston Red Sox on Monday.
Nolan Arenado hits his 300th career home run.
Career home run number 300 for Nolan Arenado! pic.twitter.com/SN53bq3fKa
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) April 8, 2023
Facing Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Eric Lauer in the third inning, veteran third baseman Nolan Arenado pounced on a middle-middle changeup for his 300th career home run. 235 of those came as a member of the Colorado Rockies, and the last 40 with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Bryson Stott walks it off for the Philadelphia Phillies.
STOTTTTTTTTY #RingTheBell pic.twitter.com/yY5FyMJw6u
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) April 8, 2023
It was a low-scoring affair at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday afternoon. Cincinnati Reds third baseman Spencer Steer hit a solo home run in the first inning, but that would be the only run scored by either team through the first eight innings. The Reds tacked on another run in the top of the ninth, leaving the Phillies to overcome a 2-0 deficit in the bottom of the ninth.
A leadoff walk, wild pitch, and single put two runners aboard for Brandon Marsh, whose single drove in a run. A sacrifice fly from Edmundo Sosa tied the game, then Marsh stole second and put himself in scoring position for Bryson Stott.
Stott worked the count full, and on the seventh pitch of the at bat swatted a changeup below the zone into right field. Marsh raced around third to score the winning run, sparking some early bedlam at the bank.
A weird series of events in Atlanta.
Here is the video of Odor missing the plate https://t.co/OlAgyjuWsB pic.twitter.com/FgP4NXgw0G
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) April 9, 2023
The fourth inning between the San Diego Padres and Atlanta Braves got a little wacky. Trent Grisham was up to bat with one out and runners on second (Ha-Seong Kim) and third (Rougned Odor). He hit a ground ball to first baseman Matt Olson who threw to home to try to get the runner out at the plate. Odor collided with the catcher, the ball got away on a bad throw, and Kim scampered home and scored safely. So, normal enough, two runs scored on a fielder’s choice and throwing error.
But, not so fast! Manny Machado stepped to the plate next, but instead of throwing a pitch, Charlie Morton stepped off the rubber and lobbed the ball home, where catcher Travis d’Arnaud caught it and stepped on home plate. The umpire signals an out, and everyone is confused.
The Padres only got one run on the two-run play because Odor didn't touch home.
Here's Charlie Morton throwing the appeal pitch, with a look at Odor going back to touch home after Kim scored. pic.twitter.com/gSwHZr3ljL
— Justin Toscano (@JustinCToscano) April 9, 2023
Going back to the original clip, you can see Odor running back to home plate just before the camera cuts away. Apparently, Odor didn’t touch home plate on the initial play. Kim came in behind him, then Odor went back to touch the plate. The Braves noticed, appealing the call with that step on home plate, and the home plate umpire rules that Odor is out because technically Kim passed him on the bases.
If I’ve confused you even more than when you started reading this section, don’t worry. You’ll probably never see this happen again!
Best Moments From Yesterday
Scoreboard trivia plays on sibling rivalry.
Check out the “player trivia” on the scoreboard … pic.twitter.com/4aWlEhnn5e
— John Denton (@JohnDenton555) April 9, 2023
The Contreras brothers faced off on Saturday, with Willson Contreras behind the plate for the Cardinals and William Contreras at DH for the Brewers. The folks who create the player trivia for the scoreboard razzed the older Contreras, pointing out that William leads the family with three RBI.
The Kansas City Royals shift without shifting.
The Royals are breaking out the two-man outfield shift today in San Francisco.
This was in the first inning vs. Michael Conforto. They’ve also used it vs. Blake Sabol.
Still waiting for an outfielder to throw somebody out at first. But I haven’t seen one of those yet! pic.twitter.com/oZm2kjRAOl
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) April 8, 2023
We’re now in the era where shifts are banned, and infielders cannot cross the imaginary line up the middle. This, however, hasn’t stopped teams from getting creative with their defensive alignments. Against Michael Conforto, they moved an outfielder into shallow right field (normally where the third baseman would’ve been standing on shifts). Conforto would end up grounding out right back to the pitcher, so the shift was for naught.
Sean Manaea and Blake Sabol make history as the first Samoan battery in Major League Baseball History. Hear their comments on the significance of the moment:
Blake Sabol and Sean Manaea made history today as the first Samoan pitcher-catcher duo in MLB history 🇼🇸
“Hopefully there’s some little boys or girls that are looking at that like, ‘Wow, maybe I should play baseball. I want to do that.’” pic.twitter.com/YGk0aRl3IV
— KNBR (@KNBR) April 8, 2023
Injuries & Transactions
SP Zach Davies will go on the injured list with a strained oblique.
RP Jonathan Loáisiga was placed on the 15-day IL with right elbow inflammation.
OF Austin Meadows was placed on the 10-day IL with anxiety. The Tigers recalled Akil Baddoo to take his place.
Articles You Should Read
Picking Up the Pieces — David Singh, Sportsnet
Fantasy Baseball Coverage
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)
That Odor play is a head-scratcher. Nicole’s description makes sense … except that officially, Kim scored, and Odor was out.
Looked like obstruction to me, but either way, I have no idea what the actual ruling was.