MLB News & Moments You Should Know – July 7

Homers galore and an all-time bad first pitch

Stay updated on everything baseball with our morning MLB News & Moments articles. We’ve got you covered to keep you in the know.

 

Today’s Headlines

 

The Tigers Party Like it’s 1986

Coming into the 2022 season, the Detroit Tigers had a lot of hype. With the signing of Javier Báez, the fairly encouraging 2021 performances from pitchers Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal, and the looming call-ups of Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene had Detroit faithful thinking it was the Tigers’ time to get back into the spotlight.

Unfortunately, baseball is baseball, and plans haven’t gone perfectly. Báez has shown his dynamic potential at times but has overall struggled. Skubal started hot but has recently faced a tough stretch. Torkelson has struggled against big-league pitching. All of this has led to a 34-47 record and fourth place in the AL Central. But the Tigers showed some fire in their series against the Guardians, even shaking off a long-lasting drought.

Jonathan Schoop has turned it on lately, batting .435 in the past week while Eric Haase, Victor Reyes, and Kody Clemens have helped contribute to the winning streak. Miguel Cabrera is a RISP machine as he continued to focus on contact over power, and Riley Greene has been a sparkplug, with the team going 10-7 since his call-up as of last night.

Sweeps happen and this isn’t to say that the Tigers are about to blaze through the second half for an AL Central championship, but it’s a great sign of life from a team that many had as a dark horse playoff contender before the season started. The Guardians are a good time, and the Tigers’ faithful should be able to celebrate.

 

Schwarber Stays HOT

Teams who employ Kyle Schwarber know what they’re getting into. A power bat who will collect counting stats in the middle of your order and strike fear into the opposing pitcher’s heart. Maybe he goes on a tear or two in June and ends the year with around 30 home runs.

It looks like someone forgot to tell Schwarber that June is over. Or he just doesn’t care anymore.

The slugger crushed two home runs yesterday in the Phillies’ 2-3 loss to the Nationals. This occurs the day after his two-homer performance in an 11-0 win against the Nats on Tuesday. He’s seeing red (His Statcast page is insane, too), and opposing pitchers should start thinking twice about pitching to him right now:

After a slower start to the year, Schwarber hit 12 HR with 27 RBI and a .272 AVG in June, earning himself Player of the Month honors. You may recall that Schwarber performed similarly in 2021, before his trade to the Boston Red Sox. In July, he has stayed hot with a .350 average, 4 HR, and 5 RBI in the first six days of the month. The Phillies will hope his torrid streak continues as they sit 43-39 and are tied with the Cardinals for the third Wild Card spot.

He’s must-see TV when he’s on one of his patented streaks, so be sure to tune in to enjoy it while you can.

 

MVP Candidates do what MVP Candidates do

The AL MVP race has been tight so far, with three or four players continually rising above the competition. Mike Trout will always be Mike Trout and threaten for the title. Yordan Alvarez is trying to make his case for one of the best DHs ever. But right now, it seems like Aaron Judge is the main contender for the AL MVP Crown as he tries to stop reigning MVP Shohei Ohtani from winning two in a row. Both players added to their case yesterday.

Judge is the first player in the 2022 season to hit the 30-HR mark, and did it in grand style with this bomb against the Pirates:

The star outfielder is hitting .287 with a .993 OPS on the season, with 30 HR, 65 R, 64 RBI, and 7 SB before the All-Star break. He’s been otherworldly, and a key contributor to the Yankees’ AL-best 59-23 record. But Ohtani isn’t going to lose his MVP crown too easily.

Ohtani continues to shine on both sides of the ball, with 18 HR, 48 R, 53 RBI, 10 SB, and a .259 AVG to go along with a 2.44 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 81 IP. He’s been a top contributor in the lineup while also serving as the Halos’ ace as they hope to battle for their first playoff spot since 2014.

Just last night, he threw seven innings of 1 run, 10 K baseball while going 1 for 3 with 2 RBI at the plate. He’s just incredible. It’s going to be an exciting MVP race in the second half between these two, so strap in. It’s only going to get better.

 

Best Moments From Yesterday

 

Nailed It

We’ve all watched home run balls hit the foul pole and ricochet into the stands or fields. Maybe you even have experience with Pesky Pole. It’s a fun occurrence that can only happen in a sport like baseball. But you may not have seen this kind of pole homer before, courtesy of the LG Twins’ Gang-nam Yu:

 

Future Gold Glover in the Stands

No matter your age, the allure of catching a baseball at a baseball game will continue to inspire hope. “Maybe it will be this game,” you hope. “I should bring my glove just in case.” If you do, just make sure you’re not around this Reds fan who made a great snag at the Mets-Reds game yesterday:

 

Star Prospect Hello Kitty Shaky in Debut

First pitches are nerve-wracking. We’ve had some iconic successes in the history of baseball, but also some tough attempts.

Hello Kitty is probably joining the latter.

 

Injuries

 

Reds SP Tyler Mahle was placed on the 15-day IL with a strained right shoulder.

Oakland A’s SP Frankie Montas received an MRI which showed inflammation but no structural damage on his shoulder.

Minnesota Twins 1B/OF Alex Kirilloff appears to be fine after a first-base collision with Andrew Vaughn.

Red Sox SP Nathan Eovaldi is expected to make rehab starts soon as he hopes to return to the Red Sox rotation.

 

Articles You Should Read

 

MiLB Player & Pitcher of the Week: June 26- July 2 – LaMar Gibson

AL East Roundup: Surging Red Sox – Noah Bortle

 

Fantasy Baseball Coverage

 

Starting Pitcher Roundup

Hitter Performances

Reliever Ranks

Starting Pitcher Streamers

 

Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Evan Lobdell

Editor and occasional writer for PitcherList. Believed in Brent Honeywell Jr. for far too long and still holding out hope.

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