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It is tweener time, that part of the MLB season where teams still feel there is time to turn things around and challenge for a playoff spot. In reality, it is the last few weeks of hope for half the teams. Once the All-Star break hits, the focus is squarely on the trade deadline. The question becomes which teams will deal their top players to contenders, and which teams will make the right moves?
On Friday, the All-Star break became more of a reality when the starters for the July 19 Mid-Summer Classic were revealed. So if your favorite team isn’t in first or second place, savor the next few weeks of your club in its current iteration.
deGrom Shines In Rehab Outing
In his second rehab start, New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom struck out six in three innings for Class A St. Lucie. DeGrom, who threw 39 pitches, allowed three hits, and didn’t walk anyone, said he expects to make his next appearance in a Double-A or Triple-A game as he makes his way back from a stress reaction in his right scapula. DeGrom’s timetable for a return has not been revealed, but Friday’s outing certainly seems like it could be around the All-Star break.
Jacob deGrom – 3 innings, 0 runs, 0 walks, 3 hits, and 6 strikeouts! pic.twitter.com/c3lsf52CLr
— St. Lucie Mets (@stluciemets) July 9, 2022
Surging Mariners Walk-Off Jays
The American League West might be out of reach, but the Seattle Mariners are back in the thick of a playoff chase. Eugenio Suárez crushed a three-run homer off Sergio Romo with no outs in the bottom of the 11th inning as the sizzling Mariners knocked off the Toronto Blue Jays 5-2. It was the sixth consecutive victory and 14th win in 17 games for the Mariners, who improved to 42-43. That keeps Seattle within 14 games of the first-place Astros in the West but more importantly, 3½ games out of the second wild-card spot.
SIX. IN. A. ROW. pic.twitter.com/r6IJszZeka
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) July 9, 2022
Another Orioles Walk-Off
Trailing 4-2 after Los Angeles Angels All-Star Shohei Ohtani homered in the top of the ninth, the Baltimore Orioles just did what they have been doing. Trey Mancini singled down the left-field line with two outs to score Cedric Mullins from third base to cap a three-run bottom of the ninth inning and beat the Angels 5-4. Baltimore had four straight hits with two outs. Not only did it extend the Orioles’ win streak to six games, but it was also the third walk-off win in five days for Baltimore.
THE COMEBACK KIDS pic.twitter.com/gYglN1t38g
— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) July 9, 2022
International Draft Negotiations Continue
With a July 25 deadline to agree to terms of an international draft, the Major League Baseball Players Association made a counterproposal, according to several reports. The union gave sent owners a proposal that would give international players a bigger pool of money, with those from Japan and Puerto Rico not included in the draft. Both sides remain significantly apart, although they may have found common ground on the number of rounds and age limits. Before the news of the latest in negotiations, Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times had an in-depth look at key issues for an international draft. If a deal is not reached, nothing changes with how international signings work, and the qualifying offer for MLB free agents will remain in place. A deal would trigger an international draft as early as 2024 and eliminate the qualifying offer.
It’s A Balk-Off!
Walk-off home runs are dramatic. A hit to score the winning run is thrilling. So what about a game-ending balk? Very unusual. It happened when home plate umpire Edwin Moscoso called Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Dan Wisler for a balk with one out in the bottom of the 10th inning that scored Mark Kolozsvary from third base and gave the Cincinnati Reds a 2-1 victory. It was the first balk-off in MLB since the Seattle Mariners beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-4 in 10 innings on Aug. 18, 2018.
Wired: balk-off pic.twitter.com/mIqkgL2wrP
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) July 9, 2022
Best Moments From Yesterday
Bad Julio, Good Julio
Mariners outfielder Julio Rodríguez might just win the AL Rookie of the Year award this year. But this highlight won’t be part of the clips that show why.
Julio almost got the triple pic.twitter.com/WlcRzTuZSh
— Cut4 (@Cut4) July 9, 2022
But this clip just might be. Your routine 8-5 force out.
GOT HIM 😳 pic.twitter.com/vC1vH1MDQi
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) July 9, 2022
Oops! Then A Recovery
Christian Arroyo experienced the nightmare every outfielder hopes to avoid. The Boston Red Sox’s right fielder, on a fly ball hit by the New York Yankees’ Joey Gallo in the top of the third inning, came in a few steps and then threw up his arms because he lost sight of the ball. It landed well behind him in Fenway Park’s quirky right field. Arroyo chased it down as two runs scored, but he recovered in time to throw out Gallo trying for an inside-the-park homer.
Ya never know what you're going to see at the ballpark. pic.twitter.com/fxPiIDLja7
— MLB (@MLB) July 9, 2022
A Case For The Defense
We have heard and talked a lot about the home runs Byron Buxton has crushed this season. But the Minnesota Twins’ center fielder can play a little defense, too. He crashed into the wall in making this catch to rob extra bases from the Texas Rangers’ Marcus Semien in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Adding this to our UnBuckingbelievable entry in the dictionary. 😱😱😱#MNTwins pic.twitter.com/YvLNwf4x4M
— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) July 9, 2022
Following a scary collision Thursday, Padres left fielder Jurickson Profar was diagnosed with a concussion and cervical strain. He was discharged from a hospital and placed on the seven-day concussion list.
Rangers catcher Mitch Garver, who has been playing with a torn right flexor tendon, will have season-ending surgery Monday.
Catcher Henry Davis, the No. 1 overall selection in last year’s draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates, went on the seven-day injured list for the Double-A Altoona Curve with an injured left wrist. Davis has been hit by a pitch an amazing 17 times in 41 games, including five straight games TWICE.
Articles You Should Read
10 teams that will consider shaking up their pitching staff at the trade deadline — Ken Rosenthal, The Athletic
Shohei Ohtani’s pitching has surpassed his hitting — Jay Jaffe, FanGraphs
Position players pitching and relievers throwing more than 30 pitches in an inning are problematic — Travis Sawchik, The Score
Fantasy Baseball Coverage
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)