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MLB News & Moments You Should Know – May 17

A brutal first pitch, Brett Phillips shenanigans, and... Johnny Cueto?

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

 

Leading Off, Up, and Outta Here

The first inning of Monday’s series opener in Chicago was one the Pittsburgh Pirates would like to forget. Willson Contreras led off the frame with a double, advanced to third on a ground-out, then scored the game’s first run on an Ian Happ double. He returned to the dugout and presumably gathered his catching gear, preparing to take the field for the second inning.

Those plans were put on hold as five of the next six Cubs hitters reached base via hit or walk, flipping the lineup card right back to Contreras’ spot with two outs and the bases loaded. He promptly did this:

 

 

Just like that, the Cubbies led the Pirates 8-0—and Contreras had himself a milestone home run ball. But as if that wasn’t impressive enough, he also joined rare company with this particular bomb. Contreras became just the 10th leadoff hitter to hit a first-inning grand slam since the turn of the 20th century.

 

 

Not a bad day’s work for one inning. The Cubs would go on to win 9-0, with Wade Miley looking like his vintage 2021 self over a full seven innings of one-hit, shutout work. Pittsburgh, if anyone asks—maybe chalk this one up as a travel day?

 

Heeeeere’s Johnny!

Elsewhere, the other Windy City squad introduced a familiar face for the first time in their black-and-greys. Johnny Cueto made his White Sox debut against the Royals after receiving the call from Triple-A earlier in the day. The veteran right-hander looked right at home in his new duds, even showcasing his signature wiggle:

 

 

Cueto was excellent, allowing just two hits and two walks in 6.0 shutout innings and striking out seven. However, the Royals scored three runs off Kendall Graveman in the eighth to tie the score and send it to extras. That opened the door for Luis Robert to step in and do Luis Robert things:

 

 

The Sox won 5-3, and Robert extended his hitting streak to 14 games (the second-longest active streak, behind J.D. Martinez).

 

New York’s Finest: the Double-Digit Club

As of Tuesday morning, five MLB players can boast having 10-plus home runs this year. Of those five, three of themhappen to hit 2-3-4 in the same lineup. Ladies and gentlemen, the 2022 New York Yankees.

Anthony Rizzo joined teammates Aaron Judge (12) and Giancarlo Stanton (10) in the exclusive club on Monday with his 10th longball—right after Josh Donaldson, of course, who has a paltry five.

 

 

As natural as it may feel to see the Bronx Bombers living up to their name, this isn’t something that happens every day. Actually, it’s the first time it’s happened in all of the days, ever:

 

 

Save some for the rest of us, guys. Come on.

 

Best Moments from Yesterday

 

Not-so-A-Okay

The Boston Red Sox welcomed renowned DJ and music producer Steve Aoki to throw out their ceremonial first pitch on Monday. Awesome!

 

 

…then you see what happened next. Not so awesome!

 

 

Here’s one more angle, for the pitch-trackers out there:

 

 

To quote the great Bob Ueker, that one was juuuust a bit outside (the field of play).

 

Kiss Me Tender

As long-time Best MLB Moments readers know well, no true Best Moments page is complete without our friend—nay, America’s friend—Brett PhillipsLucky for us all, he hit his third home run of the season yesterday. And as you might expect, he did it in the most ridiculous manner possible:

 

 

In case you missed it, the true highlight of that highlight came around the 0:36 mark. Here, we’ll save you the trouble of hitting replay:

 

 

Oh, Brett, never change.

 

The Rules of the Game

A couple of heartwarming moments took place in the stands on Monday, as young fans in Oakland and Baltimore had the exact opposite reactions to a ball reaching their area. Here we have what looks to be an entire youth baseball team charging the scene for that treasured memorabilia:

 

 

Meanwhile, this kid got a hold of that rarest of souvenirs at his first game ever—and he had zero idea what to do with it. Do yourself a favor and watch this video:

 

 

We feel you, buddy. The rules of this stuff really aren’t clear, are they?

 

Injuries

 

  • Ronald Acuña Jr. did not play yesterday, but the news is largely positive for Atlanta’s do-it-all superstar as he deals with groin soreness. An IL stint remains unlikely, and there’s a chance he could return to the lineup on Tuesday.
  • Brandon Lowe received a less-positive diagnosis, as the Rays sent him to the 10-day IL ahead of Monday’s game. Dealing with an undefined lower back issue, Lowe is expected to undergo further testing to determine his injury’s severity.
  • In a scary scene at Fenway Park, Jake Odorizzi left his start on a stretcher in the fifth inning. We won’t link the video, but he collapsed on the grass while running to cover first, holding his left leg. The official word is “lower leg discomfort,” and he’s expected to get an MRI soon.

 

 

Articles You Should Read

 

Albert Pujols on the Mound: Position Players We Want to See Pitch — Jordan Schusterman, Fox Sports MLB and the Cespedes Family BBQ

Max Muncy’s strange start is … Bondsian? — Andrew Simon, MLB.com

How Nolan Arenado found the baseball fountain of youth — Jeff Passan, ESPN+

 

Fantasy Baseball Coverage

 

Starting Pitcher Roundup

Hitter Performances

Reliever Ranks

Starting Pitcher Streamers

 

Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Wynn McDonald

Born a Kentuckian, much like Dan Uggla. Braves fan by choice, unlike Dan Uggla. I enjoy long walks on the Brandon Beachy. @twynstagram

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