The Trailing Runner: May 15-May 21

Breaking down the biggest baseball stories of the past week.

Every Sunday, The Trailing Runner recaps the past week’s biggest headlines and most exciting performances. On Mondays, keep an eye out for The Leadoff, which breaks down the week ahead.

 

The Hitless Pirates Secure the Win

 

It hasn’t been the best start for the Pittsburgh Pirates, who sit at 16-23. On May 15, however, the Pirates snatched victory from what many may see as the jaws of defeat. The Pirates defeated the Reds 1-0, despite the Pirates never getting a hit in the game.

The Reds’ Hunter Greene took the bump and pitched 7.1 innings of 9 K, 5 BB, but 0 H baseball. After a career-high 118 pitches, Greene passed the ball to Art Warren, who pitched 0.2 innings with 1 BB and 0 H. With the bases loaded from walks, Ke’Bryan Hayes stepped up to the plate:

That would be the only run of the game, and it came on a fielder’s choice. Still no hits. David Bednar would then close the door on the Reds in the following inning, recording a victory with 0 hits. The Pirates are the sixth team in MLB history to record such a feat and the latest since the 2008 Dodgers. Though the Pirates may not have the record they desire, this win is certainly a moment to remember and will surely be a fun trivia answer in the future.

 

A Pair of Prospects Prosper

 

The moment that your favorite team calls up a star prospect can be one of the most exciting as a fan. The hopeful future face of your franchise finally reaches the bigs after years of hard work, and it seems like they’re the next step to your team’s eventual World Series championship. This week, the Cardinals’ and Orioles’ faithful got to feel that excitement.

On Friday, May 20, Nolan Gorman made his debut for the St. Louis Cardinals. Gorman, a former third-base prospect turned second basemen was ranked 29th on MLB’s Top 100 Prospect Rankings and 2nd in the Cardinals’ system. He gave the front office in St. Louis no other choice, as he was slashing .308/.367/.677 and had recorded 15 HR, 31 R, and 23 RBI in 34 games in Triple-A. However, his strikeout rate sat around 34%, so time will tell if Gorman can adjust to the Major League talent.

Nevertheless, it’s an exciting call-up. Gorman has looked good thus far, earning his first MLB hit in his first at-bat and collecting his first career RBI while I write this article.

The baseball world was shaken up by another call-up when Adley Rutschman, the number one prospect in all of baseball, was called up by the Orioles. Rutschman had been knocking on the door of the Majors for a while, and it seemed like a matter of time until the talented backstop would make the team. Last year, he collected 23 HR, 86 R, and 75 RBI while batting .285 in Double-A and Triple-A. To excite the Baltimore faithful even more, his first hit was a triple down the right-field line:

The future looks bright for Rutschman, and this clip of him taking the field will forever be a great watch:

 

Dodgers Have an Undefeated Week

 

The Los Angeles Dodgers are a great team. Despite the feelings you may have towards them as a home fan or a rival fan, it can be objectively agreed upon that the Dodgers balance competitive spending with a strong farm system and a smart front office. There’s a reason they are often the favorites to come out of the National League in playoffs. This week, they continued to prove why.

The Dodgers played three games against the Phillies and four games against the Diamondbacks and won every single game. No matter how you feel about the Phils and D’Backs, winning every single game in a week of baseball is difficult, and this accomplishment should be noted. After this streak, they sit at 27-12 and lead the NL West, but only by 1.5 games.

This streak was led by offensive superstars Mookie Betts (10 R, 3 HR, 8 RBI, .393 AVG) and Freddie Freeman (4 R, 8 RBI, .345 AVG) and some strong pitching performances from Tyler Anderson (7 IP, 2 ER, 7 K) and Tony Gonsolin (6 IP, 2 ER, 7 K). That’s a seven-game win streak even with Julio Urías, Walker Buehler, Max Muncy, and Justin Turner not having their best performances. This team is still very good and will continue to be a World Series favorite as the season progresses

 

April Slumps Bring May Jumps

 

This week also featured some electric individual performances from players across the league. Here are a few highlights:

  • Trevor Story, who signed a last-minute six-year, $140 million dollar contract with the Boston Red Sox, lit up the league this week with 9 R, 5 HR, 13 RBI, 3 SB, and a .333 AVG. Story hit three of those home runs against the Seattle Mariners on May 19 and then followed that performance up with a grand slam against the Mariners on May 20. This is a great sign for Story and the Red Sox, as Story and the team have struggled to start the year.
  • Paul Goldschmidt continues to quietly be one of the most consistent stars in the game, as his week was highlighted by 6 R, 3 HR, and 12 RBI with a .516 average. Now 34, Goldy doesn’t seem to be slowing down and will play an integral part in the Cards’ attempt to overtake the NL Central from the Brewers.

 

  • Nick Pivetta has been a little inconsistent to start the year, and I don’t know if anyone expected his excellent complete game against the Houston Astros on May 18. Pivetta went a strong 9 IP with 8 K, 1 ER, and 0 BB. Along with Story, Pivetta will play a big role in getting the Red Sox back to the playoffs and righting the ship that started off so rocky this season.
  • On May 20, Martín Pérez decided he wanted to join in on the fun and threw a complete-game shutout against the Astros with 5 K. Pérez’s blazing start was unprecedented, and he continues to increase his trade value for a Texas Rangers team that looks to climb their way back to the top of the AL West. There’s no telling how long Pérez’s hot streak will last, but for now, we can appreciate 31-year-old’s dominance and his excellent control to start the year.

 

Around the League

 

  • The New York Yankees are atop in the AL East with an AL-best 29-10 record. The Minnesota Twins lead the Central with a 24-16 record. The Houston Astros have taken the top of the AL West with a 26-15 record, but the Los Angeles Angels are only 1.5 games back with a 25-17 record.
  • The New York Mets continue to hold the NL East title with a 27-15 record. The Brewers have a 26-14 record and the number one spot in the NL Central. The Dodgers are an NL best 27-12 and lead the NL West, but the Padres are only 1.5 behind with their 26-14 record.

Featured image by Doug Carlin (@Bdougals 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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