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The Trailing Runner: May 8-May 15

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.

 

Detmers Has No Hits, Yelich Has Multiple

 

It was a great week for individual performances.

Reid Detmers is a big name for the Angels’ faithful, as the southpaw with the nasty curveball is expected to be a strong rotation piece for years to come. On Tuesday, May 10, Detmers delivered on that hope and then some.

Detmers threw a no-hitter, going the distance with 108 pitches, 1 BB, and 2 K, leading the Angels to a 12-0 win against the Tampa Bay Rays. This was the first no-hitter for the Angels since June 12, 2019, and the first solo no-hitter since Jered Weaver threw one on May 2, 2012. Detmers is only 22, and looks to be a solid piece for an Angels team that hopes to make the playoffs for the first time since 2014. Here are the final 3 outs:

The next day, on Wednesday, May 11, Christian Yelich notched his third career cycle against the Cincinnati Reds. And yes, all three of those cycles have come against the Reds. Baseball is awesome.

Yelich went 4-for-5 on the day, notching a ground-rule double in the first, a homer in the third, a single in the fifth, and finished with this triple in the top of the 9th.

Brewers fans were hoping for a bounce-back season from Yelich, who has been plagued with a back injury and a poor launch angle for the past two seasons. Currently, the 2018 MVP is slashing .258/.350/.467 with 5 HR and 20 RBI, helping contribute to the Brewers’ 21-13 record.

 

Shohei Ohtani Hits #100 and Hader is Untouchable

 

Sometimes I worry that I write about Ohtani too much. Then, I remind myself that he is a generational superstar who continues to shine. and we should appreciate it for as long as we can. Last night, he added yet another milestone to his already incredible MLB career.

On Saturday, May 14, Ohtani hit his 100th career home run, a two-run blast in the top of the 5th inning off Oakland A’s pitcher Adam Oller. Ohtani has become the third Japanese player in MLB history with 100 career homers, along with Ichiro Suzuki and Hideki Matsui. By doing so in 444 career games, Ohtani takes the honor of being the fastest Japanese player to 100 career home runs.

Ohtani also becomes only the second player in MLB history to have 100 home runs and 250 strikeouts in their career, joining the one and only Babe Ruth. Ohtani continues to impress after an MVP season, and I can’t wait to see what other milestones he accomplishes.

Meanwhile, in the National League, Josh Hader is proving why he has been a three-time NL Reliever of the Year award winner. Hader earned two more saves this week, adding to his league-leading 13 overall saves. For the 2022 season as a whole, Hader has pitched 12.1 innings, given up 5 walks, struck out 18, and has only allowed 2 hits. Hader is again showing his dominance over the league, helping the Brewers maintain their hold on first place in the NL Central.

Even more incredible is that Hader currently holds a 32.2 IP scoreless streak dating back to last season. In that time frame, he has earned 26 saves, 55 K, and holds a .73 WHIP. He has not allowed an earned run in regular-season play since July 28, 2021. Hader is one of the most dominant arms in MLB, and we’ll see how long he can keep this incredible streak up.

 

Astros Are Hot, While the Blue Jays Struggle

 

The Angels have been seeing much success throughout the start of the 2022 season, but the Astros aren’t planning on giving up the AL West without a fight. Houston is sitting at 9-1 in their last ten games and went 4-1 this week against the Tigers, Twins, and Nationals.

Justin Verlander has been lights-out so far, with a 1.55 ERA through 40.2 innings. It doesn’t look like he’s missed a beat since Tommy John’s surgery, and has been the ace of a solid Astros rotation with Framber Valdez, Luis Garcia, and Jake Odorizzi also contributing. Houston’s offense has also been hot, with Yordan Alvarez smacking 3 HR and 6 RBI with a .292 AVG and 1.065 OPS in the past seven days. Kyle Tucker also appears to be back after a slow start to the year, with a .286 AVG and 1.035 OPS to go along with 4 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, and 3 SB this past week.

While the Astros have shot up the standings, the powerhouse Blue Jays are in a bit of a rut. Toronto is 3-7 in their last ten games and went 1-4 this week against the Guardians, Yankees, and Rays. Every team is bound to a hit patch, but the Jays will hope to get back on track as their streak has sent them to third place in the division, 6.5 games back from the first-place Yankees.

Toronto’s rotation has mostly performed as expected, with the only notable drop-off being JosĂ© BerrĂ­os. BerrĂ­os, who signed a 7-year contract extension with the Jays before the season, is often noted as the staple of consistency but has struggled this season to a 5.82 ERA through 34 innings. The offense has hit a bit of a bump, with notable names like Bo Bichette, Matt Chapman, and Teoscar Hernández still waiting for a spark or streak to get them going (though an injury may be the main reason for Hernández’s struggles).

Toronto is a strong team, and it’s entirely possible that all of these names turn around and make this section look foolish a month from now, but it’s certainly noteworthy that a powerhouse team with lofty expectations like the Blue Jays is struggling.

 

Around the League

 

  • The New York Yankees are atop in the AL East with an AL-best 24-9 record. Minnesota leads the Central with a 19-15 record, but the Guardians and White Sox are both only 2 games behind. The Astros and Angels are tied at the top of the AL West with 22-12 and 23-13 records, respectively
  • The New York Mets have the best record in the NL and are commanding the NL East with a 23-12 record. The Brewers hold a 21-13 record and the number one spot in the NL Central. The Dodgers and Padres are tied atop the NL West with 20-12 and 21-13 records respectively, but the Giants are only .5 games behind with a 20-13 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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