Welcome to yet another week of the grind that is the Major League Baseball regular season. It’s Monday, which means a somewhat abbreviated slate of games, but we’re only three games shy. Here’s everything you need to know about Monday’s action.

Monday’s scores

Reds’ winning streak ends on a walk-off

The Reds’ longest winning streak since 2012 came to a heartbreaking end Monday night. Ozzie Albies ended Cincinnati’s seven-game winning streak with an 11th-inning, walk-off homer. To the action footage:

The Reds rallied from down 2-0 earlier in the game and the bullpen was very good overall, at least until Dylan Floro served up the walk-off homer. Cincinnati had won seven straight and 10 of their last 12 games. Been a while since they had a stretch like that.

As for the Braves, their win combined with the Phillies’ loss gives them a 3 1/2 game lead in the NL East. Hardly insurmountable at this point of the season, but, all things considered, Atlanta is sitting in a pretty good spot right now. They have the prospect to go out and add an impact piece(s) at the trade deadline too.

Cardinals snap Indians’ winning streak

The Indians can kiss their seven-game winning streak goodbye. They were shut out by John Gant and the Cardinals. Not the end of the world, Indians fans. The losing streak was bound to end sometime.

Gant was really terrific. He is replacing the injured Michael Wacha in the rotation and he kept the Tribe off balance for seven innings.

The Indians will shake off the loss and try to start a new winning streak Tuesday. The Cardinals? They’re working to right the ship following a recent skid that saw them lose eight times in 10 games. St. Louis is starting to climb out of it now — Monday’s win was their second straight — but there is a lot more work to be done to catch the Brewers and Cubs in the NL Central.

Dodgers best Cubs in 2017 NLCS rematch part deux

Last week the Dodgers and Cubs met in Wrigley Field for a rematch of the 2017 NLCS. The home Cubbies took two of three in that series.

On Monday, the Dodgers and Cubs got together again, this time for the first of four at Dodger Stadium. And, once again, the Dodgers took the first game of the series. They didn’t need a late-inning comeback like last Tuesday though. Kenta Maeda was marvelous on the mound.

The Cubs did make things interesting in the ninth — they scored a run against Kenley Jansen and the tying run was on first base when the game ended — but, ultimately, the rally fell short. The season series between these two NL powerhouses is now tied at two games apiece.

Miller’s return for D-Backs disappoints

For the first time since April 23 of last season, Shelby Miller toed the slab in a major league game Monday night. He completed his Tommy John surgery rehab and rejoined the Diamondbacks in their series opener against the Marlins. It did not go well. Miller allowed five runs and didn’t make it out of the fourth inning.

On one hand, it was Miller’s first start back from Tommy John surgery, so I’m inclined to give him a mulligan. On the other hand, Miller’s performance was not good with the D-Backs before his elbow gave out. He pitched to a 5.78 ERA in 24 starts and 123 innings with Arizona from 2016-17.

The good news is Miller showed good velocity on his fastball, averaging 94.8 mph and topping out at 96.5 mph. The bad news is he threw his curveball 22 times and got one swing and a miss. Among those 22 curveballs, Miller got four called strikes, three foul balls, and one swing and miss. That’s eight strikes with 22 curveballs. That’ll have to improve going forward.

Mets continue to sink

It is truly hard to believe the Mets were 11-1 at one point this season. Monday night’s loss to the Pirates was their seventh straight loss — they’ve been outscored 53-36 in the seven games — and it dropped the Mets to 31-45 on the season. Do the math. They’re 20-44 since that 11-1 start. Yeesh.

The Mets were limited to six hits Monday night while the top five hitters in Pittsburgh’s lineup went a combined 6 for 20 (.300) with five runs scored, five runs driven in, three walks, and two strikeouts. Seth Lugo was charged with three runs (one earned) in five innings The updated bottom of the NL standings:

15. Marlins: 32-47
14. Mets: 31-45

The Mets are now just one win better than the ain’t even tryin’ Marlins and a half-game up in the standings. The Mets are already the quickest team in baseball history to go from 10 games over .500 to 10 games under .500. Could they soon be in line for the No. 1 pick in the 2019 draft?

Grichuk hits a homer, robs a homer

The most under-the-radar player this month? It might be Blue Jays outfielder Randal Grichuk. He had been 18 for 59 (.305) with five doubles and six homers in 18 games prior to swatting a monster two-run home run Monday night. Statcast had it at 471 feet. Check it out:

More important than the home run he hit is the home run he robbed. In the bottom of the ninth Grichuk took a would-be, game-tying three-run home run away from George Springer. There’s no doubt this was going over the wall:

Not a bad night, eh? Grichuk put two runs on the board and took three runs away Monday.

Jackson makes history, pitches well

MLB history was made Monday afternoon in Detroit. Obscure history, but still history. Edwin Jackson, who was making his debut with the A’s, officially tied Octavio Dotel’s record by playing for his 13th different team. Jackson is only 34, too. He could still add a few more franchises to the ledger before it’s all said and done.

Jackson pitched well in his A’s debut. He allowed one run and struck out seven in six innings.

Statcast says Jackson averaged 92.6 mph with his fastball and topped out at 96.8 mph during Monday’s start, which is very nice velocity. The A’s are dealing with some rotation injuries at the moment and Monday’s outing likely earned Jackson another start in five days.

Keller continues to impress for Royals

It sure looks like the Royals have found something in Rule 5 Draft pick Brad Keller. The right-hander started the season in the bullpen before moving into the rotation, and on Monday afternoon he made his fifth start of the season. Keller shut the Angels right down:

Keller also had 14 ground ball outs — 14! — compared to just one in the air. He now has a 60.7 percent ground ball rate in 48 total innings this season, and a 2.45 ERA in five starts.

Many Rule 5 Draft picks are older guys who have spent a long time in the minors, but Keller is only 22. The D-Backs selected him in the eighth round of the 2013 draft and he had never pitched above Double-A prior to this season. The Royals have a history of strong Rule 5 Draft picks — Joakim Soria is the gold standard here — and it sure looks like they’ve found another one in Keller.

Betances honors Sheffield

Thanks to the magic of interleague play, Yankees setup man Dellin Betances got the first at-bat of his big-league career. Since he doesn’t get to bat often (or ever) Betances decided to have some fun with it. He channeled Gary Sheffield with his bat waggle. Check it out:

The bat waggle didn’t help Betances hit like Sheffield — he struck out on three pitches, naturally — but hey, it’s the thought that counts, right? And yes, Betances confirmed after the game that Sheffield did inspire the bat waggle:

That’s the best and most fun thing any pitcher will do at the plate this season.

Quick hits

Live team updates

Source link