They say Memorial Day is the best time to start checking the standings, so we did that and came up with six observations. Not among them: The Nationals being hot without Daniel Murphy, and Mariners the getting hot without Robinson Cano. Here is everything you need to know about Tuesday’s MLB action.

Tuesday’s scores

Yanks edge Astros in clash of titans

The Yankees in the Bronx on Tuesday night plated a pair of runs in the ninth to force extras and then nipped the reigning champs in 10 innings. In doing so, the Yankees overcame an early 5-1 deficit and also played around a season-high five errors. Brett Gardner homered twice, Aaron Judge hit his 15th, and Gleyber Torres notched the walk-off single … 

Of course, the “low key” play of the game may have been this peg from Gary Sanchez in the 10th, which was aided greatly by a fortuitous bounce … 

Considering Charlie Morton — one of baseball’s best starters this season — was staked to an early lead, the Yanks have to be pleased to come away with a win. Speaking of which, the Yanks are now 4-2 against the team that bounced them in the ALCS last season. 

Of course, it’s not all roses for the Yankees. They still trail the Red Sox in the AL East, and veteran lefty CC Sabathia struggled again. Over his last four starts, he’s allowed 20 runs in 18 1/3 innings. 

Braves come back, walk it off against Mets

Going into the bottom of the seventh, the Braves trailed the Mets, 6-2, and had just a 6.0 percent chance of winning. The Braves scratched out a run in the seventh and then broke through in the eighth … 

And that of course bring us to the bottom of the ninth, when Johan Camargo decided to send ’em home … 

That’s the Braves’ second walk-off homer against the Mets in as many days. As a consequence, the Mets are back at .500 and in danger of slipping below said .500 mark for the first time this season. As for the Braves, they maintain a slim half-game lead over the Nationals in the NL East. 

Arrieta keeps it going

Phillies ace Jake Arrieta twirled seven scoreless innings against the Dodgers on Tuesday night. Here’s a look … 

Much has been made of Arrieta’s declining strikeout rate, but when it comes to run prevention he’s been outstanding thus far in 2018. After 58 1/3 innings, Arrieta has put up a 2.16 ERA. In related matters, he’s running a ground-ball percentage of 56.7 with just two home runs allowed. Thus far, he’s been a sound investment for the contending Phillies. 

M’s need more from Seager

Third baseman Kyle Seager has been a core member of the M’s for a long time — such that the club signed him to a $100 million extension prior to the 2015 season. Since his career year of 2016, though, he’s shown signs of decline. Last season, his production slipped to .249/.323/.450, which is still useful but shy of his established standards. This season, though, Seager hasn’t arrested those trends. In Tuesday night’s loss to the Rangers, Seager went 0 for 5 (for the second time in his last four games), and now he’s batting .221/.280/.413 on the year. Sure, he’s still capable of running into one, but he’s neither hitting for average nor drawing walks. His once-outstanding defense also seems to be in decline. So are Seager’s best days behind even though he’s still just 30? Possibly. 

Son of Pudge makes MLB debut

Right-hander Dereck Rodriguez, the son of Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez, made his big-league debut against the Rockies on Tuesday night. In the process, he registered his first career strikeout and his first career hit … 

Rodriguez wound up allowing four runs — one earned — in 3 1/3 innings with four strikeouts against only one walk. Rodriguez wound up entering the game because starter Jeff Samardzija was forced to leave after only one inning because of shoulder tightness. Then Rodriguez had to leave after being struck in the right calf by an Ian Desmond line drive. To compound matters, the Giants lost for the sixth time in their last seven games. The Rockies, meantime, maintain a 1.5-game lead over the Diamondbacks in the AL West.

Harper mashes No. 17

Sure, Nationals superstar Bryce Harper is batting just .236 on the season, but he’s still been a very productive hitter. That’s in part because he’s drawn a lot walks (46 walks against 46 strikeouts), and it’s mostly because he’s putting up big power numbers.

Witness this pull shot against the Orioles on Tuesday night … 

That’s No. 17 on the season, which for the moment ties him with Red Sox teammates Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez for second place in MLB. Mike Trout leads with 18.

Anyhow, Harper now boasts an OPS of .934 for the year, so he’s doing his job and then some despite the low batting average. Given that the Nats on Tuesday prevailed by a single run, that homer he hit wound up being a big one. 

Brewers’ rotation problems continue

On the one hand, even after Tuesday night’s loss to the Cardinals, the Brewers still have the best record in the NL. On the other hand, the performance of the Milwaukee rotation raises concerns moving forward.

Zach Davies on Tuesday night allowed five runs in as many innings against St. Louis, and before that happened the Brewers ranked just 10th in the NL with a rotation ERA of 4.21. There’s plenty of power in the lineup, the bullpen has been lights out, and the defense is much improved. However, it’s hard to envision the Brewers being able to fend off the Cubs in the NL Central with a rotation that ranks near the bottom of the league. Yes, Jimmy Nelson should return at some point in the second half, but will he move the needle coming off shoulder surgery?

Consider the Brewers to have a very clear to-do list leading up to the non-waiver trade deadline: upgrade the rotation. 

Porcello bounces back

Coming into Tuesday night’s game against Toronto, Red Sox right-hander Rick Porcello over his last four starts had allowed 19 runs in 21 innings. That’s obviously not optimal from a guy who’s expected to be a strong No. 2 behind Chris Sale.

The good news for Boston is that his Tuesday performance against the Blue Jays, while far from dominant, constituted progress … 

On the season, Porcello now has a 3.65 ERA and a 4.67 K/BB ratio in 74 innings. While a bit more start-to-start consistency would be appreciated, those are solid numbers overall. 

Schwarber abuses foul pole

The Cubs notched a comeback win over the Pirates on Tuesday night thanks mostly to the team’s eight extra-base hits on the evening. One of those came courtesy of outfielder Kyle Schwarber, who — as you’re about to see but mostly hear — laid a beating on one of the PNC Park foul poles … 

Dong? Dong. Schwarber also doubled in this one, and he’s now batting a highly useful .257/.382/.520 on the year.

As for the Pirates, they’ve now dropped nine of their last 11, and increasingly you get the sense that they’re coming back to earth for good. 

Brantley continues comeback campaign

Indians outfielder Michael Brantley in Tuesday’s win over the White Sox went 3 for 4 with a home run and also extended his current MLB-best hit streak to 18 games. Here’s that homer … 

Brantley in his age-31 season is now batting .343/.380/.573 with 22 extra-base hits in 43 games. Those are deeply impressive numbers in any context, but it’s even more the case for Brantley. That’s because coming into this year, Brantley had played a total of just 101 games over the previous two seasons thanks to major shoulder and ankle injuries.

Brantley’s grim health history was such that it was open question as to whether the Indians would exercise their option on him for 2018. Thus far, though, he’s producing at a level similar to one that netted him a third-place finish in the AL MVP balloting back in 2015. Right now, he’s the runaway favorite for AL Comeback Player of the Year honors. 

Yankees, Astros continue series

Five games into the 2018 version of the 2017 ALCS, the Yankees hold a 3-2 series lead over the Astros. New York won three of four at Minute Maid Park earlier this month, but, on Monday, the ‘Stros won the series opener at Yankee Stadium behind Justin Verlander.

The Yankees were in the middle of their historic 17-1 run earlier this season when they visited Houston. The opposing starter in the one loss? Charlie Morton. The opposing starter Tuesday night? Charlie Morton. 

CC Sabathia will be on the mound for the Yankees and he is the only starter the Astros did not face when they hosted the Yankees earlier this season. Sabathia made two starts in the ALCS, including the decisive Game 7 start, and he held the ‘Stros to one run in 9 1/3 innings. Tuesday night he’ll make his first start against the defending champs in 2018.

Quick hits

  • The Mets placed RHP Noah Syndergaard on the 10-day DL with a finger ligament injury. It’s unclear how long he will be sidelined and who will replace him in the rotation.
  • The Red Sox have reportedly agreed to terms with 1B Adam Lind on a minor-league contract.
  • Mets SP Steven Matz left his Tuesday night start with a finger injury
  • Dodgers RHP Kenta Maeda left Tuesday’s game because of a hip strain.
  • The Giants now have a return date for LHP Madison Bumgarner. 
  • The Astros placed C Brian McCann on the 10-day DL with knee soreness, the club announced. The team did not say how long McCann will be sidelined. C Tim Federowicz was called up in a corresponding move.
  • Rangers RHP Tim Lincecum is not yet ready to be activated off the disabled list, reports MLB.com. He is out with a blister. Lincecum has allowed 11 runs in 9 2/3 innings during his minor league rehab assignment.
  • Twins RHP Ervin Santana will make another rehab start Tuesday, reports the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Santana allowed two runs in two innings in his rehab start last week. He is working his way back from offseason finger surgery.
  • The Mariners and OF Jayson Werth agreed to push back the opt-out date in his minor league contract, reports FanRag Sports. Werth is currently nursing a hamstring injury. He’s hitting .219/.315/.417 in 27 Triple-A games this year.
  • The Braves activated RHP Anibal Sanchez off the 10-day DL, the team announced. He’ll start Tuesday after missing more than a month with a hamstring injury. RHP Lucas Sims and LHP Max Fried were sent to Triple-A in corresponding moves.

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