MLB

Rough start for new Yankees pitcher Frankie Montas, Jacob deGrom shines for the Mets

By Sports Desk August 07, 2022

It was far from a warm welcome for newly acquired New York Yankees starting pitcher Frankie Montas, getting smacked around in a 12-9 away loss to the St Louis Cardinals.

Montas, who was traded from the Oakland Athletics before the deadline, struggled mightily, conceding six runs in the first two innings, with four coming off the bat of Nolan Arenado.

Arenado collected an RBI single in the first inning to cancel out an early Yankees run, and after the visiting side jumped ahead 4-1 in the second frame thanks in large part to a two-RBI base hit from AL MVP favourite Aaron Judge, it all began to fall apart.

Dylan Carlson's RBI double started the rally and cut the margin to 4-2, a sacrifice-fly from NL MVP favourite Paul Goldschmidt made it 4-3, and then Arenado connected on a three-run home run to lead 6-4 after two innings.

Montas would be pulled to begin the fourth frame, finishing with figures of six earned runs from five hits and three walks in his 64 pitches.

To the Yankees' credit, they refused to lay down, with Judge driving in another two runs with a double in the fifth inning to tie the game at 6-6, but the Cardinals continued to answer right back, adding three more runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth.

The Yankees again cut the lead to 9-8, but Paul DeJong put the game to bed in the eighth inning with a three-run homer to grab a winning break.

Overall, the teams combined for 21 runs from 27 hits, with Arenado going three-for-five at the plate with four RBIs, and Judge finishing two-for-five with four RBIs. Judge now leads the majors in RBIs with 97, two more than New York Mets slugger Pete Alonso.

DeGrom makes his case as the game's best pitcher

There were concerns that perhaps injuries would strip New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom of his status as the sport's most elite pitcher, but he continued to dispel that myth on Sunday in his side's 5-2 win against the Atlanta Braves.

DeGrom, in his second start of the season, struck out 12 of the 19 batters he faced, going on to finish with two earned runs from one hit and one walk in five-and-two-thirds innings.

Through five innings, deGrom had a perfect game with 10 strikeouts, but was pulled in the sixth after his first walk of the game was followed by a home run from Dansby Swanson to cut the Mets' lead to 5-2, with both bullpens keeping things scoreless the rest of the way.

Rays pull off improbable late rally

With two outs in the top of the ninth inning, there had yet to be a run in the Tampa Bay Rays' road game against the Detroit Tigers, before an incredible offensive explosion saw the Rays prevail 7-0.

The Rays as a team conceded only three hits and no walks as six pitchers combined beautifully, while the Tigers relied on Matt Manning to get them through most of the game, pitching seven scoreless frames for seven baserunners and seven strikeouts.

In the ninth inning, after two outs, the Rays rattled off consecutive at-bats resulting in a double, three walks, a single, a double and another single as seven straight batters reached base.

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  • 'It's out of my price range' – Aaron Judge rules out $3million-plus auction bid for 62nd home run ball 'It's out of my price range' – Aaron Judge rules out $3million-plus auction bid for 62nd home run ball

    Aaron Judge is resigned to being an intrigued observer when the ball he struck for a record-breaking 62nd home run goes up for auction – declaring he cannot afford to join the bidding race.

    The 30-year-old set a single-season Yankees and AL home-run record by reaching 62 to surpass Roger Maris Sr's 61 – set 61 years ago in 1961.

    Judge became the fourth major league player to hit 62 or more homers in a single season, and his feat belongs in baseball legend, making the ball that saw him set the record on October 4 especially valuable.

    It occurred at the home of the Texas Rangers in Arlington, with the spectator at Globe Life Field that caught the ball striking lucky by guaranteeing himself an apparent fortune.

    According to ESPN, that man, Cory Youmans, decided to put the ball in the hands of Goldin Auctions "after weeks of a lot of deep conversations" with his wife and lawyer.

    Youmans said: "It seems fair in the sense it gives anyone that is interested and has the means the opportunity to own it. As a fan, I'm curious to see what it's worth, who buys it and what they do with it."

    Youmans is said to have already turned down $3million for the ball, with his lawyer, Dave Baron, suspecting the final selling price could be "significantly higher based on New York, the New York fan base and how crazy it could get at an auction".

    That rules Judge out of contention, as he said the ball is "out of my price range right now".

    The ball is listed with a starting bid of $1million, with the auction due to get under way on November 30.

    Judge said of the seller's choice: "He caught the ball, he's the one that made the play out there in left field, so it's his right to do what he wants with it. Hopefully he's making the right decision for him and his family.''

    The ball's value will not have been harmed by Judge winning the AL Most Valuable Player (MVP) award ahead of Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani on Thursday.

  • History-making Judge and Goldschmidt crowned MVPs for the first time History-making Judge and Goldschmidt crowned MVPs for the first time

    Aaron Judge has capped his historic season after being crowned the AL Most Valuable Player (MVP) ahead of Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani on Thursday.

    St Louis Cardinals slugger Paul Goldschmidt was also voted the NL MVP, beating out Manny Machado of the San Diego Padres and teammate Nolan Arenado for the award.

    Judge's MVP, the first in his career, came after he broke the single-season Yankees and AL home-run record, reaching 62 to surpass Roger Maris Sr's 61 – set 61 years ago in 1961. He became the fourth major league player to hit 62 or more homers in a single season.

    The Yankees outfielder led the AL in home runs (62), RBIs (131), slugging percentage (.686), on-base percentage (.425), OPS (1.111) and total bases (391), while he chased an AL Triple Crown down the stretch, but ultimately fell short as Minnesota Twins' utility Luis Arraez (.316) won the batting title.

    Judge received 28 first-place votes for 410 points, ahead of Ohtani (280) and Houston Astros' Yordan Alvarez (232).

    The 30-year-old already had two top-five MVP finishes on his resume, in 2017 and 2021, winning Silver Slugger awards in both years.

    Yankees manager Aaron Boone said: "I’m grateful that I got to witness it first-hand and share in his magical year, especially given how much respect I have for him as a player and as a person."

    Goldschmidt looked like the NL MVP since the All-Star break, batting .317 while leading the NL in OPS (.982) and slugging percentage (.578).

    The Cardinals first baseman's 35 home runs finished one off his career-high, set in 2013 and equalled in 2017, giving him his seventh season with at least 30 dingers.

    Goldschmidt won the MVP with 380 voting points, ahead of Machado (291) and Arenado (232). It is the sixth time in 35-year-old Goldschmidt's career that he has finished in the top-six for the award.

    "I think definitely as you age, you have to adapt, and that's some of what I've tried to do. I've tried to get ahead of it," Goldschmidt told MLB Network. "I think it was my best season."

  • Harper to have elbow surgery, timeline for 2023 return uncertain Harper to have elbow surgery, timeline for 2023 return uncertain

    Philadelphia Phillies star Bryce Harper will have surgery on his right elbow next week although the exact operation and recovery timeline is still uncertain.

    Harper will have surgery on November 23 to address the tear in the ulnar collateral ligament he suffered back in April.

    Phillies president Dave Dombrowski said on Wednesday the surgeons won’t know until surgery begins if they’ll be performing Tommy John surgery or a less intensive repair of the existing UCL.

    ''We have no prognosis, really, until he goes into the elbow and takes a look at it,'' Dombrowski said of the surgeon. '

    'We'll have something at that time with the surgery and the anticipation something will happen. I would think it will slow him down for the season. We'll know more next week.''

    If he does have Tommy John surgery, recovery could force him to miss the first few months of the 2023 season. If it’s just a repair, he may only miss the season’s first week or two.

    After injuring his elbow in April, Harper switched from right field to designated hitter to avoid the wear and tear of throwing.

    He received a platelet-rich plasma injection shot in his elbow in May in an effort to repair it. But on Monday, Harper met with renowned orthopedist Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who determined surgery was necessary because the tear did not heal on its own.

    ''We always knew that was a possibility,'' Dombrowski said. ''We've known that for months.''

    Despite playing in pain and missing two months with a broken thumb sustained when he was hit by a pitch, Harper still excelled in helping the Phillies reach the World Series, where they lost to the Astros.

    In 99 games, the two-time NL MVP slashed .286/.364/.514 with 18 home runs, 28 doubles, 65 RBIs and 63 runs. He hit six more homers in 17 playoff games, and was named the NLCS MVP after hitting a dramatic game-winning homer in the series-clinching victory over the Padres.

    ''You don't ever want to lose Bryce, you really don't,'' Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. ''He's one of the best hitters in baseball, if not the best.

    "We spent a lot of time last year without him. Guys responded. It gave opportunities to other people to step up and they did. While we will be missing him, and looking forward to getting him back, it'll give somebody else an opportunity.''

    The Phillies open the season March 30 at Texas.

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