MLB

Feisty Nationals prevail against Phillies, top MLB prospect Franco impresses in debut as Rays fall

By Sports Desk June 23, 2021

Max Scherzer and the Washington Nationals prevailed 3-2 in a contentious matchup with the rival Phillies that saw Philadelphia manager Joe Girardi ejected from the game after a dispute with the Washington pitcher. 

Girardi took advantage of the MLB's new provision cracking down on pitchers for use unlawful substances that help improve grip and spin on the ball, requesting that the three-time Cy Young Award winner be checked by the umpires during the fourth inning after he already had been examined and cleared after the first and third innings. 

The final check infuriated Scherzer, who threw his hat and glove to the ground and began to unbuckle his belt before being declared clean again.

"I'll take off all my clothes if you want to see me," Scherzer told reporters afterward. "I've got nothing on me."

After striking out J.T. Realmuto to end the fifth inning, Scherzer stared into the Phillies' dugout as he walked off the field and Girardi emerged from the dugout to shout at the veteran pitcher, leading to his immediate ejection. 

That was also the end of the night for Scherzer thanks to his high pitch count (106), but he looked strong in his first appearance since leaving a June 11 start early with a groin injury.

Scherzer allowed just two hits, one of them a long solo home run by Bryce Harper that accounted for Philadelphia's only scoring against the Nationals ace. 

 

Red Sox top Franco, Rays

The Boston Red Sox spoiled the MLB debut of top prospect Wander Franco and handed the Tampa Bay Rays their seventh straight loss in a 9-5 victory at Tropicana Field. The 20-year-old Franco was impressive, tying the game at 5-5 in the fifth inning with a three-run homer for his first major league hit, but the Rays surrendered four runs in the 11th to lose at home to their rivals. According to Stats Perform, Franco is the second player in history to hit a game-tying three-run homer or grand slam in his MLB debut, after Kosuke Fukudome of the Chicago Cubs did it in 2008.

The San Diego Padres got home runs from Jake Cronenworth and pinch-hitter Kim Ha-seong to beat Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 for their sixth consecutive win. 

Zack Greinke led the Houston Astros to their ninth straight win, 3-1 over the Baltimore Orioles, to maintain a one-game division lead over the Oakland Athletics. 

 

Mets lose Stroman, game

The New York Mets managed only two hits while striking out 12 times in a 3-0 loss to Charlie Morton and the Atlanta Braves and saw starting pitcher Marcus Stroman depart at the start of the second inning with hip soreness. 

A day after breaking their 17-game losing streak, the Arizona Diamondbacks reverted to form, collecting just two hits in a 5-0 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.

 

HR champ Voit is back

Luke Voit returned from the injured list with a bang, as the 2020 MLB home run leader hit a monster 423-foot blast on the first pitch he saw since May 25 after being sidelined with an oblique injury in a 6-5 New York Yankees loss to the Kansas City Royals. 

 

Tuesday's results

Atlanta Braves 3-0 New York Mets
Houston Astros 3-1 Baltimore Orioles
Chicago Cubs 7-1 Cleveland Indians 
Oakland Athletics 13-6 Texas Rangers
Milwaukee Brewers 5-0 Arizona Diamondbacks
San Diego Padres 3-2 Los Angeles Dodgers
Cincinnati Reds 10-7 Minnesota Twins
Seattle Mariners 2-1 Colorado Rockies
Detroit Tigers 8-2 St Louis Cardinals
Washington Nationals 3-2 Philadelphia Phillies
Pittsburgh Pirates 6-3 Chicago White Sox
Kansas City Royals 6-5 New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox 9-5 Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays 2-1 Miami Marlins
San Francisco Giants 5-0 Los Angeles Angels

 

Giants at Angels

Shohei Ohtani will face MLB's best team as he takes the mound for the Los Angeles Angels against Kevin Gausman and the San Francisco Giants.

Related items

  • Pirates outfielder hits three homers, Judge launches again for Yankees, Ohtani deals for Angels Pirates outfielder hits three homers, Judge launches again for Yankees, Ohtani deals for Angels

    Pittsburgh Pirates center-fielder Bryan Reynolds hit three home runs to carry his side to an 8-7 away win against the Washington Nationals on Wednesday.

    The Nationals had it all working at the plate, collecting 16 hits compared to nine for the Pirates, but Reynolds' power made the difference.

    Reynolds connected on his first home run as the second batter of the game, following up Ke'Bryan Hayes' base hit with a 389-foot shot to make it 2-0.

    Washington would tie things up later in the first inning thanks to RBI hits from Nelson Cruz and Keibert Ruiz, and star right-fielder Juan Soto got in on the action in the second frame, putting the Nationals up 3-2 with his RBI double.

    After Pittsburgh's Daniel Vogelbach hit a 400-foot home run, and the Nationals drove in three more through Ruiz, Cesar Hernandez and Yadiel Hernandez, Reynolds returned to the plate in the sixth inning, trailing 6-4.

    His 420-foot solo home run trimmed the margin to 6-5, and followed it up an inning later with a three-run, 389-foot bomb to jump ahead 8-6.

    Yadiel Hernandez made things interesting down the stretch when his home run brought the Nationals back to within one run, but Yerry De Los Santos was able to protect the lead and register his first save of the season for the Pirates.

    Pirates super-prospect Oneil Cruz was quiet, with no hits, but he was walked twice from his four at-bats, and also reached base on a fielding error.

    Judge blasts another in Yankees win

    Only one player has more than 23 home runs this season, and Aaron Judge added to his league-leading tally as he crushed his 29th long ball in a 5-3 home win against the Oakland Athletics.

    The Athletics started hot as they chained together four hits in the opening inning, highlighted by a two-run double for Stephen Piscotty to lead 3-0.

    They would not score in the final eight frames as Yankees starter Jameson Taillon found his footing, and the bullpen combination of Lucas Luetge, Miguel Castro and Clay Holmes allowed just two hits and no walks in the final four innings.

    Judge's home run also came in the first inning - a 429-foot, two-run launch as the Yankees' second batter of the game - before Giancarlo Stanton added three more runs with his 391-foot homer in the third inning. Stanton is also top 10 in home runs this season, with 19, while fellow Yankee Anthony Rizzo has 20.

    Ohtani pitches a gem for the Angels

    Shohei Ohtani struck out 11 batters in the Los Angeles Angels' 4-1 win against the Chicago White Sox, continuing his charge towards back-to-back AL MVPs.

    Ohtani – who is also tied for 13th in the league with 17 home runs as a hitter – is now eighth in the league for total strikeouts as a pitcher (101) after a career-high 13 in his last start against the Kansas City Royals.

    He held the White Sox scoreless through five-and-two-thirds innings, giving up five hits and one walk as he registered at least 10 strikeouts for the fifth time in his past 11 starts.

  • Shevchenko's struggles and El Nino's nightmare – Lukaku the latest high-profile striker to flop at Chelsea Shevchenko's struggles and El Nino's nightmare – Lukaku the latest high-profile striker to flop at Chelsea

    Romelu Lukaku's second spell with Chelsea lasted just one season.

    Inter have confirmed the return of Lukaku in a season-long loan deal just 321 days after selling him to Chelsea for just under £100million.

    It reunites Lukaku with the club with whom he won the Scudetto in 2021 and writes another chapter in the history of the Blues signing a high-profile striker, only for them to fail to produce.

    As the London club perhaps wonder what might have been with Lukaku, Stats Perform looks back at the string of forwards who saw their goals dry up after moving to Stamford Bridge.

    Mateja Kezman

    Kezman did not arrive for big money by today's standards, joining from PSV for a £5.3m fee in 2004, but he came with significant expectations after a goal-laden spell in the Eredivisie in which he plundered 105 in 122 league appearances and won the title twice.

    However, he came nowhere close to living up to the billing in his sole season in the Premier League, finding the net seven times in 41 games in all competitions. His most important goal was the ultimately decisive third in Chelsea's League Cup final win over Liverpool as the Blues did the double, going on to claim a first Premier League crown under Jose Mourinho.

    He was subsequently sold to Atletico Madrid and had spells with Fenerbahce and Paris Saint-Germain that delivered more trophies, though he never managed to recapture his PSV form.

    Andriy Shevchenko

    Few strikers in world football were as feared as Shevchenko during his golden years at Milan, for whom he remains the second-highest goalscorer in the club's history with 175.

    Chelsea's £30.8m move to lure him from San Siro in 2006, then a record fee paid by an English club, reflected his reputation. Yet Shevchenko's transition to the Premier League did not go to plan.

    In his final season in Serie A, Shevchenko averaged a goal every 116 minutes. Across two seasons with Chelsea, that dipped to one every 284 minutes in the Premier League. He netted 22 in 77 games in all competitions, with the appointment of Avram Grant as Mourinho's successor in 2007 limiting his game time. Shevchenko won the FA Cup and League Cup with the Blues but was an unused substitute as they lost the 2008 Champions League final to Manchester United.

    He was sent back to Milan for an unsuccessful loan spell before finishing his career back at boyhood club Dynamo Kyiv.

    Fernando Torres

    Torres' 2011 move from Liverpool to Chelsea was one of the most famous January transfers in Premier League history. As with a lot of January moves, it did not have the desired impact.

    In his final two full seasons with Liverpool in 2008-09 and 2009-10, 'El Nino' scored 32 Premier League goals from 166 shots that had an expected goals (xG) value of 13.3. In 2010-11, he scored nine for Liverpool from an xG value of 8.5. Across three and a half seasons with Chelsea, Torres scored 20 league goals from 217 shots with an xG value of 26.5.

    In terms of silverware, Torres was still successful with Chelsea, winning three trophies. His crowning moment came as he scored the decisive goal at Camp Nou against Barcelona to send the Blues into the Champions League final, where they beat Bayern Munich on penalties.

    But his overall output was never close to good enough, and he too had a brief spell at Milan before heading back to where it all began with Atletico Madrid.

    Alvaro Morata

    Of all the players on this list, Morata's relative lack of goalscoring success was the least surprising given he made the move to Stamford Bridge having never scored more than 15 league goals in a single season in his career.

    Moving from Real Madrid on the back of that career-best campaign in 2016-17, Morata was unable to live up to his reported £60m fee, scoring 11 goals in 31 games in his first season and five in 16 in the first half of his second before being loaned to Atletico, who he then joined on a permanent basis having won the FA Cup and Europa League with Chelsea.

    Timo Werner

    Werner still has the chance to turn his Chelsea career around, but the former RB Leipzig striker's time at Stamford Bridge has followed a very similar trajectory to Chelsea's high-profile misfires.

    Having scored 95 goals in 159 games for Leipzig, Werner has netted only 23 in two seasons for Chelsea since his £47.5m move, with his 191 shots carrying an xG value of 33.7, illustrating just how poorly the Germany international has performed in front of goal.

    He has brought value in other areas, serving as a high-energy focal point of the Chelsea attack, but Thomas Tuchel will surely want to see more in terms of end product for Werner to free himself from the 'flop' tag.

    Romelu Lukaku

    Unable to cement a place in the Chelsea first team during his first spell with the club, Lukaku's second act at Stamford Bridge was expected to be much more profitable.

    Chelsea forked out a club-record £97.5m on that proving to be the case but have now moved to cut their losses and allow Lukaku to return to Inter, if only on loan.

    Lukaku scored a goal every 120 minutes in helping Inter to Serie A glory in 2020-21 but managed just eight in the Premier League at one every 198 minutes.

    Between Werner and Lukaku, Chelsea could not afford to carry two struggling strikers, with the latter becoming the latest in a long line of misguided attacking investments to make a swift exit.

  • DeGrom and Scherzer edging closer to Mets returns DeGrom and Scherzer edging closer to Mets returns

    The New York Mets have yet to have their two multiple Cy Young Award winners healthy at the same time this season, though that appears closer to becoming a reality.

    Jacob deGrom took the biggest step towards a return from a shoulder injury by throwing 29 pitches on Wednesday in a live batting practice session at the Mets' spring training complex in Port St. Lucie, Florida. It could be the final hurdle the two-time National League Cy Young winner has to clear before starting a minor league rehab assignment that could have him back around the All-Star break.

    "We have a schedule worked out and know what will happen if everything feels well [on Thursday]," Mets manager Buck Showalter said. "He hasn't had anything that has taken him off schedule so far."

    DeGrom has not pitched for the Mets since July 7 due to two significant injuries. The ace right-hander missed the entire second half of last season with forearm tightness and came down with a stress reaction in his throwing shoulder in spring training.

    While DeGrom's return is still not imminent, the Mets could have Max Scherzer back by next week. The three-time Cy Young recipient, out since mid-May with a strained left oblique, will make a second rehab start for Double-A Binghamton on Wednesday against the Hartford Yard Goats.

    Scherzer threw 65 pitches – 46 for strikes – in his first outing for Binghamton on June 21. The 37-year-old struck out six while allowing two runs on three hits and one walk.

    "I was going to send him a 'good luck with the Yard Goats,' but I don't think he'd take it well," said Showalter of the notoriously intense Scherzer. "I think I will, anyway."

    It's believed Wednesday's start will be Scherzer's last before rejoining the Mets for their series in Cincinnati against the Reds that begins on Monday, though Showalter said a final decision won't be made until after he pitches.

    "We're not going to rush him," he said. "We're not going to make that mistake."

    Since signing a three-year, $130million contract with the Mets in December that made him baseball's highest-paid player in terms of annual salary, Scherzer has gone 5-1 with a 2.54 ERA in eight starts and has struck out 59 in 49.2 innings.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.