MLB

Ohtani shines again in history-making display, Dodgers stay hot

By Sports Desk July 03, 2021

Another day but the same story for record-setting Shohei Ohtani, who fuelled the Los Angeles Angels' 8-7 walk-off win over the Baltimore Orioles in MLB on Friday.

Ohtani hit two homers and scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Angels overcame the Orioles at Angel Stadium.

The two-way Angels star took his tally to an MLB-best 30 homers in 2021 thanks to home runs in the third and fourth innings.

According to Stats Perform, Ohtani became the first player in American League (AL) history to reach 30 home runs and 10 stolen bases in his team's first 81 games of the season. The only National League (NL) players to achieve the feat are Sammy Sosa (1998) and Albert Pujols (2009).

Ohtani also earned the franchise record for the most homers before the All-Star break, surpassing Mike Trout's 2018 record of 28.

 

Dodgers extend streak, Manoah masters Rays

World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers won their seventh consecutive game by downing the Washington Nationals 10-5.

Alek Manoah set a Toronto Blue Jays record in their 11-1 demolition of the Tampa Bay Rays. The rookie pitcher made history with seven consecutive strikeouts in a game, according to Stats Perform. Manoah – back from a five-game ban – struck out a career-high 10 batters over seven scoreless innings of three-hit ball. George Springer, Marcus Semien and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. all homered for the Blue Jays.

Willy Adames homered as the Milwaukee Brewers emerged 7-2 victors against the Pittsburgh Pirates for their 10th successive win.

 

Lopez ejected in Marlins loss

Miami Marlins right hander Pablo Lopez was ejected after his first pitch hit All-Star Ronald Acuna Jr. in a 1-0 loss to the Atlanta Braves. In a long-running history, Marlins manager Don Mattingly and pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. were also ejected.

The slumping Chicago Cubs tasted a seventh straight defeat after losing 2-1 at the Cincinnati Reds.

 

Phillips makes his first appearance on the mound

In a lopsided defeat, the Rays did manage to provide a highlight after outfielder Brett Phillips pitched. With Tampa Bay trailing by nine runs ahead of the bottom of the eighth inning, Phillips was sent to the mound for the first time in his professional career. In an inning, the 27-year-old allowed two hits, a run and two walks.

 

Friday's results

Philadelphia Phillies 4-3 San Diego Padres
Los Angeles Dodgers 10-5 Washington Nationals
Milwaukee Brewers 7-2 Pittsburgh Pirates
Toronto Blue Jays 11-1 Tampa Bay Rays
Chicago White Sox 8-2 Detroit Tigers
Cincinnati Reds 2-1 Chicago Cubs
Houston Astros 6-3 Cleveland Indians
Atlanta Braves 1-0 Miami Marlins
Kansas City Royals 7-4 Minnesota Twins
St Louis Cardinals 9-3 Colorado Rockies
Boston Red Sox 3-2 Oakland Athletics
Los Angeles Angels 8-7 Baltimore Orioles
San Francisco Giants 11-4 Arizona Diamondbacks
Seattle Mariners 5-4 Texas Rangers
New York Mets-New York Yankees (postponed)

 

Mets at Yankees

After the opening was rained out, the Subway Series will get underway between the Mets (41-36) and Yankees (41-39) on Saturday. Taijuan Walker is the starter for the Mets, while the Yankees send Jordan Montgomery to the mound.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

  • Wimbledon: Humbert shows up without racquets but still stuns Ruud Wimbledon: Humbert shows up without racquets but still stuns Ruud

    Ugo Humbert was not entirely prepared for his second-round match with third seed Casper Ruud at Wimbledon but still upset the French Open finalist.

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    "I love to play on grass. I have played a lot of good matches," Humbert said.

    "I think about the match last year against [Nick[ Kyrgios. It was a big battle. I won Halle, so I think I play very nice [on grass] because of my serve, and my backhand is very great."

    He added: "It is a big victory. [Ruud] played very well the last few years, so I am very happy."

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