The big news of Saturday's MLB action was the first-ever London Series getting underway after a few days of immense hype. The game took forever and provided a boatload of runs from the get-go. It was tied 6-6 through one inning that took about an hour. Yes, it was quite the scene.
As for the rest, we got a nice balance of later afternoon games starting at the 4 p.m. Eastern hour and late games.
Select games can be streamed regionally viafuboTV(Try for free). For more on what channel each game is on, click here.
Tanaka's line: 2/3 IP, 4 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 0 K. Yes, neither starting pitcher made it out of the first inning. It was 6-6 through one. Does this seem rare? Yeah, it is.
It did seem like the ball was really jumping, and it was only 385 feet to center field. The Yankees continued the offensive onslaught in the middle innings, but a six-spot in the seventh got the Red Sox back in the game.
In all, the two teams combined for 30 runs on 37 hits, including 10 doubles and six home runs. Relevant:
Once the Red Sox reached double digits (on another Michael Chavis three-run bomb), we had more rarefied air:
If the fans in London like seeing runs scored, they certainly got their money's worth. It wasn't all offense, though, as the Yankees ended the game with a nifty double play:
The Yankees win and maintain their robust lead in the AL East, but the biggest story was how long this thing took due to the ball flying. The final game time was four hours and 42 minutes.Per ESPN Stats and Info, the longest nine-inning game of all time was four hours and 45 minutes (Yankees-Red Sox on Aug. 18, 2006).
Mets blow another late lead
Another day, another stinker by the beleaguered Mets bullpen. This time it was Seth Lugo who blew a one-run eight-inning lead over the Braves by allowing back-to-back homers. Please observe the following color-television footage:
That game-tying homer by Nick Markakis was the first in his 14-year career that came on a 3-0 pitch. Soon after, hard-hitting rookie Austin Riley hit his 14th home run in just his 42nd career game.
As for the Mets' relief corps, it's now blown an MLB-worst 21 saves in 39 opportunities. The Mets are now a season-worst 10 games under .500 and have lost seven in a row. Oh, and they've led in the fifth inning or later in every game of that seven-game losing streak. They're closer in the NL East standings to the last-place Marlins than they are the third-place Nationals.
This, people, is the low point of the 2019 Mets until the next low point comes along, possibly on Sunday.
Cruz keeps raking
Twins DH Nelson Cruz homered twice in Saturday's win over the White Sox, and the second of those two blasts is worth your time:
Mercy, as a former White Sox broadcaster was wont to say. That blast left the bat at 112.4 mph and traveled a whopping 469 feet. Cruz, who turns 39 on Monday, now has 15 homers on the season, and he's slashing .284/.374/.564. Needless to say, he's been a vital member of the first-place Twins.
And what a run Cruz has been on. After he hit the market following the 2013 season -- his final one with the Rangers -- the widespread perception was that Cruz at age 33 was poised to enter his decline phase. That's why he wound up signing a one-year "prove it" contract with the Orioles for just $8 million.
Well, prove it he did as Cruz in 2014 wound up cranking an AL-leading 40 home runs. Since the start of that 2014 season -- you know, the onset of Cruz's "decline" -- he's put up an OPS+ of 144 and averaged 43 home runs per 162 games played. After Saturday, he's tallied 218 home runs since the start of his age-33 campaign. As the White Sox would surely attest, Cruz, even as he heads toward age 40, is still capable of producing at a high level.
Rays two-way prospect McKay shines in MLB debut
On Saturday,Tampa Bay Raystwo-way prospectBrendan McKaymade his big-league debut. Though McKay has seen action as a DH this season (and as a first baseman in the past), his first appearance was as a left-handed starter against theTexas Rangers. If his initial outing is any indication, he's here to stay -- at least as a pitcher.
McKay retired the first 16 batters he saw before giving up a single toDanny Santanaand later a walk to Shin-Soo Choo. Those were the only baserunners he permitted over his six innings of work. He struck out three and generated 11 swinging strikes on 81 pitches.
After Strop ran the count to 3-0, Puig seemed to communicate via body language some level of disappointment at not seeing a hittable pitch. Strop, presumably vexed by this, put a 94-mph offering into Puig's thigh, and we went from there. Credit to Joey Votto for doing the yeoman's work of restraining a 240-pound man with vengeance on his mind.
Pedro Strop, your thoughts?
Whoa. All right.
Anyhow, both benches were warned following the extracurriculars, which is why Reds manager David Bell wanted Cubs reliever Dillon Maples tossed after he plunked Jose Peraza in the ninth, albeit with a slider. Instead, Bell got run.
In the end, consider this a big win for the Cubs, who are locked in a tight race in the NL Central, and consider the stage set for Sunday's rubber match at Great American Ball Park.
O's make history
Not much has gone right for the Orioles this season, but the last two contests against the visiting Indians have been notable exceptions -- historic exceptions, to be precise. Regard:
Yes, the O's blanked the Indians 13-0 in back-to-back games, and such a thing has never happened before. On Saturday, Andrew Cashner twirled seven shutout frames, and Renato Nunez homered twice. Let it be said that the Indians were no slouch coming in. Prior to getting keel-hauled by the O's in consecutive tilts, the Indians were 16-7 in June.
How unlikely was this? The Orioles now have three shutouts on the season, and two have come in the last two games. The Indians, meantime, hadn't allowed more than 12 runs in a game this season before Eutaw Street Massacre of note.