Keuchel finally signs
Everyone can breathe easy. Starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel has put an end to a strange offseason for MLB free agency. On the evening of June 6, Keuchel and the Atlanta Braves agreed to a contract for the remainder of the season worth about $13 million.
The acquisition comes as almost a necessity for Atlanta as both Kevin Gausman and 2018 All-Star Mike Foltynewicz have struggled mightily this season. Keuchel’s 3.66 career ERA will be welcomed into a shaky Braves pitching staff.
Atlanta is not only bringing in a quality and low maintenance pitching arm, but they are also keeping him away from other National League contenders including the division rival Philadelphia Phillies. The Braves are now firmly in the NL Wild Card race but only trail first place by one game. That will change.
Didi Gregorius returns to Yankees’ lineup
Didi Gregorius was finally able to make his 2019 season debut Friday as the New York Yankees traveled to Cleveland to take on the Indians. He went 2-for-4 with two singles and a strikeout. Gregorius was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery on October 17, 2018, after sustaining a right elbow injury in Game 2 of the American League Division Series.
Gregorius wasted no time getting into peak form. He again went 2-for-4 in Cleveland on Saturday with a home run and two RBIs. Through nine at-bats following Sunday’s series finale in Cleveland, Gregorius is hitting .444 with a 1.222 OPS. This is a small sample size but impressive nonetheless for a player coming off a significant injury.
Charlie Morton continues to dominate the league
Morton picked up his seventh win of the season June 5 against the Detroit Tigers. That win extended his unbeaten streak to 20 consecutive appearances, the longest streak of its kind since Clayton Kershaw had 21 such games. Morton has not lost a decision since August 11, 2018.
The starting pitcher spent the past two seasons with the Houston Astros before signing with the Tampa Bay Rays as a free agent in the offseason. He holds a 2.30 ERA with 91 strikeouts on the season while giving up just four home runs. Morton has amassed a 22-3 record since the start of the 2018 season.
In the days of high powered offenses and frequent home run balls, pitchers who keep the ball within the field of play and make it deep into starts like Morton are invaluable. His next start is Monday night against the Oakland Athletics at Tropicana Field.
Nationals go yard four times in order
First it was Howie Kendrick, then it was Trea Turner. Adam Eaton joined the party followed by third baseman Anthony Rendon. The Washington Nationals hit back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs to turn a 1-1 tie into a comfortable 5-1 lead in a matter of minutes.
All four runs were given up my San Diego Padres reliever Craig Stammen who, unsurprisingly, was pulled shortly after.
This was only the ninth time in MLB history this has been accomplished with the previous time coincidentally being Washington two years earlier. The home runs continue to fly out at record pace and games like this point to another year of shattered records.