Five things to know about MLB over the weekend: the Yankees create drama in Toronto, and the Orioles exact payback in Texas


A “mop” is four straight victories if a “sweep” is three straight victories against the same team during the regular season.

There were six four-game sets, or mopportunities, in Major League Baseball this past weekend. Regretfully, nobody showed up with a bucket full of suds. On Sunday, the Orioles and Angels led 3-0 but were unable to complete the task.

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Depressing? Indeed. Letdown? Indeed. Nevertheless, we’ll gather our thoughts and examine the MLB weekend. There was still a good deal to enjoy.
Orioles defeat the Rangers 3–1.

Do you recall the October of last year when the Texas Rangers gave the young Baltimore Orioles a swirly in the ALDS on their route to winning the team’s first World Series? The O’s undoubtedly do.

Before the Rangers escaped a sweep by winning a blowout on Sunday, Baltimore took the first three games from a struggling Texas club over the weekend. A huge slam from youngster Heston Kjerstad on Saturday was the highlight of the weekend and possibly the most thrilling play of Baltimore’s season so far.

The blonde-haired outfielder lofted a Michael Lorenzen heater just over the wall in right-center, sparking wild celebrations in front of an estimated 44,000 fans at Camden Yards. It was the kind of regular-season memory that all those present will always cherish. Then, a revitalized Craig Kimbrel held on for his 19th save of the year, cutting his ERA for June to 0.96.
The O’s, who had earlier in the week ended a losing streak of five games, were relieved to end the series. With Tyler Wells, Kyle Bradish, and John Means all out for the season, Baltimore still has severe starting pitching problems; yet, that is the purpose of trade deadlines and well-stocked farm systems.

In addition, Gunnar Henderson declared his participation in the Home Run Derby on “Sunday Night Baseball”. An All-Star team consists of six Orioles. That 2021 season with 110 losses seems so far away. Baltimore is a nice place to live.

Brewers defeat the Cubs two out of three.
Craig Counsell must harbor a small amount of regret in the recesses of his soul. The sport was surprised by his offseason move from Milwaukee to Chicago. Counsell has been the captain of the Brewers for eight seasons, having grown up in The Cream City. However, the experienced manager’s contract was about to expire when the Cubs approached him with an unprecedented five-year, $40 million contract, making him an enemy of every Brewers fan in the process.

The move made sense, even though it was startling. In addition to offering a life-altering amount of money, the Cubs also offered a bigger payroll, a larger market, and more resources. However, with just a small amount of his own fault to blame, Counsell’s move appears disastrous midway through the 2024 season.

Yes, there is still plenty of room for improvement, but this weekend’s series loss to the Brewers lowered Counsell’s fifth-place Cubs to 39-46. Chicago currently trails Milwaukee by 11.5 games in the division and behind the very boring, competitive National League wild-card race by five games.

Cubs pitcher Justin Steele said on Saturday during Chicago’s only victory of the weekend what every Cubs fan has been thinking. Following a careless defensive third inning that tied the game at two, Steele stormed into his bench, yelling, “WAKE THE F*** UP,” to everyone and everything. His passionate performance was effective for the first day, but Sunday’s drenched, two-hit outing proved that Counsell and the Cubbies still had work to do to save the season.
The Yankees infuse Toronto with drama

The Yankees’ four-game split in Toronto was quite exciting. If we can call it such, let’s concentrate on the drama. Despite having an extremely poor offensive season, Gleyber Torres, the second baseman, was benched this week after his lackluster play put him in the doghouse. When he came back on Friday, Marcus Stroman, the Yankees starter, became enraged with him right away because he appeared a little lazy when turning a double play. Following the play, Stroman was heard yelling, “Throw the f***ing ball, bro,” and then again, “Have a little intensity, bro.”

Soon after, the Yankees triumphed 16–5, and following the game, all sides behaved diplomatically, attempting to downplay the importance of the circumstance. While Stroman plays with a lot of intensity and is obviously emotional, Torres is a weak batter who plays with a carefree motor. Their divergent approaches are accentuated by the intense rivalry between them. Like family, teammates occasionally disagree, but the Yankees clubhouse is not prone to rifts. But Torres’s lack of output is still a real problem, and it won’t get any better if he continues to find himself in situations like this.

This weekend, there was also a concern over Juan Soto’s injuries. After sliding during Friday’s game, he had some swelling in his right hand, which caused him to be a late scratch from the roster on Saturday. Panic spread around Yankee Land, as is understandably always the case when a player such as Soto gets scratched. However, the results of the X-rays were negative, and on Sunday he unexpectedly entered the lineup late and went 1-for-3 with two walks. Aaron Judge has 82 RBI and 31 home runs as well. What a creature.

The Jays, on the other hand, are still in neutral. Despite Vlad Guerrero Jr. having a tremendous month and weekend, Toronto is still 7.5 games off of a postseason place. This team is in need of a hot streak, a miracle, or both.
The Astros remind the Mets of their identity

The only team that could quell the magic feelings of the June Grimace Mets was Houston, MLB’s cartoon villain since their can-banging misbehavior was exposed. After the Amazins defeated the Astros on Friday with to three home runs, utility player and Latin pop singer José Iglesias celebrated on the field by performing his brand-new song, “OMG.” As the youngsters put it, the vibe was flawless.

Houston showed no concern. They survived extra innings on Sunday to win a crucial series in Queens after rallying from a late two-run deficit on Saturday. The Mets turned their season around in June with a 16-8 record, so New York won’t be too upset; there are still wins to be had. The Nationals, Pirates, Nationals, Rockies, and Marlins are the teams New York will face in its next five series.

In the bland AL West, Houston is only 3.5 games behind the struggling Mariners. Even though Framber Valdéz was roughed up on Saturday, the Astros still have a lot of pitching problems. Not quite gone.
With Harper and Schwarber on the disabled list, the Phillies and Marlins split.

It doesn’t seem like fun to live without Kyle Schwarber and Bryce Harper. Over the weekend, both of Philadelphia’s mainstays—Harper from a left hamstring strain and Schwarber from a left groin strain—went on the injured list. They both avoided serious injuries, so they ought to return before or shortly after the All-Star break.

The Marlins, with the fifth-worst team ERA in baseball, kept the Phillies to two runs on Saturday, but their hitters were missing. Then, in the Sunday finale, huge performances from Nick Castellanos and Alec Bohm helped Philly win with a comeback.

Seeing the club with the best record in baseball start Kody Clemens, 2024 Whit Merrifield, David Dahl, and Rafael Marchán in the lineup is a little startling. But unlike in past years, the Phillies should be able to weather the storm until their big stars return thanks to their pitching and depth in the organization. It doesn’t hurt that they lead Atlanta by eight games in the NL East.

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