The Month That Was in Baseball: May 2023
Monday, May 1
How tough is the AL East early on this season? The Toronto Blue Jays enter their game at Boston with an 18-10 record—good for third place in the division; the opposing Boston Red Sox, at 15-14, are tied for last with the New York Yankees. In the game to follow, the Red Sox snatch a win in the bottom of the ninth, 6-5, on Alex Verdugo’s lead-off solo homer; it’s his third walk-off hit of the young season. In defeat, the Jays’ Bo Bichette has his second five-hit night on the year, with four singles and a three-run homer to give the Jays their only lead of the night at 3-2 in the second. It’s Bichette’s third five-hit game of his career.
Houston pitcher Luis Garcia is eight pitches into his start against the visiting San Francisco Giants when he motions to the Astros’ dugout for a trainer; he’ll leave moments later, and within a few days it will be discovered that he has a torn elbow that will require Tommy John surgery—forcing him out until early in the 2024 season. Five Houston pitchers will hold the fort down for the rest of the game, while former Giant Mauricio Dubon pokes out three hits in the Astros’ 7-3 victory.
Tuesday, May 2
It’s Miller Time at the Oakland Coliseum, where a paltry crowd of 2,583 watches an unexpected pitcher’s duel between the A’s and Seattle Mariners lead to some unprecedented achievements. The Mariners’ Bryce Miller, making his major league debut after posting a 0-2 record and 6.41 ERA at the Double-A level this season, becomes only the second pitcher in the last 60 years to retire the very first 16 batters he faces; when he’s replaced after six innings (allowing a run on two hits), he thus becomes only the third pitcher ever to strike out 10-plus batters with no walks in his first-ever appearance. The other two: Johnny Cueto in 2008 and Stephen Strasburg in 2010. After Miller’s departure, the other Miller—the A’s Mason Miller, making his third-ever MLB appearance—carries on, managing to throw seven no-hit frames before being removed on 100 pitches, despite there being just 54 strikes among them. His replacement, Richard Lovelady, immediately chokes it up as he surrenders two runs in the eighth, and that’s all the Mariners will need for a 2-1 victory.
According to Stathead, Mason Miller is the first A’s pitcher to be removed from a no-hitter of at least seven innings.
The gems thrown by both Millers are two of six outings on the night in which a pitcher goes at least six innings allowing two or fewer hits.
Bryce Harper makes a surprisingly early return from Tommy John surgery, representing the DH for Philadelphia in another big loss to the Dodgers at Los Angeles, 13-1. (The Phillies lost the previous night, 13-4.) The two-time MVP doesn’t look sharp, going hitless with three strikeouts in four at-bats, but his very presence is stunning for one who underwent the procedure just five months earlier.
Some might recall that Shohei Ohtani also returned early from Tommy John, playing exclusively at the DH spot in 2019 while his pitching arm healed—but his absence was seven months, or a full two months longer than Harper.
Baltimore improves to 20-9 behind a big night for Ryan Mountcastle (two home runs, a double and five RBIs) and Adley Rutschman (two doubles among four total hits) in an 11-7 victory at Kansas City, but it’s also discovered that Orioles reliever Yennier Cano is human. After retiring the previous 33 batters to begin the season, the 29-year-old Cuban gives up his first baserunner—an infield hit by Maikel Garcia—before retiring the next three batters to wrap up the win. The Royals sink to 1-13 at home this season.
The Tampa Bay Rays have another winning streak going. In defeating the upstart Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Petersburg, 4-1, the Rays score first for the 20th time this year—and in each of those games, they have yet to lose. That ties a record to begin a season, held by the 1990 Cincinnati Reds (on their way to winning the World Series).
A bad start for the Colorado Rockies (10-20) is made worse with the news that German Marquez, arguably the team’s top starting pitcher, will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season. The 28-year-old Venezuelan, pitching in his eighth season for the Rockies, ends his shortened year with a 2-2 record and 4.95 ERA; he only needed two strikeouts to tie Jorge De La Rosa for the most in franchise history (985). He’ll now have to wait until sometime early in the 2024 season, when he is expected to be fully recovered.
Wednesday, May 3
Shohei Ohtani takes the mound before 42,000 fans in St. Louis and is his usual flamboyant self—giving up four runs over five innings, but striking out 13 to become the fourth major leaguer ever and the second wearing an Angels jersey (Zack Greinke, 2012) to collect that many Ks in five or fewer innings. Moving from pitcher to DH with the Angels behind 4-3, Ohtani avoids his first loss of the season, capping a three-run rally in the ninth by scoring on Anthony Rendon’s single after solo homers from Jake Lamb and Mike Trout to give the Angels a 6-4 win. The Cardinals, heavily booed by their fans after the final out, are an NL-worst 10-21.
Among Ohtani’s 13 strikeouts is the 500th of his career, making him not only the fifth player to do so with 500 hits (joining Babe Ruth, Walter Johnson, Red Ruffing and Smoky Joe Wood), but also the second with 100 home runs (joining Ruth).
Max Muncy’s one-out, walk-off grand slam, his MLB-leading 12th home run on the year, gives the Dodgers a 10-6 home win over the Phillies to complete a three-game sweep of the defending NL champions. The 36 runs scored against Philadelphia are the most that the Dodgers have ever scored at Dodger Stadium in a three-game series. They also win the series finale despite a good day for the Phillies’ Bryce Harper, who in his second game back from Tommy John surgery reaches base all five times (a double, two singles and two walks).
Thursday, May 4
After spending the first month of the season on the shelf with a bad back, Justin Verlander attempts to come to the rescue for the struggling Mets—but despite five mostly agreeable innings, the 40-year-old future Hall of Famer can’t speak for an offense that’s shut down by the Tigers’ Eduardo Rodriguez (two hits allowed over eight shutout innings) in a 2-0 loss at Detroit. It’s the ninth loss in the Mets’ 11 games, dropping the high-priced team to an even 16-16 mark. Both of the game’s runs score on back-to-back home runs in the first inning from Riley Greene and Javier Baez off Verlander, making his New York debut in front of 18,000 Detroit fans who remember him more for his time as a Tiger. Overall, Verlander allows five hits and walks one, striking out five amid 79 pitches. Brandon Nimmo gives the Mets some ninth-inning life with a one-out single, but is thrown out attempting to steal second base—a head-scratching move, given that he represents neither the tying nor go-ahead run.
With the proliferation of sports gambling—and MLB’s recent (yet tactful) embracement of the industry—it was bound to happen. A week ago, University of Alabama manager Brad Bohannon pulled one of his top pitchers shortly before the Crimson Tide’s contest with #1-ranked LSU. At roughly the same time, some sizable wagers placed at an Ohio sportsbook located at Great American Ball Park (home of the Reds) were made on LSU to win, raising the curious eyes of gambling officials. Alabama lost, 8-6—and Bohannon is out of a job, not because of the loss but because of his suspected involvement in the bets. Initial investigation links Bohannon directly to the bets; no players from either team are said to be involved, but the book is far from being closed on the case.
As concerning as this is, it’s pointed out that enforcement procedures worked thanks to the involvement of third-party sources who track and report suspicious betting activity—so let that be a warning to anyone who’s looking to pull a Black Sox or Bohannon.
Friday, May 5
In their first meet-and-greet of the year, the Yankees and Rays—not exactly the best of friends over the past few years—continue to share the passion against one another before a St. Petersburg crowd of 25,000. Tampa Bay’s Randy Arozarena gets things started in the bottom of the first with a solo home run and, while rounding the bases, stops briefly after crossing third base to smugly cross his arms in the direction of the Yankee dugout. The Yankees apparently don’t take that very well; they hit Arozarena in each of his next two plate appearances, generating a warning from umpires and an ejection on Rays manager Kevin Cash, saying without saying that it strips away his right to retaliate. As for the rest of the game, the Rays build up an early 4-0 lead, see it disintegrate when the Yankees tie it in the sixth, then reclaim it for good in the seventh on an RBI single from Wander Franco. The Rays’ 5-4 win improves their record to 27-6; they’ve won a record 22 straight games to start the season when scoring first, and their 18-2 home mark is the best by any team through its first 20 games in the modern (post-1900) era.
Out west, two other divisional rivals get it on in San Diego as the Dodgers and Padres battle for the first time this year as well. Round One goes to the Padres and Fernando Tatis Jr., who clubs two home runs in a 5-2 victory before an overflow audience at Petco Park. While Tatis’ two taters aren’t grand slams and don’t come in the same inning—something his father did back in 1999 against the Dodgers—he does become the first player ever to homer twice in multiple games against future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw, whose uncharacteristic form also includes five walks over 4.2 innings—part of 11 given to Padres hitters by Los Angeles pitching.
The A’s meet their match with the almost-equally awful Royals at Kansas City and dredge up their seventh win of the year (against 26 losses) with a 12-8 victory. Oakland starter Kyle Muller isn’t sharp—he allows five runs on eight hits and three walks with just one strikeout—but thanks to excessive support from his mates at the plate, it’s enough to earn him the win, the first by an A’s starter in this, their 33rd game of the year. That’s a major league mark to begin a campaign; the longer streak for any time of the year still belongs to the 2022 Nationals, who went 43 straight games without a rotation win last summer.
From the same visiting TV booth at Kauffman Stadium where, three years ago, Reds announcer Thom Brennaman lost his job for saying the f-word on a hot mic (not that f-word, but the one that’s a slur for gay people), Oakland announcer Glen Kuiper suffers a most unfortunate slip of the tongue. In his pregame on-air ramble with analyst Dallas Braden, Kuiper talks about visiting the nearby Negro Leagues Baseball Museum—only he doesn’t say ‘Negro,’ but the far more virulent word that sounds like it. Kuiper makes an on-air apology midway through the game to follow, but it won’t be enough for the A’s, who call Kuiper’s language “unacceptable” and later fire him after 20 years on the job.
The road blues continue for Dane Dunning, the hybrid pitcher filling in for injured Rangers ace Jacob deGrom. At Anaheim against the Angels, Dunning throws five shutout innings allowing just two hits, and appears to be on his way to snapping a slide of 26 straight road starts without a win—but Texas closer Will Smith coughs up three runs in the bottom of the ninth, sending the game into extra innings and erasing any chance of a Dunning victory. For the Rangers, it gets worse; in the 10th, with runners at second and third and one out, Smith is removed for Josh Sborz—whose very first pitch goes wild to the backstop to score the game-winner for the Angels in a 5-4 contest. It’s the first time since 1999 that a pitcher’s only throw results in a walk-off wild pitch.
Dunning’s 27 straight winless starts on the road is two short of the all-time mark held by Scott Earlton from 2001-05.
The Red Sox’ seventh straight win, a 5-3 victory at Philadelphia, is delayed 10 minutes in the first inning when Phillies reliever Jose Alvarado races out of the bullpen and onto the outfield to get the attention of dugout medical staff to come to the aid of a fan that’s fallen 10 feet onto a concrete base in the Red Sox’ bullpen. The fan was reportedly reaching out for a ball thrown his way; he was taken to a trauma center at a nearby hospital—although he is conscious and alert while being carted out of the ballpark. On the field, Chris Sale strikes out 10 over six innings to improve to 3-2 on the year. Bryce Harper, in his first game at Philadelphia since returning from Tommy John surgery, has a single in four trips to the plate.
Matt Harvey is out of comebacks. The tough-as-nails pitcher who had a stormy but promising early first few years with the Mets, before injuries all but permanently sidetracked his career, calls it quits after failing to hook on with an organization in 2023. He hadn’t pitched in the majors since 2021, spending the bulk of last season in the Orioles’ minor league system. As a rookie, Harvey was not to be trifled with, even by his veteran New York teammates; he nearly came to blows with Jon Rauch when the 6’ll” reliever, in a moment of hazing, dumped a bucket of ice on him while he napped. Securing the nickname ‘The Dark Knight,’ Harvey quickly proved that he belonged, putting together a 25-18 record and 2.53 ERA in 65 starts from 2012-15, even with time missed during that span due to Tommy John surgery. His biggest—and perhaps most fatal—moment on the stage occurred in the decisive Game Five of the 2015 World Series against Kansas City, when he insisted to manager Terry Collins that he return to the mound for the ninth inning and finish a shutout; but he imploded, allowing the Royals to get back in the game and win the trophy in extra innings.
Harvey was never the same after that 2015 season, in which some claimed he was overworked (216 innings, including postseason) in the aftermath of the TJ procedure. He struggled with inflated ERAs and numerous stays on the shelf, then found himself bouncing from team to team to team, unable to rekindle the spark. But Harvey still courted controversy; last year, he admitted under oath that he received opioids from the same Angels front office employee who gave them to Tyler Skaggs, who died as a result of taking them. In nine years of major league play, Harvey was 50-66 with a 4.42 ERA.
Saturday, May 6
It looks like it’s going to be another day, another win for the Rays at St. Petersburg as Manuel Margot’s two-run double in the first gives Tampa Bay a quick lead over the Yankees. But Domingo German and four New York relievers clamp down on the Rays the rest of the way—while a three-run rally in the eighth is enough to give the Yankees a 3-2 victory. It’s the first time this season that the Rays have lost after scoring first; they had previously won 22 games they way, the longest such streak to start a season in major league history.
Not even the return of both Adam Wainwright and the Rally Squirrel can save the sinking Cardinals. After missing the first month with a groin injury, the 41-year-old Wainwright makes his first appearance in what is slated to be his final season, allowing four runs in five-plus innings but leaving with the Cardinals holding a slim 5-4 lead over the visiting Tigers. But even a seventh-inning cameo by the squirrel—which was said to ignite the Cardinals’ late surge out of nowhere in 2011—fails to rally the team, as the Tigers tie it in the seventh and win in the 10th, 6-5, on Akil Baddoo’s RBI double.
It’s the eighth straight loss for the Cardinals, who overall are 10-24. That’s the worst start for the Redbirds through 34 games since 1907, when they began that year with a 9-25 record. It’s also their worst record within any 34-game span since the summer of 1988, when St. Louis went 8-26 in one stretch.
Sunday, May 7
Vida Blue, one of the more dynamic and controversial pitchers of the 1970s and 1980s, passeds away at the age of 73. The southpaw from Louisiana struggled in his first call-up at Oakland in 1969, but turned heads a year later when, during another late-season cameo with the A’s, threw a one-hit shutout—followed, 10 days later, by a no-hitter, one of two branded with his name. (The other came in a then-rare multi-pitcher no-no in 1975, throwing the first five innings before three relievers completed the gem.) But Blue’s big breakout came in a stunning 1971 campaign in which he captivated the sports world with a Cy Young/MVP performance. He won 24 games—17 alone before the All-Star break—completed 24 of his 39 starts with eight shutouts, and furnished a 1.82 ERA and .189 opposing batting average over 312 innings while being placed on the cover of virtually every major magazine. “It was probably the most awesome performance by any pitcher I’ve ever seen,” said former A’s teammate Bob Locker. “Vida’s fastball was so unique, with it running in all four different directions. It would go anywhere except right over the plate. It was a pleasure to watch.”
A contract dispute with mercurial A’s owner Charles Finley foiled Blue’s follow-up in 1972 (he finished 6-10 with a still-sharp 2.80 ERA), but he rebounded to twice win 20 more games and make five more All-Star rosters. The always cash-strapped Finley tried trading Blue to the Yankees for $1.5 million in 1976, but commissioner Bowie Kuhn voided the deal as violating “the best interests of baseball”; Kuhn would say yes to a later, more talent-balanced deal in 1978 when Blue was shipped across to bay to the Giants, with whom he had mixed results. After another trade to Kansas City, Blue regressed more, collapsing to an 0-5 record and 6.01 ERA in 1983 before being arrested for cocaine possession—part of a bigger scandal involving a number of Royals players. Released immediately by the Royals, Blue returned to the Giants for two final years (1985-86), producing a 10-10 mark and 3.27 ERA in his final season.
The Cardinals finally shake a dispiriting eight-game losing snap thanks in huge part to Paul Goldschmidt, who pounds three home runs in a 12-6 rout of the visiting Tigers. It’s Goldschmidt’s third career hat trick, and his second for the Cardinals—making him the fifth member of the franchise (after Johnny Mize, Stan Musial, Mark McGwire and Albert Pujols) with multiple three-homer games.
Two outs away from a shutout, Miami workhorse Sandy Alcantara folds and allows the Cubs to tie the Marlins with a pair of runs in the ninth at Chicago. On to extra innings, the gift runner fails to end things quickly as both teams trade a run in both the 10th and 13th before the Marlins notch a run in the 14th on a balk; the Cubs fail to respond in the bottom of the frame, giving Miami a 5-4 win. The Marlins are 11-0 in one-run games, tying the 1972 Mets for the best such start to begin a season.
After allowing a run on two hits over six innings in his major league debut five days earlier, the Mariners’ Bryce Miller performs a near-duplicate encore—allowing another pair of hits through six shutout innings, as Seattle takes care of the visiting Astros, 3-1. Miller is the first major league pitcher ever to allow two or fewer hits over six or more innings in each of his first two MLB starts.
MLB’s international roadshow will head to South Korea for the start of the 2024 season, with the Dodgers and Padres reportedly set to play their first two regular season games in a yet-to-be-determined locale. It will be the first time that an MLB game has been played in South Korea, and will be the fifth country outside of the U.S. and Canada to host a regular season contest.
Monday, May 8
After losing 11 straight series openers to start the year, the Cardinals take the first game of a three-game set at Chicago against the Cubs, 3-1. Doubling their pleasure, the Redbirds’ main source of offense comes from Willson Contreras—playing his first game at Wrigley Field since being signed away from the Cubs by St. Louis in the offseason. Contreras’ two-out RBI double in the sixth breaks a 1-1 tie, and he provides insurance in the eighth with a second RBI on a fielder’s choice.
After a 20-8 April—followed by a 0-7 start to May—the Pirates get back on track as Mitch Keller throws the Bucs’ first complete-game shutout in five years, scattering four hits in a 2-0 home win over Colorado. Rodolfo Castro supplies Pittsburgh with both of its runs via a two-run homer in the seventh. For Keller, who throws 77 of his 103 pitches for strikes, it’s his first career complete game.
Tuesday, May 9
The Oakland A’s have changed their minds on where they’d like to play…within Las Vegas. After announcing that they had signed a letter of intent to buy land on the other side of the Strip from Interstate 15, north of Allegiant Stadium (home of football’s Raiders), the A’s now say they have an agreement to build a 30,000-seat, retractable-roof yard on the site of the Tropicana Hotel, which would be bulldozed to make way for the ballpark and a new casino. The reason for the switch is that it would cost somewhat less to taxpayers, who would foot $395 million instead of the $500 million at the initial site. Thus, the A’s hope to increase their odds of getting politicians to agree to a deal, and quickly—as the Nevada state legislature session ends on June 5.
The pros of the new location include being located right on the Strip; the cons include being right next to Harry Reid International Airport—the noise from which would likely prompt the A’s to close the roof for more than just Vegas’ scorching summer heat.
On the field, the A’s continue to show that there’s both green and gold in them thar young hitters—and that they keep losing in spite of it. At Yankee Stadium, 22-year-old second baseman Jordan Diaz belts home runs in the fourth, seventh and eighth innings, knocking in four runs; it’s the first hat trick by an A’s player since 2016, and Diaz is the second youngest player in franchise history (after Mickey Cochrane in 1925) to pull off the feat. But Diaz’s heroics are far from enough for the A’s, who get nailed in a 10-5 loss to the Yankees. New York is bolstered by the return of Aaron Judge after missing nearly two weeks to a bad hip; though he officially goes hitless in three at-bats, he knocks in two runs (fielder’s choice, sac fly) and scores once.
All five teams in the AL East have a better record than all five from the AL Central. The last-place Yankees (20-17), if placed in the Central, would be a half-game up on first-place Minnesota (19-17).
Not even a complete-game effort from Jordan Lyles is enough to get him in the win column for Kansas City, as he drops to 0-6 on the year with a 4-2 loss to the visiting White Sox. In going the distance for the third time in 222 career starts, the 32-year-old Lyles gives up four runs on six hits and no walks; no MLB pitcher has given up four or more tallies while notching a complete game—and losing—since Arizona’s Brandon McCarthy in 2013.
Lyles is the first pitcher in Royals history to have his team lose each of his first eight starts to begin a season.
Wednesday, May 10
Kenley Jansen becomes the seventh player to reach 400 career saves, throwing a scoreless ninth to close out the Red Sox’ 5-2 win at Atlanta against his team of a year ago, the Braves. The 35-year-old right-hander is off to a strong start in 2023, saving nine games (good for third place in the majors) in 10 opportunities with a 0.77 ERA; at the rate he’s going, he could surpass Billy Wagner (422 saves) and John Franco (424) to move into fifth on the all-time list before the end of the year.
When it’s close, count on the Marlins to end up on top. Joey Wendle’s RBI double in the ninth inning breaks a tie and gives Miami a 5-4 win at Arizona, improving the Marlins’ record in one-run games to 12-0. It’s the longest such undefeated stretch to begin a season in major league history, surpassing an 11-0 start by the 1972 Mets—and it’s a much better performance for the Marlins than last year, when they finished the season with a 24-40 record in games decided by a run.
Texas’ Dane Dunning throws six solid innings at Seattle, and not only does he depart the game with a lead, the Rangers’ bullpen holds it the rest of the way to defeat the Mariners, 4-3—ending a streak of 27 straight road starts in which Dunning failed to earn a win. The all-time mark of 29 straight road starts with a W remains in the hands of Scott Earlton (2001-05); the longest active streak belongs to the Pirates’ JT Brubaker, who won’t soon get a chance to extend his run of 26 winless road starts as he’s recovering from recent Tommy John surgery.
Thursday, May 11
The Rangers’ Nathan Eovaldi comes to within one out of his second shutout over his last four starts—and only the third of his 12-year career—as he’s removed after 8.2 innings, 12 strikeouts and 113 pitches in a 4-0 victory at Oakland before a sparse Coliseum crowd of 2,949. Eovaldi allows three hits and a walk, extending his streak of consecutive scoreless innings to 29.1—the longest seen in the majors this season.
Small ball wins the day at Kansas City, as the Royals’ Freddy Fermin lays down a bunt that scores Nick Pratto to defeat the White Sox, 4-3. It’s the first walk-off bunt for the Royals since 1982, when Frank White did the honors; it’s the second walk-off bunt of the year in the majors—with the White Sox being the victim in both.
Casey Schmitt continues a hot start to his major league career with the Giants, contributing four hits—including a 440-foot blast down the left-field line—to give San Francisco a 6-2 win at Arizona. In three games since being called up from Triple-A, Schmitt is 8-for-12 with four runs and four RBIs; since 1920, only Joe DiMaggio has done the same or better over a major leaguer’s first three games.
Friday, May 12
Cedric Mullins completes the 12th cycle in Orioles franchise history in style, slashing a three-run, tie-breaking homer in the eighth to give Baltimore a 6-3 home victory over the slumping Pirates. Seven of the Orioles’ 12 cycles accomplished have taken place since the team’s 1954 move from St. Louis, where it was known as the Browns; three of those seven in Baltimore have occurred just in the past five seasons, following Jonathan Villar (2019) and Austin Hays (2022).
The Blue Jays’ Chris Bassitt outduels young Atlanta fireballer Spencer Strider (6.2 innings, 12 strikeouts) by firing a two-hit, 3-0 home shutout. It’s the first shutout thrown by a Toronto pitcher since Mark Buehrle in 2015, and the first nine-inning complete game authored by a Blue Jays hurler in 538 games, since Marcos Stroman delivered in April 2017. (Hyun-jin Ryu threw a seven-inning shutout in 2021 during one of the pandemic-era, seven-inning doubleheaders, but most sources don’t count that as a true complete-game effort.)
Umpire Don Denkinger, infamously remembered for one of baseball’s most crucial blown calls when his errant safe call on a play at first base ignited a series-saving rally for the Royals in the 1985 World Series against the Cardinals, passes away at the age of 86. Besides his major gaffe that allowed the Royals to win Game Six of the Fall Classic (leading to Game Seven blowout win, with Denkinger ejecting frustrated St. Louis manager Whitey Herzog and pitcher Joaquin Andujar from behind home plate), Kansas City figured in each bookend of his impressively long 30-year career. His major league debut came at Municipal Stadium for the Royals’ first-ever game in 1969; his 3,885th and last took place on June 2, 1998 at Kauffman Stadium in a game that featured five hit batters and 12 ejections (seven players and five coaches) as Denkinger mostly watched from first base.
Saturday, May 13
The Marlins’ record-setting streak 12-0 start in one-run victories comes to an end as a ninth-inning rally comes up edgingly short, leaving the bases loaded as they bow to the visiting Reds, 6-5. That’s not all the Marlins lose; star outfielder Jazz Chisholm Jr. suffers a right foot injury after a collision with the wall that will knock him out of action for roughly a month.
Seattle’s Bryce Miller can’t be stopped—not after three starts, anyway. The 24-year-old right-hander is excellent once again, throwing seven shutout innings against the Tigers at Detroit while allowing three hits—just one of them after the first inning—in a 5-0 victory. In each of his first three outings, Miller has thrown at least six innings and allowed no more than three baserunners; no other major league pitcher has ever done that in his first three career starts.
Aaron Judge clouts two home runs, rookie shortstop Anthony Volpe steals two bases and the Yankees score all nine of their runs over the fifth and sixth innings to overcome a 6-0 deficit and defeat and visiting Rays, 9-8. Volpe’s two swipes give him 13 on the year, and he hasn’t been caught yet; that’s the most to start a Yankee career without being tagged out, erasing the former mark held by Joe DiMaggio—who needed nearly four years to go 12-for-12.
Sunday, May 14
The Pirates may have stumbled upon someone they’ve rarely had the pleasure of benefitting from: An ace. Six days after throwing a four-hit shutout against Colorado, Mitch Keller resumes his pitching mastery at Baltimore against the Orioles, firing seven more zeroes—allowing four hits and no walks while recording 13 strikeouts in a 4-0 victory.
Keller’s 13 K’s are the most by a Pittsburgh pitcher since Oliver Perez in 2004, and he’s the first Pirate since (at least) 1920 with no walks and no runs allowed at the same time. Overall, Keller and two Pittsburgh relievers rack up 17 strikeouts with no walks—something the Pirates have never done in a single game. The victory is a sight for sore eyes among Pirates fans, as their team had gone 1-11 since a 20-8 start.
Pennsylvania’s other team, the Phillies, are on the wrong end of another 4-0 contest—and they’re not happy about it for many reasons. They’re shut down at Coors Field by the Rockies’ Kyle Freeland, who celebrates his 30th birthday by throwing six shutout innings with eight strikeouts. But the first Rockies reliever the Phillies face, Jake Bird, ends an iffy seventh in which he somehow keeps the Phillies from scoring despite throwing more balls (12) than strikes (eight) and celebrates by slapping his glove hand and shouting toward the Phillies’ bench—infuriating Bryce Harper, whose charge toward Bird is held back by Colorado catcher Elias Diaz. A scrum results with a lot of intense chatter but no punches thrown; both Harper and Bird are ejected.
Monday, May 15
Shohei Ohtani leaves another opposing team shaking their heads in disbelief of his abilities, this time in Baltimore. The Angels ace/slugger allows five runs over seven innings on four hits (three of them home runs) to improve to 5-1 on the year, but he truly dazzles at the plate by reaching base five times on two singles, a walk, a triple, and a 456-foot home run in a 9-5 victory. It’s the second time in less than a month that Ohtani has flirted with a cycle; his five times reaching base are the most by a starting pitcher in one game since Mel Stottlemyre cranked out a double and four singles in a 1965 contest for the Yankees.
For the second time in three days, it’s double trouble for foes of the Yankees as Aaron Judge drops another multiple-homer game, this time at Toronto in a 7-4 win over the Blue Jays. It’s the third multi-homer game for Judge this season, and the 30th of his career; only four other Yankees—Babe Ruth (68), Mickey Mantle (46), Lou Gehrig (43) and Joe DiMaggio (35)—have more. Apart from his twin blasts—the latter recorded at 462 feet—Judge walks three times as he, like Ohtani above, reaches base five times on the evening.
The Cardinals appear to be finally getting their heads screwed on correctly after a very bad, off-brand start to the year. At St. Louis, the Redbirds pummel the Brewers, 18-1, to tie a modern-era franchise mark for the highest margin of victory in a home game. Three players knock in at least four runs each for the Cardinals, while Jack Flaherty throws seven shutout innings with 10 strikeouts—his longest scoreless stint in two years.
On the day the A’s announce that they’ve signed another intent-to-buy real estate deal in Las Vegas—this one on the grounds of the Tropicana Hotel—their 5-2 loss to Arizona at the Oakland Coliseum draws a scant crowd of 2,064. Not only is it the smallest crowd this season in Oakland, but the smallest for an A’s home game since 1979, when Charles Finley was in the final, depressing stages of his turbulent rule of the franchise with a total season gate of 306,000. The loss drops Oakland to 9-34 on the season—easily the worst record in MLB, and the worst ever by the A’s after 43 games.
Tuesday, May 16
Back on April 15, Yankees pitcher Domingo German was heavily scrutinized by umpires checking him out for illegal substances as he took a no-hitter into the sixth inning. A month later at Toronto, that same umpiring crew checks German out again as he completes three hitless innings against the Blue Jays—and, this time, ejects him. He’s the fourth pitcher to be booted for using foreign substances since MLB’s crackdown began two years ago; like the other three, he will face a 10-game suspension.
As for the rest of the game, the Yankees prevail, 6-3, behind yet another Aaron Judge homer—the fifth in his last four games and 11th on the year—that breaks a tie in the eighth and puts New York ahead for good.
In the 2021 MLB Amateur Draft, the Mets said thanks but no thanks to top college pitcher Kumar Rocker, who they selected in the first round—then refused to sign him when a troublesome physical gave them cold feet. A year later, the Texas Rangers took a chance on Rocker as another first-round selection, but after scant minor-league play in 2022 and six starts this year at the Single-A level, Rocker appears to have proven the Mets’ concerns to be all too prescient—as it’s announced that he’ll undergo Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow. He will miss the rest of this season—and quite possibly a good chunk of the 2024 campaign as well.
Wednesday, May 17
Nolan Arenado joins 300 other major leaguers with 1,000 career RBIs, reaching the milestone on a first-inning infield single during the Cardinals’ 3-0 win over the visiting Brewers. The 32-year-old third baseman is one of eight active major leaguers with 1,000 or more ribbies; next on the list below 1,000 is Giancarlo Stanton, stuck at 982 as he recovers from an early-season injury.
On a day in which five games are decided in the ninth inning or later, perhaps the most eye-opening of them occurs at New York where the Mets come back to defeat the Rays, 8-7. After scoring three in the ninth on rookie Francisco Alvarez’s three-run homer to force extra innings, the Mets give up a pair of runs in the 10th—but do one better in the bottom half of the frame thanks to Pete Alonso, who smokes his own three-run shot for the game-winner. Alonso’s homer, his MLB-leading 15th, is also his fourth career walk-off round-tripper to tie one franchise record—while ending another as he belts it off Pete Fairbanks, who gives up his first runs after throwing 29.2 consecutive scoreless innings, the longest in Tampa Bay history.
The Rays lose despite stealing seven bases, one short of the all-time team record set on May 3, 2009 when Carl Crawford stole an AL record-tying six bags among the eight swiped by Tampa Bay that night against the Red Sox.
Thursday, May 18
The Blue Jays have seen enough of Aaron Judge. The reigning AL MVP goes deep again at Toronto, this time a two-run, first-inning shot that gives the Yankees an early lead; they’ll never relinquish it, as they hold on behind Nestor Cortes (six innings, two runs allowed) and three relievers to win, 4-2. Judge’s homer isn’t just his fourth of the four-game series, but the 32nd he’s hit in 97 career games against the Blue Jays; he breaks a tie with Jorge Posada for the most ever hit by a Yankee against Toronto.
Just three days after tying a franchise mark for a home game with a 17-run victory, the Cardinals equal another home standard when they crush seven homers against the Dodgers in a 16-8 victory. Willson Contreras and Nolan Gorman each hit two, while Nolan Arenado belts his sixth over his last seven games. St. Louis had previously hit seven home runs on May 7, 1940 at Sportsman’s Park—also against the Dodgers—with Johnny Mize and Eddie Lake each contributing a pair in an 18-2 drubbing.
Four of the Cardinals’ home runs come in the third off of Los Angeles starter Julio Urias, tying a Dodgers mark for one inning. Urias has already allowed 14 homers on the year, tying the Royals’ Jordan Lyles for the most in MLB.
Friday, May 19
The complexity of baseball’s recent rule changes come into play and lead to ejections—for opposing managers—in two different games.
In Cincinnati, Yankees starting pitcher Clarke Schmidt has a black substance spotted on the back of his hand as he goes out to pitch the fifth inning against the Reds—but rather than get ejected, as MLB’s crackdown on such substances mandate, he is told by home plate umpire Brian O’Nora to wash it off and return to the mound to continue. That irritates Reds manager David Bell, who comes out of the dugout with a question for O’Nora: Why no ejection? O’Nora tells Bell that he accepts Schmidt’s explanation that the substance is nothing more than a mix of sweat and the black inside fur of his glove, but Bell calls bull and angrily belabors the point until he’s given the thumb. Schmidt throws five shutout innings before giving up two quick runs in the sixth, prompting his removal, but the Yankees have his back as they pull away to a 6-2 victory behind home runs from Kyle Higashioka and (again) Aaron Judge.
Later in San Francisco, the Giants’ J.D. Davis is in the midst of receiving ball four from Miami pitcher Bryan Hoeing, all while Marlins catcher Jacob Stallings is frantically trying to get the attention of home plate umpire Marvin Hudson as he believes—correctly, we might add—that Davis wasn’t set in the batter’s box in the mandatory eight seconds before expiration of the pitch clock. Hudson ignores the initial request and, after consultation with the other umps, grants Davis the walk—leading to a testy exchange between Hudson and both Stallings and Miami manager Skip Schumaker, both of whom are ejected. The scenario doesn’t effect the outcome, a 4-3 Giants win.
It used to be so much more fun when managers got ejected for more traditional things, like a blown call.
In eight innings, the White Sox’ Michael Kopech allows just one baserunner—a sixth-inning single to the Royals’ Michael Massey, who is erased on a double play to end the frame—and Kendall Graveman throws a 1-2-3 ninth to complete a 2-0 victory at Chicago. It’s only the 73rd time in baseball’s modern era (since 1900)—and the first time since 2004—that a team has faced the minimum 27 batters despite giving up a hit.
Arizona ace Zac Gallen has his worst day yet as a major leaguer, conceding a career-high eight runs (five of which are earned) in 3.2 innings as the host Pirates bash their way to a 13-3 victory. Besides the run count, Gallen also walks more batters (four) than he strikes out (two) for the first time in his career; his 90 starts without doing so sets a record for a pitcher at the start of his career.
Saturday, May 20
Has Patrick Corbin come back from the dead? The man who’s led the majors for each of the last two years in both losses and earned runs allowed appears to be settling back into a positive groove, delivering his sixth quality start over his last seven outings in Washington’s 5-2 home win against Detroit. The veteran southpaw, still owed a ton of money by the Nationals, gives up two runs on six hits over six innings to improve to 3-5 with a 4.47 ERA; since April 16, that figure is a much nicer 3.40.
On a day when the Yankees defeat the Reds at Cincinnati in 10 innings, 7-4, the team announces it has released struggling outfielder Aaron Hicks—even though he’s still owed over $27 million on a contract that lasts through 2025. Though Hicks wasn’t off to that horrible a start—he was hitting .188 with a home run over 69 at-bats—he nevertheless became a proverbial dartboard for angry Yankee fans during the team’s tepid start to the year. The Yankees are currently a much better team; with the win over the Reds, they’ve taken 10 of their last 13 games and have ascended to third place in the AL East. Their 28-20 record is good enough to lead two other divisions (the AL Central and NL Central).
Sunday, May 21
After a rainout the previous day, the Mets host a doubleheader against Cleveland with both their veteran aces (Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander) taking the hill; they each deliver with their best starts thus far in 2023. Scherzer throws six shutout innings in the opener, allowing three hits, but does not get credit for the Mets’ 5-4 win as the Guardians briefly take the lead after his departure. In the nightcap, Verlander concedes but a run on three hits over eight innings, gaining the W as the Mets take a 2-1 decision to extend their winning streak to five.
According to MLB statmaster Sarah Langs, it’s the first time that two pitchers with three Cy Young Awards each to their credit start both ends of a doubleheader for the same team; only once before had a pair of aces with even two Cys buddied up for a DH, back in 2008 when Pedro Martinez and Johan Santana took the mound—also for the Mets. Additionally, it’s the first time since 1986 that two hurlers each with 200 or more wins get starting assignments on both ends of a twinbill.
The Astros’ Framber Valdez has no problem with the woebegone A’s, throwing a four-hit shutout with seven strikeouts and no walks in a 2-0 victory at Houston. It’s Valdez’s fifth career complete game and second shutout, having previously blanked the Tigers last September 12. On offense, the Astros score single runs in back-to-back innings, one on an RBI single from Jose Altuve (in his third game back after suffering a broken thumb in the WBC tournament) and the other on a wild pitch. Houston’s failure to hit a home run ends a streak of 23 straight games in which Oakland pitchers had coughed up at least one; that easily set a franchise record, having broken the old mark of 17 set in 1964 when the team was in Kansas City. The MLB record remains 26, shared by the 2001 Astros, 2004 Mariners and 2017 Orioles.
Monday, May 22
The Rays either need a new ballpark—in a better-placed spot—or they simply just need a new market. Despite three more home runs that raises Tampa Bay’s MLB-leading team total to 94—the Rays hit just 139 for all of last season—and a 6-4 victory that improves their home record to 22-4, a season-low crowd of 8,857 shows up at Tropicana Field.
Speaking of Tropicana, perhaps the Rays should be the ones looking at Las Vegas.
Freddie Freeman still loves Atlanta—and he especially loves playing against his old team, the Braves. In the first game of the year between Freeman’s Dodgers and the Braves—the NL’s top two teams, by the record—the veteran first baseman clubs out three hits including a double and his ninth home run of the year to help lift Los Angeles to an 8-6 road victory. Since signing with the Dodgers last year, Freeman has played seven games against the Braves—and is batting .393 (11-for-28) with two doubles, three homers and seven RBIs.
Tuesday, May 23
Amid what’s been a stellar and often historical start for Tampa Bay, this one has to stick out like a sore thumb. At St. Petersburg, the Rays suffer their most lopsided defeat in history—yes, that includes all those early awful years when the team was known as the Devil Rays—as the visiting Blue Jays lay down a 20-1 spanking. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. leads the Toronto charge with six RBIs—four of them on a ninth-inning grand slam off Tampa Bay outfielder/emergency pitcher Luke Raley, while he and four other Jays collect at least three hits among a team total of 27, the second highest in Toronto franchise history.
Gerrit Cole doesn’t have the greatest start against the Orioles at Yankee Stadium, but he hits a nice milestone when his second (and final) strikeout on the night gives him 2,000 for his career. After allowing five runs over five innings, Cole will be bailed out by the Yankees and Aaron judge, who wallops his eighth home run over his last nine games to send a 5-5 tie into extras; in the 10th, rookie Anthony Volpe will win it when he brings home the gift runner on a sac fly.
Seven other active players have 2,000 or more K’s, but none of them are younger than the 32-year-old Cole.
Christopher Morel, who made a nice impression in 2022 as a rookie for the Cubs but started this year in Triple-A, homers in his fifth consecutive game—and the ninth in 13 games since returning to the Chicago roster—as the Cubs defeat the Mets at Wrigley Field, 7-2. The five-game streak is the longest by a Cubs hitter since Sammy Sosa in 1998; of the nine games in which Morel has homered this season, the Cubs have lost six of them.
Wednesday, May 24
Bryce Miller continues his exceptional major league introduction, allowing two hits over six shutout innings as the Mariners easily dismantle the A’s at Seattle, 6-1. The young right-hander thus becomes the first pitcher in modern times to pitch at least six innings and allow four or fewer hits in each of his first five starts. Granted, the achievement might be tinged with a bit of an asterisk, given that two of those five starts have come against the pathetic A’s—who drop to 10-41 with the loss.
The season’s second immaculate inning—nine pitches, nine strikes, three outs—is achieved, and for the second time it’s a Pittsburgh pitcher doing the honors. Twenty days after reliever Colin Holderman earned his way into the immaculate log, he’s joined by starting pitcher Johan Oviedo, who sits down three opposing Texas batters in the fourth inning. While that’s impressive, it doesn’t make up for the fact that the Pirates, after their hot April start, suffer their 16th defeat over their last 21 games with a 3-2 loss to the visiting Rangers.
It’s the second time that pitchers from the same team have thrown immaculate innings in one calendar month. The other occurrence took place last June, when the Astros’ Luis Garcia and Phil Maton did it on the same day—also against Texas.
Thursday, May 25
Just eight days after swiping seven bases, the Rays do it again—taking advantage of out-of-sorts Toronto ace Alek Manoah while riding Zack Eflin’s seven solid innings in a 6-3 home win. Luke Raley, Taylor Walls and Wander Franco each steal two bases; as with their seven steals on May 17, this collection ends up one short of the all-time Tampa Bay record. No other team has yet to steal more than six in a game this year.
Since winning his second start on April 5, Manoah has gone 0-5 in his last nine outings with a 5.61 ERA.
Friday, May 26
For the second time this month, the 400-save barrier is reached as Craig Kimbrel reaches the milestone in the town he called home for the first five years of his major league career, walking one but otherwise getting the job done in preserving the Phillies’ 6-4 win at Atlanta. Kimbrel becomes the eighth player, and the second this month after the Red Sox’ Kenley Jansen, to chalk up his 400th save; the victims in both games were the Braves.
The Pirates tie a franchise mark with seven home runs in an 11-6 rout of the Mariners at Seattle. Andrew McCutchen starts the game with a second-pitch homer off Seattle starter George Kirby, who will serve up four of the seven Bucco blasts before being removed. On the mound for Pittsburgh, Mitch Keller endures through a wobbly start (six runs over six innings) but still gets credit for his sixth win, with eight strikeouts; the six wins are already more than any other Pirates starting pitcher has accrued in any full year since 2019, and he’s the first Pirate to have at least eight K’s in six straight appearances since 1893.
With two home runs from the Mariners, the nine total for the game matches a T-Mobile Park record.
The Nationals win a wild contest at Kansas City, outlasting the Royals 12-10 behind Luis Garcia’s six hits and an eight-run sixth—reportedly the most tallies notched by Washington in a single frame since its move from Montreal in 2005. Garcia is the third player in Expos/Nationals history with a six-hit game; he’s the fifth youngest in MLB history to achieve the feat. The over/under for this game is set at 9.5, a rather low total given that the two starters—Washington’s Patrick Corbin and Kansas City’s Jordan Lyles—are by far the top two pitchers giving up more runs than anyone else since the start of the 2020 season. Both pitchers hold their own through the first five innings—with Lyles ahead of Corbin by a 2-1 count—before everything goes off the rails. Lyles is tagged with the loss, dropping him to 0-9 on the year.
If Hunter Greene is ever going to get a no-hitter, he’ll need to economize his pitch counts. For the second time since arriving on the major league scene last year, the hard-throwing Reds right-hander throws at least six hitless innings, only to be removed because of a high number of pitches. A year earlier, he went 7.1 no-hit frames before being removed with 118 pitches spent against Pittsburgh; today, he’s at 110 pitches through six innings before receiving the hook. Greene still ends the day with a smile, finally grabbing his first win in 11 tries this year as the Reds beat up on the Cubs at Chicago, 9-0.
Only one other pitcher has logged two starts of six or more no-hit innings—and that was Johnny Vander Meer, who in 1938 famously threw back-to-back no-hitters for the Reds.
On the day, road teams outscore the hosts by a 114-49 margin; the +65 run differential is the largest in MLB history for a single day, breaking the old record of +57 on July 30, 1890. On that day, all 12 road teams in three major leagues (National League, American Association and the Players League) won their games. Today, 13 of 15 road teams win theirs with four of them decided by nine runs or more.
Saturday, May 27
The Miami Marlins survive six superb innings from Shohei Ohtani and beat up on the Angels’ bullpen, scoring four times in the 10th to prevail at Anaheim, 8-5. Ohtani lowers his season ERA to 2.91 through 65 innings, but he can’t pick up his sixth win of the year as Jorge Soler’s two-run homer—his fifth round-tripper in five games—erases a slim Angels lead before the game moves into extras. Soler’s streak of games going deep will end the next day, and the Marlins record of six will remain the property of current Yankee Giancarlo Stanton.
The Twins defeat the Blue Jays at Minnesota, 9-7, despite the best efforts—or with the help of—Toronto center fielder Daulton Varsho. In a 4-4 tie in the fifth, the Twins’ Willi Castro sends both the ball and Varsho to the center-field wall—where the former will bounce in and out of the latter’s glove and over the top of the fence for a home run. Two pitches later, Matt Wallner will hammer his own drive that Varsho appears to grab above the top of the wall—except that his glove comes down hard on the top, knocking the ball loose and over for a second homer in as many at-bats.
Sunday, May 28
Just when it seems the A’s can’t get any worse, they get worse. The visiting Astros throttle MLB’s worst ballclub, 10-1—not only sending Oakland to its 11th straight defeat and 19th over its last 21 games, but also doing so with seven home runs to tie a Houston club record and set another one-game mark for the most hit by a team in the 55-year history of the Oakland Coliseum. Among the long balls connected include the first this season for ex-White Sox slugger Jose Abreu—ending a career-long streak of 257 homerless at-bats going back to his final days as a Chicago White Sock—the first for Jose Altuve in his seventh game back from a broken thumb, and two from Yordan Alvarez to give him 14 on the year.
In their 11-game skid, the A’s have been outscored 59-19; overall, Oakland is 10-45—tying the 1904 Washington Senators for the worst start by an MLB team after 55 games.
Monday, May 29
We still haven’t had a perfect game in over 10 years, since Seattle’s Felix Hernandez in 2012—but a couple of Royals pitchers group up to give it their best shot. At St. Louis against the Cardinals, ‘opener’ Jake Staumont pitches a 1-2-3 first, followed by six more such innings from Mike Mayers before Nolan Arenado and Willson Contreras knock out base hits to begin the bottom of the eighth. Two more Kansas City pitchers (Taylor Clarke and Amir Garrett) retire the final six St. Louis batters to preserve an easy 7-0 win.
After a 20-8 start, the Pirates have now lost six of their last 25 games and have fallen below .500 at 26-27 after a 14-4 blowout loss to the Giants at San Francisco. The game becomes a rout in the seventh when Pittsburgh reliever Cody Bolton, making his fourth major league appearance, allows eight of nine Giants batters to reach—with all of them scoring. On the bright aide for the Pirates, Jack Suwinski cranks two home runs into McCovey Cove behind Oracle Park’s right-field bleachers, making him only the second player in the 23-year history of the ballpark to do it twice in a game. The other is, but of course, Barry Bonds—who did it in two different contests.
White Sox closer Liam Hendriks returns to action for the first time since being diagnosed this past winter with stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and allows two runs on three hits and a walk in working the eighth inning of Chicago’s 6-4 home loss to the Angels. Despite the bad result in the box score, Hendriks is enthusiastically greeted by a home crowd of over 23,000, with even Angels players cheering from their dugout. Wisely, umpires didn’t use the over-extended ovation to charge Hendriks with a pitch clock violation, as they did in other ‘welcome back’ moments earlier this year for Cody Bellinger and Sergio Romo.
In another notable return, the Braves’ Mike Soroka makes his first appearance in nearly three years, marking the end of a long, excruciating absence in which he twice tore his Achilles tendon. Taking the mound at Oakland with a 15-6 record and 2.86 ERA over 37 career starts, Soroka throws six innings and gives up four runs; he’ll get charged with the loss as the Braves fail to extend Oakland’s 11-game losing streak in a 7-2 defeat.
Tuesday, May 30
Zack Greinke makes a bit of news on two fronts—neither of which the 39-year-old pitcher really wants to embrace. Despite throwing five shutout innings against the Cardinals at St. Louis, he fails to get the win as his Royals are edged out 2-1; he has not won in any of his last 23 road starts, getting tagged with the loss in 13 of them. Also, he throws his 100th career wild pitch as he remains the leader among active hurlers—but he’s far behind both the all-time leader, 19th-Century ace Tony Mullane (343), and the leader among all modern-era pitchers, Nolan Ryan (277).
The Rangers continue to rack them up, scoring double-digits for the 14th time this season in a 10-6 trouncing of the Tigers at Detroit. Adolis Garcia has four hits (all singles) for the Rangers, while Josh Jung—on pace for 35 homers and 110 RBIs—belts his 12th homer of the year. The Texas season record for double-digit scoring is 25 in 2008; the major league record belongs to the Rockies, who did it 36 times in 2000.
Wednesday, May 31
For the second time this season—and only the second time since 2014—a team neither strikes out nor walks an opposing batter during a game. It happened on May 3 at Kansas City by the Orioles, and it happens tonight at Toronto as the visiting Brewers defeat the Blue Jays, 4-2. Julio Teheran, making a comeback bid with Milwaukee, allows an unearned run through six innings without a K or walk, and three Brewers relievers keep the lid on the Jays while also getting outs solely in the field of play.
The fifth and final pitcher for the Blue Jays is Anthony Bass, who makes his first appearance since making a monotonal apology for his social media support of anti-LGBTQ+ boycotts of Target and Budweiser; he’s booed by his own fans at a sold-out Rogers Centre as he takes the mound to throw a scoreless ninth.
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