Another weekend with Major League Baseball is in the books. We meet every Sunday to award winners and losers after every weekend with MLB action this season. Here are the big winners and losers from the last few days, including Rays’ ace, a red-hot Aaron referee and a surprising deal.
Winner: Tyler Glasnow
Tampa Bay Ray right-handed starter Tyler Glasnow has a dominant start to the 2021. Season On Friday, when he faced the then red-hot Mets (they came into the day on the seven-game winning streak), Glasnow hit well into the game, allowing only two runs on five hits and one turn while hitting 10 eight-innings (105 lanes, 70 strikes) in the no-decision. He retired the first 14 strokes before Kevin Pillar reached an infield single in the fifth, and Jonathan Villar followed with a home run.
Friday’s start was the fifth time in nine starts, Glasnow has collected double-digit strikes. Home runs have been his weakness so far, having given up three long balls in his last five expulsions. For the season, however, Glasnow still has an impressive 2.35 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 85 strikes across 57 1/3 innings.
With Friday’s 10 strikes, Glasnow, 27, reached a draw with Cleveland’s Shane Bieber for the American league’s strike leadership – Bieber once again took the lead in his Sunday trip. Glasnow’s 85 strikeouts also broke the Rays franchise record for most strikeouts through 10 starts. Glasnow’s strike percentage (38.6) is a career best and only behind Gerrit Cole, Bieber and Brandon Woodruff in the league. With a new pitch this year – he throws more sliders in 2021 – Glasnow looks better than ever on the hill in 2021.
Yes, the Mets are a loser this weekend, in part because they were dominated by Glasnow and were swept by the Rays when their seven-game winning streak disappeared. But the Mets – and their fans – are really losers this weekend because of what a previous Mets prospect did. Jarred Kelenic, who was sent to Seattle in a headline deal with Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz, debuted in the Major League on Thursday. It didn’t take long before the No. 3 prospect in baseball delivered. Kelenic went 3 for 4 with three extra-base hits, including his first MLB homer, in Friday night’s win against Cleveland. Here the outdoor player goes deep:
Mets fans are left wondering what could have been the rest of Kelenic’s career and were reminded of their team’s poor 2018 sw this weekend. Mariner fans, meanwhile, need to be a little chafed about the timing of Kelenic’s debut. He could have beaten MLB dingers and helped Seattle win games in ril, but the organization decided suppressing his service time was more important.
Winner: Aaron Judge
Aaron Judge climbed to the top of MLB’s home leaderboard this weekend, hitting four long balls in three games against the Orioles. The Yankees slugger met twice Friday night in Baltimore and then made it to a three-game home series with long balls Saturday and Sunday. HI’s most recent explosion went 443 feet. See:
Referee has appeared 24 times against Orioles since 2017. Sarah Langs from MLB.com points out that Mike Trout (vs. Mariners) is the only player with multiple homers against an opponent during this time period. With the four-homer weekend, Judge now has 12 on the season. He enters the week tied with Shohei Ohtani, Mitch Haniger and Ronald Acuña Jr. for the MLB lead.
Loser: Angels (Shohei Ohtani excluded)
The Los Angeles Angels have quickly run down to last place in the American League West. After a warm start to the season, the Angels have now lost 10 of their last 14 matches. The angels had a bad weekend and they would have had one really bad weekend if not saved by Shohei Ohtani on Sunday. The two-way star hit a game-winning home run in the ninth inning at Fenway Park as the Angels avoided a sweep in the hands of the Red Sox.
So now the Angels have two players doing what no one else in baseball can do, and that still does not equate to sustained team success. Even the club Other things bright spot, superstars outfield Mike Traut, is in a decline. Trout went 18 straight-bats without a hit before singleing in the ninth inning Sunday to set the stage for Ohtani. Things are not good everywhere for this team, and this weekend’s series against the Red Sox only highlighted several of their problems. We’ve been discussing the Angels ’lack of big offseason sheep, especially starting pitching, in recent years. It’s come back to haunt them again. Dylan Bundy, Angels No. 1 starter, is now winless in eight starts this season. Bundy had a breakout campaign in 2020 (3.29 ERA, 142 ERA + in 65 2/3 IP) and was expected to be the team’s ace this season. The 28-year-old right-hander allowed a worst of the season seven earned runs in four innings during Saturday’s 9-0 defeat to the Red Sox. Not good.
While it’s still early this season with 162 games, the Angels need to turn things around sooner rather than later if they hope to avoid wasting another year of trout (and now Ohtani) prime without playing a post-season game.
In a surprising move, Albert Pujols reportedly landed a deal with defending champion Dodgers over the weekend. After the future Hall of Famer was appointed to the task of the Angels earlier this month, it pearls that he was on his way to retirement. But the knocked out Dodgers are taking a chance on Pujols and will likely use him in a backup / squeeze role.
No matter how much time Pujols gets with the Dodgers, the 41-year-old has the chance to end his career more ceremoniously than being cut by the angels on a weekday afternoon.