MLB Weekend Roundup By: Peter Snyder

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Another great week of Major League Baseball is in the books and June has finally arrived! A month that promises to bring sun after the month of May was filled with rain delays and crappy playing conditions. This week was all about dominating performances. Whether it was star studded performances on the mound or an historic single game performance, the week lacked no drama. We will start a recap in the beautiful city of Denver, where the altitude is high and the bats are always hot.

The Dodgers came into the weekend as one of the hotter teams in the MLB. Although they were hot, they were coming off of some very degrading news earlier in the week. Star pitcher Clayton Kershaw who made his first start back off the DL on Thursday, was heading back to the disabled list after straining his back against the Philadelphia Phillies. With a loss as surmountable as this, there is only one way to pick up a team when they are down, by swinging some hot bats. As the Dodgers were headed up to Colorado for a 3 game series, the men in blue knew this would be a perfect opportunity to do so as Coors Field is the most hitter friendly ball park in the major leagues. The Dodgers wasted no time as they exploded for 11 runs on Friday in route to a 11-8 victory against the first place Rockies. They came out on Saturday right where they left off on Thursday, and had another offensive display, this time accounting for 12 runs and thanks to a 2 home run day by Joc Pederson, the Dodgers had taken the first two games of the series and had scored 23 runs in just 18 innings of play. In the finale of the series, the Dodgers bats continued to be on fire and at points in the weekend, it seemed like you could not get them out. Heading into the 9th inning, the Dodgers were tied with the Rockies at 7 runs a piece. That would change however when catcher Yasmani Grandal hit a game winning, 3 run homer in the top of the 9th inning. It did not only help complete the sweep of the Rockies, but also continued the streak of the Dodgers scoring 10 runs a game to 3. With a team that scored 33 runs in just 3 days, it has become pretty clear that you should not judge them by their record and should start to take them very seriously.

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Mike Foltynewicz is a hard throwing righty for the Atlanta Braves who has never been a true ace. His fastball can reach up to 98 MPH, but can come off flat. When he gets in trouble he can’t get out of his own way. With all that being said, when Foltynewicz’s name was called on Friday night to start against the Washington Nationals, he pitched the game of his life. His fastball had extra pop to it. His offspeed stuff would make the opposing hitters look silly and his junk was just unfair. Foltynewicz had it all going for him and was mowing down one of the best offenses in baseball. This start had heightened aptitude by that not only were the Nationals a division rival, but the game would be a decider to see who would be in first place in the NL East. When you have to face guys like Bryce Harper and Trea Turner 4 times a night, it is hard enough to get them out once, rather than shutting them down completely. The Braves went on to win the game, preserve first place and most impressively,  Foltynewicz went the distance, throwing a CG, two hit shutout. It’s the types of performances like these that make the game so special and make baseball the greatest sport on the planet.

When Micheal Wacha was a rookie in 2013, he found himself just one out away from a no hitter. A feat that is almost impossible for a rookie to accomplish. Unfortunately for Wacha, with two outs in the top of the 9th, Nationals infielder Ryan Zimmerman singled on a ball in the infield and ruined Wacha’s historic bid. We now sit in present day 2018 where Wacha has still not thrown a no hitter and frankly, has not even come close. On Sunday, Wacha was making a regular scheduled start at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Wacha was off to a great start to the year and due to a few injures that the Cardinals staff has experienced, Wacha has found himself as the ace of the staff. From a very early point in the ballgame on Sunday, it was clear that Wacha had his stuff. He was hitting his spots and was sitting batters down left and right. Before you could even blink, Wacha was through the eighth and had not allowed a single hit. He had 8 K’s under his belt and although his pitch count was high, was showing no signs of slowing down. After a long bottom half of the inning, Wacha headed back to the mound looking to finish off what he had started. To lead off the 9th for the Pirates was third basemen Colin Moran who was having a great rookie season for the Buccos. Down in the count, Moran picked out a 0-2 pitch and ended the no hit bid, with a line drive single to left field. For the second time in his career, Wacha had lost a no hit bid in the 9th inning. You have to feel for the young pitcher, as that has to be one of the worlds worst feelings and something that is hard to bounce back from. Never the less, Wacha pitched a tremendous game and his performance will be admired by the St. Louis faithful for many years to come.

To cap off the weekend, it is only fitting that we are gifted with a thriller between two division rivals. That is exactly what transpired on Sunday afternoon in Minnesota. The Twins coming into the season had high expectations and have thus far, disappointed by falling under the .500 mark. As for the opponents the Cleveland Indians, they have one of the best rosters on paper and in recent weeks are starting to show America why. Throughout the game both teams went back and forth but one player stood out, Twins LF, Eddie Rosario. Rosario is no superstar but at the same time, is no slouch and you are not going to complain if he is in your lineup. His bat caught fire on Sunday afternoon as heading into the 9th inning he had two homers. A solo shot in the bottom of the the first and a solo homer in the 7th. As he dug into the box in the bottom of the 9th the score was knotted up at 5 and a man on first. As if you didn’t know what was already coming, Rosario crushed a ball into the Minnesota sky line giving his team a 7-5 win along with hitting his 3rd homer of the game. Rosario becomes the first Twin in history to have his third homer of the game be a walk off homer. This historic performance was a phenomenal way to end another stupendous week in the wild world of Major League Baseball.

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