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MLB weekend recap: The Blue Jays come from behind the red-hot Yankees; Trout singes Mariners again

The 2022 Major League Baseball season is now past mid-June, about a month away from the All-Star break and gradually approaching halftime. As noted last week, it’s just plain old grind.

What did this weekend bring us? Let’s take a look.

highlight of the weekend

On Friday, Francisco Lindor’s mother came to see her son play in person for the first time since she suffered an aneurysm that led to a stroke in 2020. Since then there have been concerns that she would never be able to travel again, but she was finally allowed to travel and made it with the help of Francisco’s wife Katia.

“My wife was very emotional and told me I was going to get one of the greatest Father’s Day gifts. I said to myself, ‘Okay. Something’s happening,'” Lindor said via mlb.com.

“My mother surprised me and my whole family. It fills my heart. I play the game for my mom and my whole family. Having you here at this moment is a win for me. It’s a win for the whole family.”

Lindor’s first bat, well, look:

He’s always excitable and wears his heart on his sleeve and such, but you could certainly see a little extra juice rounding first base and then after he crossed home plate there. Nice.

He would be heading back home on Saturday, and he was driving seven runs home in the three-game streak.

The Yankees lose Sunday but continue to crush the competition

The Yankees were fresh off a Rays sweep when they had to head out for another big series against the Blue Jays. They won the first two games of the series and led 8-3 on Sunday before the Blue Jays stormed back with a huge 10-9 comeback win. The big hits were a grand slam from Lourdes Gurriel and a triple home run from Teoscar Hernández.

The Yankees threatened in the ninth, but Toronto closer Jordan Romano was able to wrap up the save and ensure the Blue Jays salvaged the series finale.

Still, it was an extremely successful week for the Yankees. They swept the Rays at home and then took two out of three in Toronto. The top 4 in the AL East now:

  • Yanks
  • Blue Jays, 11 games back
  • Rays, 13GB
  • Red Sox, 13.5GB

Incidentally, the Yankees’ next win will be their 50th of the season. They have a chance to reach that milestone on Monday when they face the Rays in three games in St. Petersburg.

Trout continues to scorch Mariner

The Angels ended a five-game streak against the Mariners on Sunday, winning by a 4-0 lead. Trout, as usual, continued his recent surge by hitting his fifth home run of the set.

Trout came on Sunday with five hits (four of them homers) in his first 16 at-bats of the series. He’d also accepted a few walks, giving him a .313/.389/1.063 slash in those four contests. On Sunday, he hit a two-run home run, his 21st of the season, in the fourth inning to give the Angels a 2-0 lead:

Trout now has 33 career homers at Seattle’s T-Mobile Park, ranking 16th on the stadium’s all-time leaderboard. He will tie Franklin Gutierrez for 15th if he delivers his 35th. The Angels are expected to make a four-game trip to Seattle in early August, suggesting Trout could then do the deed.

The Angels, behind Trout’s hot hitting, took four out of five from the Mariners.

Padres lose Machado; Suffer Sweep vs. Rockies

The Padres had a rough Sunday in more ways than one. In addition to the elimination of third baseman and MVP contender Manny Machado with an ankle injurythe Padres dropped an 8-3 contest in the Rockies, ending a weekend sweep.

The fifth inning proved a bugbear for the Padres as starter Blake Snell and reliever Steven Wilson gave up five runs combined. That total included a three-run home run against Randal Grichuk that gave the Rockies a 6-1 lead.

The Padres would eventually fall 8-1 behind before an eighth-inning home run by Austin Nola reduced the deficit to five.

The Padres will now head home after being surpassed by a 23-11 lead. It’s worth noting that a Padres win combined with a Dodgers loss would have meant San Diego would have gone into the new week alone in first place. Ah, it shouldn’t be.

At the beginning of the weekend’s series, the focus in the NL East was almost exclusively on the defending champions. Hey, they’re the champions. There will be a bias against them when they get hot. Thats how it works. “Danger!” we will all cry. And, Hey boy were they hot They had won 14 straight games with a +60 run differential at that stretch. Yes they beat inferior teams but that’s what great teams do and generally the goal is to win 2/3 or even 3/4 of the time against bad teams. But they won 100 percent of those 14 games.

Meanwhile, the Cubs had just lost 10 in a row and were crushed pretty well on their own during that stretch. Surely a visit from the Braves to Wrigley would continue the series.

Only the Cubs won Friday’s opener 1-0. Then they also won on Saturday. The Braves were able to win Sunday but still lost a series to a terrible team that played what was arguably their worst baseball of the year.

The Mets had seen their lead drop from 10 1/2 games to four, but while the Braves lost the first two games of their series, the Mets won two against the Marlins. Things turned on Sunday when they lost, but they still won their streak while the Braves dropped theirs.

The Mets now have a five-and-a-half game lead. It’s almost been cut in half, but they’re still in control.

Meanwhile, let’s not forget the Phillies. They lost on Sunday but won the first four of a five-game series against the hapless Nats. They are now 15-3 in the month of June and although first place is still some way off they are again a player in the NL wildcard mix. In fact, they’re probably where the line of NL contenders ends, as next in line would be the Diamondbacks and Marlins.

Pirates avoid sweep behind Suwinski

The Giants – who came into the series with a hot streak – won the first two games in Pittsburgh and then went 2-0 in the first inning on Sunday. That said, it had what it takes to sweep a good team against a non-competitor to take care of business. However, Pirates starter Mitch Keller would settle in, and the Giants would not score again until they tied the game in the ninth game. The Pirates – well, more specifically, rookie sensation Jack Suwinski – were undeniable. Suwinski tied our three home runs, including one from the walk-off variety.

Suwinski now has 11 homers in 148 career at-bats. He’s hitting just .230 with a .296 baseline percentage, but the home run threat is there every time he steps on the plate, and that was illustrated by Sunday’s clutch performance.

On board

Giants at Braves (four games starting Monday): Both teams are in playoff position, although it’s tight with the Brewers and Phillies not far behind. The closer July gets, the more fun it is to compete for positions, and a four-player between two of them ups the ante.

Mets at Astros (two games starting Tuesday): Possible World Series preview? Sure it’s possible, that’s what makes it remarkable. They’ve been two of baseball’s elite teams all year, so expect to see some great baseball.

Astros at Yankees (four games starting Thursday): We’ll learn more as it gets closer, but this is a true clash of titans. These are obviously the top two teams in the American League, and it feels like they could give us an epic seven-game ALCS. Remember, the Astros defeated the Yankees in both 2017 and 2019 in the ALCS.

Red Sox at Guardians (three games starting Friday): It’s probably too early to watch the wildcard spots, at least it would be if we searched hard. Still, these two teams are in the middle of a battle for last place, so going head-to-head at the end of September could mean something.

Dodgers at Braves (three games starting Friday): An NLCS rematch against two potential (probably?) playoff teams? Yes, please. We don’t need extra juice for this, but we’re taking it since it’s Freddie Freeman’s first time playing for an opposing team in Atlanta. We’ll hope there won’t be any boos, but the smart money is in hearing at least a few.

Phillies at Padres (four games starting Thursday): A possible playoff preview, but it’s probably more important here to think of this as a test for the Phillies. They’re struggling to get into the playoff position, and a four-game streak across the country in Petco against those pitching staff is a tall order. However, they have done well in a similar situation. They did three out of four at Dodger Stadium on the last outing west.

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