From MLB: Astros Strong-Arming the Opposition

From the offices of Major League Baseball

On Memorial Day against the New York Yankees, All-Star pitcher Justin Verlander worked  6 2/3 innings of one-run ball to lead Houston to a 5-1 victory. Monday's team pitching performance was the 36th outing this season in which the Astros limited the oppositioin to two earned runs- or-fewer, and the 23rd contest that Houston surrendered one earned run- or-fewer.

Playing in their 57th game of the season Wednesday night, the Astros became the 10th team to limit opposing Clubs to two earned runs-or-fewer in at least 35 of its team's first 57 games, since 1930. The Club is the first since the 1972 Baltimore Orioles, who were led by Hall of Famer Jim Palmer.

Having limited opponents to one earned run-or-fewer in 23 contests thus far this season, this year's Astros Club is the 20th in the Majors since 1940, and the first since the 1989 San Francisco Giants, to post at least  23 such games in its first 57 contests. The 1968 Cleveland Indians hold the Major League record since 1940, logging 28 such outings.

Entering play Thursday, three Astros starting pitchers ranked in the top-four in ERA among qualifed AL hurlers. Verlander paces the Majors with a 1.11 mark. In the AL, Gerrit Cole (2.05) ranked third and Charlie Morton (2.26) occupied the fourth spot. As a Club, the Astros pitching staff had the lowest team ERA in the Majors (2.68), and the starters led the Majors with a 2.54 mark. Houston's bullpen led the AL with a 3.02 ERA.

Club Year Games W-L IP H BB SO
Cleveland Indians 1968 39 29-9 351.1 193 100 294
Los Angeles Dodgers 1968 37 27-10 351 240 97 239
Chicago White Sox 1966 37 22-14 338 226 96 198
Baltimore Orioles 1972 37 31-6 329 226 65 186
Los Angeles Dodgers 1966 36 29-7 323.2 238 63 259
Houston Astros 2018 36 31-5 322 192 73 363
St. Louis Cardinals 1943 35 21-12 311.1 211 102 124
New York Mets 1968 35 23-12 323.1 213 88 235
Detroit Tigers 1945 35 30-5 317 214 101 142
Chicago White Sox 1967 35 28-7 327 209 89 223


Six amateur players are scheduled to attend Major League Baseball’s 2018 Draft, which will be held on Monday, June 4th at MLB Network’s Studio 42 in Secaucus, New Jersey, it was announced today. The six scheduled attendees include third baseman Alec Bohm; first baseman Triston Casas; shortstop Xavier Edwards; catcher Anthony Siegler; right-handed pitcher Carter Stewart; and outfielder Travis Swaggerty.



Wichita State University

HT: 6-5                                                WT: 220                                                   B/T: R/R

Born: 8/3/96                                       Hometown: Omaha, NE

In 57 games played this season, Alec hit .339 (76-for-224) with 16 home runs, 55 RBI, 14 doubles, 57 runs scored, nine stolen bases, a .436 on-base percentage and a .625 slugging percentage. He played for the Falmouth Commodores in the Cape Cod League last summer and was named an All-Star after batting .351  with five homers, 28 RBI and 10 doubles. Bohm started in 58 games during his sophomore season in 2017, batting .305 with 11 home runs, 40 RBI, 44 runs scored, 71 hits, 13 doubles, two triples and five stolen bases. He was selected First Team All-Missouri Valley following the season one year after being named Second Team All-Missouri Valley in 2016 following his freshman season. In 2016, Alec was also named a Collegiate Baseball First Team Freshman All-American after hitting .303 with six home runs, 30 RBI, 20 runs scored, 54 hits, 13 doubles and one triple.



American Heritage School (Florida)

HT: 6-4                                                WT: 238                                                   B/T: L/R

Born: 1/15/00                                     Hometown: Pembroke Pines, FL

Prior to the 2018 season, Triston was named First Team All-American and Florida All-Region First Team by Rawlings-Perfect Game. In addition, he was selected 2017 Underclass First Team and 2016 Underclass Third Team by Rawlings-Perfect Game. Through 28 games played this season, he was batting .387 (29-for-75) with seven home runs, 34 RBI, six doubles, five triples and 30 runs scored. On the mound, he had made seven appearances without surrendering an earned run to go along with two saves and 19 strikeouts over 9.0  innings pitched. As a junior, he slashed .446/.559/.702 with four home runs, 18 RBI, five doubles, 33 hits and 22 runs scored.   Following the season, he was selected to play in the Under Armour All-American Game for    a second consecutive year. At 16 years old, Triston was the youngest player on the Team USA 18U National Team. He hit .333 with a pair of home runs and 11 RBI, while also pitching 3.0 innings in the tournament. During the summer of 2015, Casas hit .429 with two home runs and 10 RBI to lead USA Baseball’s 15U team to a championship.



North Broward Prep H.S. (Florida)

HT: 5-10                                              WT: 195                                                   B/T: S/R

Born: 8/9/99                                       Hometown: Wellington, FL

Xavier joins Triston as a 2018 Rawlings-Perfect Game First Team All-American and Florida All-Region First Team. Additionally, he was selected 2017 Underclass First Team, 2016 Underclass Third Team and 2015 Underclass High Honorable Mention.   Through 80 at-bats this season, he had slashed .434/.550/.658 with a home run,   14 RBI, 33 hits, four doubles, five triples, 35 runs scored and 20 stolen bases. As a junior, Edwards batted .425 (34-for-80) with a home run, 10 RBI, four doubles, two triples, 34 runs scored and 14 stolen bases. Xavier also participated in the 2017 Area Code Games and the Perfect Game All-American Classic.



Cartersville H.S. (Georgia)

HT: 6-0                                                WT: 190                                                   B/T: S/S

Born: 6/20/99                                     Hometown: Cartersville, GA

Anthony has been named 2018 First Team All-American and Southeast All-Region First  Team;  2017  Underclass First Team; and 2016 Underclass High Honorable Mention by Rawlings-Perfect Game. Seigler hit

.421 this season with 16 stolen bases and 16 extra-base hits, including 13 home runs, to lead Cartersville to the Georgia AAAA State Championship. As an ambidextrous pitcher, he compiled a 1.09 ERA and 29 strikeouts over 25.2 innings pitched. Behind the plate, he threw out 12 of 21 baserunners attempting to steal. In 2017, he helped his team to the state semifinals, finishing with a 9-3 record and a 2.12 ERA over 62.2 innings pitched. In addition, he hit .283 with a .437 on-base percentage, 27 runs scored and 19 RBI at the plate. Anthony was selected to USA Baseball’s 18U National Team Trials roster and was chosen by Pefect Game for the East roster of the 2017 All-American Classic.



Eau Gallie H.S. (Florida)

HT: 6-6                                                WT: 200                                                   B/T: R/R

Born: 11/2/99                                     Hometown: Melbourne, FL

Carter was named First Team All-American and Florida All-Region First Team by Rawlings-Perfect Game prior  to the 2018 season, following his Underclass First Team selection in 2017. Through 11 appearances on the mound this season, he was 6-4 with 128 strikeouts and a 0.91 ERA over 62.1 innings of work.   At the plate,    he was batting .313 with seven home runs and 22 RBI through 64 at-bats. During his junior season, Carter compiled an 11-2 record with a 0.81 ERA and 104 strikeouts over 69.1 innings pitched. Additionally, he slashed

.313/.357/.563 at the plate with four home runs, 22 RBI, 20 hits and four doubles. Stewart was selected to play in the 2017 Tournament of Stars, as well as the Perfect Game All-American Classic.


University of South Alabama

HT: 5-11                                              WT: 180                                                   B/T: L/L

Born: 8/19/97                                     Hometown: Mandeville, LA

Prior to his junior season this year, Travis was named a First Team All-American by Baseball America, D1Baseball, NCBWA and Perfect Game. Additionally, he was selected Sun Belt Preseason Player of the Year, All-Sun Belt Conference and was named to the Preseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List. In 57 games played this season, Swaggerty hit .296 (63-for-213) with 13 home runs, 38 RBI, 10 doubles, 57 runs scored, nine stolen bases, a .455 on-base percentage and a .526 slugging percentage.  As a sophomore in 2017, he led the Sun  Belt in on-base percentage (.484), runs scored (55) and RBI (60), while ranking second in batting average (.356). He appeared in 19 games for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, ranking second on the team in hits

(21) and on-base percentage (.449) and helping the team to a 15-5 mark. During his freshman season in 2016, he posted a .422 slugging percentage and a .432 on-base percentage en route to being named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American. In addition, he led South Alabama with a .303 batting average, while also recording four home runs, 27 RBI, 12 doubles, one triple, 47 runs scored and 20 stolen bases in 59 games.

Who's Representing Who At MLB Draft

BAL Gregg Olson, Tripp Norton
BOS Fred Lynn, Edgar Perez
CWS A.J. Pierzynski, Aaron Rowand
CLE John McDonald
DET Kirk Gibson, Murray Cook
HOU Art Howe, Don Sanders
KC Bo Jackson, Colin Gonzales
LAA Tim Salmon
MIN Joe Nathan, John Wilson
NYY Nick Swisher, Victor Roldan
OAK HOF Rollie Fingers
SEA Mike Moore, Dan Rovetto
TB Sandy Dengler, Lou Wieben
TEX Darren Oliver, Jeff Williams
TOR Duane Ward, Matt O’Brien
ARI Junior Spivey, Joe Robinson
ATL Dale Murphy, Ralph Garr
CHI HOF Andre Dawson, Keronn Walker
CIN Adam Dunn, John Ceprini
COL Brian Fuentes, Jesse Stender
LAD HOF Tommy Lasorda, Bobby Darwin
MIA Bernard Gilkey, Jaelen Gilkey
MIL Bob Boone, Johnny DiPuglia
NYM Mookie Wilson, Ray Corbett
PHI Larry Bowa, Mickey Morandini
PIT Rennie Stennett
SD Tony Gwynn Jr., John Martin
SF Ryan Vogelsong, Mike Murphy
STL Bernard Gilkey, Jaelen Gilkey
WSH Bob Boone, Johnny DiPuglia

On Saturday against the New York Yankees, All-Star outfielder Mike Trout went 5-for-5 with three runs scored, three doubles, a home run and four RBI. The two- time AL MVP established career highs in hits, doubles, extra-base hits (4) and total bases (11), and matched the Angels franchise record for extra-base hits, shared by 10 other players in team history.

Trout became just the second AL center fielder in MLB history to bat 5-for-5 with a homer, three doubles and four RBI in a single contest, joining Hall of Famer Ty Cobb, who accomplished the feat against the Chicago White Sox on May 7, 1922.

In addition, only eight other players in Baseball history have logged at least three runs scored, three doubles, one home run and four RBI in a game, and Trout is the first to do so since Boston Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. on August 15, 2015.


Player, Club Date H R 2B HR RBI
Mike Trout, LAA May 26, 2018 5 3 3 1 4
Jackie Bradley Jr., BOS August 15, 2015 5 5 3 2 7
Charlie Blackmon, COL April 4, 2015 6 4 3 1 5
Ivan Rodríguez, DET April 5, 2006 5 3 3 1 5
Steve Garvey, LAD August 28, 1977 5 5 3 2 5
Willie Stargell, PIT August 1, 1970 5 5 3 2 6
Lou Boudreau, CLE July 14, 1946 5 3 4 1 4
Jimmie Foxx, PHI April 24, 1933 5 3 3 1 7
Jimmy O'Connell, NYG June 1, 1923 5 3 3 1 7

Entering Thursday's slate of games, six starting pitchers have started the 2018 campaign with a perfect record of 3-0 or better. Houston Astros ace Charlie Morton, who is expected to make his next start on Sunday against the Boston Red Sox, paces the group with seven victories.


Player, Team W-L ERA IP H ER BB SO Next Scheduled Start
Charlie Morton, HOU 7-0 2.26 67.2 47 17 22 85 Sunday vs. Boston
Miles Mikolas, STL 6-0 2.58 66.1 58 19 7 51 Friday vs. Pittsburgh
Jacob deGrom, NYM 4-0 1.52 65.1 47 11 19 85 Saturday vs. Chicago (NL)
Johnny Cueto, SF 3-0 0.84 32 16 3 6 26 Currently on 10-day DL
Adam Plutko, CLE 3-0 3.93 18.1 14 8 5 12 TBD
Hyun-Jin Ryu, LAD 3-0 2.12 29.2 16 7 10 36 Currently on 10-day DL

They Said It, and How!

(by MLB Official Historian John Thorn)


So far this season we have devoted entire weekly entries to baseball’s greatest wordsmiths, Casey Stengel and Yogi Berra but none yet to baseball’s greatest player and mythic hero, Babe Ruth. One page is not enough, so Ruth, like Berra and Stengel, will find themselves sprinkled into succeeding columns. But today, front and center, the Bambino, the Sultan of Swat, the one and only George Herman Ruth.

HARRY FRAZEE, owner of the Boston Red Sox: “I believe the sale of Babe Ruth will ultimately strengthen the team.”

JOE DUGAN, teammate of Babe Ruth: “Born? Hell, Babe Ruth wasn’t born. The sonofabitch fell from a tree.”

WAITE HOYT, teammate of Babe Ruth:“Wives of ballplayers, when they teach their children their prayers, should instruct them to say: ‘God bless Mommy, God bless Daddy, God bless Babe Ruth!’ Babe has upped daddy’s paycheck by fifteen to forty percent.”

PHIL RIZZUTO: “There was only one Babe Ruth. He went on the ball field like he was playing in a cow pasture, with cows for an audience. He never knew what fear or nervousness was. He played by instinct, sheer instinct. He wasn’t smart, he didn’t have any education, but he never made a wrong move on a baseball field.

“One of the greatest pitchers of all time, and then he became a great judge of a fly ball, never threw to the wrong base when he was playing the outfield, terrific arm, good base runner, could hit the ball twice as far as any other human being. He was like a damn animal. He had that instinct. They know when it’s going to rain, things like that.”

CARL ERSKINE, Brooklyn Dodger:“Many of my teammates and I were born in the 1920s, so we grew up when our national heroes were Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, two awesome players on some great Yankee teams. So when we played the first game of the 1949 World Series, it was the first time many of us had been in Yankee Stadium, ‘The House that Ruth Built.’ The Yankees had just remodeled the clubhouses and had moved the visitors’ clubhouse to the third base side and relocated the Yankees behind first base. I will always believe the Yankees deliberately intimidated a young Dodger team in a very calculated way. When we entered the visitors’locker room, we were not only confronted with the atmosphere of being in a national baseball shrine, but we also noticed that, still in place and not yet moved to the Yankees’ side, were the lockers and uniforms of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Yes, we lost the series, four games to one.”

JOHN KIERAN, New York Times:

He’s the Prince of Ash and the King of Crash, and that’s not an idle jest. He can hit that ball o’er the garden wall, high up and far away,

Beyond the aftermost picket lines where the fleet-foot fielders stray.  He’s the Bogey Man of the pitching clan and he clubs ’em soon and late;

He has manned his guns and hit home runs from here to the Golden Gate; With vim and verve he has walloped the curve from Texas to Duluth, Which is no small task, and I beg to ask: Was there ever a guy like Ruth?


(Compiled from Club Game Notes)

FAB FIVE: After shortstop Francisco Lindor secured his 30th RBI on Tuesday night, the Indians now boast five players with 30-or-more RBI this season. Lindor joined José Ramírez (39 RBI), Michael Brantley (36), Yonder Alonso (32) and Edwin Encarnacion (31). This marks the fastest (53 team games) the Tribe have had five such batters since the 2001 campaign, when Juan González, Ellis Burks, Russell Branyan, Marty Cordova and Jim Thome achieved the feat in 50 team games.

BARLOW IN ELITE COMPANY: On Tuesday night, right-handed pitcher Scott Barlow joined fellow rookie Brad Keller as the only two hurlers this year to earn their first big league win in a Royals’ uniform. Barlow’s came via four nearly perfect innings of relief allowing no hits and one walk, while fanning five, all coming consecutively in the 12th and 13th frames. The last Royals reliever to work at least 4.0 hitless innings with five strikeouts was team Hall of Famer and current broadcaster Jeff Montgomery on May 7, 1990 at Cleveland.

GAME-ENDING HOME RUN: Pinch-hitter Charlie Culberson drove a 1-2 pitch from Seth Lugo on Monday    over the wall in right center field with a runner aboard for his third career game-ending home run, and his  first since September 25, 2015 vs. Colorado. Prior to Culberson, the last Braves player to hit a pinch-hit game- ending home run was Brooks Conrad on May 20, 2010 vs. Cincinnati’s Francisco Cordero. The drive was Culberson’s first home run with the Braves.

YOU OTTO KNOW BY NOW: With his 312th appearance as a member of the Rockies Friday, reliever Adam Ottavino passed Manny Corpas for fifth all-time in games pitched in franchise history. That is the most for an active Rockies pitcher. The next milestone would be surpassing Curtis Leskanic’s 356 games played, which ranks fourth.

ROLLING MEADOWS: In his first 11 big league games, Pirates outfielder Austin Meadows batted 18-for-41 (.439) with three doubles, a triple, four home runs, seven RBI and three stolen bases. He also produced seven multi-hit games and a 1.249 OPS in his 10 starts. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Meadows is just the fifth player to debut in the Expansion Era (since 1961) and hit .400 with at least four home runs in his first 40 at-bats. He joined Albert Pujols, Jeff Francoeur, Brian Giles and Yasiel Puig in this select group.

IF IT AIN’T RIGHT...: Before facing left-handed pitcher Brent Suter on Monday, the Cardinals had 333 straight plate appearances against right-handed pitchers. Ths streak began when Matt Carpenter faced Phillies south- paw Adam Morgan on May 17th in the 8th inning and concluded with Harrison Bader’s pinch-hit at-bat against Felipe Vázquez on Sunday. This was the longest streak in MLB since the Colorado Rockies had 355 straight plate appearances against a right-hander in 2005. It’s the longest by the Cardinals since 1968, when they took 330 straight plate appearances against a righty from August 5-14, 1968 (Courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau).

THE GLEY-HEY KID: Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres collected his second career walk-off hit with a 10th-inning RBI single on Tuesday at 21 years, 167 days old (also a three-run walk-off HR on May 6 vs. Oakland, age: 21y, 144d). Torres is the youngest player in franchise history with two walk-off RBI in the same season.

SOMEBODY SAVE ME: Edwin Díaz has recorded 19 saves this seasons (one in March, 10 in April and eight in May). His 19 saves through the end of May are the second-most in franchise history, trailing only Kazuhiro Sasaki’s 21 saves through May in 2001. Díaz’s 19 saves prior to the All-Star break are already tied for 11th-most in Club history (Sasaki, 29 in 2001).

1,000 HITS: With a first inning single on Sunday, infielder Pablo Sandoval reached 1,000 career hits in a Giants uniform. Sandoval became the 39th player in franchise history to notch 1,000 hits with the team.

THE HARDY BOY: Detroit's Blaine Hardy earned his first Major League win as a starting pitcher on Sunday, throwing a career-long seven innings, and allowing one run on three hits with one walk and a career-best six strikeouts. Hardy finished the outing by retiring the final 14 White Sox batters he faced. Hardy has now allowed two runs-or-less in each of his three starts this season.

WELCOMETOTHE SHOW: Infielder Matt Skole went 2-3 with a home run and RBI in his MLB debut on Monday at Cleveland. He became just the sixth White Sox player in franchise history to homer in his first career game.

DISHING THEM OUT: In Saturday’s  game,  right  fielder  Joey  Rickard  recorded  three  outfield  assists;  Wilson Ramos at third base, Ramos at first base, and Carlos Gomez at home. It was the first time an Orioles outfielder had three assists in a game since Joe Orsulak on September 12, 1991 vs. Cleveland. This was the third time in Orioles history (since 1954) that an outfielder recorded three assists in a game (also John Shelby on September 11, 1983 at NYY).

PICK YOUR POISON: Mookie Betts (17) and J.D. Martinez (17) became the first Red Sox teammates to hit at least 17 home runs apiece in the first 54 games of a season. The last AL teammates to do that were Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. (18) and Alex Rodriguez (20) for the 1998 Mariners. The last NL teammates to do it were Larry Walker (17) and Todd Helton (17) for the 2001 Rockies.

WHAT A COMEBACK: With Monday’s game-ending strikeout of Matt Olson in the 13th inning, Jonny Venters recorded his first savesince August 22, 2011 againstthe Chicago Cubs(with Atlanta), going 2,470 daysin between. During that stretch between saves, 469 other pitchers earned a save in the Majors with Boston's Craig Kimbrel leading the way over that span with 267 saves.

TRIPLE THREAT: Devon Travis and Teoscar Hernández hit back-to-back triples in the seventh inning on Monday, becoming the first Blue Jays duo to do so since Brett Lawrie and Omar Vizquel on July 27, 2012 at Detroit. It marked the team’s first inning with multiple triples since June 8, 2016 at Detroit (Josh Donaldson and Kevin Pillar), which was also the last time the Jays had multiple triples in a game.

MESORACO MASHING: Catcher Devin Mesoraco became the ninth Met in franchise history to hit five home runs-or-more in his first 15 games with the team, and the first since Neil Walker in 2016. Thus far, Mesoraco has recorded 10 RBI, 11 runs scored and a .580 slugging percentage in 16 games since joining the Mets on May 8th.

JTWITH THE ITPHR: On Tuesday night, JT Riddle recorded the Marlins first inside-the-park home run since J.T. Realmuto on August 24, 2017 at Philadelphia. Realmuto had the last two, with the first of his career coming on September 8, 2015 vs. Milwaukee. Riddle's inside the park home run was the 19th in Club history, and the first by a Marlins shortstop since Hanley Ramirez on September 27, 2006 vs. Cincinnati.