Over the weekend, the Los Angeles Angels lost 2 of 3 very long, draining games to the Houston Astros. Game 1 featured a terrible Angel bullpen, and Games 2 and 3 went to extra innings in which the team blew saves in the ninth. It was ugly, and it was not the mark of a team that looked like a playoff contender. Remarkably, the Angels still have a 45% chance to make the playoffs, per Fangraphs, so we may not want to start drooling over the top prospects yet.
The Angels are off Monday, and then they go up to Seattle for a set. Mike Trout is expected to rejoin the team after missing some time to be there for the birth of his son, Beckham.
After Ohtani’s poor outing Sunday, he experienced some discomfort and is set to undergo an MRI. It’s too early to make any definitive conclusions, but it’s highly unlikely that the shortened season without any minors play is helping. Another point that often gets missed—with fewer minor league games in the feature, it may not be as easy to get big leaguers rehab reps, which is a strength of the current system.
The St. Louis Cardinals are experiencing more positive tests. It remains to be seen how much they are affected beyond their postponed series with the Brewers, but they will try to play next week.
Yoenis Cespedes opted out. There are conflicting sources about whether the Mets knew or not. Apparently, Cespedes told some individuals but not front office management. The Mets released a statement early Sunday saying that Cespedes was missing and they didn’t know where he was, only to follow it up with a statement that he was safe (but they didn’t know where he was). Regardless of what happened, this is just a bad, bad look for the Mets organization as a whole.
Aaron Judge homers in his fifth straight game. Whatever you think of the Yankees or of Judge, when the slugger is healthy, he is a bonafide top-10 MLB player, and it is a thing of beauty to watch him mash the ball.
Detroit Tigers reliever Tyler Alexander struck out nine batters in a row. It’s a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since Doug Fister did it eight years ago. (On a separate note, I forgot Fister was once part of the Angels organization.)
Albert Pujols hit his 658th HR on Sunday. Can he reach 700?
Meanwhile, Rob Manfred threatens to shut the season down and blames the players. Classic.