Less than half the league was in action Monday as the slate had just seven games on it. The light schedule did not lack excitement and there was even some late drama in a few games. Lets take a look at how the week started in your Highlight Reel for Monday, April 25.
Mets 5, Cardinals 2
This was a pretty uneventful game until the Mets produced something epic in the ninth inning. The game was scoreless until the eighth inning as both starters went seven without allowing a run. Max Scherzer was especially impressive, striking out ten or more batters for the 106th time in his career.
After the Mets came up empty in the top of the eighth, Trevor May got the bottom half for New York and was unstable. He allowed three hits and found himself facing Tyler O’Neill with the bases loaded and one out. The Cards’ left fielder came through with a two-run single to give St. Louis a late lead and set up Giovanny Gallegos for save.
Gallegos is normally as reliable as they come but was far from it Monday. He got the first two outs, but from there could not finish it off. It all started with two outs and an epic battle with Mark Canha. He reached on the rarest of throwing errors by Nolan Arenado and the Mets cut the lead to one.
Then, Dom Smith gave the Mets the lead on an infield single where New York was able to get two runs across thanks to great base running by Jeff McNeil. The nail was hammered into the coffin by Brandon Nimmo who delivered a two-run bomb. You have to see the full sequence to believe it. It is the kind of win that makes you think this is finally the year the Mets are for real.
Giants 4, Brewers 2
This game only took place because of a weird scheduling quirk due to the lockout. The two teams were scheduled to play during the original first week of the season, but it was canceled due to the delay. As a result, the Giants flew to Milwaukee on their way home from DC for one game. The other two games of the series will be made up as a doubleheader on September 8.
San Francisco opted for a bullpen game Monday, while Milwaukee went with Corbin Burnes who struck out 11 in 6 2/3 scoreless. Burnes left the game in line for the win with his team leading 1-0, but took a no decision after Joc Pederson gave his team a 2-1 lead with his third blast in two days.
The lead did not last long, as Willy Adames answered right back with a solo shot to tie the game at two.
The lead changed hands twice in the eighth after neither team had scored since the second. The Giants used eight pitchers and only John Brebbia went more than an inning. The bullpen was great as only two guys allowed runs and they struck out nine Brewers. In the ninth, rookie Luis González gave the Giants a two-run lead with his first career Major League home run. It was a towering blast, and turned out to be decisive after Camilo Doval pitched a perfect ninth.
Blue Jays 6, Red Sox 2
This was another game that went scoreless for a while, this one until the fifth. Nathan Eovaldi and Jose Berríos had incredibly similar lines, both allowing two runs over seven innings of work. Eovaldi cracked first, allowing home runs to Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Matt Chapman to give up a 2-0 lead.
The Sox answered back with two of their own in the eighth to tie the game up. After Eovaldi left, the Blue Jays got to the Sox Pen. Matt Strahm managed to get just one out, and Tyler Danish had to face Bo Bichette. With the bases loaded, Bichette uncorked one to right field for the first grand slam of his career and he knew it right away. It opened up a 6-2 lead in a dramatic moment that turned out to be decisive. The win moves the Jays to 11-6 on the season as the Sox fall to 7-10.
As awesome as Bichette’s game-winning granny was, nothing from this game topped the epic diving catch that George Springer made. It is not only the play of the night, but is also an early candidate for the play of the year.
Phillies 8, Rockies 2
Connor Joe gave the Rockies a 1-0 lead on the first pitch of the game with his fourth home run of the season.
Randal Grichuk doubled the lead with a solo shot of his own and the Phillies found themselves in early trouble. However, their offense came to life in a big way to avoid opening the series with a loss. After a JT Realmuto doubled to get the Phillies on the board in the third, Kyle Schwarber followed it up with a two-bagger of his own to take a 3-2 lead.
From there, the Phillies just poured it on. Bryce Harper began the outburst with his third homer of the year in the fifth to make it 4-2. Then in the seventh the Phillies put four on the board and that was all she wrote. The win moves them to a disappointing 7-10, as they look to reverse a poor start.
Rangers 6, Astros 2
Former Florida Gator, Dane Dunning, was one out away from a quality start, allowing two runs in 5 2/3 innings. One of those runs came on another monster blast by Yordan Álvarez, who is very good at hitting baseballs.
After the Rangers tied it up, the Astros took a 2-1 lead, but the Rangers had answers. They came back with two in the seventh, and an RBI single by Corey Seager gave them the lead. Texas tacked on three more in the eighth and picked up a fairly stress-free win. Both of these teams have to be disappointed with their starts. At 6-10, the Rangers are just a game behind their in-state rival in the AL West.
Dodgers 4, Diamondbacks 0
The Dodgers got to it early and the game was pretty much over from there. Trea Turner cashed in two runs with a first-inning double to give LA a 2-0 lead and it was all they needed.
They would get two more, one of which came on a homer by Will Smith, but they did not need either. That is because of Walker Buehler, who pitched a complete-game shutout. Not only was it Buehler’s first career shutout, but it was the first complete game of the season.
Not to sound dated, but it felt like the good old days where a work-horse starter went the distance and his team gave him just enough. We need more pitching performances like Buehler’s Monday, they are good for the sport.
Angels 3, Guardians 0
This was another well-pitched game as both starters went more than six and allowed less than three. Michael Lorenzen out-dueled Shane Bieber as Cleveland’s ace made two mistakes to the same player. Taylor Ward stole the show, hitting two home runs that provided all three LA runs. The first had to be reviewed, but was upheld.
The second put the Angels up 3-0 and chased Bieber from the game, it also did not need to be reviewed. Los Angeles is now a very quiet 10-7, while the Guardians’ fourth loss in a row drops them to 7-9. Their wins this season have come against the Royals, Reds and White Sox. Yikes.
There is a full slate of games on tap for tomorrow, beginning at 6:35 p.m. when the Brewers head to Pittsburgh to take on the Pirates.