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PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Mickey Callaway had his first big managerial decision Friday, and it came down way before the New York Mets‘ first pitch was delivered by starting pitcher Zack Wheeler.

A day before when the Mets announced their lineup for their Grapefruit League opener against the Atlanta Braves, prized first baseman Dominic Smith was scheduled to bat cleanup.

However, Callaway scratched Smith on the updated lineup card when the clubhouse opened on game day.

Right-handed slugger Peter Alonso was penciled in at first base, while lefty-swinging Smith was out.

“I didn’t even see the lineup when I left yesterday, so I didn’t even know,” Smith said in his first interview at his locker.

“It’s spring training. Everybody’s got to get work in and everybody needs ample amount of time to show the coaches what they can do.”

Smith, 22, initially said being taken out of the order wasn’t frustrating and that “it’s the first game, we have a lot more.”

That explanation changed dramatically a few minutes later after a trip to Callaway’s office as Smith met with the media for a second time.

“We had a little discussion. I know everybody’s wondering why I’m not in the lineup today. Yeah, I was late a little bit today,” Smith said.

He said he wasn’t that late but “late enough to be a problem.” He agreed he shouldn’t have cut it that close on time.

“I’m human. I apologized. That’s stuff that shouldn’t happen. It’s unacceptable in any locker room — no matter if it’s the Mets or wherever you play. That’s just something that won’t happen again,” the 2013 first-round draft pick promised.

“This is my job, my career, my livelihood. I feel like I definitely did let them down today.”

Smith hit .198 with 9 homers and 26 RBIs in 49 games for the Mets after being called up from Triple-A Las Vegas, where he hit .330 in 114 games.

With New York signing 35-year-old five-time All-Star Adrian Gonzalez last month, Smith finds himself battling the four-time Gold Glove Award winner for playing time and a roster spot.

Callaway wasn’t at all impressed by Smith’s tardiness.

“It’s a little shocking. He’s trying to win a job, and it’s unfortunate,” Callaway said.

The manager has repeatedly stressed the importance of accountability in his first camp with the Mets. He has said he holds his players to a high standard and they have to own up to their actions.

“We have expectations for guys, and if they don’t meet that expectation, then we have to hold them accountable. That’s why Dom wasn’t in the lineup today,” Callaway said after his club rallied for a 6-2 win over Atlanta.

The manager didn’t say whether or not Smith would start Saturday against St. Louis.

Smith understood the decision and thought it was just.

“He actually was pretty fair. He asked me what I thought the decision should be, and I agreed with him. That’s the only way it should be,” Smith said.

“He’s been preaching that since day one — accountability.”

Game notes
Third baseman Todd Frazier, who has a strong reputation as a clubhouse leader, said Smith would learn from his mistake: “He’s a young guy. He’s still trying to understand the game. Can’t really have that kind of stuff, though. You’d rather be overly early than five minutes late. You see he’s not playing today.” … Five students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School walked up to home plate with Mets captain David Wright to deliver the lineup card prior to New York’s game against Atlanta. The Parkland, Florida, school lost 14 students and three teachers in the Feb. 14 shooting. Mets players wore hats with SD logos in practice and during the game. The Mets will sign the caps and auction them off to support those affected by the tragedy at the Broward County school. … Wheeler allowed a leadoff single but recorded a pair of strikeouts in his one inning of scoreless work. “My goal is to go out there and get ahead of hitters, strike one, whatever it may be,” Wheeler said. The right-hander added Callaway told him a few days ago not to worry about his role on the pitching staff: “He said to try to go out and win a job. That’s my goal.” … Callaway had a lengthy discussion with plate umpire and fellow Memphis native Andy Fletcher early in the game. “He used to umpire my little league games when I was 10. I’ve known him for years and years and wanted to say hi.”

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Sluggers Joey Gallo, Anthony Rizzo excited to help New York Yankees make playoff drive



MIAMI — With a pair of new sluggers in place, the New York Yankees are ready to make their playoff drive.

First baseman Anthony Rizzo homered in his Yankees debut Friday night and All-Star outfielder Joey Gallo also suited up with New York for the first time in the opener of a three-game series against the Miami Marlins.

New York obtained Gallo and left-handed reliever Joely Rodríguez from the Texas Rangers for four minor league prospects Thursday. Rizzo’s nine-year tenure with the Chicago Cubs ended after he was sent to the Yankees for two prospects.j

Entering the weekend series at Miami, the Yankees were 8 1/2 games behind AL East leader Boston and 3 1/2 behind Oakland for the league’s second wild card.

“I’ve been hearing for some time that it was a possibility, that New York was in play for me,” Gallo said. “I grew up a huge Yankee fan. My family is from New York. It was pretty surreal they told me I was going to the Yankees. A great opportunity – it’s an amazing team to be a part of. I’m excited.”

The addition of Gallo and Rizzo to a lineup that already features Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, DJ LeMahieu and Gary Sánchez provides the Yankees left-handed power the club has lacked this season.

“Lot of heavy hitters,” Rizzo said. “Lot of big boys with a lot of clout and walking into a new clubhouse for the first time in a long time is a good feeling. You come in here and you can’t help but be excited and can’t wait to get out there and play.”

The 27-year-old Gallo hit 145 homers in seven seasons with the Rangers and was tied for sixth in the majors with 25 this year. He also is praised for his work in right field.

Gallo started in right Friday night but is expected to play left field fairly regularly with New York.

“That’s completely fine with me,” Gallo said. “I’m cool with that.”

For the 31-year-old Rizzo, who had 243 homers in 11 major league seasons, joining the Yankees came with the difficult emotions of leaving the Cubs. Rizzo was a centerpiece that helped the Cubs end their 108-year World Series championship drought in 2016. Longtime teammates Kris Bryant and Javier Báez also were moved at the trade deadline Friday.

“It’s crazy. It’s been a lot of talk for years and for it to finally happen, you can’t script it,” Rizzo said. “We had good memories and friendships that are going to last forever.

“Did a lot of special things in front of a fan base that did not see a World Series in 108 years. Those moments will never be taken away.”

With his trade to the Yankees, Gallo also will have a new look. Gone is the beard Gallo has sported for 10 years, in compliance with New York’s facial hair policy.

“I literally had just gotten a haircut (the day of the trade), the beard trim, everything,” Gallo said. “And three hours later, you’re traded and you’re going to New York. Ah man, I guess I have to shave. So I went home and had to do it on my own. That’s one of the rules to play in New York. I don’t mind doing it. I haven’t seen my face in about 10 years.”

Gallo will wear his customary uniform No. 13 with the Yankees, previously worn by Alex Rodríguez. Rizzo, who wore No. 44 with the Cubs, had no choice but to switch because the club has retired the number in honor of Reggie Jackson. Rizzo will wear No. 48.

“Kind of slim pickings around here, for the right reasons,” Rizzo said.

At the trade deadline Friday, the Yankees also obtained left-hander Andrew Heaney from the Los Angeles Angels for minor league right-handers Janson Junk and Elvis Peguero. Los Angeles will send the Yankees $500,000 on Sept. 15, offsetting part of the $2,322,581 remaining in Heaney’s $6.75 million salary.

An eight-year major league veteran, Heaney was 6-7 with a 5.27 ERA in 18 starts for the Angels this season.

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2021 Olympics – USA Baseball, a team of has-beens and not-yets, aiming for gold



Any hardcore hardball fan who has perused the rosters of the six Olympic baseball teams competing in Tokyo, particularly USA Baseball, has probably felt more than a little like the characters in the 1989 cinematic classic “Major League.”

“I never heard of half of these guys, and the ones I do know are way past their prime.”

And like the fictional Cleveland team of the silver screen, this lineup of seeming has-beens and not-yets is an easy group to support, representing the United States for baseball’s return to the Olympics from a 13-year absence.

Team USA, which has posted back-to-back wins against Israel and South Korea in the opening round of the Olympic tournament, consists of an even 12 pitchers and 12 position players. That list includes four former MLB All-Stars, including infielder Todd “The Toddfather” Frazier, who last pitched for his hometown team, the independent Sussex County Miners of the Frontier League. The night after he left for pre-Olympic training camp, some Miners got into a brawl with fans who poured beer on them during a hot dog eating contest (“Got out of there in the nick of time.”) He’s joined by hurlers Edwin Jackson, who threw a no-hitter for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2010, David Robertson, who won a World Series in 2009 and the World Baseball Classic in 2017 and ageless lefty Scott Kazmir.

Kazmir started this season with the San Francisco Giants, the first time the 37-year-old had appeared in a big-league game in five years. After two weeks and three appearances, the Giants designated Kazmir for assignment. With Triple-A Sacramento, he rediscovered his groove and immediately called USA Baseball. Making that call had been in the back of his mind since summer 2020, when during a simple game of catch with Seattle Mariners pitcher Kendall Graveman, Kazmir sensed he still had some pop in an arm that hadn’t seen action since 2016. When he started a push to pitch again, most assumed the focus was on an MLB comeback.

In reality, he always had one eye looking at Tokyo.

“I was retired and happy one year ago, but I thought about it last year and when the Olympics got postponed. I kept that in the back of my head and kept at it,” Kazmir said two weeks ago as the team gathered at the USA Baseball complex in Cary, North Carolina. “I still kept that in the back of my head, knowing that I would love the opportunity. I needed to get a lot of reps to get back in the swing of things in pro ball, and I feel like that set me up pretty well for this opportunity that I have now.

“To be able to represent my country in the Olympics, it’s something that you dream about as a kid.”

The rest of the 24-man team is made up of minor leaguers, though 14 members of the team have made it up to the Show for a cup of coffee at least. They’re all hungry to reach the next level, and their manager Mike Scioscia hopes to tap into that hunger over the next week.

“What I love about these guys is that every single one of them want to be on this team,” Scioscia explained in mid-July from the USA Baseball complex, just as those guys were reporting to the Raleigh suburb for a one-week camp that included a three-game warmup series with the USA collegiate team. “We have 24 ballplayers with 24 different stories, all at their own place in their baseball lives. It’s been what I really love most about a clubhouse, getting veterans and young guys and guys in between, all in the same place with the same goal: to win a gold medal. We have guys who have won World Series and college championships and you name it.

“But not a one of us has an Olympic gold medal.”

The 62-year-old, who owns three World Series rings, two as a player and one as a manager, added a quick reminder. “Now, we do have a guy who has an Olympic medal. A silver one. No one wants a gold medal more than Eddy does.”

Scioscia was speaking of infielder Eddy Alvarez. And no, the South Florida native didn’t earn his silver medal in baseball. No one has won an Olympic baseball medal of any kind since South Korea, Cuba and the United States finished 1-2-3, respectively, in the 2008 Beijing Games.

Alvarez, aka Eddy the Jet, won silver in the 2014 Sochi Games. Yes, a man from Miami in the Winter Olympics. He was listed among the favorites to win gold in four different speed skating events, but after a collision disqualification, being taken out by a falling rival and a fall blamed on soft ice, he made the finals in only one of those events, the 5000-meter relay. His team lost to Russia by .271 seconds.

That summer, Alvarez was signed by the White Sox. After battling his way up the minor-league ladder, he made his MLB debut on Aug. 5, 2020, playing for his hometown team, the Miami Marlins. He became just the second human to own an Olympic medal and a big-league at-bat. The other is Jim Thorpe. A month later, he was sent down to Class AAA Jacksonville. In May 2021 he was named to Team USA.

Last week, when the United States Olympians walked out of the tunnel during the Opening Ceremonies, Alvarez was carrying the Stars and Stripes alongside Sue Bird. As soon as his baseball team took the field on Friday morning, the son of Cuban immigrants who turned rollerblading in South Florida into an Olympic silver medal, became the 129th athlete to compete at both the Winter and Summer Games. So if Team USA Baseball finishes on the podium, he will become the sixth athlete in the 125 years of the modern Olympics to win a medal in both.

But the Jet doesn’t want any medal. He wants the medal.

“I have unfinished business,” the 31-year-old said two weeks ago, moments after accidentally letting the cat out of the bag that he was a finalist to carry to flag (“Please don’t write that!”). “Imagine getting that close, less than three-tenths of a second from gold. Then imagine getting a second chance. That never happens. Now, it’s happening. I am not going to waste it. And I am surrounded by a group of guys who are just as driven as I am.”

While Alvarez is getting a second chance at gold, this is likely the last chance at alchemy for anyone on this team. Japan petitioned to have baseball resurrected in Tokyo, and though it will not be on the schedule in Paris three years from now, the push has already started to have baseball in Los Angeles in 2028, where it made its debut as an Olympic demonstration sport in 1984.

That summer, the ’84 Olympics seized the attention and imagination of the American public more than any Games before, and perhaps none since. They were on every television from coast to coast, including the clubhouse of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who were sent on the road so that Dodger Stadium could host Olympic baseball. Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda loved it — he couldn’t stop talking about it. He said that if baseball became a permanent Olympic sport, he wanted to be the coach and win gold for America.

Scioscia was the catcher on that Dodgers team. He has never forgotten hearing Lasorda talk about his Olympic dreams in 1984 — he still gets choked up when he recalls his conversations with his manager in 2000, when Lasorda returned home from the Sydney Games, having led Team USA to the top of the podium. As a manager, Lasorda won two World Series, 1,599 games and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997. But to his last day, he wept whenever he talked about what he called “the greatest moment of my baseball life.”

“I never saw Tommy cry during our Dodgers celebrations like he did when the United States won the gold medal,” Scioscia said, pausing to gather up his composure. “He had tears coming down his face. He was so proud. He was so excited to have that opportunity. It meant so much to him to win not just for a city like Los Angeles, but for the entire nation. I hope I get that opportunity to experience that, too.”

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MLB in July brings revenge homers, dueling grand slams and a Zack (or Zach or Zac) attack



Even four days without games at the All-Star break could not interrupt a wacky July that was filled, as always, with home runs, some of them grand slams, some of them by relievers, as well as a ridiculous number of hit batters, wild pitches and, as always, strikeouts. So, with statistical assistance from the Elias Sports Bureau, here are The Quirkjians for July.

July 1
Kyle Schwarber — then a National — hit a double. Over his previous 35 games, he had 18 home runs — and no other extra-base hits. The only other player in major league history to hit that many home runs in a 35-game stretch and have no other extra base hits was Roger Maris in 1961, the year he hit 61 homers.

The Reds beat the Padres 5-4 to become the first team since the Tigers on April 11, 2010, to win a nine-inning game while leaving 18 runners on base.

Cardinals pitchers entered July with 20 batters walked with the bases loaded this season, five hit batters with the bases loaded and five wild pitches that scored a run. The last team to have 30 runs score in those three ways during a season was the 2008 Orioles. The Cardinals already had 30 entering July.

July 2
Red Sox center fielder Enrique Hernandez drove in the go-ahead run in the 10th inning of a 2-1 victory over the A’s, then threw out the potential tying run at the plate in the bottom of the 10th. The last time that happened was 2008, when Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino did so in a 4-3 victory against the Braves.

July 3
The Mets beat the Yankees 8-3 despite Mets hitters striking out 15 times. It marked the 34th time this year that a team had won a game while its hitters struck out at least 15 times. It happened 22 times from 1900 to 1960 combined. The record is 67 times in 2019. That was the only season that topped 50.

Brewers pitcher Eric Lauer struck out four batters in 6⅓ innings in a victory over the Pirates, and he struck out four times. The last time a pitcher struck out at least four times in a game and failed to strike out more batters than his strikeouts at the plate was on July 2, 2019, by the Giants’ Tyler Beede.

July 4
The Mets’ Pete Alonso homered in both games of the doubleheader at Yankee Stadium, giving him 15 homers on the season, 14 of them on the road. And the Marlins’ Jesus Aguilar homered at Truist Park in Atlanta. That gave him 13 homers, all on the road (he has since homered in Miami). The record for most home runs hit in a season all on the road is 17 by Goose Goslin in 1926.

July 5
The White Sox’s four pitchers in their game against the Twins — Dylan Cease, Jace Fry, Ryan Burr and Garrett Crochet — all threw a wild pitch. It was the fourth time in history that a team used four pitchers in a game and all four threw a wild pitch, and the first since June 22, 2009, when the Angels’ Jason Bulger, Rich Thompson, Rafael Rodriguez and Matt Palmer did so.

Cubs infielder Eric Sogard pitched for the fifth time this season. The last time a position player pitched that many times before the All-Star break was 2017, when Twins catcher Chris Gimenez pitched six times, prompting him to say, jokingly, “Who needs Ohtani when they have me?”

July 6
Now that Giants pitcher Sammy Long and Tigers shortstop Zack Short have made it to the big leagues, it opens the possibility (though not for this year) for the first Long-Short at-bat in major league history. The careers of pitcher Chris Short and first baseman Dale Long overlapped for five years, but for 3½ years they were in different leagues. They never faced each other.

Marlins outfielder Magneuris Sierra made it 114 plate appearances this year and still no RBIs. The last player to go that many plate appearances into a season without an RBI was Baltimore’s Caleb Joseph, who finished with zero RBIs in 141 plate appearances in 2016. Sierra would ultimately record his first RBI on July 25 — in his 141st plate appearance.

July 7
The day after making his major league debut, Dodgers pitcher Jake Reed, 28, started against the Marlins. He is the first pitcher since the Phillies’ Sam Dailey in 1929 to start a game the day after making his major league debut. Dailey got the final three outs of a doubleheader on July 4, then started the next day, going five innings. Reed pitched one inning in his start and was taken out, by design.

July 8
Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto stole home, joining Padres catcher Victor Caratini on that list. The last season in which two catchers stole home was 2018, done by Francisco Arcia and Chance Sisco.

Padres reliever Daniel Camarena hit a grand slam off then-Nationals ace Max Scherzer. Camarena became the third reliever over the past 70 years to hit a slam, joining two Pirates, Enrique Romo in 1980 and Don Robinson in 1985. It was the first time Scherzer had ever allowed a home run, not just a grand slam, to a pitcher. It was Camarena’s first career hit. He is the first pitcher since 1900 to hit a grand slam for his first hit. The last position player to do that was Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford in 2011.

July 9
Padres reliever Austin Adams hit another batter. That made 14 in 31 innings. Only one pitcher in baseball history has hit 14 batters in a season of fewer than 100 innings: Otto Hess hit 15 in 93⅓ innings for the 1907 Indians. This time, Adams hit the Rockies’ C.J. Cron, the third straight game (total of four times) in which he’d been hit by a pitch.

July 10
The Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks 22-1. They hit two grand slams, giving them nine slams this season. The record is 14 by the 2000 A’s and 2006 Indians. The Diamondbacks (six), Royals (eight) and Pirates (eight) don’t have nine grand slams since 2018. In that game, Arizona reliever Matt Peacock pitched three scoreless innings in the loss. He is the fourth reliever to pitch at least three scoreless innings in game in which his team allowed 22 runs, the first since George Zuverink on Aug. 14, 1955.

July 11
The Marlins’ Pablo Lopez struck out the first nine Atlanta batters of the game, the first pitcher since 1900 to do that. It was the eighth time in history that a pitcher had struck out nine in a row at any point in a game, three of them this year, by Lopez, Jacob deGrom and Aaron Nola (who had 10). Lopez is the only one of the eight to strike out nine in a row, but not strike out anyone else in the game.

The starting pitchers in the Rockies-Padres game in San Diego were Jon Gray and Ryan Weathers. Gray got the win for Colorado.

Astros pitchers walked 14 batters, but Houston beat the Yankees 8-7. The Astros became the first team to walk 14 batters in a nine-inning game that it won since 1972, when the White Sox walked 15 and beat the Red Sox.

Twins outfielder Trevor Larnach struck out four times in a game for the second game in a row, making him the first player to do that since Dexter Fowler on Sept. 23-24, 2019.

July 16
Padres second baseman Jake Cronenworth hit for the cycle, only the third in franchise history. The Blue Jays have only three, the Rays two and the Marlins none. In that 24-8 victory over the Nationals (the only 24-8 game ever played), the Padres also got a grand slam from Wil Myers. The last team to have a cycle and a slam in the same game was the Giants 11 years ago when Bengie Molina did both. So in one game, Molina had more cycles than Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds combined and as many grand slams as Derek Jeter and Pete Rose.

The cleanup hitters in the White Sox-Astros game (Brian Goodwin and Yordan Alvarez) each went hitless and stuck out four times. The last time two starting cleanup hitters did that in the same game was April 12, 2014, with the Braves’ Chris Johnson and the Nationals’ Adam LaRoche.

July 17
The Tigers beat the Twins 1-0 on a leadoff home run by Robbie Grossman. It was the first time in the glorious history of the Tigers that they won a game 1-0 with a home run leading off the first inning. The last time that happened to any team was when Nick Markakis did so in 2014 in the Orioles’ 1-0 win over the Mariners.

July 18
The Rays’ Austin Meadows had a 1-0-0-2 batting line. He had two sacrifice flies. He became the first player since Bobby Kielty in 2007 to have two sacrifice flies in a game he didn’t start.

Shortstop Willy Adames hit his 16th home run. The teams for which he has played this year — the Rays and Brewers — are 16-0 when he hits a home run. The last player whose team was unbeaten when he homered in at least 16 games over a full season was the Reds’ Brandon Phillips in 2012 (17-0).

July 19
Then-Twins starting pitcher Jose Berrios gave up a walk-off home run to the White Sox’s Gavin Sheets. Granted, it was a seven-inning game, but it was the first time a starting pitcher had allowed a walk-off homer since Aug. 23, 2017, when the Pirates’ Josh Harrison hit one off the Dodgers’ Rich Hill in the 10th inning, ending Hill’s no-hitter.

The Reds’ Tyler Naquin had five hits in a 15-11 loss to the Mets, but he did not score a run. The last player to get five hits in a game but not score a run when his team scored at least 11 was the Indians’ Lonnie Chisenhall on May 14, 2014. He had a 6-0-5-1 line in a 15-4 win over the Blue Jays.

July 20
Cardinals pitchers issued two more walks with the bases loaded, running their season total to 22. The last team with more in a season was the 2009 Brewers with 23. In the expansion era, beginning in 1969, the team with the most was the 1999 Mariners with 28.

July 21
Cardinals pitchers hit five batters in a 3-2 victory over the Cubs, and yet there was no HBP for Anthony Rizzo, who has been hit more times in his career than Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle and Tony Gwynn combined. The Cardinals became the first team to win a game despite hitting five batters since the Astros hit seven in a 4-3 victory over the Rangers on June 9, 2018. The Cardinals became the first team to hit three batters in the ninth inning since June 27, 2016, when the Yankees hit three Rangers, all by reliever Kirby Yates. And the common denominator to the three games mentioned above is that catcher Robinson Chirinos played in all three.

July 22
Yankees reliever Brooks Kriske threw four wild pitches in the 10th, tying a major league record (done five times) for most wild pitches in one inning. By comparison, Dick Hall, an excellent reliever for several teams, most notably the Orioles, had one wild pitch in 1,259 innings in his career. Dan Quisenberry, the terrific closer for the Royals, had four wild pitches in 1,043⅓ innings in his career.

July 23
Six pitchers named Zack (or Zach or Zac) pitched: Zac Gallen (Diamondbacks), Zach Davies (Cubs), Zack Wheeler (Phillies), Zach Pop (Marlins), Zach Plesac (Indians), Zach Thompson (Marlins). Gallen, Davies, Wheeler and Thompson were pitchers of record. Gallen and Davies started against each other. Pop and Thompson pitched for the same team.

July 24
In what has to be the highest combined numbers by starting pitchers in major league history, No. 99 Hyun Jin Ryu of the Blue Jays started against No, 99 Taijuan Walker of the Mets.

The Rockies were shut out for a major-league-leading 12th time, all on the road. Cincinnati in 1880 was shut out 10 times, all on the road. The 2011 Twins were shut out 12 times, all on the road. No team in major league history has ever been shut out 13 times in a season, all on the road.

Padres pitcher Ryan Weathers hit a home run. His father, former pitcher David Weathers, hit two major league home runs. The only other father-son combinations to each hit a home run as a pitcher are Jim Bagby Sr. and Jr., Thornton and Don Lee, Clyde and Jared Wright and Mel Stottlemyre Sr. and his son Todd.

The Braves’ Freddie Freeman‘s streak of pitches seen without a swing and miss ended at 138. During that time (July 11-24), the Cardinals’ Tyler O’Neill swung and missed the most times with 34. Earlier this year, Nick Madrigal saw 176 pitches without a swing and miss.

July 25
Three pitchers named Gray started the same day: the Rockies’ Jon, the Dodgers’ Josiah (same game) and the Reds’ Sonny. It was the second time this season that three pitchers with the same last name started on the same day: The Andersons (Brett, Tyler and Ian) did so in May. In 2019, it happened three times with the same three pitchers, the Marlins’ Pablo Lopez, the White Sox’s Reynaldo Lopez and the Royals’ Jorge Lopez.

July 26
Shohei Ohtani recorded his 100th strikeout of the season as a pitcher. He got there with 35 home runs as a hitter. The previous record for most home runs by a pitcher in a 100-strikeout season was nine by Wes Ferrell in 1931. Ferrell is one of the best-hitting pitchers of all time. In 1935, he hit walk-off home runs in back-to-back games for the Red Sox, one as a pinch hitter, the next day as a starting pitcher.

The Tigers’ Joe Jimenez became the first pitcher in the modern era (since 1900) to throw less than two innings in an appearance (he pitched 1⅓), allow a hit, walk a batter, hit a batter, throw three wild pitches and somehow not allow a run.

July 27
In the Tigers-Twins game, Mitch Garver and Eric Haase hit grand slams, marking the first time in major league history that opposing catchers hit grand slams in the same game. Garver’s came in the first inning. Haase’s came in the ninth. Each was a first career grand slam.

Abraham Toro hit a home run for the Astros on Monday night against the Mariners. He was traded to the Mariners on Tuesday. He hit a home run against the Astros on Tuesday night. He became the first player in major league history to hit a home run for and against a single team on back-to-back days.

July 28
The Twins had two six-run innings but never led in a 17-14 loss to the Tigers. The same thing happened to the Red Sox on June 29, 2019, in a 17-13 loss to the Yankees. The Tigers became the first team to be outhomered 7-0 in a game and still win. Twins catcher Ryan Jeffers hit a grand slam; it came one day after Twins catcher Mitch Garver hit a grand slam, marking the first time in major league history that a team got a grand slam from different catchers in consecutive games. And the Twins lost both games, the first team to lose consecutive games despite hitting a grand slam in each since the 2003 Brewers.

July 29
Gerrit Cole became the first pitcher in Yankees history to allow seven earned runs and strike out at least 10 in a start of less than six innings.

July 30
Just like on July 11, the starting pitchers in the Rockies-Padres game in San Diego were Jon Gray and Ryan Weathers. Gray got the win for Colorado.

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