It was an eventful weekend in The Bronx, and it came full circle on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball last night.
Tim Anderson Silences Yankee Stadium
After a benches-clearing incident on Saturday afternoon in The Bronx (and the claims that Josh Donaldson made a racially charged remark to Tim Anderson), tensions were high in New York. And the Yankee Stadium crowd was letting Tim Anderson have it during the nightcap of a twin-bill between the White Sox and Yankees on Sunday.
A masterful pitching duel between Michael Kopech and Luis Severino pushed the drama to a boiling point in the eighth inning. The White Sox plated a pair of runs and had two more on base when Tim Anderson stepped into the box, already working on a two-hit game. Anderson got the last laugh after being taunted by Josh Donaldson on Saturday and booed by the Yankee faithful for eight innings on Sunday.
He drilled a three-run homer over the right field fence to make it a 5-0 lead for the White Sox, and then he had a message for Yankees fans after he crossed home plate:
— MLB (@MLB) May 23, 2022
A hot mic on the ESPN broadcast picked up that message: “Making motherfuckers shut the fuck up,” Anderson said as he celebrated with teammates on the way back to the dugout. The White Sox and Josh Donaldson have been beefing for some time, and if you believe his former teammate Liam Hendriks, Donaldson’s beef goes well outside of and beyond Tim Anderson or the White Sox. Hendriks had some strong words regarding Donaldson on Sunday.
Hendriks said that his former teammate lives in his own world and called his explanation of the comment to Anderson on Saturday “delusional.” Hendriks pointed out that inside jokes, as Donaldson deemed his Jackie comment, usually transpire between people you’re friends with, something Anderson and Donaldson are not.
“Usually you have inside jokes with people you get along with — not people who don’t get along at all,” Hendriks said. “So that statement right there was complete bullshit.”
With the White Sox and Yankees regular-season series over, tensions will subside, but MLB has opened an investigation into the incident.
Updated MLB Projections
FiveThirtyEight updates their MLB forecast after every game, but every once in a while, I like to check in and see what their prediction machine says about the current landscape. The Los Angeles Dodgers are projected to win 103 games and have the greatest chance at winning the World Series at 23%. The Yankees and Astros follow the Dodgers with the next two best chances to win the World Series, with the Milwaukee Brewers the next closest team.
After the Brewers, no team has a greater than five percent chance of winning it all this fall. FiveThirtyEight has the Reds winning 70 games this season despite their disastrous start to the season, surprisingly. The Orioles, Pirates, A’s, Royals, and Nationals make up the bottom five projected finishes this season for tanking purposes.
The Cubs are at just 72 projected wins here at the end of May.
Our MLB predictions –> https://t.co/rFcHgWUgib
— FiveThirtyEight (@FiveThirtyEight) May 23, 2022
Where Have the Perfect Games Gone?
Phillip Humber, Matt Cain, and Felix Hernandez all tossed perfect games during the 2012 season, a record pace for perfectos being logged in such close proximity of one another. But since Hernandez completed his perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays on August 15, 2012, the perfect game hasn’t been seen. Nearly a decade has passed, and we’ve seen 38 no-hitters since then (including an absurd nine last season).
Anthony Castrovince does a great job diving into potential reasons we’ve been deprived of the perfecto for so long:
A decade ago, @MLB had three perfect games in a single season.
But there hasn't been one since.
Here's a look at why we've had a perfect game drought amid a wave of no-hitters: https://t.co/YSgFiiXcK5
— Anthony Castrovince (@castrovince) May 23, 2022
Strasburg Set to Begin Rehab Assignment
Stephen Strasburg is set to start a rehab assignment at Single-A Fredericksburg tomorrow, which is a good sign for the 2019 World Series MVP, who has only thrown 26.2 innings since the start of the 2020 season while dealing with a thoracic outlet syndrome surgery injury. The 33-year-old right-hander signed a $245 million contract with the Nationals following their 2019 World Series Championship.
Stephen Strasburg is beginning his long-awaited minor league rehab assignment on Tuesday with Single-A Fredericksburg, Nationals manager Dave Martinez told reporters on Sunday. https://t.co/ssrYQK5kBl
— WashTimes Sports (@WashTimesSports) May 22, 2022
Odds and Ends …
• Mookie Betts showed off his cannon with this dart to home plate on Sunday:
Mookie Betts with the perfect throw to home plate 💰
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 22, 2022
• Pirates’ outfielder Bryan Reynolds hit an inside the park home run against Cardinals southpaw Matthew Liberatore on Saturday:
WE HAVE AN INSIDE-THE-PARK HOMER 🚨
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 22, 2022
• For those wondering what the deal was with the camo hats this weekend and the reasoning behind it, Paul Likas at UniWatch provides a detailed explanation:
For everyone who's confused about the camo. pic.twitter.com/zASqoRanka
— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) May 21, 2022
• More on the baseball in 2022:
.@No_Little_Plans notes that the 2022 ball is more variable than it's been in the last few years, supporting Gavin Lux's sentiment: “Some balls it seems like are carrying more than ever and then some feel like duds.”https://t.co/J0bw9Bex0R pic.twitter.com/HyoqYPIG83
— Caig (@cdgoldstein) May 23, 2022
• I would not want a piece of Jesús Aguilar. That’s a BIG dude:
Tempers flare in the Braves-Marlins game between Ozzie Albies and Jesús Aguilar 😂
— The Athletic MLB (@TheAthleticMLB) May 22, 2022
• The Cardinals made a bevy of roster moves on Monday morning, including recalling the recently optioned rookie Matthew Liberatore back to Triple-A. Liberatore tossed 4.2 innings and allowed four runs on seven hits while striking out three and walking two in his MLB debut on Saturday. The Cardinals also placed Steven Matz on the 15-day IL (left shoulder impingement) and outfielder Dylan Carlson (left hamstring strain) on the 10-day IL retroactive to May 22.
LHP Steven Matz (left shoulder impingement) has been placed on the 15-day IL.
OF Dylan Carlson (left hamstring strain) has been placed on the 10-day IL, retroactive to May 22.
RHP Angel Rondón has been optioned to Memphis (AAA).
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) May 23, 2022
• Freddy Peralta is heading to the IL after leaving his start this weekend with right shoulder discomfort. Here’s the Brewers starter on his injury after Sunday’s game:
Freddy Peralta gives the lowdown on the right shoulder injury that’s sending him to the IL: pic.twitter.com/rbcx6PLb7y
— Todd Rosiak (@Todd_Rosiak) May 22, 2022