Wednesdays are generally a good mix of day and night action, and this one was no different. In said day action, we saw the MLB home run leader club another to keep his team hot while beating up on a slumping opponent. The Cardinals have really been struggling and that continued with a Phillies pitcher putting together a dominant outing in St. Louis. Also, a game in Pittsburgh provided a breathtaking home run and one of the more remarkable stats you'll see. Under the lights, we saw a pair of walk-offs, another win by the Twins, and a catch you can't miss.
All that and more in our daily roundup. Let's go.
Select games can be streamed regionally via fuboTV (Try for free). For more on what channel each game is on, .
Baseball schedule/scores for Wednesday, May 8
- FINAL - Rangers 9, Pirates 6 (box score)
- FINAL - Brewers 7, Nationals 3 (box score)
- FINAL/13 - Diamondbacks 3, Rays 2 (box score)
- FINAL - Phillies 5, Cardinals 0 (box score)
- FINAL - Padres 3, Mets 2 (box score)
- FINAL - Indians 5, White Sox 3 (box score)
- FINAL - Mariners 10, Yankees 1 (box score)
- FINAL/12 - Red Sox 2, Orioles 1 (GameTracker)
- FINAL - Twins 9, Blue Jays 1 (box score)
- FINAL - Tigers 10, Angels 3 (box score)
- FINAL/11 - Cubs 3, Marlins 2 (box score)
- FINAL - Astros 9, Royals 0 (box score)
- FINAL/13 - Athletics 5, Reds 4 (box score)
- FINAL - Dodgers 9, Braves 4 (box score)
- POSTPONED - Giants at Rockies
Twins on top
Minnesota's thumping of the Blue Jays on Wednesday night means that their 23-12 record is now tops in all of MLB (the Rays are just on their heels, and the Dodgers are next in line). A couple of notable performance in Toronto put them there. First, there's Kyle Gibson:
Gibson's now allowed six earned over his last 24 innings, and this was rather easily his best start of 2019. And then there's Jorge Polanco:
Jorge Polanco of the @Twins has already recorded his second 5-hit game of the season.— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) May 9, 2019
He is the first AL player to have more than one in his team's first 35 games of a season since Luke Sewell of the 1933 Washington Senators, a team that eventually became the Twins.#MNTwins
After that 5 for 5 performance against the Jays, Polanco is now batting .344/.412/.649 with seven homers and 11 doubles. Obviously those are great numbers, but to put it in full context the average MLB shortstop this season is batting .264/.321/.446. Those are historically excellent numbers from the position, but even by those high standards Polanco still towers.
One of those five hits was a home run, and that's been the story for the Twins in 2019. They're now slugging .495 as a team, and their 64 home runs rank third in MLB (and the two teams ahead of them have each played more games). More to the point, the Twins have the best record, are backing it up with a plus-44 run differential, and per the SportsLine Projection Model (@SportsLine on Twitter) have better than an 85 percent chance of making the postseason.
Highlight of the day: JBJ performs outfield miracle
Chris Sale had one of the best starts of his career (8 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 14 SO, 0 BB), and Andrew Benintendi hit a clutch late home run. After the extra-innings affair in Baltimore, though, everyone was talking about this defensive miracle by Boston fly-catcher Jackie Bradley Jr.:
Woofity. That's not only robbing a home run, that's robbing a home run that would've ended the game. Calling that clutch is a bit of an understatement. Bradley's one of those fielders who helps his team even when he's not hitting, and that was certainly the case on Wednesday night in Baltimore (Bradley was 0 for 4).
Eickhoff dominates struggling Cardinals
Fans searching for a feel-good this season could do worse than Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff. The right-hander battled through bouts of numbness and other injuries while trying to pitch in 2017 and only managed three appearances last season with ailments lingering. This year he was able to work his way back to form and he actually looked better than ever with a dominating performance over the Cardinals Wednesday afternoon in St. Louis.
Now through four starts (five total appearances), Eickhoff is 2-1 with a 1.50 ERA, 0.97 ERA and 31 strikeouts against 11 walks in 30 innings.
The Phillies took two of three in St. Louis, moved to 21-15 and will maintain at least a 2 1/2 game lead in the NL East.
On the Cardinals' end, their lengthy hot streak is clearly in the rearview at this point. They had won 10 of 11 as part of a longer streak of very good baseball since a 3-5 start just one week ago. They lost a game to the Nationals on Thursday and then were swept in Wrigley Field by the rival Cubs. It looked like the nadir of their struggles was the blowout loss Sunday night that allowed the Cubs to take first place, especially when the Cardinals won on Monday, 6-0.
Instead, the Phillies outscored the Cardinals 16-1 in the last two games to take the series. They've now lost six of their last seven.
The Cardinals stay home to host the Pirates for four this weekend in an attempt to get things back on track. The Phillies have won eight of 11 and head to Kansas City for a pretty winnable three-game series.
Yelich homers for hot Brewers against hapless Nats
Reigning NL MVP Christian Yelich homered again in Miller Park, this time to open the scoring Wednesday against the Nationals:
That's his 16th homer of the year and that leads the majors. The reigning NL MVP is now hitting .356/.462/.797 and is every bit the monster he was down the stretch last season. So far, though, he's only been doing it with the power at home. Fifteen of those 16 homers have come in Milwaukee and he's hitting .296/.377/.389 on the road.
The Brewers are actually 16-8 at home compared to 7-8 on the road, so it's been a much smaller sample away from Milwaukee. That'll even out, because they now embark on what should be a tough road trip, hitting Chicago, Philadelphia and Atlanta.
The Brewers have won six in a row and will get some head-to-head action with the Cubs starting Friday in a battle for first, though theoretically there's a way that series ends with the Cardinals at the top. Still, it's fun.
The Nationals are the complete opposite. They are terrible. They've lost four in a row and 14 of 19. They are already seven games out and actually a lot closer to the Marlins than first place.. .
Walk-off bombs in Cleveland and Chicago
Here's Jose Ramirez and the Indians winning it in style at home against the Indians:
That blast pushes the Indians to 19-16 on the season. That's the first walk-off homer of Ramirez's career. It's also a nice reversal of fortune for him in 2019. Ramirez entered the night batting just .197/.295/.291, which is deeply out of character for a slugger who's put up anof 147 across previous seasons and finished third in the AL MVP balloting in each of those years. Given how little the Cleveland front office did this past offseason, they're no doubt hoping for another high-level campaign for Ramirez. Maybe this will get him trending toward that.
A couple of hours later, here's Jason Heyward on the North Side of Chicago:
Also of note:
For the 8th time in franchise history, the @Cubs have hit a walkoff home run in back-to-back games. It's their first time since September 12-13, 1998.— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) May 9, 2019
Over the last calendar year, the Cubs have hit 6 walkoff homers, tied with the Rockies for most in MLB.#EverybodyIn
As for Heyward, he's been huge for the Cubs this season. While he's always been a standout fielder and valued teammate, Heyward famously struggled badly at the plate through the first three years of his Cubs tenure. This year, though, he's now batting a robust .286/.398/.495 with six homers and more walks than strikeouts.
Stat of the day
Not only did Joey Gallo homer in a winning effort, but it was his 100th career homer. Would you believe he's the first player ever to get to 100 homers before 100 singles? Well, if we told you he wasn't yet to 100 singles, surely you'd know the answer. It's not even close. Check this out.
- The Cubs have placed Pedro Strop on the IL and Ben Zobrist on the restricted list. Mike Montgomery and Addison Russell are coming up. .
- Josh Bell .
- Casey Mize, Forrest Whitley and MacKenzie Gore. , heavy on pitching with
- Kris Bryant's been hot lately and .
- Phillies at 72 after battling cancer.
- A day after the Giants outrighted him to Triple-A and he chose free agency, outfielder Gerardo Parra is "progressing toward a deal," reports Sam Fortier of the Washington Post.