Sometimes, weekend obligations prevent us from consuming This, Our Baseball in recommended quantities. If this describes you and the recently concluded weekend of baseball, then know that we are here to help. Below you'll find the essentials from the on-field action that took place on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Let's get to it.
Highlight of the weekend: Ohtani hits 100th
That blast made Ohtani just the third Japanese player in MLB history to hit 100 or more home runs. He joins Hideki Matsui (175) and Ichiro Suzuki (117). As well, Ohtani now joins Babe Ruth as the only players in MLB history with at least 100 home runs as a hitter and 250 strikeouts as a pitcher.
In the event that you're interested in reliving all 100 of Ohtani's home runs in the U.S. majors, then this color-television footage is here to help:
The reigning AL MVP got off to a bit of a slow start on the mound and at the plate this season, but of late he's been looking like his vintage self in both roles. In matters very much related, Ohtani's Angels are firmly in the race for the AL West title in the early going.
Pirates win despite not getting a hit
On Sunday, the Pirates edged out the Reds by a score of 1-0, and they did so despite not recording a hit on the day. That puts them in exceedingly rare company:
Got 0 hits, won game (since 1901):— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) May 15, 2022
Pirates, Today vs CIN
Dodgers, 6/28/08 vs LAA
Cleveland, 4/12/92 vs BOS
White Sox, 7/1/90 vs NYY
Tigers, 4/30/67 vs BAL
Reds, 4/23/64 vs HOU
Reds rookie right-hander Hunter Greene held the Pirates hitless for 7 1/3 innings, and then reliever Art Warren closed out the frame. However, during that eighth inning, the Pirates drew three walks and then plated the lone run of the game when Ke'Bryan Hayes hit a grounder to second that looked like a potential inning-ending double play. However, Alejo Lopez bobbled the transfer, and Hayes was able to beat his throw for an RBI force-out. Because the Reds did not throw at least nine hitless innings, it doesn't count as an official no-hitter. If it had, then it would've been the third no-hitter of the 2022 season. The Mets tossed a combined no-hitter against the Phillies on April 29, and Angels rookie Reid Detmers held the Rays hitless on May 10.
Astros win 12 of last 13
The Astros' 11-game win streak came to an end on Saturday at the hands of the Nationals. However, Houston rebounded on Sunday for a 7-0 shutout win, which means they've now won 12 of their last 13. They're now neck and neck with the Angels atop the AL West standings, and Dusty Baker's club is on pace for 106 wins. In this one, ace Justin Verlander twirled five scoreless frames, and the future Hall of Famer now boasts an ERA of 1.38 in this, his age-39 campaign. Jose Altuve hit his seventh home run of the season.
The Astros are in the very early stages of an accommodating stretch of schedule that will see them play 28 of 31 games against teams with losing records.
Mets lose first series of the season
Heading into the weekend, the Mets were the only team in baseball who hadn't lost a series all season. It's quite the feat to last this long. When you see things like the Dodgers losing a series to the Pirates, the Yankees dropping one to the Orioles and the Brewers falling to the Reds, it only emphasizes the point that it's incredibly difficult to pile up series victories in Major League Baseball.
And yet, the Mets were 9-0-1 in series in 2022 before taking on the Mariners in Citi Field for the weekend slate. The Mariners would stop the streak and take two of three. The Mets were right there, too, losing 2-1 Friday night, prevailing on Saturday and then dropping the rubber game Sunday, 8-7. What's more, the game Sunday ended with the bases loaded on a pitch outside the strike zone. Had Pete Alonso held up his check swing, the game would have been tied, but he clearly went and the umpiring crew got the call correct.
The 2022 Mets have finally lost a series.
Cardinals at Mets (four games beginning Monday): This four-game clash at Citi Field features two certifiable contenders. In the Mets' case they have the largest division lead in all of baseball, and across the way the second-place Cardinals are busy trying to make up ground on the NL Central-leading Brewers. Adding to the intrigue is that when these teams got together in St. Louis earlier this season the series occasioned a number of hit batsmen and a benches-clearing fracas. So consider these important games spiced by recent hostilities.
Padres at Giants (three games starting Friday): The NL West has been the toughest division in all of baseball, and it's not really a close call. At this writing, the teams of the NL West are a cumulative 26 games above .500 against opponents from outside the division. That's quite a figure considering we're just more than a month into the season. Speaking of all of that, two of the NL West's best teams, the Padres and Giants, get together next weekend in San Fran for a three-game set. They met earlier in the season in San Diego, and the Giants took two of three out out-scored the Friars by a margin of 17-7 in those games.