A lot happens over the course of an entire MLB season and you may not catch everything that happens. Last week in baseball is your guide to everything notable that happened over the course of the previous week of games.
From the walk-offs, sweeps, ridiculous catches, outstanding individual performances and slumps, we’ve got you covered.
It was a week that ended with the Red Sox and Yankees taking their tight-knit battle for first place in the AL East right at each other, with plenty of memorable moments and death-defying catches sprinkled in. Look back on the week that was with a new edition of Last Week in Baseball.
1) Yanks, Sox part 3
The greatest rivalry in sports reconvened this week with plenty of pre-Independence Day fireworks despite none of the games being competitive in the least. The pinstripes took jumped out to a 5-0 lead through four innings on Friday, before cruising to an 8-1 win behind C.C. Sabathia. Saturday belonged to Chris Sale who mowed down Yankee batters on way to 11 strikeouts while yielding just a single hit over seven innings. It was over pretty quickly too after Boston hung four on Sonny Gray in the first inning, courtesy of a Rafael Devers Grand Slam. In the win Sale actually became the only pitcher to record multiple 10+ K and one hit or fewer outings against the Yankees. And then on Sunday, just as everyone has come to expect, New York continued to be David Price’s kryptonite as they jumped on him for six runs in the first two innings in an eventual 11-1 win. Aaron Hicks homered three times on the night as the Yankees established a new club-record by hitting 137 home runs before the All-Star break. The series featured 12 home runs in all between both teams, including 10 from the Yankees. Tied atop the AL East once again, every single series they play comes with high stakes. That will be the case again when they begin a four-game set at Fenway, two days after the trade deadline, with new faces on both sides.
2) Just Dongs
No, that’s not really what the JD stands for in JD Martinez’s name. But it might as well be. Martinez has been baseball’s best slugger to this point, mashing his MLB best 25th home run of the season this week in Wednesday’s win over the Angels. It’s the most homers by a Red Sox player before July, ever and more than any Red Sock hit a season ago. For what it’s worth, Martinez is also leading the league in RBI. Enjoy his 25th long ball for yourself
3) Lester Smash
If you’re a true baseball fan, you love when a pitcher steps up to the plate and rips a rare home run. Cubs ace Jon Lester did that and then some, as he clobbered a 406-foot three-run bomb against Minnesota on Sunday. The trio of runs was part of an eight-run second inning and helped Lester and Chicago earn an eventual 11-10 win. This one is worth rewatching.
4) Doubles the fun
The Indians and Athletics played to a football score on Sunday, in a 15-3 victory for Cleveland. The laugher featured 20 hits and a whopping 11 doubles from the Tribe. That’s the most doubles Cleveland has hit in a single game since their club-record 12 doubles on July 13 of 1996 and the most for any team since 2003.
5) A lttle bit of everything
With Lorenzo Cain hitting the DL for Milwaukee due to a groin injury, Leon Broxton – who started the season in Triple-A – earned himself a call-up this week and made the most of it on Friday night. Starting in center field, Broxton was his own personal highlight reel in the Brewers 8-2 win over Cincinnati, clobbering his first two home runs of the season while driving in four, working his way out of a rundown to score a run and making an acrobatic catch defensively. It was a special night for the 28-year-old.
6) Homers aplenty
Juan Soto continues to mash and his Nationals’ teammates followed suit in a 17-7 rout of the Phillies on Friday. Soto hit to home runs in the win, as Anthony Rendon, Trea Turner, Bryce Harper, Brian Goodwin and Mark Reynolds all followed suit with one each of their own. For those keeping score at home that’s seven total home runs for the game. It was the home run derby come early in Philadelphia that night. Here are all seven…
7) Who did it better?
Toronto’s Kevin Pillar and Boston’s Jackie Bradley Jr. go toe-to-toe for the right to be called the best defensive center fielder in baseball. This week they each made spectacular, extra-base hit-robbing catches, both of which are worthy of being in the catch of the year conversation. Who did it better though? You decide.
First, Bradley Jr., who showed off his range to make this incredible leaping catch to rob Aaron Hicks of a likely double on Saturday…
Pillar may take this battle though. Just sit back and watch his Superman-like home run robbery from Sunday and be amazed.
So who gets your vote?
8) Walk-off North
Even though Pillar’s amazing play was the only highlight from Toronto’s Canada Day, blowout loss to the Tigers, the holiday weekend itself was salvaged by a series win, made possible thanks to Justin Smoak’s walk-off dinger on Saturday night. Smoak was the first batter up in the bottom of the 9th, with the game tied at three and he promptly deposited the second pitch he saw from Joe Jiménez into the second deck in right field. And, goodnight. The win was the Blue Jays sixth by way of a walk-off this season.
9) Tebow the All-Star
Tim Tebow’s forgettable NFL career never garnered a Pro Bowl nomination. His baseball career is going much better in that respect. The former Florida Gator quarterback, who is currently playing for the Mets’ Double-A affiliate Binghamton Rumble Ponies, was named to the Eastern League All-Star roster this week. In 67 games, Tebow is batting .261, with 12 doubles, five home runs and 30 RBI. He’s been particularly hot in June, where he’s batting .318 for the month. The way the Mets season is going, he may find himself in the majors by September if he keeps it up.
10) Bobble x6
In this edition of: you don’t see that every day, we give you Rockies outfielder Raimel Tapia, who bobbled a routine fly ball six times before making an awkward catch on Sunday. MLB Twitter did a nice job captioning this one…
Just tap it in. Just tap it in. Give it a little tappy. Tap, tap, taparoo. pic.twitter.com/KqGp3Rru3J
— MLB (@MLB) July 1, 2018