MLB Notebook: The Oakland Athletics’ reverse boycott crown on top of seven-game win streak
Photo credit:© Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports
By Michael Liu5 months ago
Welcome back to MLB Notebook, brought to you by The Batter’s Box Podcast! In this column, we’ll examine news and notes from around Major League Baseball — oftentimes through a Toronto Blue Jays-tinted lens.
Elly De La Cruz continues his stunning start
There probably isn’t a more deserving franchise than the Cincinnati Reds to have a player like Elly De La Cruz come up through the system and have such an electric debut. He’s built off of his first couple of games to show that his rapid rise in the prospect rankings wasn’t just pure hype.
After recording a 458-foot home run with a 114.8 MPH exit velocity, the second-hardest-hit home run in the Statcast era to begin a career, De La Cruz also legged out a triple in 10.83 seconds. That’s the fastest home-to-third time tracked this season. With three extra-base hits in his first two games, he became the fifth youngest player to do so in the past 40 seasons, the first since Manny Machado in 2012.
The 21-year-old entered the game against the Royals slashing .296/.406/.519, with his 4 RBIs and 4 SB making him the first player to do so in his first seven games since 1985. And, with another stolen base against Kansas City, Elly De La Cruz put himself ahead of every other Red except for Billy Hamilton with five SB in eight MLB games.
It isn’t just offence either, as he’s been showing some flashes of his 5-tool star projection with his defence.
Yankees outduel Mets in opening game of the Subway Series
The Mets suck. That could end it right there, but it was still a pretty interesting game for the most part in the big apple. For most teams, a 5-1 lead is pretty solid, but these are the Mets we’re talking about here. The Yankees got to Scherzer in the top of the fourth, pummeling him for five ER to pull ahead 6-5 in the game.
That other New York team did their best to make it interesting, knotting up the game at 6-6 in the next inning, but saw it slip away with a sixth-inning run by the Yankees. They had a chance in the 9th with the bases loaded but Clay Holmes managed to bring it home for the pinstripes.
The Mets drop to 1-9 in their last 10 games, slipping to fourth in the NL East. Not to mention that relief pitcher Drew Smith got thrown out of the game with an illegal substance check. It’s just not going the Mets way as of late, but who actually feels bad for them?
The Oakland Athletics are the hottest team in baseball
No, you didn’t read that wrong. The Oakland Athletics are currently sporting the best win streak in all of baseball and no longer have the worst record in the MLB (that one belongs to the KC Royals right now). Their seven-game win streak is tied for the most of all time of any team with a sub-.200 win percentage entering the streak.
Best of all, the Athletics did it in front of a roaring crowd of 27,759 fans, who all packed the stands in a planned reverse boycott. Chants of “sell the team” filled the Coliseum with an electric vibe, in a game that saw Shintaro Fujinami open up with a scoreless first.
It got so loud to the point that Hogan Harris couldn’t even hear his Pitchcom, not that it mattered as his 5th MLB game saw him record just 1 earned run on 4 hits. Stark contrast with where most games, pitchers have to turn down Pitchcom for fear of the opposing team hearing their calls.
All of this comes as the Nevada Senate passed a bill to help finance a ballpark in Vegas, with further momentum growing on a possible move. The Athletics organization donated all the proceeds from the match to help fund local initiatives in a rare win-win.
We talked about all of this and more in the second episode of the Batter’s Box Podcast, available now on both Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
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