MLB

Tatis returns to fire Padres past Mets, Meadows stars as Rays down Yankees

By Sports Desk June 04, 2021

Fernando Tatis Jr moved into the joint lead for the most home runs this season as he led the San Diego Padres to a 4-3 win over the New York Mets in MLB on Thursday.

Tatis returned from a minor injury, described as "tightness around his midsection", to hit his 17th home run of the 2021 season when his long shot to center field was spilled over the fence by Mason Williams to make it 2-0 in the third inning.

Jurickson Profar drove in another in the fourth inning, before Tatis added their fourth run in the fifth inning, fearlessly racing home from third to home base after catcher James McCann's fumble.

Tatis touched the plate in the nick of time as McCann threw to pitcher Taijuan Walker to leave the Padres 4-0 up and despite a late Mets rally, they held on for another win.

The Padres improve to 35-23, while the Mets are 27-22 as they continue their seven-game road trip.

 

Table toppers face off, Meadows empties the bases

Joc Pederson homered into the bay as the National Central leaders, the Chicago Cubs, went down 7-2 to the frontrunners in the National West, the San Francisco Giants.

Leading off for the Cubs, Pederson was spectacularly caught on the fence by Giants center fielder Steven Duggar.

Pederson had more success later when he hit a moon shot out of Oracle Park and into the neighbouring bay for the kayakers to collect.

Brandon Crawford turned the game around for the Giants, finishing with two runs, two hits and four runs batted in (RBI).

Gerrit Cole had a tough day at the office as Austin Meadows starred for the Tampa Bay Rays in a 9-2 win over the New York Yankees.

Meadows emptied the bases at the top of the seventh inning, to finish with two runs, two hits and five RBI. Meadows has now hit 14 home runs this season.

Cole conceded five hits from his five innings before being withdrawn, while Ryan Yarbrough snapped the Rays streak of 731 games without a pitcher throwing a complete game, sending down nine innings with six strikeouts.

There were no Shohei Ohtani heroics as the Los Angeles Angels lost 6-2 to the Seattle Mariners, while the Milwaukee Brewers made it six wins from their past seven with a 7-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

 

Rangers' horror road stretch

The Texas Rangers allowed 11 runs as their losing streak extended to nine games with an 11-6 defeat to the Colorado Rockies. The Rangers have conceded 55 runs across those nine games, all on the road.

 

White Sox whacking homers

Jake Lamb, Yasmani Grandal and Tim Anderson all homered for the Chicago White Sox in a fine display of hitting in their 4-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers.

 

Thursday's results

Atlanta Braves 5-1 Washington Nationals
Tampa Bay Rays 9-2 New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox 5-1 Houston Astros
Colorado Rockies 11-6 Texas Rangers
Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3 Miami Marlins
Milwaukee Brewers - Arizona Diamondbacks
Kansas City Royals - Minnesota Twins
Chicago White Sox 3-1 Detroit Tigers
Cincinnati Reds 4-2 St Louis Cardinals
Seattle Mariners 6-2 Los Angeles Angels
San Francisco Giants 7-2 Chicago Cubs
San Diego Padres 4-3 New York Mets

 

Cubs at Giants

The San Francisco Giants (35-21) and the Chicago Cubs (32-24) meet again the second game of their compelling six-game series.

Related items

  • NFL Talking Point: Which matchups will decide Week 4's biggest games? NFL Talking Point: Which matchups will decide Week 4's biggest games?

    Week 4 of the NFL season could well have a substantial bearing on how the playoff race shakes out.

    Through three weeks, the 2022 campaign has delivered excitement at almost every turn, and there are plenty of high-stakes matchups to whet the appetite this weekend.

    There are conference championship and Super Bowl rematches on the docket, as well as extremely intriguing matchups between some of the season's early pacesetters.

    But which of the games on the schedule are likely to deliver the best contests? Stats Perform can provide some insight in that regard, using its SmartRatings as a guide.

    SmartRatings is an AI-based platform that provides excitement ratings for sporting events, teams and players. The excitement scale, ranging from 0-100, is powered by complex algorithms that are predicated upon six primary variables: pace, parity, novelty, momentum, context and social buzz.

    The weight of each variable is dynamic and adapts as a season progresses. The excitement scale translates to the following general sub-ranges: 0-39 (Dull Game), 40-64 (OK Game), 65-84 (Good Game), 85-100 (Great Game).

    So, let's take a look at the three games rated among the most exciting on the Week 4 slate and break down the key matchups that could decide them.

    Buffalo Bills @ Baltimore Ravens

    SmartRating: 67

    Win probability: Buffalo Bills (55.3%)

    Key Matchup: Lamar Jackson vs. Bills linebackers

    The Bills only need to look to their AFC East rivals the New England Patriots for a reminder of what can happen when a defense fails to defend 2019 MVP Lamar Jackson effectively.

    Last week, Jackson threw for 218 yards and four touchdowns with one interception while rushing for 107 yards and a touchdown on just 11 carries. He became the first player in Ravens history to throw at least three touchdown passes in each of the team's first three games of a season.

    Limiting his efficiency on the ground will be critical for the Bills' hopes of outscoring a potent Ravens offense. On designed runs, Jackson is averaging a remarkable 13.47 yards per carry, with his threat as a runner naturally helping fuel the Ravens' play-action game. Baltimore's average of 10.85 yards per play on play-action is well above the league average of 9.15.

    In Matt Milano and Tremaine Edmunds, the Bills possess two athletic and intelligent linebackers. They will need to display their physical gifts and their awareness to help limit Jackson's impact with ball in hand and ensure they do not bite too hard against play-action and open large throwing windows for him to attack. An evenly matched clash between two AFC heavyweights promises to be a classic, and Milano and Edmunds may have a crucial say in it tilting in the favour of Buffalo.

    Kansas City Chiefs @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    SmartRating: 75

    Win Probability: Kansas City Chiefs (54.7%)

    Key Matchup: Travis Kelce vs. Antoine Winfield Jr.

    The Chiefs are unlikely to find much joy targeting the Buccaneers outside corners, Jamel Dean and Carlton Davis, who have each enjoyed excellent starts to the season as they look to gain a measure of revenge for their blowout loss to Tampa Bay in Super Bowl LV.

    Instead, Patrick Mahomes will probably look to his most trusted weapon, All-Pro tight end Kelce, to help him get the Chiefs back on track following their shock loss to the Indianapolis Colts last weekend.

    Kelce has run 24 routes from the slot this season compared to nine from his in-line tight end spot. Having consistently thrived in the 'power slot' role throughout his career, Kelce will hope to do significant damage from that position while going against one the premier young safeties in the league.

    Winfield has spent 63 percent of his snaps this season in the slot but has conceded a burn, which is when a receiver wins his matchup on a play where he is targeted, on seven of his 11 targets. He has given up a big play on four of those targets.

    With Kelce registering a burn on 18 of his 24 targets, the matchup looks to be in his favour. Winfield must find a way to ensure it isn't if the Bucs' defense is to provide yet more critical support to an offense that continues to struggle.

    Los Angeles Rams @ San Francisco 49ers

    SmartRating: 85

    Win Probability: Los Angeles Rams 53.0%

    Key Matchup: Aaron Donald vs. 49ers' Offensive Line

    Even after losing their starting quarterback and All-Pro left tackle to injury, the 49ers are still only seen as slight underdogs in Monday's rematch of last year's NFC Championship Game.

    But it is how the 49ers perform up front in the absence of Trent Williams that will likely determine if the Niners can continue their regular-season hoodoo over the Rams.

    The Niners have won the last six regular-season meetings with Los Angeles, but the Rams – who finally knocked off their rivals in the game that mattered most – will be confident of ending that streak if Donald and Co. can take advantage of San Francisco sliding Colton McKivitz in at left tackle as Williams' replacement.

    Much of that confidence will be based on how Jimmy Garoppolo performs when he is pressured. Among quarterbacks with at least 10 throws under pressure, Garoppolo's well-thrown percentage of 54.5 is the second worst in the NFL.

    Donald has already racked up 13 pressures on 40 pass rush snaps and is known for his ability to create pressure from anywhere on the defensive line. McKivitz, right tackle Mike McGlinchey and an extremely inexperienced interior offensive line must deliver their best for San Francisco to avoid falling to 1-3.

  • 'World-class' Alexander-Arnold 'judged by the one thing he's not as world class in' – Klopp 'World-class' Alexander-Arnold 'judged by the one thing he's not as world class in' – Klopp

    Jurgen Klopp does not understand why anybody would focus only on Trent Alexander-Arnold's defending when he has "world-class talent" on the ball.

    Liverpool right-back Alexander-Arnold has been the subject of much debate this week after being left out of England's matchday squad to face Germany on Monday.

    Reece James started the match and Kyle Walker came off the bench, while Kieran Trippier was among the substitutes.

    James appears to be Gareth Southgate's preferred option in that position, but Walker has made 50 appearances under the Three Lions manager. Trippier has turned out 37 times for Southgate, starting in both the 2018 World Cup semi-final and Euro 2020 final.

    That leaves Alexander-Arnold – often outstanding for Liverpool – as fourth-choice and looking highly unlikely to feature at the World Cup, even if selected in the 26-man squad.

    Southgate handed Alexander-Arnold his international debut in 2018, but he has since earned just 17 caps for his country.

    While the 23-year-old's creative abilities are unquestioned – he leads the England quartet in chances created (2.4) and expected assists (0.32) per 90 minutes in the Premier League in 2022 – there are doubts around his defending.

    Klopp has accepted Alexander-Arnold has room for improvement, but ahead of Saturday's game against Brighton and Hove Albion, he also suggested "nobody mentions" when the Liverpool man defends well.

    "It's like you have a list, bad defending and good defending, and bad defending [is] massive, and the good defending [list] is like you can't even see," he said.

    "That's what I see, because I'm not dumb."

    Klopp was also keen to point out some of Alexander-Arnold's shortcomings are due to Liverpool's approach, as they are "extremely brave" in their pressing and "the pitch is too big to be everywhere".

    Yet even when Alexander-Arnold is directly at fault, his club manager believes there is too much focus on those shortcomings.

    "There are other situations where he was not aware of the situation, where they pass the ball through him, where it was a challenge he should've won – true," Klopp said. "Every player in the league has these challenges.

    "With him, you pick it out, analyse so easy. All the experts sitting there, 'in this situation, you see it's a weakness'.

    "Honestly, I just don't get it, I just don't get that part of it – that we just accept that a world-class talent gets judged by the one thing he's not as world-class as in other things."

    And Klopp added: "If he would not be a good defender, he wouldn't play."

  • Walk-off win to end drought 'better than you can even dream', say Mariners Walk-off win to end drought 'better than you can even dream', say Mariners

    Cal Raleigh made MLB history to end the Seattle Mariners' 21-year playoff drought in fitting fashion – circumstances scarcely believable to manager Scott Servais.

    The Mariners entered Friday knowing either defeat for the Baltimore Orioles or a victory of their own at home to the Oakland Athletics would clinch a Wild Card place.

    Seattle were enduring the longest active postseason absence in any of the four major American sports.

    And a surprise win for the Orioles at the New York Yankees kept Mariners fans waiting just a little longer, with their team very rarely doing things the easy way even in this hugely successful season.

    But Raleigh, pinch-hitting for Luis Torrens, homered on a 3-2 pitch from Domingo Acevedo at the bottom of the ninth to clinch a sensational 2-1 walk-off win and a playoff series next weekend.

    Raleigh became the first player in MLB history to secure a postseason berth with a pinch-hit, walk-off home run.

    After only two as a rookie in 2021, this was also Raleigh's 26th homer of the year – a new single-season record for Mariners catchers.

    That it happened at T-Mobile Park put the icing on the cake for Servais, who had already been talking up his team's World Series chances after beating the Texas Rangers the previous night. 

    "The fact that we're in our ballpark and there's 40,000 people here tonight, it's better than maybe what you can even dream it could be," Servais said.

    "We have a lot of baseball yet ahead of us. We did end the drought tonight, which is a very special feeling.

    "There's so many kids that grew up in the Pacific Northwest that don't know anything about the Mariners being in the playoffs, and now we get to show them."

    Servais is not alone in outlining title ambitions in Seattle, where the Mariners remain the only MLB team never to have been to a World Series, let alone won one.

    But president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto believes the adversity has only made the franchise stronger.

    "It wasn’t fluid. It wasn't a linear road for us," he said. "We stumbled, and we fell, and I think that made us stronger.

    "And along the way, we found stars, we found leaders, and we found we found a team that came together.

    "I think what you see out there right now is a group of guys who believe that they can beat anybody."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.