Getaway Day: The Yankees make a statement and the Rangers may be screwed


New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge continues to launch bombs. Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports

Another week is in the books around Major League Baseball, and as the standings begin to take better definition, the season is beginning to truly define itself.

The New York Yankees and Washington Nationals are pulling their shoulders above the curve, while the Colorado Rockies and Houston Astros are putting more and more space between themselves and their closest competition. Meanwhile, the Reds are taking on a second wind to mix it up from the anticipated battle between the Cardinals and Cubs in the heart of the National League.

All the while, a simple series between the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles became so much more than just a baseball contest to open the week. It was a busy seven days around the game, and as a new one dawns, we have you covered as another Getaway Day takes off.

American League

Baltimore Orioles  

The spotlight was on the O’s for a lot of reasons this week, with only a few landing on actual baseball. They had a hotly contested series with the Red Sox in Fenway full of controversy. The racial slur issues with Adam Jones put a spotlight on fan behavior, and Manny Machado continued to alternate between dodging pitches and hitting them over the fence.

Between it all, they played pretty good baseball, staying in the hunt near the top of the American League East. However, what was supposed to be good news headed into the new week turned bad: All-Star closer Zach Britton made a brief return before heading back to the disabled list with an increasingly concerning forearm strain.

Boston Red Sox 

Boston, as a city, took a loss this week, as the actions of the few marred the image of many. The Adam Jones racial slur/peanut tossing incident was a discouraging sign of where we are as a culture in some corners of society. Around it all, the Red Sox stayed competitive and in the chase in the AL East, and they enter the new week within shouting range of both the Yankees and Orioles. Still, they could use a strong week to gain some ground.

Chicago White Sox 

The Sox cooled off from where they were last week, as they split a series with the struggling Royals and then were swept by the Orioles over the weekend. Regardless, they have to be encouraged by the continued strong play of Avisail Garcia, as well as the arrival of Jose Abreu, who hit .355 with three bombs over the past week.

They’ll slide into a week with some promising prospects, as matchups with the Padres and Twins could provide a nice boost for a team that is surprisingly hanging around in the division.

Cleveland Indians


Cleveland Indians pitcher Corey Kluber is on the DL. Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports

It was a so-so week for the Tribe, who had a couple of hard-fought series with the Tigers and Royals, but the defending AL pennant holders managed to remain in control of the AL Central. However, the Indians lost ace Corey Kluber to the disabled list as he battles an injured back. While he has not been as sharp this year as he was a season ago, he is without a doubt one of the most vital parts of the Cleveland attack. Back injuries can be tricky and tough to predict, so the Indians will have to keep their fingers crossed that they won’t have to fight to hang on to the AL Central controls for too long without him.

Detroit Tigers

They emerged from the week with the great gift of regaining Miguel Cabrera after a minimum stay on the disabled list with a groin injury. He rejoined a Detroit team that was in need of a strong showing after dropping five in a row the previous week. The Tigers had just that, pulling in four victories and remaining a very viable contender in the wide-open AL Central.

Houston Astros 

The good times have kept on rolling for the 'Stros, who staked their claim against two AL West rivals in the Rangers and Mike Trout-less Angels this week. They have stretched their lead in the division out to over four games and enter a week that will see them take on the red-hot Yankees in what will be the premier matchup of the week ahead.

Kansas City Royals 

Mercifully, the Royals stopped the skids on their lengthy losing streak at nine games and in turn mixed in a few wins around their losses throughout the week. K.C. enters the week as the only team in the AL Central that is more than two games away from first place, a frustrating outcome for a team that was looking for a last hurrah this year. The Royals have a badly timed stint coming up against AL East teams over the next week and a half, which could complicate hopes for a momentum upswing anytime soon.

Los Angeles Angels


The Los Angeles Angels can't wait to get Mike Trout back on the field. Ray Carlin/USA TODAY Sports

Mike Trout's efforts to reach the lofty goal of putting together his best season to date hit a bump in the road this week, as he battled a hamstring injury that kept the reigning AL MVP out of the lineup over the weekend. Predictably, the Halos hit a downturn as a result, dropping three straight to the Mariners and Astros. The hopes are that he’ll make a Monday return and pick up where he left off, which includes a 17-game hitting streak and keeping the Angels looking over the Houston's shoulder.

Minnesota Twins 

It was a tale of two halves for the Twins. They capitalized on an early week opportunity against the A’s in which they thoroughly put them down to re-engage in the AL Central race. However, they stumbled over the weekend versus the Red Sox and stayed locked in the rest of the pack in the tight race that is taking shape right around the .500 level.

The pairing in the division could stand to get mixed up this week, as the Twins take to the road to face the White Sox and Indians. The Twins have a very clear chance to shake things up… or to fall victim to it.

New York Yankees

As the sun rises on the second week of May, it is time to officially declare that the Yankees are for real. Fueled by the surging presence of Aaron Judge and his MLB-best 13 homers and Starlin Castro, who is surprisingly still leading the AL in batting, the Yanks enter the new week having affirmed themselves with a statement series win over the Cubs. They have scored nearly 20 more runs than any other team in the AL and look to be in great shape headed into a showdown with the Astros next weekend.

Oakland Athletics 

Sonny Gray made his return to the club this week but to little effect thus far. The A’s have not had consecutive victories since April 21-22 and could be facing a turning point run over their next few weeks as they open up a nine-game run against AL West foes. This could be a sign of hope, however, as they built their five-game win streak late in April against both the Mariners and Rangers, who wait ahead over the next 10 days.

Seattle Mariners


Taylor Motter and the Seattle Mariners continue to find ways to win. Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports

The Mariners are triumphing right now against increasingly difficult odds. Since Felix Hernandez went on the disabled list on April 26, they've gone 6-4. Now they will have to dig even deeper, as their top arm on the year, James Paxton, has followed King Felix out of action with a forearm strain.

Luckily enough, they have a fairly light slate coming up, with trips to face the Phillies and Blue Jays, before returning home for the A’s. If there was a time to deal with these type of issues, this is it.

Tampa Bay Rays 

Losing a weekend series against the Blue Jays has to be considered a letdown for the Rays, who opened the week in a strong fashion by winning three of four from their in-state rival Marlins. It continued the trend of stop-and-start play from the team this year, whose longest win streak on the season has been a pair of three-game runs separated by a week in mid-April.

Texas Rangers 

The bad news got worse this week for the Rangers, who have been unable to get anything going for too long. Their top-heavy starting staff took a major hit with Cole Hamels headed the disabled list for what looks to be two months with an oblique strain. Making up a seven-game deficit behind a team playing as well as the Astros without your ace could be mission impossible by the time he returns in July or August.

Toronto Blue Jays 

Things have been looking good finally for the Jays, who finally saw their offense get into gear over the past week. The Jays scored seven or more runs in four games this week and have already won as many games in May as they did in the first two weeks of April.

National League

Arizona Diamondbacks 

Things have been going well for the Diamondbacks of late, as they remain firmly in the mix atop the NL West. And for a harbinger of things to come, Paul Goldschmidt is playing his best ball of the year finally, hitting .389 so far in the month. Considering what they have done thus far without him performing at peak potential, the D’Backs could be in line to take off in the new month.

Atlanta Braves 

Hard times are here again in the ATL, as the Braves failed to bounce back from a win streak that came to a close. For the third time this year, they followed up a four-game-plus win streak with multiple losses. In consecutive losses to the Mets and Cardinals, they were defeated by a line of 26-5. The good news is that after five games or so this year, they have always been able to rally with a substantial win streak, so (in theory) they should have a nice week ahead.

Chicago Cubs

Listen, it's more than just about the record for the Cubs. Sure, they took it on the chin against the Yankees this weekend, but they are showing signs of rounding into their expected form. Kris Bryant has been unconscious of late, picking his average up over .300 with four homers over last 10 days. His heat check is right on time as well, as the Cubs face a week of games in Colorado and St. Louis and need him firing on all cylinders.

Cincinnati Reds


The Cincinnati Reds are back to their winning ways. David Kohl/USA TODAY Sports

After a downturn to end April, the Reds have experienced a revival in the new month, winning six of their first seven to start May. They have pulled back toward the top of the NL Central and brought the week to a close with a pair of statement wins over the Giants, winning those two games by 10 and 11 runs, respectively.

Their resurgence will face an immediate test this week, as they take on the New York Yankees before another engagement with the Giants.

Colorado Rockies

The Rockies’ breakneck run through the early season continued this week, as they took a pair of series from the Padres and their closest competition in the NL West, the Arizona Diamondbacks. What waits ahead is one of the most intriguing early season matchups of the year when they play host to the Chicago Cubs. It will be interesting to see if the Rockies can keep up with a proven, elite team in the NL, as they struggled handling the Nationals when they hosted them a week ago.

Los Angeles Dodgers 

It looked as if the Dodgers were getting ready to go on a major run entering the week, having won six of their last eight entering May. However, they stumbled in dropping two of three against the Giants to open the week. A rebound came in strong fashion against the Phillies over the weekend, as they took three victories home largely in part to the breakout efforts of rookie Cody Bellinger, who is hitting .357 with five home runs throughout his first 11 MLB contests.

Miami Marlins

Miami’s struggles have continued over the last week, and the Marlins have now won only three games in the last two weeks. Perhaps Sunday’s 7-0 shutout over the Mets can be springboard of sorts, especially since Giancarlo Stanton — who hit over 900 feet worth of home runs on Sunday — looks to be rounding into his vintage form.

Milwaukee Brewers


Eric Thames leads a hot Milwaukee Brewers offense. Benny Sieu/USA TODAY Sports

The Brewers still a one-sided proposition capable of putting up big numbers on the board but struggling to keep them off in return. With a pair of reeling offenses ahead in the next week in the Red Sox and Mets, Milwaukee looks to be a great candidate to have a strong seven days to come.

New York Mets 

Murphy’s Law seems to be the law of the land surrounding the Mets right now. Noah Syndergaard’s torn lat will keep him out of action for at the very least six weeks and three months on the long end. With Matt Harvey being pulled out of action suddenly by the club due to a violation of team rules and Yoenis Cespedes continuing to be out of action while nursing a hamstring back to health, the Mets have plummeted from expectations of a postseason run to just trying to tread water in hopes of seeing .500 soon. They could be the most surprising team that turns into sellers on the year.

Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies are opening the new week gasping for air. They have won just once since April 28 and have fallen 8.5 games out in the NL East race. They have a long road trip ahead of them after a brief two-game series with the Mariners, and considering they have only gone 5-11 on the year on the road, they need to find some answers soon.

Pittsburgh Pirates 

With the exception of a 12-run outburst versus the Reds last Tuesday, the Pittsburgh offense has continued to be dormant while trying to find itself sans Starling Marte and David Freese. The Pirates remain the only team in the very eye-to-eye NL Central that carries a negative run differential into the new week.

San Diego Padres


Cory Spangenberg and the Padres are expectedly struggling this season. Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports

The unexpected collapse of the San Francisco Giants is the only thing keeping the Padres from inheriting their expected slot in the cellar of the NL West. They’ll carry a four-game losing streak into the new week, and they’ll face a Texas Rangers team that is reeling and a White Sox team with something to prove (and play for). It will continue to be a grind for the Padres real-time rebuilding effort.

San Francisco Giants 

It seemed as if the Giants may possibly be showing a blip of life early in the week, as they took the fight to their chief rivals in L.A., taking two of three. However, a stark reminder of who they truly are came this weekend, as they fell victim to the red-hot… well… Reds. They spent two games being throttled by double-digit losses before getting shut out Sunday. Maybe an early week rendezvous with the similarly struggling Mets could put them back on track.

St. Louis Cardinals 

It has been nearly three weeks since the Cardinals took on consecutive losses, and they continue to make up space for their incredibly slow start out of the blocks. They wrapped up a sweep of the Braves on Sunday and did so without two-thirds of their starting outfield. Stephen Piscotty is on the disabled list, and Dexter Fowler is still out of action with an injured shoulder. The Cardinals need to soak up as many of their opportunities versus the lower half of the NL East as they can, because the Cubs and Red Sox loom over the horizon.

Washington Nationals 

The Nats' run as the most dominant team in the game is still intact after another week. Ryan Zimmerman still sits atop the NL’s Triple Crown categories, Bryce Harper is still on a tear through opposing pitching and the Nats have scored 30 more runs than any other team in the NL. They now will set their sights on an intriguing early week home and home series against the Baltimore Orioles, who have been nearly as strong as the Nats on the American League side of the business. It will be a great barometer between two of the top teams in the game early on.

Matt Whitener is St. Louis-based writer, radio host and 12-6 curveball enthusiast. He has been covering Major League Baseball since 2010, and dabbles in WWE, NBA and other odd jobs as well. Follow Matt on Twitter at @CheapSeatFan.

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QUIZ: Name every MLB player to hit 30 or more home runs in their rookie season

There have been 26 MLB players that have hit 30 or more dingers in their rookie season. How many can you name?

CLUE: YEAR/TEAM/HR # (* indicates player won Rookie of the Year)

Score:
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Time:
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1987/OAK/49*
Mark McGwire
1956/CIN/38*
Frank Robinson
1930/BSN/38
Wally Berger
2001/STL/37
Albert Pujols
1950/CLE/37
Al Rosen
2014/CWS/36*
Jose Abreu
1993/LAD/35
Mike Piazza
1983/CHW/35*
Ron Kittle
1937/DET/35
Rudy York
1934/CLE/35
Hal Trosky
2007/MIL/34*
Ryan Braun
1950/BOS/34*
Walt Dropo
1986/OAK/33*
Jose Canseco
1971/ATL/33*
Earl Williams
1963/MIN/33
Jimmie Hall
2007/ARZ/32
Chris Young
1987/DET/32
Matt Nokes
1964/MIN/32*
Tony Oliva
1993/CAL/31*
Tim Salmon
1964/SF/31
Jim Ray Hart
1939/BOS/31
Ted Williams
2012/LAA/30*
Mike Trout
1997/BOS/30*
Nomar Garciaparra
1986/TEX/30
Pete Incaviglia
1971/PHI/30
Willie Montanez
1959/WSH/30*
Bob Allison
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