Thursday is typically a travel day in baseball and, as such, there are only 10 games on the day’s abbreviated schedule. One-third of MLB is enjoying an off-day. Here is everything you need to know going into Thursday’s baseball action:
- Marcus Stroman will make his third start with the Mets and look to halt their three-game losing streak. New York is now three games back of the second wild-card spot. The Mets are in Atlanta to face the NL East leading Braves.
- The tight AL Central race continues with the Twins and Indians each opening a four-game series on the road. The Twins get the Rangers in Texas this weekend while the Indians head to New York to take on the Yankees.
- As for the tight NL Central race, the Cardinals and Brewers are idle Thursday, so the Cubs are the only division contender in action. They’ll take on the Phillies again after getting bludgeoned Wednesday night.
Select games can be streamed regionally via fuboTV (Try for free). For more on what channel each game is on, .
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Baseball schedule/scores for Thursday, August 15
Bellinger first to 40
The Dodgers fell to the Marlins on Thursday, but NL MVP frontrunner Cody Bellinger provided some consolation as he became the first to reach 40 home runs for the 2019 season. Here’s the blast of note:
That one went 412 feet, but, hey, we’ll take the over on that measurement. Bellinger came into Thursday tied with Mike Trout and Christian Yelich for the MLB lead in home runs with 39, and now he’s the first to 40. That’s also the 104th home run of Bellinger’s young career.
Speaking of youth, Bellinger becomes just the 26th player in MLB history to have a 40-homer campaign at age 23 or younger (and the first since Bryce Harper in 2015). Bellinger almost cracked that list twice, as he hit 39 home runs in 132 games as a rookie in 2017. As for this season, Bellinger is now batting .317/.416/.664 with 72 walks against 81 strikeouts — an impressive ratio for a power hitter in 2019. Throw in his plus defense and, yes, you’ve got the likely NL MVP on your hands.
Alonso ties NL rookie record for home runs
Here’s Pete Alonso of the Mets — “Petaters” to those in the know — hitting his 39th home run of the season:
As noted that ties the NL record, which Alonso now shares with the above mentioned Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers, who (see above) hit his 39 rookie bombs in 2017. The MLB rookie record belongs to Aaron Judge of the Yankees, who hit 52 also in 2017.
Alonso, the 2019 Home Run Derby champ, is now batting .258/.364/.592 on the season, and that’s his fifth home run in his last nine games. Will he take NL Rookie of the Year honors? It’ll likely come down to Alonso and Fernando Tatis Jr. of the Padres, but if Alonso gets to 50 homers, which he’s on pace to do, then he’ll be tough to out-ballot.
- It’s Thursday, . This week he examines two AL East hitters on the rise and two NL Central hurlers who are trending down.
- . “To be fair to Donnie, it’s something we need to talk about sooner rather than later,” Jeter said.
- The Diamondbacks placed LHP Robbie Ray on the 10-day injured list with a back issue, the team announced. Ray exited Wednesday’s start with back spasms. It’s unclear how long he will be sidelined.
- Yankees RHP Luis Severino (shoulder, lat) threw a 30-pitch bullpen session Thursday, reports MLB.com. He will face hitters in a simulated game this weekend and could begin a minor league rehab assignment soon thereafter.
- Cubs RHP Brandon Morrow threw live batting practice Wednesday, reports the Chicago Tribune. Morrow has been out since last June with a variety of arm injuries. If all goes well, he might be able to return in September.
- Dodgers UTIL Chris Taylor will begin a minor league rehab assignment Thursday, reports the Orange Country Register. He’s been out since a pitch broke his forearm on July 15. Taylor figures to spend about a week in the minors.
- The Phillies claimed RHP Jared Hughes off waivers from the Reds, the team announced. Hughes has a 4.10 ERA in 48 1/3 relief innings this year. RHP Edubray Ramos (shoulder) was transferred to the 60-day injured list in a corresponding move.
- The Mariners placed RHP Brandon Brennan on the 10-day injured list with shoulder inflammation, the team announced. He’s battled shoulder trouble since June. LHP Taylor Guilbeau was called up in a corresponding move.