#HIGHFIVE (Week 5) | Four MLBbro Pitchers Dominated This Week

#HIGHFIVE (Week 5) | Four MLBbro Pitchers Dominated This Week

Hunter Greene’s dominance in Arlington this past weekend earns him the top spot on Week 5 of our #HighFive List.  He registered his first win of the season with a one-hit, seven-inning shutout over the reigning World Series champion Texas Rangers to headline a week that was filled with lights out pitching performances from four MLBbros.

 

1. Hunter Greene “Machine”

The Reds are a sleeper team I think can make a similar run to what the Diamondbacks did last year, the only difference being Cincinnati having more depth in their starting rotation.

 

A healthy and locked in Hunter Greene is what is going to get them on that level and I had a front row seat Saturday afternoon to what he can do when he is in his zone.

 

He threw seven shutout innings allowing just one hit and one walk with six strikeouts.

 

 

“Coming in I just wanted to attack,” Green told MLBbro.com

 

“That is a good lineup with guys who know how to play the game, but it was fun.  My teammates behind me made some really great plays and I felt good on the mound, so I am glad we got it done.

 

His next start will come Friday night against Cedric “The Entertainer” Mullins and the Baltimore Orioles.

 

2. “Black Jack” Flaherty

Jack Flaherty got revenge against his former team in the greatest way possible Tuesday afternoon with a career-high 14 strikeouts in 6.2 innings while only allowing two hits and surrendering one walk.

 

Flaherty began the game by striking out seven consecutive hitters which tied an American League record.

 

He is still looking for his first win of the season, but after bringing his strikeout total up to 50, he now leads the American League in that category and is just a few off of the Major League lead.

 

 

Flaherty’s next chance to add to his total will come next Monday night in Cleveland when the Tigers take on Josh Naylor and the Guardians.

 

3. Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts makes his fourth #HighFive appearance in five weeks and is the only position player to make the cut this time around.

 

 

He has been the undisputed best hitter on the planet; leading the Majors in nearly every offensive category and posting a slashing line of .377/.418/1.104 with 25 RBI, six home runs, 29 runs scored and eight steals.

 

 

Betts was given the honor of being named Rob Parker’s Homeboi Highlights for his eight-game hitting streak that came to an end on Monday.

 

4. Jordan Hicks

Jordan Hicks has been the best free agent pitching addition from this off-season after lowering his ERA to 1.59 thanks to start last Saturday against the Pirates.

 

San Francisco Saw Greatness In Jordan Hicks When Everyone Else Saw Risk

 

Hicks, who is in his first year as a full-time starter, struck out a season-high nine batters in six innings and only allowed one run on five hits with no walks.

 

His next start will come Friday night on the road against the Philadelphia Phillies.

 

5. Triston McKenzie “Dr. Stixx”

Triston McKenzie rounds out the #HighFive this week after a solid start in Houston against the Astros.

 

McKenzie threw a season-high seven innings and struck out six while giving up just two earned runs in a pitchers duel against future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander

 

 

“I was a lot more competitive,” McKenzie told reporters after the game.

“It was something I was trying to work through in my first four starts, but it was big for me to give the team a chance to win.”

 

McKenzie now has at least six strikeouts in his last three starts.  He will look to extend that streak to four when he takes the mound Monday in a divisional matchup against the Tigers.

“Baseball Is Weird, Sometimes Things Just Go That Way” | Black Jack Flaherty Moves to Motown

“Baseball Is Weird, Sometimes Things Just Go That Way” | Black Jack Flaherty Moves to Motown

Melananted Mound Marauder Jack Flaherty just inked a one-year, $14M contract with the Detroit Tigers. Flaherty is a savvy veteran that was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the first round with the 34th overall pick in the 2014 MLB draft.

Flaherty is a capable starter, who has had flashes of brilliance throughout an injury-ridden career. Injuries and inconsistency, more than anything, has stopped his rise.

Early Years 

Flaherty started the 2017 season with the Springfield Cardinals, the Double A team of the St Louis Cardinals. In the same year, Flaherty was promoted to the Memphis Redbirds, with a 7-2 record with a 2.74 ERA in 15 starts. The gritty hurler earned 2017 Minor League Player of the Year.  

Flaherty finally made his debut in the MLB on September 1, 2017, against the San Francisco Giants. 

Jack Flaherty Becomes A Rising MLB Star  

He won his first game in 2018 and had his best pro season in 2019, earning All-MLB Second Team honors and breaking through as a potential Black Ace of the future. 

 

 

Flaherty did so well that season as a Cardinal that he was nominated for his first ever Golden Glove and finished fourth in voting for the National League Cy Young Award. 

 

Coming off an elite 2019 campaign, the future was bright for “Black Jack,” who was hoping to continue the moment going into 2020, but the COVID shortened season threw off his plans. He only started in nine games with a record of 4-3 with 49 strikeouts.

Injury & Adversity

Then the 2021 and 2022 season combined he made just 26 appearances with 20 starts. In 2021, Flaherty was on his way to a potential 20-win season, before getting hurt and finishing with a sterling 9-2 record.  

 

 

Flaherty faced more adversity this past season after signing a one-year deal with the St Louis Cardinals for $5.4 million. Flaherty never got in his zone and was moved during the trade deadline to the surging Baltimore Orioles for César Prieto, Drew Rom, and Zack Showalter.

There were some ups and downs in 2023 for Flaherty.

He had elite moments like winning his Orioles debut with a 6–1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. But on the other hand, there were some bad moments like allowing 7 home runs in 7 games.

Black Jack Flaherty Is Second Player In Baltimore Orioles History To Retire At Least 15 Consecutive Batters In His Debut

 

“Baseball is weird, sometimes things just go that way. No matter what you do.” Flaherty to MLBbro.com

 

Despite the up and down season, an optimistic Detroit Tigers franchise is hoping Flaherty can turn the clock back to his All-MLB form. The Tigers finished second place in the AL Central last season. This is an opportunity for Flaherty to get his career back on track and help Detroit make a long-awaited postseason run. 

 

 

Cedric Mullins, Aaron Hicks & Jack Flaherty Are About To Lock Down Baltimore Orioles First Division Title Since 2014

Cedric Mullins, Aaron Hicks & Jack Flaherty Are About To Lock Down Baltimore Orioles First Division Title Since 2014

The last time the Orioles hoisted the division title, they had just two MLBbros, Adam Jones and Delmon Young, on their American League Division Series roster. 

 

Adam Jones To Cedric Mullins | The Bros Are Carrying On Tradition In Baltimore With 2023 World Series Dreams

 

 

Fast forward nine years, and the Orioles now boast three black faces in the form of Cedric Mullins, Aaron Hicks, and Jack Flaherty and after defeating the Nationals 5-1 on Wednesday night, they can clinch the AL East division for the first time since 2014 with a win on Thursday. 

 

“I’m extremely impressed by the grit of our team, how tough they are, how we continue to battle,” manager Brandon Hyde said.

 

As the Orioles set their sights on the division and ultimately reaching the World Series for the first time since 1983, these three MLBbros will undoubtedly be at the forefront of their efforts. However, their success will hinge on their ability to elevate their performance when it matters most.

 

“The attitude for each of us is that we’re going to be the ones to [get the job done],” Mullins said. “If not us, we know we’re passing it to the next guy, and that’s how the clubhouse scene has been. Just having faith in each other and trust in each other that we’re going to get it done.”

 

Cedric “CM Storm” Mullins 

 

Mullins, the defensive linchpin of the team as the center fielder and a seasoned veteran who has battled through injuries, faces a pressing challenge. He has struggled at the plate recently, managing just one hit in his last 20 at-bats. Mullins’s defensive prowess will remain crucial, but his offensive contributions will be vital in propelling the Orioles deep into the playoffs.

 

“He’s a top-tier center fielder, one of the best in the league,” right-hander Kyle Bradish said. “Whenever he’s out there, the ball goes up, you think he’s going to get there.”

 

“Black” Jack Flaherty 

 

Flaherty, acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals at the trade deadline, has had a rough transition to the Orioles. With a 1-3 record and a 6.68 ERA over eight games (including seven starts) and 33 and two-thirds innings pitched, Flaherty is determined to find his groove. The opposition has hit .308 against him during this span. Baltimore is counting on Flaherty’s talent to shine through as he adapts to his new surroundings and steps up in critical postseason moments.

 

“It’s been a lot of, ‘Do what you do,’ and, ‘Pitch the way you know how to pitch, and things will go well,’” Flaherty said of the message he’s received in Baltimore. “So that’s a good feeling to have when things kind of haven’t worked out.”

 

Aaron “The Avenger” Hicks

 

Hicks, who found himself cut loose by the Yankees earlier this season, has experienced a resurgence since returning from the injured list. In September, he boasts an impressive .351 batting average with 11 RBIs. However, he must maintain his productivity when the playoff spotlight shines brightest in October.

 

“We don’t have a ton of older veteran presence in our lineup, and so I was hoping that he could come here and just maybe play easy and play like he has nothing to lose, and he did that,” Hyde said.

 

The Orioles’ resurgence is a testament to their rebuilding efforts, especially their potent farm system that built a team capable of making a deep playoff run. But for Mullins, Hicks, and Flaherty, the limelight may shine brighter with a fanbase yearning for representation of the area to succeed. 

 

Only one of Charm City’s top 30 prospects, Enrique Bradfield Jr., is an MLBbro. This makes it imperative for the trio to showcase their abilities on the postseason stage. In doing so, they not only contribute to their playoff aspirations but also ensure that the pipeline of talent continues to grow in marginalized communities and the culturally rich city of Baltimore.