With the Rockies in the first half of this season, Jeremy Guthrie was beyond awful. I don't even need to rattle the stats off. They were *bad*. But since a trade to the Royals last month, Guthrie has been…dare I say…pretty damn good. In his six starts with Kansas City, Guthrie has a 3.23 ERA, 31 strikeouts, and just eight walks in 39 innings. After getting rocked in his first two starts, allowing 11 runs in 10 2/3 innings against the Twins and Mariners, Guthrie has been even better. In 28 2/3 innings, Guthrie's ERA is just 0.94, and he's struck out 23 while walking five, including a 7 2/3 inning, two unearned run performance yesterday in a 5-2 Royals win over the White Sox. That's a pretty good return for the Royals, who dealt just the struggling Jonathan Sanchez to the Rockies for Guthrie.
Game of the Day: Pirates 6, Cardinals 3 (19 innings). This game was insane. It saw the Cardinals empty their entire bullpen, and the Pirates nearly empty their entire bullpen *and* dip into the rotation. Two pitchers, James McDonald and Adam Wainwright, were used as pinch hitters. Hell, each team used 22 of the 25 men on their rosters. It was just nutty. But how did we get here? Well….there wasn't a lot of drama in the first nine innings. The Cardinals got two runs on a Carlos Beltran double to take a 2-0 lead in the fourth, and the Pirates tied it up with two of their own in the sixth. Then, scoring stopped for the next ten innings until the Pirates took the lead in the 17th on a Garrett Jones RBI infield single. Of course…Juan Cruz blew the save, allowing a sac fly to backup catcher Tony Cruz. Pittsburgh didn't wait ten innings to score again, plating one in the 19th on a Pedro Alvarez solo homer and two on an Andrew McCutchen single. Wandy Rodriguez got a 1-2-3 bottom of the inning to earn his first win as a Pirate…and it came as a reliever. Good god.
Pitching Lines of the Day: Kyle Kendrick dominated the Brewers in an 8-0 Phillies win, throwing eight scoreless frames and allowing three hits, one walk, and tallying seven strikeouts on the day. In that marathon game in St Louis, Jaime Garcia of the Cardinals allowed just two unearned runs on five hits over eight innings in his first start in two and half months, striking out ten without a walk. Matt Harrison carved up the Blue Jays in an 11-2 Rangers win, allowing two runs on two hits in eight innings, walking one and striking out seven. Hiroki Kuroda dominated the Red Sox in a 4-1 Blue Jays win, allowing one run on four hits in eight innings, striking out four without a walk.
Hitting Lines of the Day: The Diamondbacks crushed the Astros 8-1, and Aaron Hill went 3/4 with three runs, a double, a stolen base, and a pair of solo homers. The ultra classy Michael Young showed up in Texas' win in Toronto, going 3/5 with two runs, five RBI, a double, and his fourth homer of the year. Ichiro Suzuki continued to produce with the Yankees, going 3/4 with a pair of solo homers.
Other Games: The Orioles beat the Tigers 7-5 to stay in the wild card lead…bizarro world continues. Chad Billingsley and the Dodgers shut down the Braves, winning 5-0. The Reds walked off on the Cubs 5-4. The Rays beat up Zack Greinke and the Angels, completing a four game sweep with an 8-3 win. The Nationals and Gio Gonzalez beat the Mets 5-2. Jarrod Parker and the A's shut out the Indians 7-0. The Mariners beat the Twins 5-1. The Rockies finally silenced Giancarlo Stanton's bat, beating the Marlins 3-2. The Padres roughed up Ryan Vogelsong and topped the Giants 7-1.
Today's Games: The big NL East series starts tomorrow: Braves at Nationals. Tim Hudson and Jordan Zimmermann will duel in game one. Mike Leake and the Reds travel to Philly to take on Roy Halladay and the Phillies. RA Dickey and the Mets host the Rockies. Brandon McCarthy will look for his Oakland offense to give him some run support as they host the Twins. Mark Buerhle will start for the Marlins in Phoenix against the Diamondbacks. There's also a battle for NL West supremacy between the Giants and Dodgers, with Madison Bumgarner taking on Clayton Kershaw on Monday night.
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.