Last November, the Indians picked up Derek Lowe from the Braves for a lower level prospect, with Atlanta picking up $10 million of the $15 million left on Lowe's deal. Well here we are in mid-July this year, and Lowe has been pretty bad for the Indians. But last night in Cleveland's 10-2 loss to the Orioles, Lowe was awful on a whole new level. In three innings, Lowe allowed seven hits, nine runs, five walks, and didn't strike one batter out. For the season, Lowe has a 5.04 ERA, 40 walks, and 39 strikeouts in 110 2/3 innings. Yep…more walks than strikeouts, something that got Jonathan Sanchez shipped out of Kansas City. It's just been a pathetic year for him, and it'll be tough for him to get a job next season after his contract expires.
Game of the Night: Braves 11, Nationals 10 (11 innings).This was one of the craziest games of the year. Washington scored nine runs in the game's first five innings, with eight of those runs being charged to Atlanta starter Tommy Hanson. The Braves were held scoreless through five by Stephen Strasburg. That was about the time I turned the game off. Then…something happened. Atlanta got on the board with four runs in the sixth, with two coming courtesy of a Brian McCann homer and two coming after a Martin Prado double. Atlanta scored four more in the eighth after a Jason Heyward bases loaded walk, a two-run Chipper Jones single, and a Freddie Freeman RBI single. All of a sudden, it was 9-8. Then in the ninth, Nationals closer Tyler Clippard started off rough and ended up allowing a two-run triple that was within inches of being a homer, giving the Braves a 10-9 lead. Atlanta closer Craig Kimbrel, the most untouchable reliever in baseabll, came in to close things out…and promptly allowed a game-tying homer to Danny Espinosa. Flash forward to the eleventh, when new Braves shortstop Paul Janish blooped a ball over Ian Desmond's head to bring in Dan Uggla and give Atlanta an 11-10 lead. Then, of course, Chad Durbin set down the side in order in the bottom of the inning on eight pitches to give the Braves a franchise-record nine run comeback win, and cut the deficit in the NL East to just 2.5 games.
Pitching Lines of the Night: In a 3-1 Reds win over the Brewers, Homer Bailey was fantastic, throwing eight innings of one run ball on six hits, striking out ten without a walk. It looks like Bailey might be finally putting it all together…good news for the Reds. Tom Milone dominated the Yankees in a 3-2 A's walkoff win, throwing seven shutout frames while giving up six hits and striking out ten New York hitters without a walk. Justin Verlander carved up the White Sox in a 4-2 Tigers win, allowing two runs over eight innings on four hits, walking two and striking out six.
Hititng Lines of the Night: In that awful Nationals loss, Ryan Zimmerman went 3/5 with two runs, three RBI, a walk, and a homer, while Michael Morse went 3/6 with two runs, three RBI, and a homer. In a 9-5 Padres win over the Rockies, Yasmani Grandal went 2/4 with two runs, three RBI, a double and a homer. Grandal still hasn't walked in 17 games this year, by the way. Brandon Crawford of the Giants went 2/4 with five RBI and a homer in San Francisco's 7-2 win in Philly. In Baltimore's blowout win over Cleveland, Jim Thome went 3/5 with two runs, a double, and his first homer as an Oriole.
Other Games: The Blue Jays beat the Red Sox 6-1, and Travis Snider doubled and walked in his first game of the year. The Pirates edged the Marlins 4-3, and Andrew McCutchen reached base three times…nothing new there. The Rays beat the Mariners 4-3 in a 14 inning marathon. The Twins beat the Royals 2-1 in 11 innings. The Dodgers jumped on Johan Santana early, and held on to beat the Mets 7-6. The Angels dominated the Rangers in a 6-1 win. The Cardinals jumped on an unscratched Ryan Dempster early in a 4-1 win over the Cubs. The Diamondbacks and Astros put on an offensive show in a 13-8 Arizona win.
Today's Games: Yu Darvish will take on Ervin Santana in the Anaheim area. The Braves and Nationals have a doubleheader, with a Ben Sheets-Edwin Jackson matchup in game one and a Randall Delgado-John Lannan (remember him?) matchup in game two. Chris Sale takes on Rick Porcello in Detroit. Matt Cain and Cole Hamels will duel in the pitching matchup of the day in Philly. Carlos Zambrano takes on AJ Burnett in Pittsburgh. Yovani Gallado starts for the Brewers in Cincinnati. Phil Hughes takes on Jarrod Parker in Oakland.
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.