Craig Kimbrel's standing among relievers in baseball is either 1 or 1A. He had only blown two saves this year going into last night's game with the Phillies, and hadn't allowed a run in since July 20th. Kimbrel also had allowed just three hits in the entire month of August. With the Braves leading 5-4 going into the ninth, a win over the Phillies looked like a near certainty. Of course, Erik Kratz homered on an 0-2 pitch to tie the game and send Kimbrel to just his third blown save of the year. The Braves went down quietly in the ninth, and the Phillies took the lead in the tenth after a three run homer by John Mayberry Jr. Jonathan Papelbon set the Braves down in order in the tenth, and Atlanta took the lost in an extremely winnable game down the stretch.
Game of the Night: Tigers 7, White Sox 4. Detroit needs to take this series against the AL Central leaders, and Friday's win was a great step in that direction. The teams traded runs early on, with the Tigers taking a 4-3 lead in the fourth on a Jhonny Peralta solo homer. Chicago tied it in the sixth after a Paul Konerko sacrifice fly, but it game unglued for them just an inning and a half later. Jake Peavy started the inning, and was pulled after walking the first batter and allowing a hit to the second. Robin Ventura brought in Matt Thornton, who promptly hit Prince Fielder to load the bases for Delmon Young…who actually delievered by hitting a bases clearing double. The White Sox didn't get another hit over the final two innings, and that sealed the deal for the Tigers.
Pitching Lines of the Night: The Nationals blasted the Cardinals 10-0 and Gio Gonzalez threw a complete game shutout, allowing five hits, three walks, and notching eight strikeouts. RA Dickey had the exact same statline in the Mets 3-0 win over the Marlins, minus one strikeout. Miguel Gonzalez threw seven shutout innings for the Orioles in their 6-1 win against the Yankees, allowing four hits, one walk, and punching out nine.
Hitting Lines of the Night: Jayson Werth, leadoff hitter, went 3/3 with three runs, two walks, an RBI, and a double in Washington's blowout win. Mark Reynolds powered the Orioles offense by going 2/4 with three RBI and a pair of homers in their win in the Bronx. The Brewers smashed the Pirates 9-3, and Aramis Ramirez went 3/4 with two runs, four RBI, and a homer. Miguel Cabrera went 3/4 with two runs, two RBI, a double, and a homer in Detroit's big win over Chicago. Adrian Beltre stayed hot in a 5-3 Rangers win in Cleveland, going 4/5 with two runs, an RBI, and a pair of doubles. The A's slaughtered the Red Sox 20-2. Brandon Mos went 4/5 with four runs, four RBI, two doubles, and a homer, George Kottaras went 3/5 with three runs, five RBI, and a pair of homers, and Josh Reddick went 2/5 with two runs, four RBI, a double, and a homer.
Other Games: The Cubs beat the Giants 6-4, beating Madison Bumgarner in the process. The Astros were officially eliminated from the playoffs this year (before the beginning of September!), falling 9-3 to the Reds. The Blue Jays edged the Rays 2-1, with the game ending with a Moises Sierra laserbeam to home plate to nail Eliot Johnson, trying to score on a Carlos Pena single. The Padres edged the Rockies 5-4 despite three homers from Colorado.
Today's Games: The Orioles are just two games out of first place, and will send Wei-Yin Chen to the hill to take on Freddy Garcia of the Yankees. Tim Lincecum starts for the Giants in Chicago. Cliff Lee takes on Tim Hudson in Atlanta. Ervin Santana takes on (gulp) Felix Hernandez in Seattle. Kyle Lohse looks to stop the Cardinals losing streak against Jordan Zimmermann in DC. AJ Burnett starts for the Pirates in Milwaukee. Francisco Liriano and Max Scherzer duel for the White Sox and Tigers. Josh Johnson continues his disappointing season for the Marlins against the Mets. Tyler Skaggs takes on Josh Beckett in Los Angeles.
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.