The Dodgers were getting left for dead earlier this week…and here we are today, with Los Angeles tied with the Cardinals for the second wild card spot in the National League after a 4-3 walkoff win on Saturday against the Cardinals. These two teams are at the top of the race, with the Pirates, Brewers, and Phillies all slagging behind. The Dodgers needed make a stand this weekend against the Cardinals, and they have stepped up so far, winning two out of the three games with the fourth game coming this afternoon. The Dodgers still have a tortorous schedule once the Cardinals leave town, with six games in Washington and Cincinnati before returning to the west coast to end the year.
Game of the Night: Mariners 8, Rangers 6. Seattle jumped all over Texas starter Scott Feldman, scoring six runs over the first three innings and sending him to the showers after just 2 2/3 innings. The Rangers got one in the third, and then went ham on Seattle starter Jason Vargas and reliever Shawn Kelley, scoring five more runs and tying the game at six. But then, Justin Smoak struck against his former team in the eighth and ninth innings. He hit a solo homer in the eighth to make it an 7-6 game, and drove in another run on a single in the ninth. Suddenly, the Texas lead in the AL West is down to two games over the molten hot Oakland Athletics.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Francisco Liriano obliterated his former team in Chicago's 5-3 win over Minnesota, allowing two runs on one hit over seven innings, walking two and striking out nine. Zack Greinke dominated *his* former team in Kansas City, allowing one run on five hits in 8 1/3 innings, walking two and striking out three…but Ernesto Frieri went ahead and ended his night with a loss after allowing a pair of homers in Anaheim's 3-2 loss. Anibal Sanchez threw 6 2/3 no hit innings before having a slight collapse, but still finished Detroit's win over Cleveland by allowing two runs on three hits over those 6 2/3, striking out seven without a walk.
Hitting Lines of the Night: Justin Smoak's night against his former team was sublime: 3/4 with two runs, three RBI, a walk, and a homer. In Atlanta's 5-4 win over Washington, Freddie Freeman went 3/4 with two runs, a double, a triple, and a homer. The Mets fell to the Brewers 9-6, but Ike Davis went 3/4 with two RBI, a walk, a double, and a homer. For Milwaukee, Rickie Weeks went 2/4 with two runs, three RBI, a walk, a double, and a homer. Buster Posey helped the Giants edge the Diamondbacks 3-2, going 3/4 with two RBI, a double, and a homer.
Other Games: The Red Sox staved off elimination for another day with a 3-2 win in Toronto. The Pirates nearly blew another lead, but hung on to beat the Cubs 7-6. The Astros shut out the Phillies 5-0. The Yankees beat the Rays 5-3. The Marlins beat up the Reds 6-4. The A's beat the Orioles 5-2, knocking them out of their first place tie with the Yankees. The Padres edged the Rockies 4-3.
Today's Games: Matt Moore takes on Hiroki Kuroda in the Bronx. Mat Latos will duel with Ricky Nolasco in Miami. Roy Halladay starts for the Phillies in Houston, trying to earn a series split for the Fightins. Dan Haren starts for the Angels in Kansas City. Jake Peavy starts for the White Sox in Minnesota. Adam Wainwright leads the Cardinals against the Dodgers. Dan Straily will go for the A's against veteran Randy Wolf. Gio Gonzalez and the Nationals look to avoid a sweep in Atlanta against Mike Minor and the Braves.
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.