After RA Dickey vaulted into the presumptive lead of the NL Cy Young voting on Thursday, one of his top competitors had an answer for that start. Johnny Cueto of the Reds, threw eight shutout innings in a 3-0 Cincinnati win over the Cubs. Cueto allowed just three hits and two walks, striking out three Chicago hitters in the process. Cueto's ERA for the year is down to 2.45, the third best mark in the NL and still ahead of Dickey. However, the strikeouts are a category where Cueto remains inferior to the knuckleballer. This race is going to be crazy down the stretch.
Game ot the Day: Phillies 8, Cardinals 7 (11 innings). The Phillies gained a slight bit of revenge with this series win against St Louis, the team that knocked them out of the playoffs last October at Citizens Bank Park. A first inning Matt Carpenter double gave the Cardinals a 1-0 lead, but the Phillies answered with three of their own. The Cardinals got three in the third and fourth to retake the lead 4-3, but it didn't last long after a solo homer by Ryan Howard in the bottom of the fourth. The scoring ceased until the eighth, when the Cardinals got three on a two-run double by Jon Jay and an RBI single from Carpenter. Of course, they blew that lead in quick fashion after Mitchell Boggs allowed a three-run homer to Erik Kratz. The game went into extras, and in the 11th, the Phillies got the win after Juan Pierre beat out an infield single to bring in Jimmy Rollins.
Pitching Lines of the Day: Aside from Cueto's great start, there wasn't a lot of great pitching yesterday. In a 5-0 Dodgers win over the Marlins, Chris Capuano threw eight shutout innings, allowing two hits, three walks, and tallying ten strikeouts. Jon Lester of the Red Sox only threw six innings in a 14-1 blowout win over the Indians, but allowed only one run on three hits, walking two and striking out 12.
Hitting Lines of the Day: In an 11-5 comeback with for the Pirates over the Padres, Neil Walker went 5/5 with two runs, two RBI, a walk, a double, and a homer. The Mariners beat the Angels 4-1, and Jesus Montero went 2/4 with two homers and three RBI. Edwin Encarnacion led the Blue Jays to a 10-7 win against the Yankees by going 3/4 with two runs, two RBI, a walk, a double, and his 30th homer of the year. In that blowout win for Boston over Cleveland, Adrian Gonzalez went 2/3 with two runs, four RBI, a walk, a double, and a homer, while Carl Crawford went 3/4 with two runs, three RBI, and three doubles.
Other Games: Rookie Manny Machado hit his third homer of the year in Baltimore's 5-3 win over Kansas City. Chris Sale struck out 11 in a 7-3 White Sox win over Oakland. The Brewers finally managed to beat the Astros, winning 5-3. The Rays beat the Twins 7-3 in ten innings, and are 6-0 since Evan Longoria came off the DL. The Giants rallied late in a 9-6 win over the Rockies. The Rangers pounded the Tigers 8-3. The Diamondbacks finally cooled of the Nationals by winning 7-4, but the Braves couldn't capitalize, losing 6-5 to the Mets despite a ninth inning rally.
Today's Games: Ryan Dempster starts for the Rangers in New York. Jake Peavy and the White Sox travel to Toronto. Anibal Sanchez looks to get back on the winning track as the Tigers take on the Twins. Cole Hamels starts for the Phillies in Miami. CJ Wilson and the Angels host the shellshocked Indians. Impressive Brewers rookie Mike Fierss starts in Denver. Gio Gonzalez and the Nationals travel to the Bay Area to take on Ryan Vogelsong and the Giants.
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.