Josh Hamilton is a house of fire right now. He homered two more times last night against the Angels in a three hit game, and now has 17 homers on the season. He has nine homers this week. Again: nine homers this week, a five day period. Let me put it this way: in the last week, Hamilton has more homers than every player in baseball aside from the top nine. It’s May 12th, and he’s already at 3.1 fWAR. Yeah….this is going to be a special season for Josh if he stays healthy.
Game of the Night: Brewers 8, Cubs 7 (13 innings). The Brewers took an early 1-0 lead on a run-scoring double play (ew), and the lead held until the seventh, when David DeJesus hit a grand slam to give the Cubs a 4-1 lead. That lead wouldn’t last long, as in the bottom half of the inning, the Brewers got four of their own. Aramis Ramirez drove in one on a double, and Jonathan Lucroy doubled with the bases loaded to clear the bases, and that made it a 5-4 game. In the ninth, with Brewers closer John Axford attempting to close things out, they didn’t go as planned. The inning consisted of an error, two wild pitches, three strikeouts, and only two outs. After all was said and done, Axford allowed three runs on just two hits in the inning, and the Brewers trailed 7-5. New Cubs closer Rafael Dolis came in to close the game out…and he allowed a game-tying two run homer to Corey Hart. The game would remain that way until the 13th, when Hart struck again, singling with the bases loaded to give the Brewers a wild 8-7 win.
Pitching Line of the Night: It was a hard-luck game for James McDonald of the Pirates. He went eight innings, and allowed one run (on a double play) on four hits, two walks, and eight strikeouts. He got the loss, because the Pirates offense couldn’t solve Bud Norris and the Astros bullpen. Norris threw six shutout innings, allowing three hits without a walk and eight strikeouts. Gavin Floyd also had a good outing for the White Sox against the woeful Royals, throwing 7 2/3 scoreless on five hits, two walks, and five strikeouts.
Hitting Line of the Night: Josh Reddick has been everything that the A’s expected, plus more. Last night, he went 4/4 with four runs, five RBI, two homers, and a stolen base. He’s got an .897 OPS for the A’s this season as their every day right fielder. In a losing effort for the Cardinals, Carlos Beltran finished just a single shy of the cycle, but ended up finishing 4/5 with two runs, four RBI, a walk, and two homers. He’s been a worthy replacement for Albert Pujols this season in St Louis. Oh, and the full line on Josh Hamilton: 3/4, three runs, two RBI, two homers, and a walk. That’s efficient.
Spotlight Series: The Braves and Cardinals battled to the death in St Louis, with Atlanta ultimately prevailing. The Braves scored a pair in the first inning on wild pitches by Jaime Garcia, and the Cardinals would get one back in the second on a Matt Carpenter homer. The Braves would score three in the third on doubles by Brian McCann and Tyler Pastornicky, with a single from Chipper Jones in the mix as well. St Louis would quickly strike back and take the lead over the middle innings, courtesy of back to back solo homers by Beltran and Allen Craig in the fourth, an RBI double by Matt Holliday in the fifth, and a two-run triple by Beltran following Holliday’s double. Dan Uggla would tie things up in the seventh with a bomb of a homer off of Mark Rzepczynski, and the Braves took the lead on an infield single by Freddie Freeman. Beltran struck again in the bottom of the eighth, on a rare homer off of Braves reliever Jonny Venters. The Cardinals threatened off of Livan Hernandez in the tenth and the eleventh, but left empty-handed. Then in the 12th, Jason Heyward hit a two run homer to give the Braves a lead that Craig Kimbrel protected to end the game.
Other Games: Nick Johnson led the Orioles to a shocking 4-3 win over the Rays. The offense showed up in Philly, and the Phillies knocked off the Padres 7-3. The Yankees beat up on Felix Hernandez, and beat the Mariners 6-2. The Astros shut out the Pirates 1-0. Clay Buchholz and Ubaldo Jimenez were both lousy, but the Red Sox beat the Indians 7-5. The Nationals struck early on the Reds, and prevailed 7-3. The Rangers beat the hell out of the Angels 10-3. Frank Francisco blew a save for the Mets, as the Marlins walked off with a 6-5 win. The White Sox shut out the Royals 5-0 behind Adam Dunn, and Floyd’s great start. The Twins crept to within one win of double digits after a 7-6 victory over the Blue Jays. The A’s beat the hell out of the Tigers 10-4. Pat Corbin outdueled Madison Bumgarner in a 5-1 Diamondbacks victory over the Giants. Three homers and Chris Capuano led the Dodgers to a 7-3 win over the Rockies.
Today’s Games: After getting rained on last night, CJ Wilson gives it another go for the Angels in Texas. Disappointing young starters will go at it in Baltimore, with Matt Moore taking on Brian Matusz. Roy Halladay will go for the Phillies, against Edinson Volquez of the Padres. The Chris Sale bungee cord continues to bounce, and he’ll be starting today against the Royals. Jordan Zimmermann and Mat Latos is a great looking matchup in Cincinnati. Brandon Beachy will take on the struggling Adam Wainwright in St Louis. Doug Fister and Brandon McCarthy will go at it in Oakland. Matt Cain and Trevor Cahill is another good-looking duel in Arizona.
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.