Kris Medlen is awesome, and there's no denying it anymore. In Atlanta's 3-0 win on Wednesday, Medlen was once again dominant for the Braves. Atlanta won their 21st straight game started by Medlen, one shy of the MLB record of 22 held by Whitey Ford's Yankees and Carl Hubbell's Giants. The Braves are sitting pretty in the NL wild card race, and are just five games back of the Nationals in the NL East after Washington split a doubleheader with the Dodgers. This one might just not be over yet…
Game of the Night: Dodgers 7, Nationals 6 (game two). The Dodgers nearly got a fatal blow in the wild card race, but managed to pull this game out from the fire. LA led 6-0 going into the eighth inning, with Josh Beckett on the hill and not getting into much trouble. Then, like clockwork, he allowed the first three batters to reach, with two of them homering, to make it a 6-3 game. He ceded to Randy Choate, who allowed a pair of singles to make it 6-4. Ronald Belisario replaced Choate and allowed a two-run single to Michael Morse to knot the game at six. That didn't last long however, as Nationals closer Tyler Clippard allowed a solo homer to Matt Kemp to lead off the ninth, putting the Dodgers back in front. Brandon League set Washington down in order, and that ended a game that was too close for comfort for the Dodgers.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Medlen's final line was outstanding as usual: eight shutout innings, four hits, one walk, and six strikeouts. Yowza. Matt Harvey of the Mets was dominant, allowing a solo homer to Jimmy Rollins to lead off the game, and then throwing seven no hit innings, walking three and striking out seven in New York's 3-2, bullpen-caused defeat to the Phillies. Matt Cain diced the Rockies in a 7-1 Giants win, allowing one run on four hits over eight innings, walking four and striking out eight. Marco Estrada stayed strong for the Brewers in a 3-1 victory over the Pirates, allowing three hits in seven shutout innings, walking one and striking out four. Felix Hernandez bounced back for the Mariners, allowing just one run on six hits over eight, walking one and striking out eight…but, his offense gave him no support, and the Mariners lost 3-1 to the Orioles in 11 innings.
Hitting Lines of the Night: Josh Willingham rocked it for the Twins in their 6-4 win in Cleveland, going 4/5 with a homer and four RBI. Pablo Sandoval gave Cain all the offense he needed, going 3/5 with two runs, three RBI, a homer, and his first steal of the year. Jeff Keppinger powered a lagging Rays offense in a 13-3 rout of the Red Sox, going 3/4 with two runs, two RBI, and his seventh homer of the year. Matt Kemp snapped out of his funk a little in the nightcap in Washington by going 2/4 with three runs, two RBI, a walk, and a homer. Finally, Ichiro Suzuki's performance in the Yankees' doubleheader sweep over the Blue Jays was astounding: he combined to go 7/8 with two runs, two doubles, an RBI, and four stolen bases. Never change.
Other Games: The Tigers beat the A's 6-2 to pick up a game in the White Sox in the AL Central, who fell 3-0 to the Royals. The Nationals beat the Dodgers 3-1 in the first game of that doubleheader. The Reds beat the Cubs 6-5 in 11 to win their 90th game of the year. The Rangers beat CJ Wilson and the Angels 6-2, even without Adrian Beltra and Josh Hamilton. The Cardinals shut out the Astros 5-0 to stay ahead in the NL wild card race. The Diamondbacks got back up to .500 after a 6-2 victory over the Padres.
Today's Games: Eight day games today. Nice. Tommy Milone takes on Anibal Sanchez in Detroit. Cy Young hopeful Johnny Cueto starts for the Reds in Chicago. Jorge de la Rosa makes his season debut for the Rockies in San Francisco. Clay Buchholz takes on David Price in Tampa. Mike Fiers and Wandy Rodriguez will battle in Pittsburgh, and a loss puts the Pirates (gulp) under .500. Francisco Liriano and the White Sox take on Jeremy Guthrie and the Royals. Yu Darvish takes on Zack Greinke in Anaheim.
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.