I'm sure we're all in agreement at this point in time that Rockies manager Jim Tracy is the worst, right? We here at TOC can't say nearly enough awful things about his new method of handling the Rockies rotation, and last night, pretty much the worst case scenario erupted for the Rockies. Starter Christian Friedrich had completed five innings and thrown 74 pitches, allowing just one run while striking out five without a walk. Pretty good game, right? Well, that fifth inning was Friedrich's last inning of work due to Tracy's incredulous new method of pulling starters after 75 pitches. After Friedrich left, Jeremy Guthrie came in. Guthrie was coming off of a relief outing on Wednesday against the Nationals where he got absolutely blasted, and what happened last night? Yup…he got blasted again. Three runs in two innings, including a pair of homers, and that pretty much sabotaged the Rockies' chances of winning, as they'd go on to lose the game 8-4. The funny thing about Guthrie is that he might actually be able to help out a contender this month. The man has a 3.89 ERA away from Coors Field this season, which isn't all that bad if you completely ignore the peripherals. At Coors though? HIS ERA IS 9.19. Talk about not being a good fit for the environment…
Game of the Night: Mariners 3, Red Sox 2 (11 innings). This was a solid little game for the Mariners, even if starter Erasmo Ramirez left after just 2 2/3 innings. It turned into a bullpen game for Seattle, and none of their relievers pitched that badly. The Mariners offense struck first in the sixth off of Josh Beckett, plating a pair of runs on a John Jaso double. The Red Sox tied it in the seventh, scoring one run on a Ryan Kalish RBI fielder's choice, and one run on a Miguel Olivo passed ball. The game went into extras, and in the 11th, Chone Figgins hit a sac fly to bring in Dustin Ackley off of Red Sox closer Alfredo Aceves, in his third inning of work. Tough loss for Boston, and a (dare I say it) gritty win for the Mariners.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Mat Latos threw a complete game for the Reds in their 2-1 win over the Giants, allowing one run on two hits while striking out seven without a walk. Hiroki Kuroda threw seven shutout innings for the Yankees in their 4-0 win over the White Sox, allowing three hits while striking out 11 and walking just one. Johan Santana continued his rebound season for the Mets in their 5-0 win over the Dodgers, throwing eight shutout frames and allowing three hits, two walks, and three strikeouts. Michael Fiers of the Brewers was brilliant in Milwaukee's 10-2 win over Arizona, throwing six shutout innings and giving up two hits, three walks, and ten strikeouts.
Hitting Lines of the Night: Shin-Soo Choo of the Indians erupted in Cleveland's 11-5 win over the Orioles, going 4/5 with four runs scored, three RBI, a walk, and his eighth homer of the year. Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie led his team to an 11-2 laugher over the Angels, going 3/4 with three runs, three RBI, a double, and a homer. Alexi Amarista and Yasmani Grandal of the Padres each hit a pair of homers in their 8-4 win over the Rockies, with Amarista driving in four runs and Grandal driving in three.
Other Games: Pedro Alvarez hit a grand slam, and the Pirates beat the Cardinals again, winning 7-4. Stephen Strasburg left the game early in Atlanta due to issues with the heat, and the Braves prevailed 7-5. The Twins clubbed the Royals 7-2 in game one of their doubleheader, and won the second game 5-1. The Cubs beat the Astros 3-2, and Anthony Rizzo hit his first homer with his new club. The Marlins edged the Phillies 3-2. The Rangers used a five run fifth to beat the A's 7-2. Jeremy Hellickson left early for the Rays, and they fell to Rick Porcello and the TIgers 6-2.
Today's Games: Justin Masterson takes on Brian Matusz in Baltimore. Gio Gonzalez and Tim Hudson will duel in Atlanta. Erik Bedard takes on Jake Westbrook in St Louis as the Pirates look for a sweep. CJ Wilson will start in Toronto for the Angels. Ryan Vogelsong starts for the Giants against the Reds. Yu Darvish will start as the Rangers host the A's. Clayton Kershaw starts at home for the offensively challenged Dodgers against the Mets.
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.