In yesterday’s DD, I talked about how Dan Haren of the Angels had problems getting wins. Well, looking over the box scores today, I noticed that was true for another top MLB starter…Cliff Lee of the Phillies. In six starts this year, Lee is 0-2, and the Phillies are just 1-5. This however, isn’t Lee’s fault. He has a 2.66 ERA on the year, and has struck out 40 (while walking just five) in 44 innings. The issue once again comes down to run support. The Phillies have scored more than two runs in just two of his six starts. Lee pretty much has to be dominant in order to get a win. Yesterday, he allowed five in seven innings against the Red Sox. That’s not good enough when your offense is only putting one run on the board like they did yesterday.
Game of the Day: Padres 3, Angels 2 (13 innings). This game was wacky, and when it ended in the 13th, Albert Pujols was at third base, Howard Kendrick was in left field, Maicer Izturis was at second base, and Bobby Wilson was at first base. Hell, Dan Haren pinch hit! Lord. At the end of the day, Kendrick’s antics in left field ended up costing the Angels the game, as he misplayed a Will Venable single that led to pinch hitter Clayton Richard scoring. That’s Clayton Richard, the pitcher.
Pitching Line of the Day: Colby Lewis of the Rangers had a great start against the Astros, allowing one run over eight innings on four hits and one walk, striking out six in the process. Max Scherzer of the Tigers had a dominant outing versus the Pirates, striking out 15 over seven innings while giving up four hits, two runs, and a walk. Tim Hudson and Jake Peavy also threw shutouts for their teams, with Hudson going 7 2/3 against the Rays, and Peavy going 6 1/3 against the Cubs.
Hitting Line of the Day: Jonathan Lucroy of the Brewers had a fantastic game, and is having an unreal season. In Milwaukee’s thrashing of the Twins, Lucroy went 3/5 with three runs, seven RBI, and two homers. He’s got a .939 OPS on the season. Lucroy’s teammate, reigning NL MVP Ryan Braun, was also dominant, going 3/4 with two runs, four RBI, and two doubles. Another Brewer, Corey Hart, went off as well, going 3/5 with three runs, two RBI, and a homer. In non-Brewers action, Ryan Ludwick of the Reds went 3/5 with a run, three RBI, a double, and a homer.
Spotlight Series: The Braves took the series in Tampa, the first road team to win a series at Tropicana Field all year, via a 2-0 win. The Rays only had one extra base hit on the day (a double by Sean Rodriguez), and just couldn’t get anything going against Tim Hudson. The Braves got their first run in the third on a solo homer by backup catcher David Ross, while they added their second on a Jason Heyward single in the sixth. Martin Prado had a pair of singles for the Braves, and Dan Uggla walked twice. For the Rays, BJ Upton had a pair of singles, wihle Matt Joyce walked twice and was hit by a pitch a day after a big grand slam. Rays starter David Price nearly matched Hudson’s start, allowing two runs (one earned) over seven on six hits and three walks, while tallying seven strikeouts on the day.
Other Games: The Dodgers used four late runs to beat the Cardinals 6-5, and sweep the series. The Marlins stopped the red hot Derek Lowe, and earned a 5-3 win over the Indians. The Red Sox shut down the Phillies 5-1. The Tigers edged the Pirates 4-3. The Nationals salvaged a game from the Beltway Series, beating the Orioles 9-3. The Reds beat the Yankees 5-2. The Rangers beat up the Astros 6-1. The Mets edged the Blue Jays 6-5. The Brewers crushed the Twins 16-4. The White Sox shut out the Cubs 6-0. Wade Miley shut down the Royals in a 2-0 win. The Mariners swept the Rockies after a 6-4 win. The A’s beat Tim Lincecum and the Giants 6-2.
Today’s Games: Felipe Paulino starts for the Royals in New York against the Yankees. Gio Gonzalez will start for the Nationals in Philly. Kyle Drabek vs Jeremy Hellickson is a solid matchup in Tampa Bay. Johan Santana versus Erik Bedard is as good of a matchup in 2012 as it was in 2009. Yu Darvish vs Felix Hernandez is far and away the game of the night. Matt Garza takes on Bud Norris in a solid duel. Madison Bumgarner will start for the Giants in Milwaukee.
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.