Because there were no games all week (aside from the All-Star Game, but I digress), this isn't going to be your typical Dugout Digest. I'm not going to go through every game of the season to find the best one…but here are some of the best pitching and hitting performances of the year, and a look at Friday's schedule.
Pitching Lines of the Half-Year: Matt Cain's perfect game against the Astros on June 13th is far and away the best pitching line of the year. While going 27 up and 27 down, Cain struck out 14 hitters, giving him a game score of 101. Cain also had the second best pitched game of the year on April 13th, when he allowed just one hit to the Pirates in a complete game shutout, striking out 11 without a walk. There were two other games this year that tied that 96 game score, and one came a week later when Philip Humber threw a perfect game against the Mariners on April 21st, striking out nine hitters. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention RA Dickey, who threw a complete game one-hit shutout against the Orioles on June 18th, striking out 13 and walking two. That's some good stuff.
Hitting Lines of the Half-Year: This conversation begins with Josh Hamilton's night on May 8th against the Orioles, when he went 5/5 with four homers, a double, four runs, and eight RBI. Joey Votto and Ryan Braun each had excellent three homer games. Votto's came on May 13th against the Nationals, and he went 4/5 with four runs, a double, and six RBI in addition to the three homers. Braun's game came on April 30th against the Padres (in San Diego!), when he went 4/5 with three runs, a triple, and six RBI along with his three homers. Curtis Granderson also had a three homer game on April 19th against the Twins, going 5/5 with three runs and four RBI backing up his three homers.
Today's Games: Alright, coming back from the break, we have a pretty nice schedule of pitching matchups. In fact, I'm just going to throw them in a list instead of putting them in a paragraph.
Angels (CJ Wilson) at Yankees (Hiroki Kuroda)
Tigers (Doug Fister) at Orioles (Jason Hammel)
Cardinals (Adam Wainright) at Reds (Mat Latos)
Indians (Justin Masterson) at Blue Jays (Ricky Romero)
Nationals (Jordan Zimmermann) at Marlins (Josh Johnson)
Pirates (James McDonald) at Brewers (Zack Greinke)
Yeah. That'll do. I didn't even touch on some of the other aces going, like Cliff Lee, Madison Bumgarner, Tim Hudson, Clayton Kershaw, and Francisco Liriano. This will be a great day.
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.