If you're not a diehard baseball fan, you might not know the name Brandon Moss. He was originally drafted by the Red Sox, and traded to the Pirates in the infamous Manny Ramirez/Jason Bay deal. Moss had a mediocre 2009 with the Pirates, and played in just 22 games in the majors over the next two years with the Pirates and Phillies. The A's signed him as a minor league free agent this offseason, and they called him up last week. Since his callup, Moss has played in nine games for the A's, and has a 1.310 OPS thanks to six homers. He's got nine hits on the season, and six have left the yard, the last of which came tonight in the A's 10-2 drubbing of the Padres.. Moss's peripherals are hilarious. He has a 31.3% strikeout rate, just a .214 BABIP…and yet, an OPS that would make Josh Hamilton blush. But the thing is, when over 40% of the flyballs you hit leave the yard….there's something interesting happening here. His success is absolutely not sustainable. Hell, his line drive rate is hovering around the 5% mark, which is the worst I can remember seeing. Moral of the story? Baseball is awesome.
Game of the Night: Dodgers 7, White Sox 6. The White Sox held an early 5-1 lead in this one, and it looked like they'd coast to a victory with Chris Sale on the mound. But then, Sale's sixth inning happen, and Los Angeles took the lead on a nickel and diming, slap hitting barrage of singles and doubles. An Alex Rios homer off of Ronald Belisario in the eighth tied it at sixth, but the Dodgers took the lead again by scoring what would turn out to be the game-winning run on a wild pitch by Matt Thornton. Kenley Jansen slammed the door shut in the ninth, and the Dodgers earned an impressive comeback win over the AL Central leaders.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Matt Moore lit up the Marlins in the Rays 11-0 win, limiting the Fish to one hit over seven shutout frames, striking out eight while walking three. I think he's back, folks. Trevor Cahill was impressive in the Diamondbacks 5-0 win over the Angels, throwing seven shutout innings of his own while giving up three hits, two walks, and striking out eight Angels hitters. Justin Masterson was also dominant for the Indians in their 2-0 victory over the Pirates, throwing seven scoreless on four hits, three walks, and nine strikeouts. There was one other seven inning shutout performance of the night, and that belonged to Ryan Dempster of the Cubs, who beat the Red Sox 3-0. In Dempster's outing, he gave up four hits, two walks, and struck out just three.
Hitting Lines of the Night: Alex Rios went 3/4 with a pair of solo homers and a double in the White Sox loss to Los Angeles. Rockies infielder Chris Nelson went 2/4 with three runs, three RBI, a walk, a triple, and a homer as Colorado beat Detroit 12-4 in ten innings. Nelson's teammate Carlos Gonzalez also had a good game, going 3/5 with three RBI, a walk, and a homer. Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe continued his hot streak, going 2/4 with a pair of solo homers as Minnesota fell to Milwaukee 5-3. Braves rookie shortstop Andrelton Simmons went 3/4 with what would end up being a game-winning two run homer in Atlanta's 4-2 win over Baltimore.
Spotlight Series: All Yankees, all night. New York won their seventh straight game in a 7-2 rout over the Nationals. Both starters left after six, and both had quality starts for the day. Phil Hughes allowed one run and struck out nine Nationals hitters to just two walks, while Gio Gonzalez allowed three runs, and struck out eight Yankees while walking two. But Brad Lidge faced four hitters in the seventh, and three came around to score, making it a 6-1 Yankees lead and knocking the game out of reach for a light-hitting Nationals offense. The teams each tacked a run on in the ninth for the hell of it, but it wasn't enough. Curtis Granderson drove in three, homering and doubling for New York, while Michael Morse and Jesus Flores each had two hits, including a double for each, for the Nationals.
Other Games: The Reds beat the Mets 7-3, and guess what? Jason Bay is hurt *again* after knocking his head into the wall chasing a Jay Bruce flyball that would end up being an inside the park home run. The Blue Jays shut out the Phillies 3-0 despite starter Drew Hutchison leaving after just nine pitches and two outs in the first inning. The Royals edged the Cardinals 3-2, but some interesting ninth inning baserunning by Tyler Greene nearly tied the game. Yu Darvish struck out 11 as the Rangers beat the Astros 6-2. The Giants beat the Mariners 4-2 as both Buster Posey and Melky Cabrera homered.
Today's Games: The still-winless Cliff Lee starts for the Phillies in Toronto against Ricky Romero. Andy Pettitte and Jordan Zimmermann will due in DC for game two of our spotlight series. Jason Hammel takes on Brandon Beachy in Atlanta, pitting a pair of surprise perfomers against each other. AJ Burnett takes on Ubaldo Jimenez in Cleveland. Jon Lester will take on Jeff Samardzija as the Red Sox take on the Cubs in a rare Wrigley Field night game. Anibal Sanchez takes on James Shields in St Pete. Tim Lincecum will go for the Giants against Kevin Millwood, making his first start since leaving a combined no-hitter last Friday after six innings due to a groin injury.
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.