Matt Harvey just cannot be stopped. The Mets rookie improved to 5-0 on the season in New York's 3-2 win over the Cubs on Friday night, giving up just two runs in 7 1/3 and striking out six without a walk. His fastball averaged 96 over the 106 total pitches he threw over the evening, topped out at 99, and he *still* broke 96 in the seventh inning. With Harvey, Shelby Miller, and Pat Corbin (who admittedly isn't a rookie, but is still a young pup) in the top five in the NL in ERA, the young pitchers are completely dominating the league this year.
PIC OF THE DAY
Justin Upton with a five star pimpjob following his sixth inning grand slam against the Dodgers. (Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)
Game of the Night: Pirates 5, Astros 4. Houston led 4-1 after five, and things were looking up. Then…they apparently realized they're the Astros. A Garrett Jones RBI double cut the lead to two runs in the sixth. In the eighth, Pedro Alvarez hit a monstrous two-run homer to tie the game. The Pirates loaded the bases in the ninth with two outs, but Russell Martin hit a popup to shallow right field…only this happened, and the Pirates won the game. I have to wonder if that would have happened if Jose Altuve was in the lineup…probably not.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Hiroki Kuroda confounded the Blue Jays in a 5-0 Yankees win, allowing just two hits in eight shutout innings, walking one and striking out five. Chris Sale dominated the Angels in a 3-0 Angels win, giving up three hits in 7 2/3 scoreless frames, striking out 12 and walking three. James Shields got the hard luck loss in Kansas City's 2-1 defeat to Oakland, allowing two runs on six hits in eight innings, walking one and striking out nine. Jarrod Parker pitched worse but his team got the win after Parker allowed one run on four hits in seven innings, striking out five and walking two. Meanwhile, Trevor Cahill (who was traded for Parker two winters ago) led the Diamondbacks to a 9-2 win in Miami, allowing one run on five hits in eight innings, walking four and striking out four.
Hitting Lines of the Night: In that Diamondbacks win over the Marlins, Paul Goldschmidt went 4/5 with four runs, four RBI, a double, and two homers. The Brewers fell to the Cardinals 7-6, but Aramis Ramirez was the entirety of Milwaukee's offense, going 2/4 with two three-run homers. Kelly Johnson had a solid game in Tampa Bay's 12-10 win over Baltimore, going 3/5 with two runs, four RBI, a double, and a homer. The Nationals edged the Padres 6-5 in ten, with Adam LaRoche going 2/4 with two homers and four RBI. In the Dodgers' 8-5 loss to the Braves, Scott Van Slyke went 2/4 with a pair of solo homers.
Other Games: The Indians beat the Mariners 6-3 in ten innings thanks to a Jason Kipnis walkoff homer. The Phillies beat the Reds 5-3. The Tigers edged the Rangers 2-1. The Red Sox beat the Twins 3-2 in ten innings. The Rockies held on (which they couldn't do on Thursday) to beat the Giants 10-9.
What You Missed: This week's watchability rankings. Scott takes a look at the interesting status of #27. A LSU player does a full front flip after a home plate collision. Scott takes a look at Miguel Cabrera's chance of winning another Triple Crown. A dad returning from Afghanistan surprises his daughter at a Rays game.
Today's Games: AJ Burnett starts for the Pirates against the Astros. Ryan Dempster starts for the Red Sox in Minnesota against Scott Diamond. Kris Medlen and the Braves host the Dodgers. Anibal Sanchez starts for the Tigers against the Rangers. Lance Lynn will start for the Cardinals against the Brewers. Ervin Santana and the Royals take on Tommy Milone and the A's in Oakland. Tim Lincecum starts for the Giants against the Rockies. Jordan Zimmermann starts for the Nationals in San Diego.
National TV: Rays-Orioles (4 PM, Fox), Reds-Phillies (4 PM, Fox), White Sox-Angels (4 PM, Fox), Giants-Rockies (8 PM, MLB Network), Tigers-Rangers (8 PM, MLB Network)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.