You've got to hand it to the Atlanta Braves: they are stomping a mudhole in the collective ass of the NL East. The Braves swept the Nationals in DC for the second time this year, finishing with a 6-3 win on Wednesday night. Atlanta is 15.5 games up on the second place Nats, who are 50% closer to last place (the Marlins are 25.5 out) than first place. Against the NL East, Atlanta is 29-16. And with the Marlins coming to Turner Field, where the Braves are 38-15, this weekend, the Braves' 13 game winning stream could keep rolling right along.
PIC OF THE DAY
PIC OF THE DAY! A despondent Chris Archer leaves the mound with a cramp. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Game of the Night: White Sox 6, Yankees 5 (12 innings). On a night with quite a few entertaining games, this one might have taken the cake, leading to the Yankees getting swept by a Chicago team that is one of the worst in baseball. New York took an early 4-0 lead, but the Sox kept chipping away. They made it 4-1 in the fifth after a Gordon Beckham solo homer. They cut it to 4-3 in the seventh after Paul Konerko doubled in Alejandro de Aza, and Beckham brought Alex Rios home on a fielder's choice. In the ninth, the immortal Mariano Rivera blew his third save of the season after allowing Beckham, who doubled, to score on a single by pinch hitter Adam Dunn. After a pair of scoreless extra frames, Robinson Cano led off the 12th against Dylan Axelrod with a solo homer to but the Bronx Bombers ahead. But in the bottom of the inning, Adam Warren got the first two outs quickly before allowing a pair of singles and finally, a game-winning, walkoff triple by de Aza to send the Yankees to new depths of suck.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Matt Harvey picked up the first shutout of his career as the Mets beat the Rockies 4-0, allowing four hits and striking out six without a walk. Marco Estrada helped the Brewers to a 6-1 win in San Francisco, allowing one hit in five scoreless innings, striking out six without a walk. Kris Medlen was quietly effective for the Braves in their win in DC, allowing three runs on three hits in seven innings, walking one and striking out six. Charlie Morton and the Pirates topped the Marlins 4-2, with Morton allowing two runs on six hits in seven innings, striking out five without a walk. Eric Stults pitched well for the Padres, but earned a no decision when the bullpen exploded in their 10-3 loss to the Orioles, giving up three runs (two earned) on five hits in seven innings, striking out six and walking one.
Hitting Lines of the Night: Donnie Murphy dragged the Cubs to a 5-2 win over the Phillies, going 3/3 with a double, two homers, and four RBI. Martin Prado provided the Diamondbacks with some solid offense (finally) in their 9-8 win over the Rays, going 4/4 with a double, a homer, four RBI, and a walk. Adrian Beltre and the Rangers beat up on the Angels in their 10-3 win, with Beltre collecting three hits in four at bats, along with four runs, three RBI, two walks, and a homer. Andre Ethier carried the Dodgers to a 13-4 thrashing of the Cardinals, going 3/5 with two runs, four RBI, a walk, a double, and a triple. Finally, Justin Upton is getting hot again for the Braves, going 3/4 with a double, a homer, a walk, and three RBI. His brother BJ is getting hot too, going 4/5 with a double in Atlanta's win in DC.
Other Games: The Mariners used a six run fifth to beat the Blue Jays 9-7. The Tigers beat the Indians 6-5 in 14. The Reds hung on to beat the A's 6-5. The Royals topped the Twins 5-2. The Red Sox rallied late to beat the Astros 7-5.
Today's Games: Jose Fernandez and Gerrit Cole will duel in Pittsburgh. Jeff Samardzija starts for the Cubs in Philly. Tim Lincecum and the Giants host the Brewers. Max Scherzer starts for the Tigers in Cleveland. Hyun-Jin Ryu gets the nod for the Dodgers in St Louis against Carlos Martinez. Jon Lester and the Red Sox travel to Kansas City to take on Bruce Chen and the Royals.
National TV: Tigers-Indians (7 PM, MLB Network), Dodgers-Cardinals (8 PM, MLB Network)
MLB.tv Free Game: Rockies-Mets (12 PM)
Pitching Matchup of the Day: Jose Fernandez vs Gerrit Cole (Marlins at Pirates, 12:30 PM)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.