Dugout Digest – Giancarlo’s back

Baseball is a funny game, especially this early in the season. After game one of the Marlins' doubleheader with the Twins on Tuesday, right fielder Giancarlo Stanton had a triple slash of .176/.311/.216. There was some talk that he was a doomed player in Miami's awful lineup. But of course, Stanton has gone on a tear since that afternoon game, and after his two homer game on Sunday, his triple slash for the season is up to a much more respectable .243/.361/.414. While it's still nto ideal, that line is a hell of a lot better than the one he possessed a week ago. If anything, Stanton's improvements should put fans of struggling players at ease. It won't be a trial all year.


Daniel Nava of the Red Sox goes full extension to make a diving catch for the final out of the game (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

Game of the Day: A's 9, Orioles 8 (ten innings). This could be the game of the month for April. Baltimore surged out to a 5-0 lead over the first five innings, but Miguel Gonzalez allowed four runs in the sixth to cut the lead down to one. A Manny Machado single in the seventh extended the lead to two runs, but Seth Smith homered in the bottom of the inning off of Troy Patton to deadlock the game at six runs. A Chris Davis solo homer off of Sean Doolittle in the eighth gave Baltimore the lead back once again, and an RBI double by Machado in the ninth once again extended the lead to two. Brian Matusz stayed in the game to finish it out, but allowed a game-tying two-run homer to Yoenis Cespedes. The game went into extras, and in the bottom of the tenth, Oakland scored in the most bizarre way imaginable. Eric Sogard led off with a single off of Pedro Strop, and Adam Rosales attempted to bunt him over to second…but Strop threw the ball wide into center field, letting Sogard and Rosales both advance safely. Then Coco Crisp attempted to bunt the pair of runners over, but Machado threw wide of the third base bag into left field, allowing Sogard to score the winning run.

Pitching Lines of the Day: Clayton Kershaw laid waste to the Brewers in a 2-0 Dodgers win, pitching eight shutout innings and giving up four hits, striking out 12 and walking none. Reds rookie Tony Cingrani continued his great start to the year, allowing two hits over six scoreless frames, striking out 11 with two walks. Jeff Locke led the Pirates to a 9-0 win in St Louis, pitching seven shutout innings and giving up three hits, two walks, and striking out four hitters. Hisashi Iwakuma shut down the Angels in a 2-1 Mariners win, giving up just an unearned run on three hits in six innings, striking out eight without a walk. Finally, Kevin Correia was excellent for the Twins in their 5-0 win over the Rangers, not allowing a run on six hits over eight innings, striking out two and walking one.

Hitting Lines of the Day: The aforementioned Giancarlo Stanton went 3/3 with three runs, four RBI, two homers, and a walk in Miami's 6-4 win over the Cubs. Russell Martin provided Locke and the Pirates with all the offense they needed, going 3/5 with three RBI, a double, and two homers. Carl Crawford went 2/4 with a pair of solo homers in the Dodgers' win over the Brewers. In the Padres' 6-4 win over the Giants, Chase Headley went 3/3 with a walk, two doubles, and a solo homer. Nate McLouth had a good game for the Orioles in their loss in Oakland, going 4/5 with four runs, a double, and a stolen base. 

Other Games: The Phillies beat the Mets 5-1 to finish off a sweep at Citi Field. The Yankees edged the Blue Jays and RA Dickey 3-2 to complete a sweep of Toronto. The Red Sox and John Lackey beat the Red Sox 6-1. The Rays beat the White Sox 8-3, but the real story was David Price's post-game rant. The Diamondbacks beat the Rockies 4-2 in Nolan Arenado's debut. The Tigers pounded the Braves 8-3 to complete a dominant sweep. The Royals and Indians split a doubleheader, with Kansas City taking game one 9-0 and Cleveland taking game two 10-3.

What You Missed: Nothing really, got it all covered.

Today's Games: Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals will take on Julio Teheran and the Braves in a battle for NL East supremacy. Andy Pettitte starts for the Yankees against the Astros. Max Scherzer gets the nod for the Tigers against the Twins. Matt Harvey and the Mets will take on Jose Fernandez and the Marlins in one of the best possible matchups of young pitchers in the league. Jeff Samardzija starts for the Cubs against the Padres. Dan Straily is back in the majors for the A's, taking on Tommy Hanson and the Angels. Wandy Rodriguez and the Pirates will take on Yovani Gallardo and the Brewers. Zach Britton makes his season debut for the Orioles against the Mariners. Mat Latos and the Reds take on Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals. Matt Cain takes on Ian Kennedy in Arizona.

National TV: Braves-Nationals (7 PM, ESPN)

Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.