I'm pretty sure that Homer Bailey of the Reds is one of the most unlikely players in league history with two no hitters. But honestly, Bailey has turned himself into one of the better pitchers in baseball this season. His 2.9 fWAR leads a very good Reds staff. His 111 innings pitched lead Cincinnati, and is good for 16th in baseball. His 2.67 xFIP is sixth among all qualified starters in the league, behind five of the very best pitchers in baseball. He's struck out a batter per inning, and has a 4.27 strikeout to walk ratio. His velocity is the highest it's been since 2009. At age 27, Homer Bailey has arrived. After he looked more like fellow 2004 top ten draftees Jeff Niemann and Phil Humber, Bailey has turned himself into a pretty good pitcher.
PIC OF THE DAY
Cubs gonna Cub. (Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports)
Game of the Night: Athletics 8, Cubs 7. It feels mean to pick on the Cubs the day after they dealt Scott Feldman for a solid return, but here we are. The Cubs took a 5-3 lead in the fourth inning, but in the bottom of the inning, Starlin Castro made the above error and Coco Crisp singled to tie the game. Wellington Castillo hit a two-run double in the sixth to give the Cubs a two-run lead once again, but in the bottom of the eighth, James Russell allowed a three-run homer to Derek Norris to give Oakland a one run lead. An erratic Grant Balfour shut the door in the ninth to preserve the A's victory.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Homer Bailey's no hitter, of course. Clayton Kershaw carried the Dodgers to an 8-0 win in Denver, allowing four hits in a complete game shutout, striking out eight without a walk. In an 8-0 Rays win in Houston, David Price dominated in his return to the hill, allowing three hits in seven scoreless innings, striking out ten without a walk. Stephen Strasburg pitched well for the Nationals, but got no run support in Washington's 4-0 loss, giving up three hits in seven shutout innings, walking four and punching out eight. John Lackey dominated the Padres in Boston's 4-1 win, giving up one run on six hits in eight innings, striking out six and walking one.
Hitting Lines of the Night: Kendrys Morales helped the Mariners to a 9-2 win over the Rangers, going 3/5 with two homers and six RBI. Desmond Jennings had a good game for the Rays in Houston, going 3/5 with two runs, four RBI, a stolen base, and a homer. Colby Rasmus did well for the Blue Jays in their 7-6 loss to the Tigers, going 2/4 with two runs, four RBI, a double, and a homer. Yasiel Puig (of course) backed up Kershaw's pitching in Denver by going 3/5 with two runs, a double, and a homer. Justin Upton and Chris Johnson powered the Braves to an 11-3 win over the Marlins, with Upton going 3/4 with three runs, an RBI, a walk, and a triple, while Johnson went 3/4 with two runs, two RBI, and two doubles.
Other Games: The Phillies cooled off the scorching Pirates, winning 3-1. The White Sox beat the Orioles 5-2. The Mets smashed the Diamondbacks 9-1. The Indians edged the Royals 6-5. The Yankees rolled the Twins 7-3. The Angels topped the Cardinals 5-1.
What You Missed: Jonathan Papelbon isn't on the Puig for All-Star bandwagon. Umpire Brian Runge was fired for violating MLB's drug policy. Amanda Rykoff had a chat with Orlando Cepeda. Trade deadline primers for the AL Central and NL Central.
Today's Games: Kyle Lohse starts for the Brewers in Washington. Max Scherzer and Josh Johnson battle in Toronto. Ricky Nolasco is SCHEDULED to start for the Marlins in Atlanta against Mike Minor, but will he? Jon Lester and the Red Sox host the Padres. Matt Harvey starts for the Mets, hosting the Diamondbacks. Scott Feldman makes his Orioles debut in…Chicago. Jeff Locke and the Pirates host the Phillies. Felix Hernandez and the Mariners take on Derek Holland and the Rangers. Zack Greinke starts for the Dodgers in Denver. CC Sabathia starts for the Yankees in Minnesota. Bud Norris and the Astros host the Rays. Shelby Miller gets the nod for the Cardinals in Oakland. Matt Garza and Bartolo Colon duel in Oakland.
National TV: Diamondbacks-Mets (7 PM, ESPN)
MLB.tv Free Game: Orioles-White Sox (7 PM)
Pitching Matchup of the Day: Max Scherzer vs Josh Johnson (Tigers at Blue Jays, 7 PM)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.