Dugout Digest – peaking

It's always a quaint little factoid when a team passes their win total from the prior year in August. The Red Sox have already done that, but after how disastrous their 2012 was, it seemed inevitable. The only other team to do that in 2013 did it on Wednesday night, and that team is the Cleveland Indians. Cleveland beat the Angels 3-1 to win their 69th game after finishing 68-94 last season. An above .500 record is also in sight for the Tribe, a zenith they haven't reached since 2007, when they won 96 games and the AL Central crown. They've come close since, finishing at an even .500 in 2008 and two games under .500 in 2011. Terry Francona's bunch is doing some good things this year, but it's a shame that the Tigers are just so good.


Ichiro bows to the Yankee Stadium crowd after his 4,000th hit (Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports)

Game of the Night: Phillies 4, Rockies 3. Another one-run win for Ryne Sandberg! This game was knotted at two heading into the eighth (Cliff Lee thanks you for the lack of run support, Phils' offense), and Justin De Fratus relieved Lee to start the inning. He plunked Charlie Blackmon to lead off the inning, and Blackmon would eventually score to give Colorado the lead on a single by Nolan Arenado. The teams went down quietly in each of their next at bats, and Philly was down to their last chance in the ninth inning. Rockies closer Rafael Betancourt was just off all night though, beginning his inning by allowing a double to Erik Kratz. Pinch runner Casper Wells scored on an RBI double by Carlos Ruiz after a John Mayberry Jr groundout, tying the game at three. After Jimmy Rollins was intentionally walked, Michael Young laced a single to left to score Ruiz and win the game for the Phillies.

Pitching Lines of the Night: Ian Kennedy salvaged the Padres series with the Pirates, pitching them to a 2-1 win and allowing four hits over seven shutout innings, striking out eight and walking three. Zack Greinke dominated the Marlins in the Dodgers' 4-1 win, giving up one run on six hits in eight innings, punching out seven without a walk. Felix Doubront pitched well for the Red Sox (not that he needed to) in their 12-1 blowout win in San Francisco, giving up one run on five hits in eight innings, walking one and striking out three. Jonathon Niese pitched well for the Mets in their 4-1, ten inning loss to the Braves, allowing one run on five hits in seven innings, striking out nine and walking three. Anibal Sanchez had a nice outing for the Tigers as they topped the Twins 7-1, giving up one run on six hits in 6 2/3 innings, striking out eight and walking a pair.

Hitting Lines of the Night: The Reds beat the Diamondbacks 10-7 in a wild game and Shin-Soo Choo went 4/5 with three runs, three RBI, a double, and a homer. The White Sox topped the Royals 5-2 and were helped by Dayan Viciedo going 3/4 with a grand slam. In MIlwaukee's 8-6 loss to St Louis, Aramis Ramirez went 2/3 with two runs, three RBI, two walks, and a homer. The Nationals beat the Cubs 11-6, but Anthony Rizzo went 3/4 with two runs, three RBI, a walk, and two homers. The Rangers walked off on the Astros 5-4, and in the loss, Jason Castro went 2/3 with three runs, a walk, and a homer.

Other Games: The Mariners beat the scuffling A's 5-3. The Orioles doubled up the Rays 4-2. The Yankees beat the Blue Jays 4-2. 

What You Missed: Ichiro collected his 4,000th career hit. Jason Heyward broke his jaw, and will miss 4-6 weeks. Brian Wilson could shave his beard for $1 million. A New York City mayoral candidate is a Red Sox fan. Phil Coke has been demoted by the Tigers, and it's well overdue. Roy Halladay was cool with Charlie Manuel's firing. Max Stassi of the Astros got his first career hit, and then fell victim to the hidden ball trick. Giancarlo Stanton attempts (key word: attempts) to sing Beyonce.

Today's Games: Mat Latos and the Reds host the Diamondbacks. Clayton Kershaw takes the hill for the Dodgers in Miami. Andy Pettitte and the Yankees finish up their series with JA Happ and the Blue Jays. Andrew Albers gets the nod for the Twins in Detroit against Justin Verlander. Stephen Strasburg and Travis Wood will duel in Chicago. James Shields and the Royals host the White Sox. Jeff Locke and Matt Cain will face off in San Francisco.

National TV: Diamondbacks-Reds (12:30 PM, MLB Network), Braves-Cardinals (8 PM, MLB Network), White Sox-Royals (8 PM, MLB Network)

MLB.tv Free Game: Diamondbacks-Reds (12:30 PM)

Pitching Matchup of the Day: Stephen Strasburg vs Travis Wood (Nationals at Cubs, 2 PM)

Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.

Joe Lucia

About Joe Lucia

I'm the managing editor of Awful Announcing and the news editor of The Comeback. I also made The Outside Corner a thing for six seasons.