Today is June 27th, 2013. After the games of Wednesday, there is a tie for the best record in baseball between the St Louis Cardinals…and the Pittsburgh Pirates. That's right: the Pirates 48-30 record is the same as the Cardinals', and there is no team better in all of baseball. Pittsburgh was dominated by Felix Hernandez (minus a two run homer by Neil Walker) on Wednesday, but still pulled the game out thanks to some timely hitting (and a little bit of luck) in the ninth inning against reliever Yoervis Medina. Sometimes, you just need to take what's given to you, and right now, the Pirates are taking everything they can carry. If they can't break the .500 mark this year, I don't think they ever will.
Also, I'm including the MLB.tv "free game of the day" in our preview of today's action at the bottom of the post from here on out. Enjoy!
PIC OF THE DAY
Jacoby Ellsbury, meet wall. Wall, Jacoby. Jacoby, wall. (Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)
Game of the Night: Indians 4, Orioles 3. What a wild game. Scott Kazmir threw six no hit innings for the Indians before Manny Machado broke it up in the seventh and scored on a Chris Davis sac fly to cut Cleveland's lead to 2-1. In the bottom of the eighth, Baltimore came roaring back, plating a pair of runs against Joe Smith. Smith started the inning by allowing an infield hit to JJ Hardy before getting Nate McLouth to pop up for the first out. Smith then walked Chris Dickerson and allowed a single to Alexi Casilla to load the bases for Nick Markakis, who plated a run on a fielder's choice. Machado followed by driving in Dickerson to put the O's on top. In the ninth, Jim Johnson came in to close the door and ran into trouble. He walked Michael Brantley to start the inning, and allowed a double to Jason Giambi to put the go-ahead run on second with none out. Carlos Santana was intentionally walked, and Lonnie Chisenhall tied the game with a fielder's choice groundout of his own. The Tribe took the lead when Drew Stubbs drove in a run with, you guessed it, a fielder's choice groundout. Vinnie Pestano slammed the door shut, and that was all for the Orioles.
Pitching Lines of the Night: AJ Griffin threw a complete game shutout for the A's in their 5-0 win over the Reds, allowing two hits, walking two, and striking out seven. RA Dickey also threw a complete game shuout as Toronto beat Tampa Bay 3-0, allowing only two hits, striking out six, and walking a sole batter. Shaun Marcum had a good start for the Mets in their 3-0 win over the White Sox, giving up four hits over eight scoreless frames, walking two and striking out two. Scott Kazmir pitched very well for the Indians in their win in Baltimore, allowing one hit and one unearned run over seven innings, walking one and striking out four. Felix Hernandez pitched very well for the Mariners in their 4-2 loss to the Pirates, giving up two runs on six hits in seven innings, punching out 11 and walking a pair. Clayton Kershaw pitched well for the Dodgers in their 4-2 win over the fading Giants, giving up two runs on four hits in eight innings, walking one and striking out seven.
Hitting Lines of the Night: Ichiro had another good game for the Yankees in their 8-5 loss to the Rangers, going 3/4 with two runs, two RBI, a stolen base, a double, and a homer. Adrian Beltre went 3/5 with two runs, two RBI, and two doubles in the win for Texas. In the Rockies' 5-3 los in Boston, Michael Cuddyer went 2/4 with a pair of solo homers. Mike Trout helped the Angels to a 7-4 win in Detroit, going 2/5 with two runs, three RBI, a double, and a homer. Placido Polanco helped the Marlins to a 5-3 win against Minnesota, going 2/4 with two runs, two RBI, and a homer. The Royals picked up a 4-3, ten inning win over the Braves, with Alex Gordon driving in the winning run and going 3/5 with a homer, two runs, and two RBI. Buster Posey did his part for the Giants in their loss in Los Angeles, going 3/4 with a two-run homer.
Other Games: The Nationals edged the Diamondbacks 3-2. Erik Bedard limited the damage in Houston, and the Astros topped the Cardinals 4-3. The Cubs held on to beat the Brewers 5-4. The Phillies bullpen threw seven shutout innings (?!?!?!) as they rallied to beat the Padres 7-5 in 13 innings).
What You Missed: Corey Hart might miss the entire season for the Brewers. Chris Davis is still batting fifth for the Orioles, and we don't know why. A fan in Boston caught a foul ball while on his phone.
Today's Games: Abbreviated slate today, folks. Derek Holland takes on Phil Hughes in the Bronx. Jered Weaver and Doug Fister will duel in Detroit. Matt Garza takes on Wily Peralta in Milwaukee. Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals host Pat Corbin and the Diamondbacks. Tyler Chatwood and the Rockies host the Mets in a makeup of a snow-out from earlier this season. Corey Kluber and the Indians finish off their series in Baltimore. Chien Ming Wang and the Blue Jays look to gain ground on the Red Sox and Jon Lester. Jeremy Guthrie gets the nod for the Royals in Minnesota. Zack Greinke and the Dodgers host the Phillies.
National TV: Rangers-Yankees (1 PM, MLB Network), Angels-Tigers (1 PM, MLB Network), Indians-Orioles (7 PM, MLB Network), Blue Jays-Red Sox (7 PM, MLB Network)
Free Game: Diamondbacks at Nationals (4 PM, Corbin vs Strasburg)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.