There are some really great rookie pitchers across baseball this year. Two of them were on display on Saturday. In the Bronx, Chris Archer threw a complete game shutout for the Rays. Meanwhile in Atlanta, Julio Teheran limited a potent Cardinals offense to just two hits over seven innings. Throw in Shelby Miller and Hyun-Jin Ryu, and you've got one hell of a crop of rookie starters…and I haven't even mentioned Jose Fernandez, Gerrit Cole, and Zack Wheeler.
PIC OF THE DAY
Coco Crisp…or Rickey Henderson? (Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports)
Game of the Night: Cubs 1, Giants 0. The Giants really did have every opportunity to win this game thanks to five walks by Cubs pitching. In the eighth, with the game still scoreless, San Francisco loaded the bases with nobody out. They couldn't cash in though, grounding into two straight force outs at home before Hunter Pence struck out to end the inning. In the ninth, Nate Schierholtz homered off of Sergio Romo with one out to put the Cubs ahead and further improve his trade stock. In the bottom of the ninth, The Kevin Gregg Experience kicked off in earnest, with Gregg allowing a single and back to back walks after Jeff Francoeur led the inning off with a groundout. With the tying run at third and the winning run on second, all the Giants needed was a fly ball…but Tony Abreu grounded into the ever so slick 3-2-3 double play to end the game. It's July 28th, and the Cubs have a better record than the defending World Champion Giants, who are ten games under .500 and tied for last place in the NL West with the lowly Padres.
Pitching Lines of the Day: I already mentioned Archer, who propelled the Rays to a 1-0 win over the Yankees thanks to his two-hit complete game shutout, which also included six strikeouts, no walks, and just 97 pitches. I also mentioned Teheran, who helped the Braves top the Cardinals 2-0 thanks to two hits in seven scoreless innings, along with six strikeouts and one walk. Madison Bumgarner got a hard luck no decision in the Giants' loss to the Cubs, despite giving up only four hits over eight scoreless innings, along with seven strikeouts and two walks. Max Scherzer dominated the Phillies in a 10-0 Tigers romp, allowing one hit in six shutout frames, punching out seven with a walk. Hyun-Jin Ryu dominated the Reds in the Dodgers' 4-1 win, giving up one run on two hits in seven innings, walking one and punching out nine. Justin Masterson outdueled Yu Darvish in a 1-0 Indians win over the Rangers, allowing five hits in 7 2/3 scoreless innings, walking one and striking out seven. Finally, Chris Sale was awesome for the White Sox in their 1-0 loss to the Royals, giving up one run on seven hits in a complete game, striking out seven while walking one.
Hitting Lines of the Night: Stephen Drew provided the boom for the Red Sox in their 7-3 win over the Orioles, going 3/4 with three runs, five RBI, and a pair of homers. Troy Tulowitzki helped the Rockies offense in their 7-5 loss to the Brewers, going 3/4 with two runs, two RBI, and a homer. Miguel Cabrera gave Scherzer and the Tigers all the offense they needed, going 2/3 with two runs, three RBI, and a homer. The Pirates duo of Neil Walker and Michael McKenry carried the Bucs to a 7-4 win in Miami, with Walker going 3/5 with two runs, two RBI, and two doubles, while McKenry went 4/5 with two RBI and a double. Skip Schumaker played well for the Dodgers in their win over the Reds, going 2/4 with two runs, two RBI, a double, and a homer.
Other Games: The Astros topped the Blue Jays 8-6. The A's edged the Angels 3-1. The Twins shut out the Mariners 4-0 behind the arm of Samuel Deduno. The Nationals homered three times in a 4-1 win over the Mets. San Diego smashed Arizona 12-3 thanks to a three hit, four RBI performance from Yonder Alonso.
Today's Games: Alexi Ogando returns for the Rangers in Cleveland. Matt Moore gets the nod for the Rays in the Bronx. Jarred Cosart starts for the Astros in Toronto. The aforementioned Gerrit Cole and Jose Fernandez will battle in Miami. Jon Lester and the Red Sox take on the Orioles. Jarrod Parker and the A's host the Angels. Travis Wood and the Cubs take on Tim Lincecum and the Giants in San Francisco. Jhoulys Chacin and the Rockies host the Brewers. Pat Corbin and the Diamondbacks welcome the Padres to the desert. Kris Medlen and the Braves host the Cardinals and Shelby Miller, looking to sweep the Redbirds.
National TV: Red Sox-Orioles (1:30, TBS), Cardinals-Braves (8:00 PM, ESPN)
MLB.tv Free Game: Royals-White Sox (2:00 PM)
Pitching Matchup of the Day: Gerrit Cole vs Jose Fernandez (Pirates vs Marlins, 1:00 PM)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.