Dugout Digest – two falling aces

Roy Halladay and Tim Lincecum both made their first starts of the year last night, and all eyes were on the pair. Their performances left a lot to be desired. Halladay struck out nine in 3 1/3 innings against the Braves, tallying 14 whiffs in the process, but was done after 95 pitches in those 3 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on six hits while walking three and allowing a pair of homers in Philadelphia's 9-2 thrashing at the hands of Atlanta. Meanwhile on the other coast, things were a little bizarre for Tim Lincecum. The Giants' former ace went five innings and got the win as San Francisco beat the Dodgers 5-3,  but Lincecum's game left a lot to be desired. He allowed two unearned runs in five innings on three hits, but walked seven while only striking out four in the game. That's not a good omen going forth for either player, but you can't jump to conclusions after one start.


Alex Gordon falls inches shy of robbing Dayan Viciedo of a homer in the fourth inning in Chicago.

Game of the Night: Rays 8, Orioles 7. During a pretty exciting day of baseball, this game stood out for me. A three-run homer by Chris Davis in the first inning gave the Orioles a 3-0 lead, and they made it 4-0 in the sixth after an RBI single from Davis. Tampa Bay's offense came alive in the sixth themselves though, getting on the board after an RBI single from Ben Zobrist and tying the game after a three-run homer by Shelley Duncan. A Nate McLouth RBI single in the seventh put Baltimore back in front, but the Rays jumped back ahead 7-5 after a three run seventh. The Orioles scored one in the eighth to make it 7-6, and tied the game at seven in the ninth after Brian Roberts doubled in Nolan Reimold against Fernando Rodney. But in the bottom of the ninth, Buck Showalter stuck with Tommy Hunter (who mowed down the Rays in the eighth), and that decision cost him after Matt Joyce hit a walk-off solo homer to give the Rays an 8-7 win.

Pitching Lines of the Night: Matt Harvey of the Mets was unreal in New York's 8-4 win over the Padres, allowing one hit in seven shutout innings, walking two and striking out ten, perhaps giving some credence to the idea that the Mets could be a sleeper this year. The Pirates shut out the Cubs 3-0, and Wandy Rodriguez was magnificent for Pittsburgh, throwing 6 2/3 shutout innings while allowing just two hits, one walk, and striking out six Chicago hitters. Alexi Ogando turned in the second straight awesome outing for a Ranger in their 4-0 win over the Astros, allowing only four hits in 6 1/3 shutout innings, striking out ten with one walk. The Nationals shut out the Marlins 3-0, and Gio Gonzalez was a big reason why after throwing six shutout innings and allowing two hits, two walks, and punching out five while also adding a homer.

Hitting Lines of the Night: In that Orioles loss to the Rays, Chris Davis went 4/4 with two runs, four RBI, two doubles, and a homer. The A's beat the Mariners 6-2, and Jed Lowrie went 3/3 with three RBI, a walk, two doubles, and a homer. The Diamondbacks beat the Cardinals 10-9 in 16 innings, and their top of the order was a big reason why. Gerardo Parra went 3/7 with three runs, a triple, a homer, and a stolen base, and Martin Prado went 3/7 with two runs, three RBI, and a homer of his own. On the other side of the field, Daniel Descalso went 4/7 with two runs, two RBI, and two doubles. In a 7-4 loss to the Red Sox, Vernon Wells went 3/4 with a three-run homer for the Yankees. Finally, Rickie Weeks went 3/4 with two runs scored, a double, and a homer in Milwaukee's 7-3 loss to Colorado.

Other Games: The Reds walked off on the Angels 5-4, not missing a beat without Ryan Ludwick. The White Sox hit four homers in a 5-2 win over the Royals. The Twins walked off on the Tigers 3-2. The Indians beat the Blue Jays 3-2 in 11 after  Mark Reynolds homer in extras put them in front. 

What You Missed: Sign up for the TOC Newsletter! Also, Bryce Harper did something very cool on Tuesday: attended a private screening of 42 at the White House.

Today's Games: Cliff Lee takes on Kris Medlen in Atlanta. Mike Pelfrey makes his Twins debut and first start in nearly a year agains the Tigers and Rick Porcello. Roberto Hernandez (FKA Fausto Carmona) starts for the Rays against the Orioles. Brandon Maurer makes his major league debut for the Mariners in Oakland. Jordan Zimmermann starts for the Nationals against the Marlins. Ryan Dempster makes his Red Sox debut against Andy Pettitte of the Yankees. Brett Myers and Mark Buehrle will make their debuts respectively for the Indians and Blue Jays, and face one another.

Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.

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.