It's July 1st. The Pittsburgh Pirates are 21 games above .500 halfway through their year, with a 51-30 record through 81 games. The team has the best record in baseball, and only the Cardinals have a winning percentage over .600 to go along with Pittsburgh's .630 mark. The Pirates are two games up on those very Cardinals in the NL Central. Sunday's 2-1, 14 inning win over the Brewers pushed Pittsburgh's winning streak to nine games, and it marked the sixth straight game at PNC Park with over 35,000 fans in attendance (a huge accomplishment given that capacity is just over 38,000). All aboard the bandwagon, folks.
PIC OF THE DAY
Engel Beltre slides in safely under Devin Mesoraco's tag (Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports)
Game of the Day: Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 4. Toronto suffered another painful loss in Fenway Park on Sunday. Boston jumped out to an early 3-0 lead against Mark Buerhle, but the Jays came roaring back, scoring a pair in the fourth to make it a 3-2 game. Jonny Gomes doubled in Jacoby Ellsbury in the fifth inning to make it a 4-2 game, but Jose Reyes cut the lead back to a run in the seventh with a solo homer. In the ninth, Koji Uehara blew the save by allowing a solo homer to Jose Bautista to tie the game at four runs apiece. In the bottom of the inning, Juan Perez put two of the first three batters on, and was relieved by Casey Janssen. Janssen got a ground ball to Josh Thole at first that would have resulted in an inning ending double play, but Thole mishandled the ball, allowing Jonathan Diaz to score the winning run for Boston.
Pitching Lines of the Day: Justin Masterson threw a complete game shutout for the Indians in their 4-0 win in Chicago, allowing six hits and striking out eight while walking one. CJ Wilson pitched well for the Angels in their 3-1 win in Houston, allowing one unearned run on three hits in seven innings, punching out ten and walking three. Gio Gonzalez torched the Mets in Washington's 13-2 romp, giving up just three hits in seven scoreless innings, walking two and striking out seven. Stephen Fife pitched the Dodgers to a 6-1 win over the Phillies, allowing four hits in seven shutout frames while walking one and striking out five. Yu Darvish pitched well for the Rangers in their 3-2 win over the Reds, allowing four hits over 6 2/3 scoreless innings, walking four and striking out eight.
Hitting Lines of the Day: David Lough helped the Royals to a 9-8 win over the Twins, going 4/4 with four runs, three RBI, three doubles, and a homer. Matt Carpenter had a good game for the Cardinals in their 7-5 loss in Oakland, going 3/5 with two runs, two doubles, and a homer, while teammate Carlos Beltran went 3/4 with two runs, two RBI, and a homer. Jayson Werth showed up at Citi Field for a change today, and went 2/3 with four runs scored, two walks, a double, and a homer, while Ian Desmond nearly matched him by going 2/4 with two runs scored, three RBI, a stolen base, a double, and a homer. Finally, your daily Yasiel Puig update: 4/5 with two runs, a double, a triple, and two stolen bases.
Other Games: The Braves homered three times to beat the Diamondbacks 6-2 and finish off a sweep of the scuffling NL West leaders. The Rays beat the Tigers 3-1 despite Miguel Cabrera doing this. Jeff Mathis' walkoff grand slam gave the Marlins a 6-2 win over the Padres. The Giants beat the Rockies 5-2, but Michael Cuddyer did extend his hitting streak to 27 games. The Cubs held off a late Mariners rally to beat Seattle 7-6. The Orioles beat the Yankees 4-2 behind the bats of Chris Davis and Manny Machado, completing a three game sweep of the Bronx Bombers.
Today's Games: Only seven games on the docket today (and none starting later than 8:10 PM eastern), which is…OK, I guess. The Tigers travel to Toronto to take on RA Dickey and the Blue Jays on Canada Day. Bronson Arroyo and the Reds host the Giants. Yovani Gallardo leads the Brewers into Washington to take on Jordan Zimmermann and the Nationals. Jose Fernandez starts for the Marlins, hosting the Padres. Andy Pettitte starts for the Yankees in Minnesota against Scott Diamond. Matt Moore and the Rays will travel to Houston to take on the Astros.
National TV: Tigers-Blue Jays (1 PM, MLB Network), Giants-Reds (7 PM, ESPN)
MLB.tv Free Game: Tigers-Blue Jays (1 PM, MLB Network)
Pitching Matchup of the Day: Yovani Gallardo vs Jordan Zimmermann (Brewers vs Nationals, 7 PM)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.