The Cleveland Indians are in one hell of a predicament. In August, they have a 14-8 record, which is the fifth-best mark in all of baseball. There’s just one problem with that – two of the teams ahead of them are the Royals and Mariners, current playoff teams that Cleveland is trying to chase down for a playoff spot. There is still some hope for the Indians, though – they’re 28-20 since July 1st, slightly better than the Mariners, 1.5 games behind the Royals, and 3.5 games better than the Tigers. Hell, since a 10-17 start to the year, the Indians have a better record than Detroit and the best run differential in the AL Central. Don’t count out the Indians in the battle for a playoff spot – they might be able to break through like they did last season.
Game of the Night: Royals 2, Twins 1. Now this? This was insane. The Twins led 1-0 heading into the ninth thanks to a seventh inning Joe Mauer RBI single. Danny Duffy and Ricky Nolasco both were brilliant through seven innings. Glen Perkins came in to save the game in the ninth, and Kansas City made his evening brief. Alcides Escobar singled to lead off the inning, and Alex Gordon followed up by launching a walk off two-run homer just shy of the right field fountains. Are you kidding me? Kansas City is now 15 games above .500.
Pitching Lines of the Night: OK, so Madison Bumgarner was brilliant in the Giants’ 3-0 win over the Rockies. He allowed just one hit, in the eighth inning, over his complete game shutout, walking none and striking out 13. In the Angels’ 8-2 win over the Marlins, Matt Shoemaker gave up two hits over seven shutout innings, walking a pair and punching out six. In the Twins’ loss to the Royals, Ricky Nolasco allowed three hits in seven scoreless frames, walking one and striking out six. Jason Hammel had a great start for the A’s in their 4-2 loss in Houston, giving up one run on three hits in seven innings, punching out six and walking one. Travis Wood outdueled Johnny Cueto in the Cubs’ 3-0 win over the Reds, allowing two hits in six scoreless innings, walking one and striking out five.
Hitting Lines of the Night: In the Yankees’ 5-2 loss to the Tigers, Jacoby Ellsbury went 3/4 with a pair of solo homers. Buster Posey provided all of the offense for the Giants in their win against the Rockies, going 2/4 with two homers and three RBI. In Boston’s 11-7, 11 inning win over Toronto, Dustin Pedroia went 2/5 with a homer, two runs, four RBI, a walk, and a stolen base. The Indians beat the White SOx 8-6 in ten innings, going 2/5 with a homer, two runs, and three RBI. The Padres rolled to a 4-1 win over the Mariners, thanks to Abraham Almonte going 2/3 with a homer, two runs, two RBI, a walk, and a stolen base.
Other Games: The Orioles doubled up the Rays 4-2. The Mets edged the Braves 3-2. The Phillies topped the Nationals 4-3. The Pirates beat the Cardinals 5-2 thanks to a late blast by Ike Davis. The Dodgers rolled the Diamondbacks 9-5. The Mariners shut out the Rangers 5-0.
Today’s Games: Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals take on the Pirates. David Price and the Tigers host the Yankees. Drew Smyly and the Rays battle Kevin Gausman and the Orioles. Doug Fister starts for the Nationals in Philly. Marcus Stroman starts for the Blue Jays against the Red Sox. Julio Teheran and Zack Wheeler will battle in Flushing. Mat Latos and the Reds will take on the Cubs. Corey Kluber starts for the Indians against the White Sox. Phil Hughes and the Twins take on the Royals. Yovani Gallardo and the Brewers play the Padres in San Diego. Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers take on the Diamondbacks and Wade Miley. The Angels host Henderson Alvarez and the Marlins.
National TV: Cardinals-Pirates (12:30 PM, MLB Network), Yankees-Tigers (7 PM, ESPN)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.