There was a lot of good pitching yesterday – like, too much to even cover in the “pitching lines of the day” segment later on. There were no fewer than 13 starters who notched quality starts on Thursday – more than half of the 24 who started games. 11 pitchers threw at least seven innings on Thursday as well. If you were a reliever, it was a pretty nice day for you. Oddly enough, a trio of Cy Young winners weren’t part of either of those groups, as Justin Verlander, David Price, and R.A. Dickey all struggled. Madison Bumgarner, Scott Feldman, and Danny Salazar all also turned in crappy games, which really puts the world on its head.
Game of the Night: Red Sox 3, White Sox 1. This one kind of takes the day’s honor by default. The game was knotted at one after eight innings, and then the White Sox bullpen struck in relief of a dominant Chris Sale. After getting David Ortiz to ground out to lead off the inning, Ronald Belisario allowed an infield single to Mike Napoli. Pinch hitter Mike Carp then singled, advancing Napoli to second. Napoli scored and Carp moved to third on a double by David Ross, and after an intentional walk to Daniel Nava, new pitcher Scott Downs allowed Jonathan Herrera to lay down a perfect squeeze bunt to make it 3-1 Boston. Koji Uehara shut the White Sox down in the bottom of the ninth to notch the save, and the Red Sox prevailed in a battle of the Sox.
Pitching Lines of the Night: We’ll start with Adam Wainwright, who threw a two-hit complete game shutout in the Cardinals’ 8-0 win over the Nationals, striking out eight and walking three. James Shields dominated the Astros in a 5-1 Royals win, allowing one run on four hits over eight innings, punching out a dozen and walking a pair. Chris Sale got a hard luck no decision in Chicago’s loss to Boston, giving up one run on just one hit while walking three and striking out ten. Kyle Gibson had a nice game for the Twins in their 7-0 win over the Blue Jays in game one of their doubleheader, pitching eight shutout innings while giving up four hits, striking out four, and walking one. A.J. Burnett outdueled Alex Wood in Philadelphia’s 1-0 win over Atlanta, allowing three hits in seven scoreless frames, walking two and striking out five.
Hitting Lines of the Night: The Yankees trio of Brian Roberts, Yangervis Solarte, and Alfonso Soriano starred in New York’s 10-2 pounding of the Rays. Roberts went 3/5 with two runs, two RBI, a double, and a triple. Solarte went 3/5 with a double, a homer, and two RBI, and Soriano went 3/5 with a homer and two runs scored. Ian Kinsler helped push the Tigers past the Indians 7-5, going 2/5 with a homer, four RBI, and a stolen base. Brian Dozier led the Twins to a 9-5 win to complete their sweep over the Blue Jays, going 2/4 a homer, a walk, three runs scored, and two stolen bases.
Other Games: The Dodgers edged the Giants 2-1 thanks to some great pitching by Hyun-Jin Ryu. The Rangers blew a 4-0 lead, but ended up triumphing over the Mariners 8-6. The Rockies beat the Padres 3-1 behind the arm of Franklin Morales. The Pirates put nine runs on the board in the seventh and eighth to beat the Brewers 11-2.
What You Missed: The Yankees turned a triple play. Mike Trout is shilling Marlon Wayans movies. The best defense of the past week. Pat explored the concept of “the franchise-changing prospect“, something the Astros are dealing with after the promotion of George Springer.
Today’s Games: The shockingly good Alfredo Simon starts for the Reds in Chicago against Jeff Samardzija. Justin Masterson and the Indians host the Blue Jays. The struggling Jered Weaver starts for the Angels in Detroit. Michael Wacha gets the nod for the Cardinals in Washington against Gio Gonzalez and the Nationals. Chris Tillman starts for the Orioles in Boston against John Lackey. Kyle Lohse and Charlie Morton will duel in Pittsburgh. Hiroki Kuroda starts for the Yankees in Tampa. Jon Niese and the Mets host the resurgent Aaron Harang and the Braves. Ricky Nolasco and Jason Vargas will face off in Kansas City. Jarred Cosart starts for the Astros in Oakland against Sonny Gray. Zack Greinke and the Dodgers host the scuffling Diamondbacks. Matt Cain will take the hill for the Giants against Tyson Ross and the Padres.
National TV: Reds-Cubs (2:15 PM, MLB Network), Orioles-Red Sox (7 PM, MLB Network), Yankees-Rays (7 PM, MLB Network)
MLB.tv Free Game: White Sox-Rangers (8 PM)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.