Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Dugout Digest – free falling



It’s not a good time right now for the New York Yankees. Their rotation is in tatters after C.C. Sabathia became the third starter to go on the DL, and they’ve lost four straight games since. It’s almost funny how this collapse has happened – the Yankees ignored their rotation this winter aside from signing Masahiro Tanaka and re-signing Hiroki Kuroda, and sure enough, those two are the only starters still healthy and pulling their weight. The souped up offense is clicking on all cylinders, and though the team has lost four straight, they’ve still managed to score 23 runs in those losses. But with a rotation that consists of Tanaka, Kuroda, David Phelps, Vidal Nuno, and something called Chase Whitley, it’s going to be tough for the team to keep their heads above water in the coming weeks – especially with a schedule including the rival Mets, the hungry Pirates, the improving White Sox, and the defending NL champion Cardinals.

Game of the Night: Twins 8, Red Sox 6. Minnesota very nearly let this win slip through their fingers. They had leads of 5-1 after two innings and 6-2 after five innings, forcing Jake Peavy to exit the game after just 4 1/3 innings. But then, things got funky – Boston’s bullpen spun 3 2/3 scorless innings, while Minnesota began to struggle. Ricky Nolasco exited with a 6-3 lead after finishing six innings of work, and the Twins’ bullpen got to work trying to blow the game. Minnesota used four pitchers in the seventh inning, and they combined to allow three runs on four hits, walking a pair and striking out two. With a new game on the docket, the game somehow went into the bottom of the ninth still tied at six, and the damn finally burst for Boston’s bullpen. Kurt Suzuki singled with two outs against Andrew Miller, and Chris Parmalee followed that up with a two-run, walk off homer to end the game and push the Twins to within one game of .500

Pitching Lines of the Night: David Price outdueled Hisashi Iwakuma in Tampa Bay’s 2-1 win in Seattle, with a huge assist to his former closer Fernando Rodney. Price allowed one run on six hits in a complete game, striking out 12 without a walk. In the loss, Iwakuma gave up just four hits over eight shutout innings, striking out five without a walk. Dallas Keuchel led the Astros to an 8-0 romp over the Rangers, allowing seven hits over a complete game shutout, walking none and punching out seven. Mike Leake’s great start was spoiled by Aroldis Chapman in Cincinnati’s 2-1 loss to San Diego, as he gave up one run on two hits over eight innings, walking one and striking out eight. Ubaldo Jimenez had HIS great start blown to bits by Orioles closer Tommy Hunter in Baltimore’s 4-1 loss to Detroit, as he spun seven scoreless frames while allowing three hits, walking two, and striking out seven. Bronson Arroyo shut down Washington’s offense in Arizona’s 3-1 win, giving up one run on seven hits in a complete game, walking one and striking out seven. Mike Minor dragged the Braves to a 5-0 win over the Giants, allowing three hits in 6 2/3 shutout innings, striking out six and walking two. Finally, James Shields and the Royals shut down the Rockies offense in Kansas City’s 5-1 win, giving up one run on five hits in seven innings, striking out eight without a walk.

Hitting Lines of the Night: In Boston’s loss in Minnesota, David Ortiz went 4/5 with two homers and four RBI. Chris Parmalee capped his heroic night in Minnesota by going 3/4 with that walk off homer, two runs, two RBI, and a walk. Brandon Moss helped the Athletics smash the White Sox 11-0, going 3/5 with a double, two homers, and five RBI. In the Yankees’ 12-7 loss to the Mets, Brian McCann went 3/4 with a homer, a walk, and three RBI. Curtis Granderson went 2/3 with a homer, two walks, two runs, and three RBI in the victory.

Other Games: In Mike Trout’s homecoming, his Angels topped the Phillies 4-3. The Blue Jays withstood a late Indians rally to win 5-4. The Brewers topped the Pirates 5-2. The Cardinals beat the Cubs 4-3 in 12 innings on a walk off hit by pitch. The Dodgers rolled the Marlins 7-1, but the worst news for Miami is that Jose Fernandez is broken. Twitter didn’t like hearing that.

What You Missed: Pat examined when a team is truly out of contention. Last week’s most exciting walk offs.

Today’s Games: Justin Verlander starts for the Tigers in Baltimore against Kevin Gausman, making his first start of the year. A.J. Burnett and the Phillies host Garrett Richards and the Angels. Jason Vargas and the Royals host the Rockies. Doug Fister gets the nod for the Nationals in Arizona. Julio Teheran and Madison Bumgarner will duel in San Francisco. Masahiro Tanaka starts for the Yankees against Rafael Montero, making his major league debut. Corey Kluber starts for the Indians in Toronto. Johnny Cueto and the Reds host Ian Kennedy and the Padres. Francisco Liriano and Wily Peralta will face off in Milwaukee. Scott Feldman and the Astros host the Rangers. Michael Wacha takes the hill for the Cardinals against the Cubs. Anthony DeSclafani makes his major league debut for the Marlins in Los Angeles.

National TV: Tigers-Orioles (12:30 PM, MLB Network), Angels-Phillies (1 PM, MLB Network), Yankees-Mets (7 PM, ESPN) Free Game: Braves-Giants (3:45 PM)

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.