I want to spend a moment talking about a team that isn’t getting nearly enough attention in the NL playoff chase – the Miami Marlins. The Marlins have won three in a row, and have moved to just 2.5 games back of the Giants and Braves for the NL’s second Wild Card spot. Given the collapses in recent days of the Pirates and Reds, the door is open for the Marlins to make a move, and they’re seizing that opportunity. Since losing two out of three in Pittsburgh before their breakdown, Miami is 8-3, taking two out of three from the Reds and Cardinals and three out of four from the Diamondbacks. But it’s not going to be easy for them going forward – after today’s game with Texas, the Marlins embark on a nine game road trip to end the month that will take them to Denver, Anaheim, and Atlanta. If Miami can somehow emerge from that brutal stretch with their heads above water, they could make some waves to end the season.
Game of the Night: Cardinals 5, Reds 4. It’s almost heartbreaking to see Cincinnati’s season completely fall apart the way it has. The Reds led this one 4-1 in the middle of the sixth, but a solo homer by Jhonny Peralta and a single by Shane Robinson in the bottom of that frame cut it to 4-3. In the eighth, the Cardinals tied it at four after Daniel Descalso doubled in Jon Jay off of Jumbo Diaz.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Hisashi Iwakuma allowed four hits over eight shutout innings in Seattle’s 5-2 win in Philadelphia, striking out 11 without a walk. Chris Tillman dominated the White Sox in Baltimore’s 5-1 win, allowing one run on three hits in eight innings, walking one and punching out nine. Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals ran through the Diamondbacks 8-1, with Strasburg giving up one run on three hits in eight innings, walking one and striking out four. Mike Fiers stayed hot for the Brewers in their 6-1 win over the Blue Jays, giving up one run on two hits in seven innings, punching out six and walking one. J.J. Hoover ended the threat in the bottom of the eighth, and stayed in for the ninth. He walked Matt Holliday to lead off the inning, allowed a single to Matt Adams, and walked Peralta to load the bases for Jay…who Hoover hit on the first pitch of the plate appearance to bring in pinch runner Peter Bourjos and end the game. Yipes. Just…yipes.
Hitting Lines of the Night: In the Royals’ 7-4 win over the Rockies, Omar Infante went 4/5 with three doubles, a run, and four RBI. Drew Stubbs went 3/4 with a double, a homer, two RBI, and a walk for Colorado in the loss. Carl Crawford went 3/3 with a homer, three runs, three RBI, a walk, and a stolen base for the Dodgers in their 8-6 win over the Padres. In Atlanta’s 11-3 mauling of the Pirates, Justin Upton went 2/4 with a homer, a walk, and five RBI. James Loney went 3/4 with a three-run homer in Tampa Bay’s 8-6, 11 inning loss to Detroit. Yan Gomes powered the Indians to a 7-5 win over the Twins, going 3/4 with a solo homer and three runs scored.
Other Games: The Astros beat the Yankees 7-4 thanks to ANOTHER Chris Carter homer. The Angels plated a run in the ninth to beat the Red Sox 4-3. The Marlins walked off on the Rangers 4-3 in ten innings. The Cubs beat the Giants 2-0 in a five-inning, rain-shortened debacle. The A’s beat the Mets 6-2.
Today’s Games: Cole Hamels and the Phillies host James Paxton and the Mariners. R.A. Dickey gets the nod for the Mariners in Milwaukee. Zack Wheeler and Jeff Samardzija will duel in Oakland. Garrett Richards and the Angels take on the Red Sox. Gerrit Cole returns for the Pirates, hosting Alex Wood and the Braves. Jake Odorizzi and the Rays host the Tigers and Rick Porcello. Johnny Cueto and Lance Lynn will face off in St. Louis. Wei-Yin Chen starts for the Orioles in Chicago against the White Sox. Danny Duffy and Jorge de la Rosa will match up in Denver.
National TV: Blue Jays-Brewers (2 PM, MLB Network), Mets-Athletics (3:30 PM, MLB Network), Padres-Dodgers (10 PM, ESPN)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.