Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Dugout Digest – making some sense of things

We’re getting close to the point where we can begin to feel very confident about playoff teams. The A’s have been a lock for awhile, and even though their lead over the Angels is only two games, they’re still 7.5 games clear of the Mariners for the second Wild Card spot. I’m also feeling confident about those Angels, 5.5 games up on Seattle for the second Wild Card spot, and Baltimore, a whopping 7.5 games up on the Blue Jays for the AL East lead. In the National League, the Nationals look safe with their six game lead on the Braves, and the Dodgers are sitting pretty with a 5.5 game lead over the Giants. The other five spots are up for grabs, but there are maybe 12 teams at most fighting for them. It’s going to be a fun final month and a half, that’s for sure.

Game of the Night: Cardinals 4, Padres 3.  The Padres tied this game at two in the sixth, plating a pair of runs on two balls that didn’t leave the infield. In the bottom of the eighth, Alex Torres allowed the only three batters he faced to reach base before Nick Vincent allowed a two-run, go-ahead double to Jon Jay. Trevor Rosenthal came in for the save in the ninth, and loaded the bases with one out. Jake Goebbert singled in Yasmani Grandal, and Alexi Amarista was controversially called out at the plate, even after an inconclusive review (that looked rather conclusive, to be honest). Rosenthal walked Will Venable to load the bases and give San Diego one more shot, but Tommy Medica struck out to end the game.

Pitching Lines of the Day: Max Scherzer lit up the Pirates in Detroit’s 5-2 win, allowing three hits over eight shutout innings, walking a pair and punching out 14. Mike Fiers was even better in Milwaukee’s 6-2 win over the Cubs, giving up three hits in six shutout innings, also striking out 14 while walking just one. Stephen Strasburg helped the Nationals beat the Mets 4-1, allowing one unearned run on three hits in seven innings, walking two and striking out eight. Jake Odorizzi allowed two runs on four hits in seven innings in Tampa Bay’s 6-3 win over Texas, striking out seven and walking one.

Hitting Lines of the Night: In Cincinnati’s 7-3 loss in Denver, Ryan Ludwick went 3/4 with a double, a homer, two runs, and two RBI. Charlie Culberson went 2/4 with a homer, two runs, and three RBI for the Rockies in the win. Logan Forsythe went 2/4 with a homer and two RBI for the Rays in their win in Arlington, while teammate Evan Longoria went 2/5 with a homer, two runs, and three RBI to also help out. Dustin Pedroia went 3/5 with a double, two runs, and two RBI in Boston’s 9-4 win over Houston. Dee Gordon went 3/4 with four runs scored, a walk, and two stolen bases in the Dodgers’ 6-4 win over the Braves.

Other Games: The Royals stayed in first place in the AL Central, beating the A’s 7-3.The Marlins rallied to a 5-4, ten inning, walk off win over the Diamondbacks.

Today’s Games: Wei-Yin Chen and Corey Kluber will duel in Cleveland. Charlie Morton and Tanner Roark face off in Washington. Rick Porcello and the Tigers host James Paxton and the Mariners. Dallas Keuchel gets the nod for the Astros in Boston. Zack Wheeler and the Mets host the Cubs. Brandon McCarthy and the Yankees take on Alex Cobb and the Rays. Alex Wood starts for the Braves against the Athletics. Garrett Richards takes the hill for the Angels in Texas. Lance Lynn and the Cardinals host Tyson Ross and the Padres. Marcus Stroman starts for the Blue Jays in Chicago. Danny Duffy and the Royals take on the Twins. Johnny Cueto and the Reds battle the Rockies. Zack Greinke and the Dodgers host the Brewers. Cole Hamels and Madison Bumgarner will square off in San Francisco.

National TV: Mariners-Tigers (7 PM, MLB Network), Athletics-Braves (7:30 PM, MLB Network)

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.