We’ve made it, you guys – the MLB season has reached its midpoint. It’s been a wild first half that has seen preseason contenders (Rays, Red Sox, Rangers) fall off a cliff, while surprise teams (Blue Jays, Brewers) have placed themselves into contention in the second half. It really will be a wild season with dog fights happening in every division in baseball, with the possible exception of the AL Central. So here’s to the awesome first half we had, and the great second half that we have on tap.
Game of the Day: Indians 3, White Sox 2. Cleveland ensured that they’d go into the All-Star Break at .500, but it didn’t come easily. They lead the White Sox 1-0 heading into the eighth inning, and relief ace Bryan Shaw took the mound. After striking out Dayan Viciedo, Shaw allowed a single to Cole Gillaspie, moved him up a base after a wild pitch, and allowed him to score following a Gordon Beckham single. Then Beckham moved to second on a ground out by Tyler Flowers, and he scored on a Leury Garcia single to give Chicago the lead. Of course, things got hairy in the bottom of the eighth. Javy Guerra allowed a single to Nick Swisher, and then promptly allowed a go-ahead two-run homer to Yan Gomes. Cody Allen shut the ChiSox down in order in the ninth to seal the deal and give Cleveland a needed win.
Pitching Lines of the Day: Clay Buchholz looked like the Clay Buchholz of old in Boston’s 11-0 win in Houston, throwing a complete game, three-hit shutout while striking out a dozen without a walk. Hyun-Jin Ryu dominated the Padres in the Dodgers’ 1-0 win, giving up two hits over six shutout innings, striking out ten, and walking none. David Price continued to up his trade value in Tampa Bay’s 3-0 win over Toronto, allowing five hits in eight scoreless , walking one and striking out five. Wily Peralta ended Milwaukee’s first half on a high note as they beat the Cardinals 11-2, giving up one unearned run on three hits in seven innings, walking none and punching out five. Tanner Roark led the Nationals to a 10-3 win in Philadelphia, allowing one run on four hits in seven innings, punching out six without a walk.
Hitting Lines of the Day: In Minnesota’s 13-5 win in Colorado, Brian Dozier went 3/6 with a double, two homers, and four RBI. BROCKHOLT helped the Red Sox offense coast to that win in Houston, going 5/6 with a homer and two runs scored. Chris Johnson pushed the Braves to a 10-7 win in Chicago, going 3/4 with a homer, three runs, three RBI, and a walk. Elian Herrera played well for the Brewers in their win over the Cardinals, going 5/5 with a double and three RBI. Madison Bumgarner brought the lumber in the Giants’ 8-4 win over the Diamondbacks, going 2/3 with a double, a grand slam, and two runs scored. Jayson Werth had a nice day for the Nationals in their 10-3 win over the Phillies, going 2/3 with a homer, two runs, four RBI, and a walk.
Other Games: The Reds doubled up the Pirates 6-3. The Royals beat the Tigers 5-2. The Mets pounded the Marlins 9-1 to move into third place in the NL East. The Angels kept the Rangers spiraling downward, winning 10-7. The A’s kept the course in the AL West, beating the Mariners 4-1. The Orioles beat the Yankees 3-1 in a rain-shortened, five inning contest.
Today’s Games: Well, we have the Home Run Derby on ESPN at 8 PM – check it out.
The Dugout Digest will be off until Friday. Enjoy your day of dingers and week of All-Stars, everyone.