The Oakland Athletics are kicking ass and taking names so far in the 2014 season. They’re 28-16, and only the Tigers have a better winning percentage. No team has a better run differential than Oakland’s +95 mark, which actually would have been better than all but six teams’ marks during the entire 2013 season. In their last ten games, the A’s are 9-1 and have outscored their opponents (the Mariners, White Sox, and Indians) 71-18. That +53 run differential is better than every team in baseball this season. So…I think we know which team is at the top of the food chain through the first quarter of this season.
Game of the Day: Rockies 8, Padres 6 (ten innings). This was a wild, back and forth game. The Rockies led 4-1 after three, but the Padres battled back to make it 4-3. Each team hit a solo homer in the middle innings to make it 5-4, and Colorado took a two-run lead after an RBI single by Carlos Gonzalez in the seventh. But with LaTroy Hawkins on the hill to close the game out in the ninth, the Rockies fell apart. Will Venable hit a leadoff double, and after a Nick Hundley ground out, light-hitting Everth Cabrera tied the game with a two-run homer to right center. The Rockies couldn’t get anything going in the bottom of the ninth, and we went to extras. In the bottom of the tenth, Dale Thayer sandwiched a pair of outs around a single by Gonzalez, but Justin Morneau wasn’t going to let the game continue, blasting a walk off, two-run homer to dead center just past the reach of Cameron Maybin to hand the game to the home team.
Pitching Lines of the Day: In the Giants’ 4-1 win over the Marlins, Ryan Vogelsong spun seven scoreless innings, allowing five hits while walking one and punching out six. Travis Wood helped the Cubs to a 4-2 win over the Brewers, giving up a pair of runs on two hits while striking out seven and walking three. Angels rookie Matt Shoemaker pitched well in their 6-2 win over the Rays, allowing one run on two hits in six innings, striking out six and walking three. Felix Hernandez had a nice start in Seattle’s 6-2 win in Minnesota, throwing eight innings while giving up two runs on seven hits, striking out five and walking one.
Hitting Lines of the Day: Alex Gordon went off in Kansas City’s 8-6 win over Baltimore, going 4/4 with a pair of three-run homers and three runs scored. Brandon Moss powered the A’s to their 13-3 win in Cleveland, going 3/3 with two doubles, a triple, two walks, three runs, and four RBI. Albert Pujols played well for the Angels against the Rays, going 3/4 with a pair of solo homers. In Houston’s 8-2 win over the White Sox, Matt Dominguez went 2/4 with a pair of homers and four RBI. Freddie Freeman helped the Braves beat the Cardinals 6-5, going 3/3 with a homer, two runs, and three RBI.
Other Games: The Nationals doubled up the Mets 6-3. The Phillies smashed the Reds 8-3. The Diamondbacks beat the Dodgers 5-3 to win their first home series of the year (yes, it’s May 19th). The Rangers beat the Blue Jays 6-2. The Pirates and Yankees split a doubleheader, with the Yankees taking game one 4-3 and the Pirates taking game two 5-3. The Tigers topped the Red Sox 6-2 to complete a sweep at Fenway.
What You Missed: The Rockies pulled off an odd triple play against the Padres. Should the Rangers rest Prince Fielder more? Is Tony La Russa’s arrival in Arizona going to be the end for Kevin Towers and Kirk Gibson?
Today’s Games: /fart noise. There are only five games on the slate today, and while the matchups are solid, they’re not exactly barnburners. Corey Kluber and the Indians host the Tigers. Wily Peralta and Mike Minor will face off in Atlanta. Mike Leake and the Reds take on Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals. Jason Vargas and the Royals host the White Sox. Garrett Richards starts for the Angels, welcoming the Astros to Anaheim.
National TV: Tigers-Indians (7 PM, ESPN)
MLB.tv Free Game: TBA
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.