Earlier this season, I wrote a post asking whether the Atlanta Braves were even a good team this year. As we roll along here in the middle of August, I think the answer is a resounding “noooooooooooope”. The Braves lost to the Dodgers for the fifth time this season on Tuesday night, falling to just a game above .500 and a whopping five games behind the Nationals in the NL East race. Hell, they’re just a game ahead of the Marlins in the division race, and while they’re only 2.5 games back of the Cardinals for the second Wild Card, they’re part of a jumble of four teams behind the Cardinals. On this homestand, Atlanta is 2-3, and anything shy of a 3-2 run over their final five games against the Dodgers and Athletics at Turner Field could effectively end their season.
Game of the Night: White Sox 3, Giants 2 (ten innings). Talking about a team that’s falling apart, the Giants have now fallen to six games back of the Dodgers in the NL West. Chris Sale dominated them over eight innings, and a two-run homer by Adam Dunn in the first looked like it was going to hold up. Jake Petricka came in to relieve Sale and was awful, allowing three straight singles to start the ninth before trading a run for two outs, but leaving the tying run on third in the process. Brandon Crawford then singled said tying run in to knot the game at two and send it into extras. Santiago Casilla struck out Tyler Flowers to start the inning, walked Jordan Danks and then allowed a single and stolen base to Moises Sierra. Alejandro de Aza grounded into a fielder’s choice that took Danks off the bases, but Gordon Beckham delivered by singling in Sierra. Zach Putnam put the Giants down in the tenth, and that settled that for the pale hose.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Chris Sale threw eight four-hit, shutout innings for the White Sox in their win over the Giants, striking out 12 and walking two. Ryan Vogelsong countered by giving up two hits on three hits over seven innings, walking two and punching out five. Jarred Cosart led the Marlins to a 3-0 win over the Cardinals, allowing three hits over seven scoreless frames, walking three and striking out three. Odrisamer Despaigne pitched the Padres to a 4-1 win over the Rockies, tossing seven shutout innings and allowing five hits, two walks, and striking out eight. Kyle Hendricks shined in the Cubs’ 3-0 win over the Brewers, giving up six hits over 7 1/3 scoreless frames, punching out five and walking one. Mat Latos pitched well in Cincinnati’s 3-2 loss to Boston, allowing one fun on five hits in seven innings, walking one and striking out five. Doug Fister pitched the Nationals to a 7-1 win over the Mets, giving up seven hits over seven shutout innings, walking none and punching out three.
Hitting Lines of the Night: Josh Donaldson and Brandon Moss carried the A’s to an 11-3 win over the Royals, with Donaldson going 3/4 with two homers, three runs, and four RBI, and Moss going 4/5 with a double and two RBI. Chris Carter stayed hot in Houston’s 10-4 win over the Twins, going 2/4 with two homers and five RBI. Oswaldo Arcia went 2/4 with two homers and three RBI in the loss for Minnesota. In the Angels’ 7-2 win over the Phillies, Kole Calhoun went 3/4 with a homer and two RBI.
Other Games: The Pirates doubled up the Tigers 4-2. The Dodgers topped the Braves 4-2. The Rangers walked off on the Rays 3-2 in 14 innings. The Mariners beat the Blue Jays 6-3. Rain claimed the Diamondbacks-Indians and Yankees-Orioles games.
Today’s Games: Mike Leake and the Reds host the Red Sox. Jose Quinana starts for the White Sox in San Francisco. Trevor Bauer starts for the Indians in game one of their doubleheader with the Diamondbacks. Ian Kennedy and the Padres take on the Rockies. Michael Pineda returns to the hill for the Yankees in Baltimore against Chris Tillman. Vance Worley and the Pirates take on the Tigers. Bartolo Colon and the Mets host Jordan Zimmermann and the Nationals. Hyun-Jin Ryu starts for the Dodgers in Atlanta against Ervin Santana. Chris Archer and the Rays take on the Rangers. Kyle Lohse and the Brewers battle the Cubs. Scott Kazmir starts for the A’s in Kansas City. Jered Weaver and A.J. Burnett duel in Anaheim. Hisashi Iwakuma and the Mariners take on R.A. Dickey and the Blue Jays.
National TV: Red Sox-Rays (12:30 PM, MLB Network), Yankees-Orioles (7 PM, ESPN)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.