Today, we’re likely to have our first team completely eliminated from the 2014 playoff race – the Texas Rangers. Their elimination number is down to one after their loss in Kansas City, and all it will take to end their season is one more loss or one more win by the Tigers. With both teams in action on Thursday, one of those results seems inevitable. And once that shoe drops, we’ll start getting closer to even more eliminations – the Rockies, Astros, Diamondbacks, Twins, and Red Sox all also have single digit elimination numbers. and once teams start getting eliminated, you know what that means here – our end of season post-mortem series makes its return. Delicious.
Game of the Day: Nationals 8, Dodgers 5 (14 innings). This was truly a chaotic affair. The Dodgers led 2-0 in the ninth inning thanks to a seven inning two-run homer by Justin Turner, and Kenley Jansen tried to shut the door. He failed, allowing a game-tying two-run homer to Adam LaRoche and a two-out, go-ahead single to Denard Span. Thankfully for the Dodgers, Rafael Soriano couldn’t shut the door either in the bottom of the inning, and Andre Ethier scored on an error by Jayson Werth to knot the game at three. We moved into extras, and LaRoche struck again in the 11th off of Brandon League, hitting a two-run single to give Washington a 5-3 lead. But Tyler Clippard failed just like Jansen, and allowed a game-tying two-run homer to Carl Crawford. We continued on, and the Nationals busted out again in the 14th after a LaRoche RBI fielder’s choice and a two-run homer by Asdrubal Cabrera gave Washington an 8-5 lead. There would be no rally for the Dodgers, as Blake Treinen allowed just a single in a scoreless 14th to finish the evening off.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Miguel Gonzalez tossed a complete game shutout for the Orioles in their 6-0 win over the Reds, allowing four hits, walking one, and striking out eight. Danny Salazar also threw a complete game shutout in Cleveland’s 7-0 win against the Tigers, giving up eight hits and punching out nine without a walk. In Houston’s 4-1 win over the Angels, Collin McHugh allowed one run on four hits in 7 2/3 innings, striking out eight and walking none. Felix Hernandez pitched the Mariners to a 2-1 win in Oakland, allowing one run on three hits in eight innings, walking a pair and punching out four. Hiroki Kuroda shut down the Red Sox in the Yankees’ 5-1 win, giving up one run on four hits in seven innings, striking out eight without a walk. Shelby Miller helped the Cardinals walk off on the Pirates 1-0, tossing seven shutout innings, allowing three hits, walking three and striking out five. In the loss for Pittsburgh, Edinson Volquez allowed three hits over 6 1/3 scoreless frames, walking two and punching out five.
Hitting Lines of the Night: Chris Carter went 3/4 with two homers and three RBI in the Astros’ win over the Angels. Brian McCann went 4/4 with a homer and three RBI for the Yankees in their win over Boston. In Minnesota’s 11-4 win over the White Sox, Eduardo Nunez went 4/6 with a double, a triple, two runs, and two RBI. The frequently mentioned Adam LaRoche went 2/3 with a homer, two runs, and five RBI in Washington’s win over the Dodgers. Carl Crawford went 3/7 with a double, a homer, two runs, and two RBI in the loss for Los Angeles. Corey Dickerson went 2/5 with two solo homers in the Rockies’ 9-2 win over the Giants. Jonathan Schoop went 2/3 with a double, a homer, and three RBI in Baltimore’s win over the Reds. In Seattle’s win in Oakland, Kyle Seager went 3/4 with a double and a solo homer.
Other Games: The Braves actually scored some runs, beating the Phililes 7-4. The Mets edged the Marlins 4-3. The Blue Jays topped the Rays 7-4. The Cubs finished off a sweep of the Brewers, winning 6-2. The Royals beat the Rangers 4-1. The Diamondbacks prevailed over the Padres 6-1.
Today’s Games: Chris Tillman and the Orioles host the Reds and Mike Leake. Max Scherzer and Trevor Bauer will duel in Cleveland. Jake Odorizzi and the Rays host the Blue Jays and Mark Buehrle. Michael Wacha makes his long-awaited return for the Cardinals to take on Wily Peralta and the Brewers. Ian Kennedy takes the hill for the Padres against the Diamondbacks.
National TV: Red Sox-Yankees (7 PM, MLB Network, oh come on now), Reds-Orioles (7 PM, MLB Network)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.