The biggest question I have about the 2014 season so far is this – when do you pull the plug on the dumpster fire in Arizona? Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall said that it’s too early to make any decisions about the futures of Kevin Towers and Kirk Gibson, but something’s gotta give – the club is 4-14 on the season with a -48 run differential. You can’t blame it on an uneven home/road disparity, because they’re 1-9 at Chase Field, 0-2 in Australia, and 3-3 on the road. They just got swept in back to back series at home by the Dodgers and Mets, and were outscored by 27 runs in the six games. Their rotation ERA is more than two runs higher than any other team, and the gap between the Diamondbacks and second-worse Twins is larger than the gap between the Braves, who have the lowest rotation ERA in baseball, and the Astros, who are 14th. This club is just an absolute mess across the board.
Game of the Night: Rangers 3, Mariners 2. I think Felix Hernandez is getting tired of this crap. The King allowed one run to the Rangers on Wednesday night, leaving in the eighth after allowing a leadoff triple to Leonys Martin. Martin scored on a sac fly, but that’s to be expected when you allow a leadoff triple. In the ninth, Fernando Rodney imploded…which seems to be about the norm nowadays. Rodney got the first two outs in quick succession, but then allowed a single to Kevin Kouzmanoff and walked Mitch Moreland. A Brad Miller throwing error on the game-ending grounder allowed Donnie Murphy to reach base and prolong the game, which ended in quick succession after Kouzmanoff scored on a wild pitch and Martin singled in Moreland to give the Rangers a victory.
Pitching Lines of the Day: If you’re a fan of great pitching, yesterday was a great day for you. Johnny Cueto led to Reds to a 4-0 win over the Pirates, allowing four hits in a complete game shutout while striking out 12 without a walk. Masahiro Tanaka helped the Yankees to a doubleheader sweep over the Cubs, giving up two hits over eight shutout innings in their 3-0 game one win, punching out ten and walking one. Julio Teheran outdueled Cliff Lee in Atlanta’s 1-0 win over the Phillies, throwing a complete game shutout of his own while allowing three hits, striking out four, and walking none. Lee pitched a complete game of his own, scattering 11 hits and allowing one run while striking out 13 and walking one. Dillon Gee pitched the Mets to a 5-2 win in Arizona, giving up three hits in seven shutout innings, striking out three and walking none. The aforementioned Felix Hernandez allowed one run on four hits in seven innings, striking out nine and walking one. Jose Fernandez tried his damndest, but the Marlins still lost to the Nationals 6-3 despite Fernandez giving up three unearned runs on four hits in seven innings, striking out ten without a walk.
Hitting Lines of the Day: Justin Morneau had a nice game for the Rockies in their 4-2 loss to the Padres, going 3/3 with a double, a homer, and two RBI. Evan Gattis gave Teheran and the Braves all the offense they needed in Philly, going 4/4 with a solo homer. Jason Castro and Marc Krauss had nice games for the Astros in their 6-4, 11 inning loss to the Royals, with Castro going 2/4 with a homer, a walk, and two RBI, and Krauss going 2/4 with a homer and two RBI. Paul Goldschmidt tried his damnedest to power the Diamondbacks to a win over the Mets, going 2/4 with a double and a solo homer.
Other Games: The Orioles shut out the Rays 3-0. Game two of that Yankees-Cubs doubleheader had a 2-0 score in favor of the Bronx Bombers. The Brewers shut down the Cardinals 5-1. The Indians edged the Tigers 3-2. The Red Sox beat the White Sox 6-4 in 14 innings. The Giants slipped past the Dodgers 2-1. The Angels prevailed over the A’s 5-4 in 12 innings. Mother Nature forced the Twins and Blue Jays into a doubleheader today.
Today’s Games: A.J. Burnett and the Phillies host the Braves. Danny Salazar and Justin Verlander will duel in Detroit. R.A. Dickey starts game one of the Blue Jays-Twins doubleheader. Hyun-Jin Ryu and Madison Bumgarner will square off in San Francisco. C.C. Sabathia and David Price will tangle in Tampa. Adam Wainwright starts for the Cardinals in Washington. Yovani Gallardo takes the hill for the Brewers in Pittsburgh. Jon Lester and Chris Sale will battle in Chicago. Scott Feldman and the Astros host James Shields and the Royals.
National TV: Braves-Phillies (1 PM, MLB Network), Blue Jays-Twins (1 PM, MLB Network), Cardinals-Nationals (7 PM, MLB Network), Yankees-Rays (7 PM, MLB Network)
MLB.tv Free Game: Indians-Tigers (1 PM)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.