I never expected…*this* from the Texas Rangers. Texas has the third-worst record in the American League, better than just the Rays and (barely) the Astros. I know the team has been completely destroyed with injuries, but the bottom never really fell out until this eight game losing streak has pushed them eight games under .500. And it’s not as if they’re getting edged in all of these games – they’ve been outscored 51-23. A once formidable rotation is now just Yu Darvish and a quartet of mediocrity. And of course, the Rangers have the highest payroll in club history this season. That’ll end well.
Game of the Night: Cubs 5, Nationals 3. Things got interesting in the pea soup fog at Wrigley on Thursday night. The Cubs led 3-0 early on, but Washington battled back to tie the game in the seventh after a two-run double by Denard Span. In the bottom of the inning, Chicago struck against reliever Craig Stammen. Darwin Barney doubled with one out, and after a Chris Coghlan walk and a Ryan Sweeney fielder’s choice, Justin Ruggiano doubled in both Barney and Sweeney to push the Cubs in front 5-3. Pedro Strop got out of the eighth unscathed after a Ryan Zimmerman double play, and Hector Rondon shut the door in the ninth to pick up save number nine.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Rick Porcello dominated the Rangers in Detroit’s 6-0 win, allowing three hits while pitching a complete game shutout, walking three and striking out six. Mike Lake ran roughshod over the Giants in Cincinnati’s 3-1 win, giving up one run on four hits in eight innings, walking one and punching out a dozen. J.A. Happ and the Blue Jays topped the White Sox 7-0, with Happ throwing 7 2/3 scoreless frames, allowing four hits, two walks, and striking out eight. Adam Wainwright pitched well for the Cardinals in their 1-0 loss to the Dodgers, giving up one run on five hits in eight innings, walking one and striking out seven. In the win for Los Angeles, Josh Beckett tossed seven shutout innings, allowing four hits while walking two and striking out four.
Hitting Lines of the Night: In Philadelphia’s 5-3, 14 inning win over Miami, Chase Utley went 3/7 with two runs, three RBI, and a walk off homer. Jose Reyes pushed the Blue Jays to their win over the White Sox, going 4/5 with two runs, an RBI, and a triple. In Milwaukee’s 7-4 win over Colorado, Rickie Weeks went 3/5 with a double, a solo homer, and two runs scored. Ryan Wheeler gave the Rockies all of their offense in the loss, going 2/4 with a grand slam. Gregory Polanco continued his incredible start to the year in Pittsburgh’s 5-2 win over the Mets, going 2/3 with a homer, a walk, a stolen base, and four RBI. Joe Mauer played well in Minnesota’s 6-4 loss to the Angels, going 3/5 with two doubles, a run, and three RBI.
Other Games: The Astros salvaged their series with the Braves, winning 6-1.
Today’s Games: We have a 16-game schedule today thanks to a doubleheader in Baltimore – woohoo! Kevin Gausman starts game one for the Orioles against the Rays, while Chris Tillman takes on Jake Odorizzi in game two. Tanner Roark and Jason Hammel will square off in Chicago. Julio Teheran starts for the Braves in Philadelphia. R.A. Dickey and the Blue Jays hos the White Sox. Jesse Chavez and the A’s take on the Marlins. Kyle Lohse and the Brewers host the Rockies. Justin Verlander starts for the Tigers in Houston. Hyun-Jin Ryu and the Dodgers host Carlos Martinez and the Cardinals. Tyson Ross and the Padres host the Diamondbacks. Trevor Bauer starts for the Indians in Seattle. Johnny Cueto and Madison Bumgarner will duel in San Francisco.
National TV: Rays-Orioles (1 PM, MLB Network), Red Sox-Yankees (7 PM, MLB Network, of course), Rays-Orioles (7 PM, MLB Network)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.