Here’s a word to the wise – don’t count *any* team out in either of the Eastern divisions this season. In the NL East, the Braves are still on top, but their lead is just 1.5 games – over the last place Marlins and Phillies, that is. The Nationals are just one-half game behind, and the Mets are only a game back. Meanwhile in the AL East, you’re used to this by now – only 2.5 games separate the first place Yankees from the last place Blue Jays. In an odd twist however, the last place Blue Jays have the best run differential in the AL East (0), and the last place Marlins have not only the best run differential in the NL East (+24), but they’re tied with the Giants for the second best differential in the entire National League. So…that happened.
Game of the Day: Marlins 5, Dodgers 4. Miami has been unstoppable at home, going 14-5 so far this season and winning all but one of the six series they’ve played at Marlins Park in 2014. The Marlins held a 4-3 lead going into the ninth, and with Steve Cishek unavailable, A.J. Ramos tried to save the game for Jose Fernandez. It didn’t go according to plan though, as Ramos walked Chone Figgins to lead off the inning and promptly allowed a game-tying double to Andre Ethier. No further damage was done in the inning, despite an intentional walk to Yasiel Puig that put two men on with one out. Adeiny Hechavarria led off the bottom of the ninth was a single, was bunted to second, moved to third on a ground out, and eventually scored after a walk off double from Jeff Baker, nearly caught by Yasiel Puig. Puig was shaken up on the play after hitting his head on the wall, but left the field with minimal assistance.
Pitching Lines of the Day: Corey Kluber turned in another gem for the Indians in their 4-3 loss to the White Sox, allowing one run on three hits in eight innings, walking a pair and punching out 13. Madison Bumgarner pitched the Giants to a 4-1 win in Atlanta, giving up one unearned run on three hits in six innings, striking out nine while walking one. Roberto Hernandez outdueled Gio Gonzalez in Philly’s 1-0 win, giving up four hits in 7 1/3 scoreless frames, walking three and striking out three. Gonzalez also went 7 1/3 innings, giving up one run on four hits while walking a pair and striking out seven. Dustin McGowan turned in a solid start for the Blue Jays in their 7-2 win in Pittsburgh, allowing one run on three hits in seven innings, striking out five and walking three.
Hitting Lines of the Day: In Toronto’s win, Colby Rasmus went 3/4 with two runs, four RBI, a double, and a homer. Giancarlo Stanton spurred Miami’s win over Los Angeles, homering twice in three at bats while also driving in three runs and walking once. Brandon Crawford picked up two homers and three RBI in four at bats for the Giants in Atlanta, driving in three runs in the process. In Cleveland’s loss to the White Sox, George Kottaras hit a pair of solo homers in three at bats and walked. Prince Fielder spurred the Rangers to a 14-3 pounding of the Angels, going 3/4 with three runs, two RBI, two walks, and two doubles.
Other Games: The Rays topped the Yankees 5-1. The A’s beat the Red Sox 3-2 in ten innings. The Tigers pounded the Royals 9-4. The Twins defeated the Orioles 5-2. The Mariners held on once again to best the Astros 8-7. The Reds rallied late to beat the Brewers 4-3 in ten innings. The Padres earned a 4-3 walk off win over the Diamondbacks. Dillon Gee stifled the Rockies in the Mets’ 5-1 win. The Cardinals edged the Cubs 5-4.
Today’s Games: Shockingly, we have a nearly full schedule today – you don’t see that too often on Monday. Max Scherzer and the Tigers host the Astros. Zack Greinke and Jordan Zimmermann will face off in Washington. Nate Eovaldi and the Marlins host Jon Niese and the Mets. Jose Quintana and Jeff Samardzija will duel in Chicago. Matt Garza and the Brewers host the Diamondbacks. Martin Perez starts for the Rangers in Colorado against Jordan Lyles and the Rockies. Jered Weaver and the Angels welcome the Yankees to southern California. Scott Kazmir starts for the A’s, hosting the Mariners. Yordano Ventura gets the nod for the Royals in San Diego.
National TV: Cardinals-Braves (7 PM, ESPN)
MLB.tv Free Game: Cardinals-Braves (7 PM)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.