Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Dugout Digest – the wild and wacky AL Wild Card race

A month ago, Seattle looked like they were going to cruise to the AL’s second Wild Card berth and make the playoffs for the first time in over a decade. Today, that race is a lot more muddled. The Mariners have gone 8-15 in the last month, and now sit two games behind Toronto for the second Wild Card spot. Furthermore, the Yankees and Royals are all closer to the Blue Jays in the standings compared to Seattle, who stands just a half game ahead of the Indians. The only thing you can count on in the AL Wild Card race is that either the Angels or Athletics will be hosting the one-game playoff – everything else is a question mark.

Game of the Day: Giants 4, Mets 3. This was a back and forth, hard-fought contest that the Mets handed to the Giants on a silver platter. San Francisco tied the game at three in the seventh after Hunter Pence scored on a Jeurys Familia wild pitch. The Mets were apparently content to do nothing in the late innings, putting just two men on base over the final four innings of the game. That inaction would cost them in the ninth. After Jenrry Mejia tallied the first two outs of the inning, he allowed a single to Gregor Blanco, allowed Blanco to steal second, walked Buster Posey, and gave up a go-ahead ground rule double to Pablo Sandoval. Santiago Casilla retired the Mets in order in the ninth, and that was that for this one.

Pitching Lines of the Night: Not much going on here tonight. Garrett Richards led the Angels to a 5-0 win over the Dodgers, throwing a complete game, five hit shutout, walking a pair and striking out nine. Corey Kluber stayed hot in Cleveland’s 7-1 win over Cincinnati, giving up one run on six hits in 7 1/3 innings, striking out seven and walking two. In Chicago’s 5-3, rain-shortened win over Texas, Hector Noesi allowed three runs (one earned) on four hits in seven innings, walking three and striking out six. Brandon McCarthy pitched the Yankees to a 2-1 win over the Tigers, giving up just one unearned run on five hits in 5 2/3 innings, walking a pair and punching out eight.

Hitting Lines of the Night: Tyler Flowers went 3/3 with a triple, a homer, two runs, and three RBI for the White Sox in their win over the Rangers. J.J. Hardy went 4/4 with a double and two runs in Baltimore’s 7-3 win over Washington, while teammate Caleb Joseph went 2/3 with a homer and three RBI. In the Giants’ win over the Mets, Pablo Sandoval went 3/5 with two doubles and three RBI. Daniel Murphy went 2/5 with a homer, two runs, two RBI, and a stolen base for New York in the loss.

Other Games: The A’s beat the Rays 3-2 in ten innings as Grant Balfour took the loss in his first game back in Oakland.

Today’s Games: Zack Wheeler and Gio Gonzalez will duel in Washington. Johnny Cueto gets the nod for the Reds in Cleveland. Dallas Keuchel takes the hill for the Astros in Philly. David Price makes his Tigers debut in New York against Hiroki Kuroda and the Yankees. Charlie Morton and the Pirates host the Marlins. Mark Buehrle starts for the Blue Jays against the Orioles and Bud Norris. Jimmy Nelson and the Brewers take on Tim Lincecum and the Giants. Lance Lynn and the Cardinals host the Red Sox. Phil Hughes toes the rubber for the Twins against the Padres and Jesse Hahn. Danny Duffy and Wade Miley will cross swords in Arizona. Drew Smyly makes his Rays debut in Oakland against Jason Hammel. Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers host the Angels. Felix Hernandez and the Mariners take on Alex Wood and the Braves.

National TV: Tigers-Yankees (7 PM, MLB Network), Angels-Dodgers (10 PM, MLB Network), Braves-Mariners (10 PM, MLB Network)

Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.

About Joe Lucia

I'm the managing editor of Awful Announcing and the news editor of The Comeback. I also made The Outside Corner a thing for six seasons.