I obviously know who Henderson Alvarez is. He’s a Marlins starting pitcher that they acquired from the Blue Jays two winters ago. But I have no idea who this guy wearing Alvarez’s jersey is. On Tuesday night, Alvarez threw his fourth complete game shutout over his last 13 starts (dating back to last year), walking a total of one hitter in those four victories. There have been a total of 24 complete game shutouts in the majors this year, and Alvarez has three of them, which leads the league. Even nuttier is that Alvarez isn’t always great – Tuesday’s shutout was just his sixth quality start of the year, which isn’t even in the top 50 of baseball. What Alvarez is doing is incredible, and completely and utterly unbelievable. I don’t even know what to say anymore.
Game of the Night: Cubs 2, Mets 1. This is why the Mets can’t have nice things. Zack Wheeler cruised through his start, not allowing a runner to even reach scoring position during his 6 2/3 innings. After Josh Edgin relieved him to get the third out of the seventh, the house of cards collapsed, as Edgin allowed a leadoff homer to Chris Coghlan in the seventh to tie the game at one. Scott Rice took over from Vic Black in the bottom of the ninth, and made the suffering brief for Mets fans. Rice began the frame by allowing a lead off single to Anthony Rizzo, and Rizzo moved up to second on a ground out by Starlin Castro. After Luis Valbuena struck out, Nate Schierholtz singled Rizzo home to give the Cubs a hard-earned victory and make Mets fans wonder why they still even bother.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Before the bullpens got carried away in the ninth inning in Detroit, Anibal Sanchez and Drew Hutchison threw gems in Toronto’s 5-3 win. Sanchez allowed two hits in seven shutout innings, walking none and striking out five, while Hutchison struck out seven in seven shutout innings and gave up three hits. Alvarez finished his shutout by allowing eight hits and striking out five as Miami beat the Rays 1-0. In the Mets’ loss to the Cubs, Zack Wheeler gave up two hits over 6 2/3 shutout innings, punching out seven while walking two. Jordan Zimmermann and the Nationals laid waste to the Phillies 7-0, with Zimmermann giving up five hits over eight scoreless innings, walking one and striking out four.
Hitting Lines of the Night: Chris Owings starred for Arizona in their 4-2 win in Colorado, going 3/4 with a double, a triple, a homer, and two RBI. John Buck pushed the Mariners to a 7-5 win in Atlanta, going 3/4 with three runs and the game-winning two-run homer. Adam Jones helped the Orioles to an 8-3 win in Texas, going 4/5 with a homer and two runs scored. Brian Dozier spurred the Twins to a 6-4 win in Milwaukee, going a perfect 3/3 with a homer, a walk, two runs scored, and two RBI. Brandon Moss led the A’s to a 5-2, ten inning win over the Yankees, going 2/4 wiht a pair of solo homers. Hunter Pence played well for the Giants in their 8-3 loss to the Reds, going 3/4 with a double and a solo homer.
Other Games: The Indians beat the Red Sox 5-3. The Royals rallied to beat the Cardinals 8-7. The Astros beat the Angels 7-2 in Jon Singleton’s major league debut. The White Sox beat the Dodgers 4-1, and the Pirates beat the Padres by the same score.
Today’s Games: Mike Minor and Hisashi Iwakuma will face off in Atlanta. Francisco Liriano gets the nod for the Pirates in San Diego. Jesse Chavez starts for the A’s in the Bronx. Corey Kluber and the Indians host the Red Sox. A.J. Burnett and Stpehen Strasburg will duel in Washington. R.A. Dickey starts for the Blue Jays in Detroit against Rick Porcello and the Tigers. David Price and the Rays host Tom Koehler and the Marlins. Adam Wainwright starts for the Cardinals in Kansas City. Jordan Lyles and the Rockies host the Diamondbacks. Garrett Richards and the Angels take on Jarred Cosart and the Astros in Houston. Josh Beckett and the Dodgers host the White Sox.
National TV: Mariners-Braves (12 PM, MLB Network), Athletics-Yankees (7 PM, ESPN2)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.