The Angels get to celebrate, the Dodgers get Coors'd, the Giants and Royals close gaps, and Brandon McCarthy is immaculate.
One of the reasons Dodgers manager Don Mattingly chose Carlos Frias to take the place of the injured Hyun-jin Ryu for yesterday’s start at Coors Field is that the left-hander “has been a strike thrower.” True to form, Frias notched strikes with nearly two-thirds of his pitches on Wednesday and did not walk a batter. But the good news ended there.
The Beltway teams clinch, more action from yesterday, and tonight's premium pitching matchups.
The Tuesday Takeaway
With the Nationals sporting an 11 1/2–game lead over the Braves in the NL East and the Orioles running away with the AL East, 12 1/2 games ahead of the Blue Jays entering Tuesday, it was inevitable that the two Beltway clubs would be playing when the calendar flips to October. For the nation’s capital, Tuesday night was as exhilarating as it gets, as the two clubs officially punched their playoff ticket on the same night with wins over their division foes.
Jacob deGrom punctuates his ROY bid and ties a record in the process; the Rizzo/Cashner trade pays off in a big way, for both sides; the Royals and Tigers hold the line.
What’s a good way for a pitcher to try to wrap up his league’s Rookie of the Year award? How about starting a game with eight consecutive strikeouts to tie a record previously held by Jim Deshaies? That’s the route Jacob deGrom chose.
The Dodgers, and Kershaw, put some space between them and their competition; the Cardinals are building a cushion; a Twin struck out more than 10 batters; and baseball happened in all other corners of this great nation of ours.
The Dodgers came to AT&T Park for a three-game showdown with a two-game lead in the West. A sweep would bump Los Angeles from the top of the standings. Any other outcome would keep the Giants in second place.
With the Tigers and Royals tied atop the American League Central, one of the squads would walk away with sole possession of the division by the end of last night’s series finale. However, the leader would have to be determined nearly an hour later than planned due to the downpour of rain that delayed the start of the game. The sky continued to open up throughout the night and at times led to tough playing conditions, but that didn’t stop James Shields from turning in an outstanding performance for the visitors.
Ian Kinsler led off the home half of the first with a single, but was erased by a stellar pickoff move from Shields. The Kansas City ace went on to retire the next 18 Tigers that stepped to the plate, with only two balls leaving the infield.
The revised interpretation of Rule 7.13 gets tested immediately by the Yankees and Rays. The rest of yesterday's action is recapped and the best of today is previewed.
Sometime yesterday, Joe Torresent a memo to all 30 teams to clear up the mounting confusion over Rule 7.13, otherwise known as the ban on catchers blocking the plate and on runners bowling them over. A key point of the letter was to eliminate, or at least mitigate, the possibility that runners who looked dead to rights coming down the line could be deemed safe on a technicality. The wording of Rule 7.13 wasn’t changed, but no longer would the replay crew in New York side with a manager who argued that his runner, a good distance away from the plate when the ball arrived, had his path to the dish impeded by the catcher.
The change in interpretation was made effective immediately. Its consequences were evident just a few hours later.
Winners (Angels, Mariners, Cardinals) win. Losers (A's, Brewers) lose. Plus what to watch today.
On Sunday, the Angels became the majors’ highest-scoring offense, taking the crown with a 14-4 romp over the Twins, their fourth win in a row and 10th in 12 games.
A rainout on June 18th threw a wrench into the Halos’ travel plans, forcing them to make a one-day stop in Cleveland on an already hellacious road trip that began in Texas and will end there, too. After taking Labor Day off, Mike Scioscia’s squad is in the midst of a grueling stretch of 23 games in as many days, but that daunting docket didn’t deter the Angels from padding their league-leading run total on Monday afternoon.
Buster Posey goes for MVP consideration, the Angels pound their way to the top of one leaderboard, Nelson Cruz makes a run for a HR crown, and, in an Oakland ninth inning, the best fun fact of the month.
The Weekend Takeaway
After Friday’s game, Chris Carter now has 36 home runs on the year, putting him hot on the trails of Nelson Cruz and Giancarlo Stanton for the MLB lead. The A’s, who shipped Carter to the Astros on February 4, 2013, as part of a package to acquire Jed Lowrie, don’t mind that. They just kindly request that the 27-year-old Bay Area native stop going yard against them.
The Brewers are in trouble, the Buehrle-Odorizzi matchup was as glamorous as advertised, Koji Uehara can't get it together, and more of yesterday's action. Plus what to watch this weekend.
When an eight-game losing streak sends you tumbling from first place in your division to the brink of the playoff picture, it’s easy to begin feeling helpless. When you hold a lead at the end of only one of your last 56 innings on the diamond, desperation surely starts to set in.
The Brewers, with Carlos Gomez nursing a wrist injury and Ryan Braun away for the birth of his daughter, could not have chosen a less opportune time for their collapse. They welcomed the Cardinals, the team they led less than a week ago but at which they’re now looking up, to Miller Park on Thursday for the opener of a four-game showdown. And their tailspin continued almost immediately.