Monday game notes — complete coverage!
Nationals 6, @Red Sox 4: Washington is 5-2 in interleague play, with a scoring margin of 36-23, which just happens to be their season record. Edwin Jackson continued his strong year with 8 innings of 2-run ball; he has a 1.01 WHIP in 12 starts (prior career average 1.48).
- The Nats have 4 qualified starters with an ERA+ of 130 or better. Dropping the threshold to 125, the only team to do that since WWII was the 1997 Braves.
- Potentially rotten news for the Jays: Brandon Morrow, in the midst of a breakout season and on the heels of his MLB-best 3rd shutout, left with an oblique injury after just 9 pitches; no prognosis as of Tuesday afternoon. For the cherry on top, Morrow was charged with the loss — just the 2nd time since 1996 that a starter lost with only 1 official batter faced.
- Jose Bautista is tied for the MLB lead with 7 outfield assists and is 5th in TZR.
- But who’ll play The Duke? Don’t laugh, but as the box scores mount, I’m getting a serious Mays/Mantle vibe about Bryce Harper and Mike Trout. This isn’t hype; it’s about what they’re doing in real big-league games. Sunday, although he didn’t start for the first time since his debut, Harper came off the bench in the tied 9th, drew his 20th walk, and scored the winning run on a double that didn’t get near the OF wall. Monday, he drove in the first run, then went 1st-to-3rd on an infield error and scored on a fly to medium RF. Although Bautista would get his revenge later with a “remember Jesse Barfield?” bullet to 3rd, Harper finished 4-2-3-1 with a steal and the game’s top WPA score.
Angels, @Dodgers 2: Mickey … er, Mike Trout led the comeback – in truth, he was the comeback – from an early 2-0 hole with a 2-out HR and another 2-out RBI, redeeming Erick Aybar‘s leadoff double in the 6th. Still tied in the 9th, Trout drew a 1-out walk off Kenley Jansen (0.94 WHIP), swiped 2nd on the first pitch, and scored on a 2-out single by Albert Pujols.
- In just 40 games, Trout has 35 Runs (a season pace of 142) and 2.6 WAR, 4th in the league. He also leads the AL with 15 steals, and is 7th in WPA.
- Los Halos have won 15 of 19, creeping within 2.5 games of Texas — their smallest gap in 2 full months. And it says here that the Angels will win the division.
- Chris Capuano was charged with 2 runs (one bequeathed) for just the 2nd time in 6 home starts.
- Hard to believe, but that was the first time this year that Albert had a go-ahead or tying RBI in the 7th inning or later. Seventeen players have at least 4 such RBI.
- Ernesto Frieri got the save alright, but snapped his streak 16 straight games with at least one strikeout. He got 2 strikes on 3 of his 5 batters, but couldn’t convert. He has 51 Ks in 29 IP, and has finished off 63% of all 2-strike counts; the MLB average is 39%.
- The Dodgers have lost 5 straight home games, after starting off 21-5. They got 13 men aboard, but scored only on a groundout and a double-error pickoff play.
- Torii Hunter‘s last 6 games: 13 for 27, 4 HRs, 10 Runs, 10 RBI. Suddenly, he’s sporting a career-best 130 OPS+.
Yankees 3, @Braves 0: New York built an early picket fence against young Randall Delgado, converting their very first chance with RISP (but not again all game), and Ivan Nova pitched scoreless ball for the first time this year to earn his 25th win in his 50th game.
- In the expansion era, only Mel Stottlemyre (29) and Orlando Hernandez (28) had more Yankee wins in their first 50 career games. Andy Pettitte and Chien-Ming Wang also had 25. Nova (25-8) has the best W% of the bunch.
- Yanks grabbed a share of the lead for the first time in 7 weeks. They’re 5-2 in interleague play this year and 162-109 all-time (.598) — 52-35 vs. the Mets and 110-74 against all other teams; both are .598 percentages.
@Marlins 4, Red Sox 1: The team with the AL’s 2nd-highest scoring and batting averages mustered 5 hits — 3 singles by Scott Podsednik, nothing from the #3-6 hitters — and lost their 4th straight, while Miami snapped out of a 6-game funk. Jose Reyes started the home nine off on the right foot with a triple on a 1-2 pitch from Josh Beckett.
- Might be the only time on grass that I’ve seen a second baseman lunge for a line drive, only to have it go for three bases. The clip doesn’t show RF Adrian Gonzalez until the ball is past him, so I’ve no clue where he was positioned or what approach he took. But he sure had a rough 1st inning, with all 3 runs scoring as a result of 4 balls hit in his pasture. It’s a tough call when they put Big Papi at 1B in NL parks, ’cause Pods has the speed for RF but not the arm, while A.G. may have the arm, but he’s no Speedy Gonzalez.
- After a very rocky start to his season, Josh Johnson has a 2.70 ERA in his last 7 starts (team 6-1), and 16 Ks over his last 2.
- On the surface, the 2-strike triple seems a symptom of Beckett’s troubles this year: He’s averaging 6.4 SO/9, against a prior career average of 8.5. However, his over-all 2-strike results are right in line with his career mark, and the pitch to Reyes, while not unhittable, didn’t seem destined for extra bags.
- Seven straight scoreless frames for Heath “No Leverage, Please!” Bell. Just 25 more will get his ERA under 3. Not sure what it will take to get his WPA into the black, starting from -2.29, the worst of any reliever this year.
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