Sunday summary

Yankees 5, @Tigers 1Derek Jeter hit the game’s first pitch over the wall in right, Phil Hughes tossed a 4-hitter for the first 9-inning CG of his career, and Justin Verlander lost a 3rd straight start for the first time since 2008.

  • Verlander has allowed 19 hits in his last 2 starts, after averaging 4.6 in his first 10. It’s just the 2nd time he’s ever yielded 9+ hits in consecutive starts.
  • The only run off Hughes was a mammoth wallop by Prince Fielder. Hughes has allowed a HR in 11 straight games, matching the longest streak of the last 3 years and the longest by a Yankee since 1994.
  • Yanks are back to 5 games over .500, their high mark of the year. They’re 15-8 against sub-.500 teams, 14-16 vs. others.

Braves 3, @Nationals 2: Jason Heyward put Atlanta in front to stay with a 2-out, 2-run single in the 5th, after the 2nd wild pitch of the inning put 2 in scoring position. Tommy Hanson (2 R in 7 IP) allowed nothing after the 1st and delivered the Braves’ second straight quality start, after 7 games without.

  • Washington took an early 2-0 lead on homers by their first two men, including the first ever by Steve Lombardozzi. But they squandered a scoring chance in the 2nd — men on 3rd and 1st with 1 out, still up 2-0 — partly due to a silly sacrifice by Gonzalez. Yeah, I know he has 2 hits and 11 Ks in 25 ABs; and maybe it was meant as a safety squeeze. It’s still nuts to give away an out in that situation.
  • Gio Gonzalez (4.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R) lost streaks of 5 straight winning starts and 9 straight with 5 hits or less. The former is the longest by a Nat since 2005 (Livan Hernandez); the latter is the longest for the Nats franchise since Floyd Youmans had 12 straight in 1986. Gio’s 10th straight game allowing 3 runs or less matches James McDonald for the longest streak this year.
  • Bryce Harper, who homered in the 1st on the pitch after Lombo’s shot, doubled with 1 out in the 5th for the second multi-XBH of his career — but was cut down trying for 3rd, by a strong relay throw from Atlanta rookie SS Andrelton Simmons, playing his 2nd career game.
  • Lombardozzi homered in his 53rd game and 153rd PA. Dad got there a little faster, hitting his first off Ron Guidry in his 45th game and 113th PA – and also as part of a back-to-back attack.

@Giants 2, Cubs 0: Don’t look now, but:

  • Barry Zito is 5-2, 2.98, with 7 quality starts in 11 outings.
  • SF has won 6 of 7 (despite averaging 3 runs in the wins) and closed to 3 games behind the Dodgers.
  • Chicago is on track for a 55-107 record, their first 100-loss season since 1966.
  • Thanks to RJ for the heads-up on this play: Melky singles home a runner … from 1st base.

@Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 1: Fatal wildness by Daniel Bard. He walked his first 2 men of the game in front of Jose Bautista’s 14th HR. Then he really lost it in the 2nd, with 3 more walks and 2 HBPs, forcing in 2 straight runs.

  • After leading the majors in WPA last year, Joey Bats is barely above zero, thanks mainly to a .226 BA. He already has 9 GIDPs, matching his average for the past 2 years.
  • The Jays salvaged the last game of the series and remained over .500, as they’ve been since April 28, without ever getting more than 5 games over.
  • 21-year-old Drew Hutchison won for the 4th time in 5 starts, allowing 3 runs in 26 IP in those wins.
  • Bard has averaged 5.9 unintentional walks per 9 IP through 10 starts. He averaged 2.9 over the past 2 years, working in relief.

Marlins 5, @Phillies 1: Miami grabbed a share of the throne for the first time in 13 months, pulling away in the 7th on a bases-loaded double by Jose Reyes.

  • Our long national wait is over: Big Z has crushed one. He’d gone a whole 10 games and 23 ABs since his last blast, off Johnny Cueto.
  • Signs of a bad day at the dish: Your only extra-base hit comes from Juan Pierre.
  • Reyes is getting on base at better than his career rate. His rate of doubles+triples is about the same as his career rate. He’s still batting leadoff, and he’s only missed one game. But he’s on pace for just 75 runs — 38 below his career rate per 162 games.

@White Sox 4, Mariners 2: Young Chris Sale followed his 15-K gem with his first career CG, throwing 81 strikes and 38 balls, and improved to 7-2, 2.30. Chicago leveled their home record at 14-14; they’re 17-9 away.

  • Firing BBs: The first Sox run came in a 3-walk inning, including the first bases-loaded pass ever to Brent Lillibridge, hitting .205 without a HR. Their 2nd run was fueled by a walk and a HBP. They matched a season high with 7 walks; they’re 9-3 when taking 5+ passes.
  • I know I’m behind the curve, but — a LOOGY named Luetge? Seattle rookie Lucas Lester Luetge had his longest outing, 2 scoreless innings. He has not allowed an earned run in 13.1 IP, and has stranded 13 of 14 inherited runners. Lefties are 2 for 25 against him, with 12 Ks.

@Rays 8, Orioles 4: Tampa hits the road alone in 1st, thanks to crooked numbers in the middle innings. Baltimore had more hits (12-6), more runners (15-10), more HRs (2-0) and more hits with RISP (3-2).

  • It’s the first time in 6 years and just the 2nd time since 1987 that a team scored 8+ runs with no HRs and no more than 10 (hits+walks) or 2 extra-base hits. There are 13 such games in searchable history; none had more than 8 runs. (Only one team ever did it with no XBH, but alas, no play-by-play.)
  • No Rays reached base in their 5 non-scoring innings. But in the 4th: walk, single, wild pitch, sac fly+throwing error = 2 runs. The 5th: walk, walk, walk, double = 2 runs. The 6th: double, single, single, single, error, sac fly = 4 runs.
  • Matt Moore followed his best start of the year with another solid effort, 2 runs (1 ER) in 6 IP.
  • Up next: Tampa is in the Bronx for yet another first-place showdown. Baltimore heads to Beantown, where they swept 3 last month to begin a 4-week stay in the penthouse.

Pirates 6, @Brewers 5: What league is this, again? What elevation? The game’s last 8 runs scored on 7 HRs, the biggest one by Andrew McCutchen in the 5th, turning a deficit into a lead.

  • The Bucs hit 4 HRs in a game for the first time in over a year and 4th since 2009. Other teams have averaged 13 4-HR games in that span.
  • James McDonald (3 R, 1 ER in 6 IP) has not allowed more than 3 runs in any of his 11 starts and has a 12-game streak dating to last year. McDonald had another 12-game streak last May-July; the last Pirate streak longer than that was by [gulp] Oliver Perez, 14 games in 2004.

@Astros 5, Reds 3: Houston snapped their 8-game skid (67 runs allowed) behind 21-year-old Jordan Lyles, who had his best game since his MLB debut a year ago (7 IP, 2 R, 5 H).

@Mets 6, Cardinals 1: New York’s #1-2 hitters, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Andres Torres, went 6 for 9 with a combined cycle and 5 RBI. Jonathon Niese went 2 for 2 at bat and had a career-high 10 Ks in 6 scoreless innings (1 walk); he has 61 Ks in 61.1 IP.

  • The 8th saw the MLB debut of Mets reliever Elvin Ramirez, whose minor-league line this year includes a 0.72 WHIP (27.2 IP, 12 hits, 8 walks, 35 Ks). In 14.2 IP at AAA, no runs, 1 walk and 19 Ks. His first 2 pitches were ripped, one for a hit, the other off his leg for a 1-3 putout, and he wound up surrendering the run that ended NY’s shutout streak. Welcome to the big leagues, kid.
  • The Mets (31-23) moved into a 3-way tie for the East lead. It’s the latest they’ve been in 1st since Sept. 15, 2008. They’re 23-16 vs. teams at or above .500 — good thing, ’cause their June schedule gets even tougher: @Nats, @Yanks, @Rays, Reds, O’s, Yanks — yikes!
  • St. Louis has the NL’s best run differential, but they’ve fallen to .500 with their 5th straight loss. Since their 20-11 peak, they’ve gone 7-16 (with 3 losing streaks of 4+) and dropped 7 games in the standings. They’re 15-8 against teams below .500, but 12-19 against the others.
  • Belated note: R.A. Dickey is the first to follow a teammate’s no-hitter with an individual shutout since … I don’t know, but it didn’t happen after any of the previous 32 no-hitters, going back through 1996. The last team shutout after a no-hitter was in 2003, when Brett Myers & co. did it after Kevin Millwood‘s no-no.

@Royals 2, A’s 0: 11th shutout loss for the A’s, 3 more than any other team. If you’re thinking “1968,” forget it: Only one other team since 1918 was blanked 11 times in their first 54 games — the 1954 Pirates, who were 16-38 at that point and finished 53-101.

  • Oakland’s 18 games with 1 run or less is more than any other team since the 1991 Indians, who lost 105.

Diamondbacks 6, @Padres 0: First NL shutout for Trevor Cahill. Since its 2004 opening, Petco has hosted 105 team shutouts — 30 more than the average of the other parks.

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Psychdoc77
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I never comment, but I want to echo what so many have said-these round-ups are fantastic! Some of the best baseball-related material out there. Thanks!

Ed
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This has probably been mentioned/discussed already but right now all 10 Eastern division teams have winning records. Only 4 of them have winning records within their division so they’re definitely beating up on the central and western divisions. Meanwhile, only 8 teams in the central and western divisions have winning records (with the Cardinals at exactly .500).

Jimbo
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would be kind of odd if the east teams were all beating up on their own division…

Ed
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Here’s an interesting stat. Right now Andrew McCutchen is the only Pirate with an OPS+ above 100. I’m not talking just among the regulars, I’m talking about the whole team…starters, backups, pitchers, etc. In fact, his OPS+ (160) is more than double his team’s OPS+ (71). Not sure how you’d find out, but I wonder if anyone’s ever done that before???? Hmmm…now that I think about it, obviously Bonds did it during his steroid days. He also did it in 1992 with the Pirates (204 vs. 100). So there are probably others. But to do it with an OPS+ of… Read more »
Hartvig
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I wonder if some Pirates fans will eventually do to McCutchen what some fans in other cities have done and start blaming him for his teammates failings? Bobby Murcer in New York wasn’t as good as Mantle and didn’t win any championships- gone. Bobby Bonds wasn’t as good as Mays and their record was getting worse-gone. Kiner in Pittsburg, maybe Williams by some in Boston. I’m not saying all or even the majority of fans were doing this but I’ve noticed it among sports fans of my acquaintance- it doesn’t seem to be applied consistently to all players but I… Read more »
Nash Bruce
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I think that maybe in Mauer’s case, the situation is that his giant contract came at the time of the the new stadium, which was supposed to signal the beginning of a new era, when the Twins would ‘play with the big boys’, spending big money, consistently contending for titles, and so on. Whereas, when Morneau had his success (has it been _that_ long already?) the Twins were still the lovable, scrappy underdog. In fact, his MVP year was the miraculous 2006 season, when the Twins came all the way back from nowhere, to win the division. If this is… Read more »
Jimbo
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Barry Zito has officially pissed me off.

Sign a huge 7 year contract. Suck for 5 years. Now all of a sudden he finds the motivation again?

Prince Fielder hits the most awesome looking home runs of any MLB’er, hands down IMO.

Juan Pierre is not batting .340 Maybe he’ll challenge for the batting title. That would be hilarious. He’d probably get MVP votes. Then make a run at 3000 hits and get HOF votes. In any case, he should give Ichiro a hitting lesson.

Doug
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Actually, Pierre IS batting .340. Ichiro will get to 2500 hits sometime this month. Assuming Manny and Vlad make an appearance at some point this year, that would make 8 active players over the 2500 mark, the same number as in 2010 and 2011, and tied for the most for any season (also had 8 in 1976). If Helton or Abreu make it by the end of the year, it will be a new high-water mark for this threshold. Also have opportunity later in the year for 4 players in a game over 2500 hits – Vlad/Vizquel vs. Jeter/A-Rod, only… Read more »
Lawrence Azrin
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You mentioned the first two Nationals batter homered, but also: 1) Steve Lombardozzi hit his HR on the first pitch he saw in the game 2) Both Lombardozzi and Harper are rookies, and apparently this is the first time a team has had rookies be the first two batters of game, and hit HRs (at least since 1900) But wait, there’s more! 3) These two HRs came on the FIRST TWO PITCHES to Nationals batters. I don’t know if that has ever happened before. I attended this game, and WOW! WHAT A START!! Little did I know that the Nationals… Read more »
ATarwerdi96
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An interesting note from yesterday: all thirty starting pitchers got decisions. First time that has happened this year; didn’t happen at all last year.

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