I haven’t kept up with the recaps due to a busy week — haven’t seen a single pitch since Dickey’s last. Here’s what I’ve got for tonight, with assorted scraps from the last few days:

Thursday

@Pirates 9, Twins 1: The first complete game of James McDonald‘s career was also the first by a Pirate since last July. The middle of the order brought the lumber, led (as usual) by Andrew McCutchen, who went 4-2-3-3, 3B, 2B.

  • Pedro Alvarez in his last 5 games has reached safely in 13 of 21 trips, with 5 HRs and just 2 Ks.
  • There is a lot of competition among NL aces, but McDonald’s 2.19 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and deadly consistency deserve some attention. He still hasn’t allowed more than 3 runs in any of his 14 starts this year, tops in MLB.
  • 7th game this year with no walks by either side; 5th time a team scored 9 runs or more without a walk.
  • The Bucs allowed 2 runs or less in 4 of their last 5 games.

@Tigers 2, Cardinals 1: It wasn’t Lolich vs. Gibson for all the marbles, but the 21-year-old Jacob Turner and the veteran Kyle Lohse hooked up in a duel of teams whose seasons are getting away from them. Turner walked 5 in 5 IP in his season debut against his hometown team, but he minimized the damage with a little help from his catcher Alex Avila, who gunned down a base stealer early in what otherwise might have been a big 5th inning for the Redbirds.

  • Turner was the 9th overall pick in the Strasburg — I mean, the 2009 draft.
  • Yikes!” sounds about right for that one. There was much preseason analysis about how the new park would affect Fielder’s HRs, but he’s hit 7 of 11 at home this year. Go figure: Detroit has 60 PAs with the bases loaded, but just 1 for Fielder. He’s hitting .391 with RISP, though 10 of his 11 HRs were solo shots.

@Athletics 4, Dodgers 1: Yoenis Cespedes capped Oakland’s sweep with his first game-ending hit, a 3-run HR.

  • Two runs on 8 hits – in a series? That’s all the A’s gave their SoCal guests. The last time the A’s allowed 3 hits or less for 3 straight games was 1992; the Dodgers have never been held to 3 hits or less 3 games in a row in the live-ball era. Before this series, they hadn’t had 3 hits or less in even 2 straight games since 2008, and their last time scoring 1 run or less in back-to-back games was August 2011.
  • Now, that’s a duel: Clayton Kershaw and Travis Blackley each allowed a run on 3 hits in 8 IP.
  • Ryan Cook garnered the win with (of course) a hitless inning. That’s 9 hits — 6 singles, 3 doubles — in 99 ABs.
  • Josh Lindblom has allowed just 24 hits in 34 IP, but 7 HRs. Ten of his 11 runs have come on HRs. Last year, no HRs in 29.2 IP.

@Nationals 5, Rays 2: If you’ve got it, flaunt it. After Gio Gonzalez gave 6 solid innings, Davey Johnson split up the last 9 outs among 5 relievers — none with an ERA over 2.08. The biggest leverage went to Ryan Mattheus, who got Will Rhymes to miss a 3-2 pitch, ending a sacks-full threat.

Rockies 4, @Phillies 1: One out away from ending his night with 7 scoreless frames and a chance for his first win since May 11, Vance Worley left a curveball up to Chris Nelson, hitting .182 against righties. Scoreless no more.

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How did I not hear that Oliver Perez was back in the majors? Two scoreless appearances for Ollie so far. In 22 relief outings at AAA this year, he had 42 Ks in 31 IP — but a 1.67 WHIP and 4.65 ERA. What the hell, bring him up; America needs more laughs.

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Wednesday

Braves 10, @Yankees 5: On a sweltering afternoon in Yankee Stadium, Atlanta’s Tommy Hanson and New York’s Phil Hughes served barbecued gopher skewers, 4 apiece. The Braves hit 2 of theirs with a man aboard (all solo for NYY), and won the HR battle over all on Jason Heyward‘s 2nd of the day, off Boone Logan in the 8th.

  • Heyward hadn’t homered in 10 games since June 7, when he also hit a pair.
  • Hughes seems particularly ill-suited to his home park. He’s now allowed 13 HRs in 7 home starts this year (39 IP), compared to 6 HRs in 7 road games (40 IP). Since the new park opened in 2009, Hughes has suffered 45 HRs in 218 IP at home, but just 16 HRs in 197 IP away.
  • Here’s a quirky thing: It’s the 28th Yankee loss while hitting 4+ HRs. Yet of their previous 34 games with 4+ HRs and no more than 8 hits, all were wins.
  • Since 1973, there have been just 5 games in which both starting pitchers allowed at least 4 HRs. Ironic, then, that 2 of those games came this year, and not in Coors Field, which had hosted 2 of the prior 3 games, both in 1999. (By the way, the only all-AL game ever to meet this criterion occurred in 1961, in that other Wrigley Field bandbox.)

@Diamondbacks 14, Mariners 10:

  • Third game this year in which both teams scored 10 runs or more. In 2000, there were 25 such games by this point in the season.
  • Seattle’s last losses when scoring 10+ were in 2008, a pair of 1-run games in Texas (separate series).
  • Arizona’s 14 runs upped the season high for both teams by 3.
  • Their 6 HRs: (1) Ties a team record (2006 & 2010); (2) Matches the MLB high this year, done twice before (including yesterday).
  • Aaron Hill: (1) Has a HR and a double in 3 straight games; last done in 2008 by Evan Longoria. (2) Hill’s last 15 games: 24 for 57 (.421), 5 HRs, 7 doubles, 2 triples, .877 SLG. (3) Season marks: .291/.360/.508.
  • Jason Vargas joined A.J. Burnett as the only pitchers to allow 10+ runs in a game since 2011-05-16. Vargas also matched this year’s high of 5 HRs allowed, last done on 2012-05-27 (by a winning pitcher). Vargas has allowed 15 HRs and 37 ER in his last 50.2 IP over 8 starts, raising his ERA from 2.79 to 4.66.

@Mets 4, Orioles 3: Glad I didn’t see Frank Francisco try to set his shoes on fire in the 9th inning, but I’m sorry I missed this: “J Hardy out on batter’s interference to catcher.” Wuzzah?

  • Through 7, Dillon Gee had allowed just a single and a walk, back-to-back in the 3rd, and was on the verge of his first scoreless start in over a year. But in the 8th: Single, HR, strikeout, walk, here comes Terry.
  • Gee has 2 hits this year, both doubles. The record for H=2B is 3; last done in a season of 20+ ABs by Rikkert Faneyte in 1994.
  • Is there a dance called the three-step? The Mets have 7 streaks of at least 3 wins — tied with the Dodgers, more than the Rangers or Yankees. In their last 25 games, they have 4 WWW’s and 3 LLL’s.

@Nationals 3, Rays 2: Washington got 3 hits & 3 runs in the 1st, nothing after — but their 3 pitchers made it stand up. In the last 12 half-innings, just 4 men reached base, and 2 were erased on DPs.

  • Don’t punch Dickey’s ticket for All-Star starter just yet. Stephen Strasburg fanned 10 and won his 6th straight start. He’s 9-1, 2.46, and leads the bigs with 110 strikeouts and 11.8 SO/9.
  • Since taking over the closer role, Tyler Clippard is 10 for 10 in save tries and has allowed 1 hit in 11.1 IP. He also has 10 Holds and has blown only 1 lead all year.
  • Lefty Sean Burnett (3 runs in 24 IP) has 11 Holds and hasn’t blown any leads this year.

@Red Sox 15, Marlins 5:

  • Mark Melancon has been almost perfect since his recall, retiring 10 of 11 batters over 4 games. He was sent down after retiring just 6 of his first 18 batters, with 5 HRs. He pitched great at AAA, 2 runs in 21 games, 27 Ks and 3 walks.
  • 37 games into his career, Will Middlebrooks has a .303 BA, 129 OPS+, 7 HRs … and 7 walks. When putting the first pitch in play, he’s 6 for 13 with 3 HRs and 2 doubles; yesterday’s HR on a 2-1 count was his first in an AB of more than 3 pitches.
  • 2nd career 4-hit game for Daniel Nava, both coming this month.
  • Boston’s 4 straight wins allowing 3 runs or more is one shy of this year’s MLB high, shared by Texas and Colorado.

@Athletics 4, Dodgers 1: In his first-ever CG, young Tommy Milone was almost perfect outside of the 2nd inning, when he allowed 2 of the 3 hits and his only walk.

  • In 48 PAs, Brandon Moss has 7 HRs, 3 doubles, and 2 singles. No one has ever had SLG>=BA in a season of more than 75 PAs. If his season were to end now (please, no!), he would be the first ever with at least 7 HRs in 70 PAs or less.
  • LA has 1 run on 5 hits over the last 2 games. They have the 4th two-game streak of 3 hits or less this year; Oakland has 2 of the other 3.

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American League ERAs by pitching role, from 2008:

  • Starters–4.48, 4.62, 4.26, 4.21, 4.33.
  • Relievers–4.13, 4.17, 3.90, 3.82, 3.33.

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Tuesday

Cubs 2, @White Sox 1: One bad inning in a great year for Jake Peavy; another bad game in a rough season for Orlando Hudson. Peavy took the loss despite allowing just 1 ER (2 runs) in 9 IP. Both runs were driven home in the 3rd by David DeJesus (who was hitting .133 in June), after Hudson’s error and a wild pitch put 2 in scoring position. The Sox had gone in front in the previous half, but missed out on more when Hudson popped up with the bases loaded and Alejandro De Aza struck out. Hudson went 0-4 and made the game’s last out with the tying run on base.

  • Seventh start, first win this year for Travis Wood.
  • Peavy, who reached 125 pitches for the first time since 2008 while working around a leadoff triple in the 9th, also has two 1-0 losses this year, making him the only SP with 3 losses of 1 ER or less and no more than 2 total runs. Only James McDonald has 2 such losses.
  • Hudson is hitting .167 for the Pale Hose and .194 over all (39/201). This would be the 4th straight year of decline in his BA, OBP, SLG and OPS+.
  • On Monday, the Cubs hit 5 HRs at U.S. Cellular Field. They had never hit more than 3 HRs in any of their 113 games in AL parks, including 42 in the Cell.
  • The Cubs will go for a sweep Wednesday. Only in 2007 did they sweep their Southside rivals on hostile turf (and that’s no cliche phrase). The Cubs have just one sweep of anyone this year (home vs. SDP); their last road sweep was Aug. 1-3 of 2011 in Pittsburgh.

Blue Jays 10, @Brewers 9: Toronto joined Texas as the only teams with 6 HRs in a game this year, with 3 straight in the 6th (Rasmus-Bautista-Encarnacion) and 2 in a row to start the 9th (Rasmus-Bautista), each on a 3-and-1 pitch from John Axford, who blew a 1-run lead for the 3rd time in 7 days and served up 2 HRs in a game for the first time in his 160th game.

  • In his last 22 games, Rasmus has 9 HRs, 19 Runs and 20 RBI. Bautista has 10 HRs in 15 games. It’s the 4th time in his career that a Bautista HR put his team in front in the 9th or later — but he’s never hit a walk-off.

 

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