Thursday game notes (light schedule)
Mets 3, D-backs 1: Matt Harvey was 4 for 15 with a HR at Buffalo, so I guess he’s not just kidding around up there. In his MLB debut, Harvey went 2 for 2 with a double and then a single, each with 2 strikes. On the hill, the touted righty (picked 7th just 2 years ago) fanned the first man he faced, and went on to set a new Mets debut record of 11 strikeouts, 3 more than the old mark by Tom Seaver (who else?) and matched by Bill Denehy just 3 days later.
- Harvey did not allow a run in 5.1 IP. He faced 4 men with RISP and got ‘em all, 3 by K. His night ended when pitch #106 became the 2nd walk of the 6th. He allowed 3 walks in all, and as many hits.
- He also tied the Mets debut record of 2 hits by a pitcher (Jason Roach, David West).
Pirates 5, @Astros 3: Starling Marte homered on the game’s first pitch in his MLB debut. He’s the first player this year to homer in his debut game; the last ones to do that were Brett Pill of the Giants (2011-09-06) and Nats pitcher Tommy Milone (2011-09-03). Fifty-one years had passed since a Pirate had done it – Don Leppert, 1961.
- A.J. Burnett (12-3) had a shutout into the 8th before he was nibbled by gophers.
- Joel Hanrahan is the first NL pitcher to 30 saves this year. He’s 70-7 in the past 2 years. Only Craig Kimbrel (75) has more saves since 2011, and Hanrahan has a better percentage.
- 5 of the game’s 13 hits were HRs, accounting for all but 1 run. Garrett Jones (1st inning) and Clint Barmes (2nd) each hit 2-run HRs off Houston’s Dallas Keuchel. (I hear that Austin Kearns is available in trade … what about Antonio Bastardo? Danny Worth? Irving Falu? Would you believe that Arlington John Murray actually pitched for the Rangers? OK, I’ve had my fun.)
@Indians 5, Tigers 3: Cleveland hung a “4″ on Justin Verlander‘s 7th-frame canvas, tying the game with back-to-back HRs and forging ahead with more pedestrian fare. That knocked Detroit a half-step off the pinnacle, and leveled JV’s career mark at 13-13 against the Tribe (4.77 ERA in 29 starts). That’s his most losses against any team, and worst ERA of any team he’s faced at least 7 times.
- Carlos Santana homered on the Verlander’s first pitch of the 7th (his 2nd HR in 15 face-offs), and was aped to the last detail by Pronk. Both atoned for their failures with RISP in the 4th, when they stifled a promising rally.
- Shin-Soo Choo scored twice and hit his 32nd double, one off the AL pace.
- Miggy‘s mortal: 0 for 4, 0 for 2 with RISP including a crucial 1st-and-3rd DP to end the top of the 7th. (I can feel the momentum shift just looking at the box score.) He almost got a bonus chance in the 9th, but Chris Perez closed door #29 on Quintin Berry and two runners before Cabrera could get out of the on-deck circle.
Nationals 8, @Brewers 2: Steve Lombardozzi‘s first career triple cleared the bases and capped a 4-run outburst against Yovani Gallardo, and Washington reached another milestone: 20 games over .500 (59-39) — a height last reached right before the 1994 season plunged off the cliff.
- Edwin Jackson scattered 8 hits (hey, I finally used that phrase!) but walked just one in his 7 scoreless innings.
- Henry Rodriguez nearly dashed our expectations, retiring the first two men, but in the end he managed to hit a batter and fall behind 2-and-0 before serving up a HR to PH Carlos Gomez, his 3rd in 4 games. (But maybe he was smart to steer clear of Gomez at first; 5 of his 8 HRs this year came on the first offering.)
- Do I see 41-year-old Darren Oliver sporting a 1.19 ERA and 0.88 WHIP? Five runs in 37.2 IP. These 5 years, age 37-41, have been the best of his career — 2.45 ERA/181 ERA+/1.10 WHIP. And he’s not a lefty specialist; he’s faced just as many RHBs this year and just owned them (11 for 62, no HRs). And consistent? Oliver is the only pitcher with a sub-3 ERA each of the last 5 years.
@Cardinals 7, Dodgers 4: Already leading the NL by 8 points in BA, OBP and OPS+, St. Louis added 18 more knocks in just 8 times up. Setup man Mitchell Boggs extended his scoreless streak to 18 games and trimmed his ERA to 1.71, 9th among relievers with 40+ IP.
- Lucky seven: Cards are 26-4 when they score 7 or more, but 27-42 if they don’t get there.
- David Freese (3-2-3-2) is hitting .460 in July, .314/.884 this year.
- Chris Capuano (6 R in 4.1 IP) has a 4.66 road ERA, 1.64 at home.
- Teams without an extra-base hit are now 20-158 this year. That’s like taking the legendary 1899 Cleveland Spiders on a postseason barnstorming tour and losing another 24 in a row.
@Orioles 6, Rays 2: Midway through this finale, Baltimore had scored 2 runs in the series and 3 in their past 3 games. They erupted with 5 to break the scoreless tie, and Chris Tillman kept Tampa down through the 6th to win for the 3rd time in his 4 starts.
- Chris Davis drove in 4 with a HR and a double, and Adam Jones broke the ice with a 2-run single.
- James Shields is this year’s first “10-and-5″ man: 10 Ks, 5 walks.
- KC has been no-hit just twice in their 43-year history, by Nolan Ryan and Jon Lester. Seattle has two CG no-hitters: 1993-04-22 and 1990-06-02.
- Royals on a 6-18 skid, haven’t won back-to-back since June.
Folks, that’s a wrap for July. Game Names is on vacation until Sunday, August 6. Enjoy!
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