@Nationals 9, Cubs 1: Through Monday, 387 games had been played at Nationals Park, and only one team had ever hit 5 HRs there. Now the Nats have hit 6 HRs in consecutive home games. Bryce Harper hit 2 for the 2nd time in a week (giving him 15 Runs and 15 RBI in his last 16 starts) and Adam LaRoche connected for the 3rd game in a row (2nd time this year, 3rd career) as Washington won their 4th straight, putting them on pace for 100 wins.
- No other team this year or last had two 6-HR games all year. The last team to do it in consecutive games was the 2003 Angels, against Montreal in Estadio Hiram Bithorn. The last time before that was 1996 in Coors. So the last time it was done under normal MLB circumstances was … never.
- Gio Gonzalez tied for the MLB lead with his 18th win. He leads the majors at 6.8 H/9 and 0.4 HR/9.
- The Cubs have rounded off their road W% to .250 (17-51). An 0-13 finish would give them a share of the post-WWII record of 64 road losses, held by the 2010 Pirates and the 1963 Mets.
@White Sox 6, Twins 2: Chicago maintained their 1-game lead, as Alex Rios punished the wildness of P.J. Walters with a pair of HRs that plated all 3 of his walks. Rios joined Carlos Beltran as the only ones this year to drive in 6+ and all of their team’s runs; it was done just once last year. Rios’s prior career best was 4 RBI.
- Paul Konerko‘s last 75 games: .254/.705, 25 Runs, 31 RBI.
- Minnesota has lost 20 of 27.
@Tigers 7, Indians 1: Miguel Cabrera hit a 2-run HR in the 1st, and Doug Fister — doing what he usually does to Cleveland — made that lead stand up through 7 innings before Detroit dropped a nickel in the 8th. In 12 starts against the Tribe, Fister has a 2.24 ERA and 0.90 WHIP. The Bengals halted a 2-game slide and stayed 1 game behind Chicago in the division race.
- Crowning achievement? Cabrera nosed ahead of Mike Trout in the AL batting race, .3302 to .3298, and also grabbed the RBI lead from Josh Hamilton, 116 to 114. He’s 3 behind the HR leaders.
Padres 4, @Dodgers 3: It was the 6th straight LA game decided by 1 run and/or in extra innings. The visitors led by 3 after 5 batters, with 2 runs crossing on this Chase Headley double that featured a less-than-all-out pursuit by Matt Kemp. The Dodgers pulled even with singletons in the 2nd, 3rd and 5th, but failed to convert what might have been much bigger innings. SD’s go-ahead run started with a leadoff walk by Will Venable, who reached in 4 of 5 trips; he stole 2nd, took 3rd on Headley’s single and scored on a sac fly.
- Kemp’s bid for a go-ahead HR was denied. He wound up 0-4, each time with someone aboard.
- LA got 10 hits (all singles) in Clayton Richard‘s 4.2 IP, but no hits against a string of 6 relievers.
- I did not know that: Venable is one of 10 players with 20+ steals each of the last 3 years.
- San Diego has won 12 of 16. They were 34-54 at the Break, but 30-21 since. They’re 21-13 in games started by Yasmani Grandal.
- Since the Break, Headley has 16 HRs and 52 RBI in 51 games, hitting .313/.949. He ranks 2nd in the NL with 94 RBI, twice as many as the next Padre, and his 24 HRs are 20 more than he hit last year. His 17 road HRs rank 2nd in the NL.
Mets 6, @Cardinals 2: With no motivation left but individual accolades and rival spoilage, New York got what they could from this afternoon tilt. R.A. Dickey stayed in the vanguard of the Cy Young race with his 18th win and 22nd QS, both tied for the NL and MLB lead; he’s 2nd in the NL in IP, ERA, SO, WHIP and WAR. And after Adam Wainwright homered on an 0-2 “fastball” to trim his deficit to 2-1, he left a curveball in the hitting zone for Ike Davis, whose 26th HR brought in 3 and left him with a good shot at the Mets’ first 30-HR season since 2008.
- It will never make up for the 2006 NLCS, but the Mets have pummeled Wainwright in 3 straight starts and have touched him for 25 runs in 27.1 IP in the regular season.
- Davis has 8 HRs worth 3+ runs, leading MLB by 2, and as many as the next 3 Mets combined.
- Shelby Miller struck out 4 of 7 batters in his MLB debut. Just 21, he was 2nd in the PCL with 160 Ks; he’s averaged 11.1 SO/9 in just under 400 minor-league innings.
@Braves 1, Rockies 0: In a game whose 6 total hits were all singles, Atlanta got the only run on an errant relay throw by rookie Josh Rutledge, his 10th miscue in 38 games. Jordan Pacheco broke up Mike Minor‘s no-hit bid in the 7th, but Craig Kimbrel avenged his comrade by striking out Pacheco with the go-ahead runs on base to end the 8th. (Yes, the 8th inning.) (And yes, we’re talking about Wednesday’s game, not Thursday’s.)
- Making his first appearance before the 9th inning since 2010 and inheriting runners for the first time since last August, Kimbrel earned the highest WPA of his career, 0.281. Do you think it odd that the pitcher with the highest career K rate ever (15.75 SO/9) is almost never used situations where a strikeout would do the most good?
- In his last 11 starts, Minor has a 2.58 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 4.0 SO/BB. In 9 starts supported by 2 runs or less, he’s 3-6, 2.66.
Brewers 8, @Marlins 5: Without winning more than 4 in a row, Milwaukee has gone 15-5 in the last 3 weeks, approaching the periphery of the wild-card race at 67-69, 6 games behind STL in the loss column. Rickie Weeks (2 HRs) and Corey Hart (2-out HR, 2-out double) split the RBIs, and Wily Peralta got the win with Quality in his first MLB start.
- Francisco Rodriguez and John Axford each pitched a scoreless inning. Neither the sky nor the ground cracked open, but the calendar still says “2012,” so let’s just wait and see….
P.S. Best wishes to Brandon McCarthy for a speedy recovery.