Wednesday game notes: Rays flushing the W.C.?
… and we’re back, with a few quick notes.
Yankees 5, @Orioles 4 — Tommy Hunter kept the O’s tied through the 8th, retiring A-Rod with a man aboard. Buck Showalter let him start the 9th against Robinson Cano. Whoops.
Cano’s 27th HR gave him 100 RBI, and was the 10th tater by a lefty in 150 ABs off Hunter, who also served a 1-out triple by Curtis Granderson. At last, Buck brought in a southpaw for Lyle Overbay, but his well-placed grounder brought the extra run home. Mariano got 2 quick outs, then 2-strike hits by Nate McLouth and Brian Roberts kept Baltimore breathing. But Manny Machado went down swinging at a high fastball.
- Andy Pettitte had a 1-0 lead with 2 outs in the 3rd, then started falling behind: 1-and-0 single, 2-and-0 single, 2-and-0 2-run double by Chris Davis.
- Scott Feldman walked his opening batter for just the 2nd time this year, and it cost him a run on a steal and two groundouts. Then he put down 12 in a row. New York’s first two hits were HRs by Granderson and A-Rod.
- Danny Valencia went 4-4 with a double, 3 of the hits off Andy Pettitte. He’s batting .385 (30-78) and slugging .692 off southpaws.
Red Sox 7, @Rays 3 — Boston’s early 3-0 lead eroded into extra innings, but Mike Carp’s pinch-slam off Roberto Hernandez deepened Tampa’s slump and brought unintended joy to Yankee Land.
- With a comfortable lead in the division, John Farrell eschewed his top short relievers and used Brandon Workman for 2 innings, and the rookie gave up a run each frame, including Jame Loney’s tying HR in the 8th.
Royals 6, @Indians 2 — James Shields gave up 2 hits in the 1st, then no more until the 9th, and earned his first win over Cleveland since 2011. Shields reached 200 innings for the 7th year in a row, likely to be joined there by Verlander, Sabathia and Buehrle. Shields is 4th in total innings since 2007, after Sabathia, Verlander and King Felix.
- In the 6th inning, Carlos Santana drew the Tribe’s only walk of the series. It’s the first time this year they’ve gone 3 straight games receiving 1 walk or less.
- K.C. is 25-22 against teams currently holding a playoff berth.
- Standings for the AL’s 2nd wild card: Rays 78-66, Yankees 78-68 (-1.0), Indians & Orioles 77-68 (-1.5), Royals 77-69 (-2.0).
@Marlins 5, Braves 2 — The last rookie outing by Miami’s precocious ace was more hard-working Jose than flashy Fernandez, at least when he was facing the plate. The righty worked past scoring threats in the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th; gave up a solo HR to Evan Gattis in the 6th; got the run back with his first homer (and some free advice on big-league etiquette); and finished his year with a strikeout of Justin Upton, a 12-6 record and a 2.19 ERA — 2nd-best ever by a qualified Marlin, and the 5th-best modern mark by a pitcher not past his age-20 season.
- Fernandez also batted .220 (11-50), with a HR, triple and double for a .340 slugging average. Both marks are better than what he allowed.
- Fernandez leads the NL right now in SO/9 and H/9.
Tigers 1, @White Sox 0 — Omar Infante’s 2-out single in the 8th brought Prince Fielder rumbling in from 2nd with the game’s only run, on their first hit in 9 tries with RISP. Anibal Sanchez left the bags full in the 5th, then fanned 5 of his next 7 men (10 Ks overall) before a hit and walk sent him off with 1 out in the 8th. Jose Veras and Drew Smyly quelled that uprising with a whiff apiece, and Joaquin Benoit closed his 18th save (none blown) with nothing past the infield.
- Sanchez won his 14th, a new personal best, and trimmed his AL-low ERA to 2.50.
- Detroit left 5 runners in the first 2 innings, going 0-5 with RISP just in those stanzas.
- Jose Quintana gets nada for his 7 strong innings against MLB’s #2 offense.
@Cardinals 5, Brewers 1 — Four runs in the 8th snapped a tie and kept the Cards clear in the Central. Carlos Beltran’s bases-loaded sac fly scored Matt Carpenter for the lead, and a 2-out blast by Matt Adams broke it open. Lance Lynn fanned 10 over 6 innings, allowing an unearned run, for his first quality start in 6 outings while ending a 4-start losing streak with a no-decision.
Milwaukee took advantage of Yadier Molina’s unscheduled absence, scoring their run in the 2nd on a 2-out double steal plus an overthrow by Tony Cruz. Marco Estrada didn’t allow a hit until Matt Carpenter’s 2-out dribbler in the 6th, but he left with 2 on in the 7th, and Daniel Descalso’s 2-out hit tied it.
Athletics 18, @Twins 3 (9th) – A little 10-run, 10-hit romp in the 4th inning — but unlike sandlot rules, they didn’t stop and choose up new sides.
Why am I unmoved by Ichiro’s hits total in Japan? Exhibit A is the performance by Wladimir Balentien, in the major leagues, and in the minor leagues — including this year’s NPB-record-tying 55 home runs. I don’t doubt that Ichiro would have hit well in the majors had he arrived years earlier, and racked up historic hit totals. But the specific stats he compiled in Japan, against competition that was undeniably below MLB-caliber, just don’t seem very relevant.
- Beltre’s batting .345 with the bases empty, .245 with RISP.
- Alfonso Soriano has 47 RBI in 43 Yankees games. The last Yankee with at least one RBI per game in 40+ games was Joe DiMaggio, 1948. The only Yankees ever to do that were DiMaggio (4 times), Babe Ruth (7) and Lou Gehrig (4).
- Koji Uehara has retired 31 straight batters over his last 9 games, totaling 10 innings — 2nd-longest streak (by IP) in searchable history, after Bobby Jenks, 13 IP in 2007 (tied with Sergio Romo, 2011).
@Dodgers 5, D-backs 3 (11 inn.) — L.A.’s bullpen retired 15 out of 16 batters.
- Scott Van Slyke is slugging .519 (28 for 108, 7 HRs, 7 doubles) — the same as Adrian Beltre and Andrew McCutchen.
- Adrian Gonzalez is incredibly slow, so it’s tough to say whether he was running hard from the start of this should-be double.
- According to one calculation of win expectancy, a visiting team down by one run with 2 outs in the 9th has a 9.1% chance of winning if they have a man on 2nd base, and 9.5% with a man on 3rd base.
- The game’s other biggest play: Luis Ayala came in to face Giancarlo Stanton with 2 outs in the 7th, bases full and a one-run lead, and whiffed him on three pitches. (See 1:41 of the game summary.) Ayala’s stranded 17 of inherited 20 runners in 30 games for Atlanta.
Tigers 9, @White Sox 1 — Cross Rick Porcello off the active list of most starts without a complete game, as he crossed the finish line in career start #147. Teammate Max Scherzer is the active leader at 162, approaching the all-time mark of 167 by Tony Armas, Jr.
- Can you find a more consistently mediocre pitcher than Porcello? This would be his 4th straight qualified year with an ERA between 4.56 and 4.92 (ERA+ of 85 to 92). He would be the only qualified pitcher under a 100 ERA+ each of the last 4 years. Just two other modern pitchers had 4 such years by age 24 — Red Ruffing and Jeremy Bonderman.
Nationals 6, @Mets 3 — Suddenly, Jayson Werth has a shot at the NL’s batting, slugging and OPS crowns. There are two batting titles in club history, by Tim Raines (1986, .334) and Al Oliver (1982, .331) — but no SLG or OPS titles. Remember the last NL’er to lead in both batting and slugging?
Rockies 9, @Giants 8 — What does Carlos Gonzalez have in common with Darin Mastroianni? In his last 5 games, CarGo has played the field without batting — matching the longest such streak of the year for non-pitchers, with Mastroianni the only other outfielder.
- I don’t know what’s up with that, but I hope they know it doesn’t help him qualify for the batting title.
Astros 13, @Mariners 2 — Houston hit 8 doubles, almost exactly 10 years since their last 8-doubles game. Can you spot the other “doubular” aspect of that game which is unique in Astros history, and hasn’t been done in the majors since then?
@Dodgers 8, D-backs 1 — Five out of eight 3-HR games this year were by third basemen — the most in any season for that position. Juan Uribe is the first Dodgers 3B to do it.
Nationals 6, @Mets 0 — Gio Gonzalez allowed just a walk through 6 innings, only 73 pitches. Pinch-hitter Zach Lutz broke it up on the first pitch of the 7th. The last no-hitter against the Mets was by Darryl Kile in Sept. 1993. Gio hasn’t gone the route in his last 33 starts.
- Denard Span and Ryan Zimmerman started the game with back-to-back home runs. Per my Event Finder search:
- It’s a first in Nats/Expos history. They had three home games starting with two HRs in the bottom of the 1st: on June 16 of 2002 (Wilkerson, Vidro) and of 2011 (Werth, Bernadina), and June 3, 2012 (Lombardozzi & Harper on consecutive pitches). Gio Gonzalez has been the beneficiary of the last two such games (counting tonight); he lost his first try.
- It’s the first time since 2011 that any team started a game off with two homers. There were three such games in 2011, two by Milwaukee and two against Edinson Volquez, including the season opener (won 7-6 by the Reds on a 2-out, 3-run HR).
- It’s happened to the Mets just once before: the nightcap of a 2003 split-stadium twinbill against the Yankees (Soriano & Jeter).
- Carlos Torres gave up two more HRs, becoming the first Met this year to surrender four in a game. Johan Santana was the last Met to do that, right after his no-hitter, in Yankee Stadium (including three straight). Johan’s also the only other Met to give up 4 HRs in Citi Field — a game he won.
- Wilson Ramos hit Washington’s 5th HR in the 5th — a new Citi Field record — after two 2-out walks. Their franchise record is 8 HRs, in Atlanta on 1978-07-30.
Blue Jays 2, @Twins 0 — The 13th game this year wherein both starters allowed no runs in an outing that lasted 7+ innings. For fun, here’s the last such game at thresholds of 8 innings, 9 innings, 10 innings, 11 to 13 IP, 14-15 innings, and the only searchable game with 16+ scoreless innings by both starters.
It didn’t buy him a win, but the 7 shutout innings by Andrew Albers marked the third time in 7 career games that he’s gone at least 7 with no runs. The only pitchers to match that since 1916 were Rolando Arrojo (1998, 2 CG shutouts), Pedro Astacio (1992, 3 SHO), Bob Milacki (1982-83, 2 SHO), Steve Rogers (1973, 2 SHO), and Dave “Boo” Ferriss (1945, 4 SHO). Only Ferriss had 4 such games within his first 7.
- Albers also has an impressive control record. His 3 BB in 45.2 IP would be the 9th-best rate for 40+ innings in the 60-foot era. Just 3 pitchers had a lower walk rate with as many starts as Albers.
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