Jason Hammel is having one of the more unheralded seasons in baseball this year for the Orioles, being acquired from the Rockies (along with reliever Matt Lindstrom) for starter Jeremy Guthrie (who isn't even in Colorado's rotation anymore!). In Hammel's last two starts, against the Nationals and Braves (the two top teams in the NL East), he's allowed just one unearned run in 17 innings, while giving up six hits, two walks, and striking out 18. So to recap, against the two top teams in the second best division in baseball in his last two starts, Hammel has struck out a batter per inning and has a 0.47 WHIP. Not bad….not bad at all. Last night, Hammel's dominant start led his Orioles team to a 2-1 win over Washington. Baltimore still isn't going away!
Game of the Night: Brewers 1, White Sox 0 (ten innings). Zack Greinke threw nine shutout innings for the Brewers, but didn't get a complete game, thanks to his offense giving him a grand total of zero runs. That was thanks to Chris Sale of the White Sox, who threw eight shutout innings of his own. Milwaukee finally broke through in the tenth, after Aramis Ramirez doubled, and the struggling Rickie Weeks singled home pinch runner Nyjer Morgan to put the Brewers on the board. John Axford finished off the White Sox on 11 pitches in the bottom of the inning, and the sliding White Sox were dealt another tough blow.
Pitching Lines of the Night: I already mentioned Greinke, Sale, and Hammel, but let's take a look at their exact line scores. Greinke went nine for the Brewers, giving up three hits, one walk, and striking out four. Sale went eight, giving up four hits, one walk, and striking out seven. Hammel also went eight, allowing five, one unearned run, walking none, and striking out ten. In other great efforts, Astros rookie Lucas Harrell went seven against the Indians, allowing only one run on two hits, walking three and striking out nine. He got the loss in a 2-0 Cleveland win…thanks for playing, Astros offense! Braves starter Jair Jurrjens' return to the rotation was a success, as he went 7 2/3 against the Red Sox, giving up one run on three hits, walking one and striking out four in the Braves' 4-1 win.
Hitting Lines of the Night: In Minnesota's 5-4 win in Cincinnati, Ryan Doumit was a star for the Twins. He went 4/4 with two runs, a double, and a homer. Oft-injured Mariners outfielder Franklin Gutierrez had a good game, though Seattle did fall to the Padres 9-5. Gutierrez went 4/5 with two runs, two RBI, and his second homer of the year. Oh yeah, and there's that Jose Bautista guy, who led the Blue Jays to a 12-5 romp of the Marlins. Bautista went 2/3 with three runs, three RBI, two walks, and his 23rd homer of the year, which ties him with Adam Dunn for the major league lead. Not bad, Jose…not bad.
Spotlight Series: My brand new laptop crashed, and it took me five hours to fix yesterday before I was able to get it back in working order. Thus, no spotlight series this weekend.
Other Games: Josh Collmenter got a spot start for the Diamondbacks, but that didn't stop them in a 6-1 win over the Cubs that finally brought them up to the .500 mark. The Pirates beat the Tigers 4-1 as AJ Burnett starred on the mound again. Roy Oswalt won his Rangers debut in a 4-1 win over the Rockies. The Mets beat the Yankees 6-4 despite three homers from the Yanks. The Cardinals crushed the Royals 11-4, as Carlos Beltran finally returned to Kansas City. The Angels overcame an early 5-0 deficit to beat the Dodgers 8-5. The Giants rallied late to beat the A's 5-4.
Today's Games: Ian Kennedy starts for the Diamondbacks against the Cubs. Adam Wainwright will start for the Cardinals against the Royals. Edwin Jackson takes on Wei-Yin Chen in Baltimore. James Shields will start for the Rays in Philly. Johnny Cueto starts for the Reds as they host the Twins. Madison Bumgarner starts for the Giants in Oakland. Felix Hernandez will start in San Diego, and if he doesn't light them up…what the hell is the problem here?
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.