I’m not one to freak out too much about a sample size of a few starts, but the differences between Drew Smyly and David Price since they were traded for one another is shocking. In five starts with Detroit, Price has a 4.41 ERA, striking out 35 and walking seven in 32 2/3 innings. In five starts with Tampa Bay, Smyly has a 1.50 ERA in 36 innings, striking out 29 and walking seven. As the Tigers begin to fall further back of the Royals in the AL Central, maybe the price of Austin Jackson and Smyly was just too much for Price, who did nothing for them but further bolster a strength. Maybe, just maybe, we should stop doubting Andrew Friedman so much when he makes controversial moves like this trade.
Game of the Night: Giants 4, Rockies 2. Plenty of viable candidates last night, but I’m going with the one that had the most playoff implications. Tim Hudson laid waste to the Rockies through eight innings, and handed the ball over to Santiago Casilla before the ninth with a 2-1 lead. Maybe Bruce Bochy should have let Hudson finish the game, because Casilla struggled in the ninth, throwing just five strikes over 15 pitches – and the Rockies made him pay. After hitting Drew Stubbs, Casilla wasted no time in serving up a meatball to Justin Morneau, who doubled in Stubbs to tie the game at two. Morneau would die at second though, because Nolan Arenado grounded out, Corey Dickerson was intentionally walked, and Michael McKenry grounded into an inning-ending double play. In the bottom of the ninth, former starter Juan Nicasio game in for Colorado, and sandwiched a pair of strikeouts around an Angel Pagan single. Of course, two strikeouts don’t mean much of anything when you throw Buster Posey a pitch that he hits over the fence for a walk off, two-run homer. The Giants are still five back in the NL West standings, but moved to just a game back of the Cardinals for the NL’s top Wild Card spot, and held their lead over the Braves and Pirates for the second Wild Card at 1.5 games.
Pitching Lines of the Night: As I just mentioned, Tim Hudson was excellent for the Giants in their win, allowing one run on four hits in eight innings, walking one and striking out eight. Division rival Clayton Kershaw was just as good in helping the Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks 3-1, giving up one unearned run on six hits in eight innings, walking a pair and striking out ten. The aforementioned Smyly shined in the Rays’ 3-1 win over the Orioles, allowing one run on two hits in seven innings, punching out six and walking one. Liam Hendriks helped the Royals to a 6-1 win over the Twins, giving up one run on four hits in seven innings, striking out five without a walk. Marcus Stroman dazzled for the Blue Jays in their 5-2 win over the Red Sox, giving up two runs (one earned) on five hits in 7 2/3 innings, walking one and striking out six. Odrisamer Despaigne led the Padres to a 3-2, ten inning win over the Brewers, allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits in seven innings, walking one and striking out nine.
Hitting Lines of the Night: In Washington’s 8-4 loss to the Phillies, Denard Span went 3/4 with a double, a solo homer, and three runs scored. In the win for Philadelphia, Marlon Byrd went 3/5 with a homer, two runs, and two RBI. Leonys Martin shined for the Rangers in their 12-4 win over the Mariners, going 3/5 with a homer, two runs, and three RBI. Buster Posey went 3/5 with three RBI and that big walk off homer for the Giants in their victory against the Rockies. Sam Fuld finished off an A’s rally in Oakland’s 5-4 win in Houston, going 3/5 with a double, a homer, and two RBI. Mike Trout went 2/3 with a homer, two runs, two RBI, and two walks in the Angels’ 6-1 win over the Marlins, while Adeiny Hechavarria went a perfect 3/3 with a walk and a solo homer in the loss for Miami.
Other Games: The Pirates topped the Cardinals 3-1. The Braves held on to beat the Mets 3-2. The Yankees doubled up the Tigers 8-4. The Reds escaped the Cubs 7-5. The White Sox rallied to beat the Indians 3-2.
Today’s Games: Jake Arrieta and the Cubs take on the Reds. Hiroki Kuroda gets the nod for the Yankees in Detroit. Bud Norris and the Orioles take on the Rays. Jon Niese and the Mets host Mike Minor and the Braves. Carlos Carraso starts for the Indians in Chicago against the White Sox. Collin McHugh starts for the Astros against the Rangers. Sonny Gray and C.J. Wilson will face off in Anaheim.
National TV: Cubs-Reds (12:30 PM, MLB Network), Yankees-Tigers (1 PM, MLB Network), Athletics-Angels (10 PM, MLB Network)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.