The Cubs have a pitcher this year that they might actually build around, and not just trade the moment a team offers them warm body – Jake Arrieta. His 1.81 ERA leads the team and (although he’s not qualified for the ERA title thanks to him only making 11 starts this season) is the lowest in baseball among any pitcher with at least 60 innings pitched. His 2.4 fWAR is also good for 15th among all pitchers in the league despite that low innings pitched total, eclipsing guys like Chris Sale, Anibal Sanchez, Madison Bumgarner, and teammate Jeff Samardzija. So…maybe things are looking up, for once, in Chicago.
Game of the Night: Tigers 5, Athletics 4. This game was off the charts awesome in the final two innings. In the eighth, Oakland broke a 1-1 tie thanks to an RBI double by Brandon Moss and a two-run single by Jed Lowrie. The inning ended with no more damage after Phil Coke (!!!) managed to escape the mess of an inning following a double play and a ground out. Sean Doolittle, who has been lights out all season, came in for the Tigers in the ninth, and laid a rare egg. He allowed a lead off single to Nick Castellanos, and followed that up by giving up a single to Alex Avila. After striking out Eugenio Suarez for out number one, Doolittle issued an incredibly rare walk to Austin Jackson to bring up Rajai Davis…who smashed a walk off grand slam. Game, set, and match.
Pitching Lines of the Night: The aforementioned Jake Arrieta sparked the Cubs to a 2-0 win over the Red Sox, allowing one hit over 7 2/3 shutout innings, walking one and punching out ten. Dan Haren dominated the Indians in the Dodgers’ 1-0 win, giving up one hit of his own in seven scoreless frames, striking out five and walking one. Ubaldo Jimenez steamrolled the Rangers in Baltimore’s 7-1 win, allowing one unearned run on four hits in eight innings, walking one and striking out seven. In San Diego’s 1-0 win over Cincinnati, Jesse Hahn gave up three hits in five shutout innings, walking two and striking out nine. In the loss, Mat Latos allowed one run on one hit in seven innings, punching out four while walking one.
Hitting Lines of the Night: Steve Pearce played well in Baltimore’s win over Texas, going 2/5 with two homers and four RBI. In Detroit’s win over Oakland, Rajai Davis went 2/5 with that walk off grand slam and a stolen base. Robinson Cano continued to wake up in Seattle’s 10-4 win in Houston, going 2/5 with a homer, two runs, and three RBI. Teammate James Jones went 4/5 with two runs and three stolen bases as well. Ryan Zimmerman carried Washington to a 7-3 win over Colorado, going 3/4 with two doubles, two runs, and an RBI.
Other Games: The Rays beat the Yankees 4-3 in 12 innings. The Braves used a four-run eighth to beat the Mets 5-3. The Royals topped the Twins 6-1. The Angels and White Sox fell victim to rain, and will play two today.
Today’s Games: Garrett Richards starts game one of the Angels-White Sox doubleheader, while Jered Weaver starts game two. Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals host the Rockies. Jeff Locke and the Pirates host Wade Miley and the Diamondbacks. The struggling Mike Minor and the Braves take on the Mets. David Price and Hiroki Kuroda will square off in the Bronx. Rick Porcello and the Tigers take on the A’s. A.J. Burnerr and the Phillies battle Henderson Alvarez and the Marlins. James Shields starts for the Royals in Minnesota. Hisashi Iwakuma and Jarred Cosart will face off in Houston. Josh Beckett and the Dodgers host Justin Masterson and the Indians. Mike Leake and Ian Kennedy will duel in San Diego. Tim Lincecum and the Giants host Marco Gonzales and the Cardinals.
National TV: Brewers-Blue Jays (1 PM, MLB Network), Athletics-Tigers (7 PM, MLB Network), Rockies-Nationals (7 PM, MLB Network)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.