This weekend, several contenders squared off across baseball. And at the end of action on Sunday, we learned…well, nothing. Baltimore lost two out of three in Cleveland. Seattle won two out of three in Detroit, with the Tigers scoring just seven runs over the three game series. The Blue Jays lost two out of three to the White Sox, allowing 21 runs over the three game set. The Yankees took two out of three from the Rays. The Angels took two out of three from the Rangers, but their bullpen allowed multiple runs in all three games. The Nationals swept the Pirates, but two of their wins game in walk off fashion. The Cardinals performed well, taking three out of four at Busch Stadium from the Padres. The Brewers somehow swept the Dodgers in Los Angeles, beating both Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw. The Giants took two out of three from a struggling Phillies team. The Reds’ season essentially ended in Denver after the team lost three out of four, including a crushing doubleheader defeat on Sunday. The Braves, who were a little over a week removed from an 0-8 road trip, swept the A’s to complete a 6-4 homestand against the Nationals, Dodgers, and Athletics.
Needless to say, we don’t know a damn thing about anything on August 18th.
Game of the Day: Rockies 10, Reds 9. This was one of those completely crazy games that can happen only at Coors Field. Colorado scored three runs over the first two innings, but the Reds proceeded to score seven runs combined in innings four through six, moving ahead 7-3. The Rockies pulled to 7-5 in the seventh, but Cincinnati added a pair of insurance runs in the ninth to give Aroldis Chapman a four run cushion. And then…Chapman completely and utterly imploded. He walked Nolan Arenado to begin the inning. Then, he walked Michael McKenry after a nine pitch battle. Josh Rutledge was next up, and he didn’t move his bat, drawing a five pitch walk to load the bases for the tying run in the form of Charlie Culberson. Culberson battled Chapman for nine pitches of his own, and ended up on first base with Chapman’s fourth free pass of the inning, bringing in Arenado to make it 9-6. J.J. Hoover replaced Chapman, and forced Wilin Rosario to hit a sac fly for out number one, making it 9-7. Hoover then forced Charlie Blackmon to line out for number two, and all that stood in between the Reds and a win was Drew Stubbs. Of course, Stubbs hit a deep fly ball to left center that kept carrying and carrying and ended up over the fence for a walk off, three-run homer, sending the Reds back under .500.
Pitching Lines of the Day: Jake Arrieta pitched the Cubs to a 2-1 win over the Mets, allowing two hits over seven shutout innings, walking a pair and punching out nine. In the loss for New York, Rafael Montero gave up one run on five hits in 7 1/3 innings, punching out six and walking two. Chris Young continued his improbably good season for the Mariners in their 8-1 win over the Tigers, tossing six four-hit, shutout innings, walking one and striking out four. Doug Fister allowed two unearned runs on five hits in seven innings in Washington’s 6-5, 11 inning win over Pittsburgh, punching out five and walking one. Mike Minor pitched the Braves to a 4-3 win and a sweep over the Athletics, allowing two runs on four hits in seven innings, walking two and striking out seven.
Hitting Lines of the Day: Good pitching Sundays have apparently been replaced with good hitting Sundays. I’ll allow it. Colorado won game two over Cincinnati 10-5, thanks to Michael Cuddyer going 4/5, scoring three times, driving in three runs, and hitting for the cycle. Jose Altuve went 4/5 with a grand slam in Houston’s 8-1 win in Boston. Matt Carpenter went 3/4 with a double, a homer, two runs, and three RBI in the Cardinals’ 7-6 win over the Padres. Twins rookie Kennys Vargas went 3/4 with a double, a homer, two runs, and three RBI in Minnesota’s 12-6 loss to the Royals. In the win for Kansas City, Alex Gordon went 2/4 with a triple, a homer, three runs, and two RBI. Drew Stubbs delivered the decisive blow in Colorado’s win over Cincinnati, going 3/6 with a double, two runs scored, a stolen base, and the walk off three-run homer. Jay Bruce went 3/5 with a homer, two runs, and three RBI for the Reds in the loss. In Oakland’s loss to the Brave, Nate Freiman went 2/3 with a pair of solo homers. Jonathan Lucroy went 2/5 with a double, a homer, and five RBI for the Brewers in their 7-2 win over the Dodgers. Giancarlo Stanton went 2/4 with a homer, a walk, two runs, and four RBI for Miami in their 10-3 win over Arizona.
Other Games: The Orioles topped the Indians 4-1. The Yankees beat the Rays 4-2. The White Sox used a six run first to beat the Blue Jays 7-5. The Giants prevailed over the Phillies 5-2. The Rangers walked off on the Angels 3-2.
Today’s Games: Only eight games on today’s slate. Sorry gang. Bartolo Colon and the Mets host the Cubs. C.J. Wilson starts for the Angels in Boston. Ervin Santana gets the nod for the Braves in Pittsburgh. Jordan Zimmermann and the Nationals host the Diamondbacks. Chris Sale and the White Sox take on the Orioles. Jason Vargas gets the nod for the Royals in Minnesota. Justin Masterson and the Cardinals host Mike Leake and the Reds.
National TV: Reds-Cardinals (8 PM, MLB Network), Royals-Twins (8 PM, MLB Network)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.