Alright everyone, we can go ahead and shut the MLB season down – we have our first team with 50 wins, and it’s the Milwaukee Brewers. Milwaukee’s season has been a shocker, but you can boil that success down to one word – health. Last year, 12 different pitchers started games for Milwaukee. This year, only six different Brewers have made starts – and that includes top prospect Jimmy Nelson, who made a spot start to replace Yovani Gallardo when Gallardo had an ankle injury. Only four Brewers threw at least 100 innings last year, and this year, Gallardo and Marco Estrada are each one start away from making it a fivesome over 100. Combine that with a bullpen that has been lights out and a healthy, dominant offense, and you have the best team in the National League.
Game of the Night: Brewers 3, Rockies 2. Speaking of those Brewers, that 50th win didn’t come easy. Milwaukee scratched a run across the board in the sixth off of Rockies rookie Tyler Matzek, but Kyle Lohse gave the lead up on a squeeze in the seventh. The Brewers quickly regained the lead in the bottom of the inning after Ryan Braun was plunked by Adam Ottavino with the bases loaded, making it a 2-1 game. But in the ninth, Francisco Rodriguez allowed a solo homer with one out to Josh Rutledge, tying the game at two. We went into the bottom of the ninth, and things got hairy with Matt Belisle on the hill. Mark Reynolds singled to lead off the inning, and was bunted to second by Jean Segura. Belisle then intentionally walked Scooter Gennett, and both runners moved up a base after a passed ball by Michael McKenry. After striking out Rickie Weeks, Ryan Braun came up with the chance to play hero, and did just that with a single up the middle.
Pitching Lines of the Night: In the Rangers’ 5-4 win over the Twins, Nick Tepesch allowed three hits over 7 1/3 shutout innings, walking two and striking out five. Chris Tillman pitched the Orioles to a 4-1 win over the Rays in game two of their doubleheader, giving up one run on four hits in eight innings, walking one and striking out two. Johnny Cueto dominated the Giants in Cincinnati’s 6-2 win, allowing two runs on three hits in 8 1/3 innings, walking a pair and punching out three. Vidal Nuno pitched the Yankees to a 6-0 win over the Red Sox, giving up two hits in 5 2/3 scoreless frames, walking two and striking out five. Julio Teheran dominated the Phillies in Atlanta’s 4-2 win, allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits in seven innings, striking out nine without a walk. Brandon McCarthy and the Diamondbacks beat the Padres 2-1, as McCarthy gave up one run on six hits in seven innings, punching out seven without a walk.
Hitting Lines of the Night: The Angels fell to the Royals 8-6, but C.J. Cron went 2/4 with a pair of homers and three RBI. Jose Abreu also hit a pair of homers as the White Sox beat the Blue Jays 5-4, also adding a walk to his ledger. Freddie Freeman provided Atlanta with all the offense they needed in Philly, going 3/5 with a double, a homer, and four RBI. Josh Rutledge had a nice night for the Rockies in their loss to the Brewers, going 3/4 with a double, that big game-tying solo homer, and two runs scored. John Baker propelled the Cubs to a 7-2 win over the Nationals, going 3/3 with a double, a run, four RBI, and a walk. Jose Altuve powered the Astros to a 4-3, 11 inning win over the Tigers, going 4/5 with a double, two runs, an RBI, and two stolen bases.
Other Games: The Rays beat the Orioles 5-2 in game one of their doubleheader. The Pirates walked off on the Mets 3-2 in 11 innings. The A’s used five late runs to beat the Marlins 9-5. The Cardinals beat the Dodgers 3-1. The Mariners held on to beat the Indians 3-2.
Today’s Games: We have not one, but TWO doubleheaders tomorrow. Ervin Santana starts game one for the Braves in Philly, while bullpens will battle in game two. In Chicago, Gio Gonzalez starts game one for the Nationals, while Jeff Samardzija starts game two for the Cubs. Chris Sale starts for the White Sox in Toronto against Marcus Stroman and the Blue Jays. Yordano Ventura and the Royals host the Angels. Wei-Yin Chen starts for the Orioles against the Rays. Phil Hughes and Yu Darvish will square off in Texas. Gerrit Cole returns for the Pirates, hosting Jon Niese and the Mets. Max Scherzer and Dallas Keuchel will duel in Houston. Matt Garza and the Brewers host the Rockies. Sonny Gray starts for the A’s in Miami against Nate Eovaldi and the Marlins. Jon Lester and Masahiro Tanaka will cross swords in the Bronx. Zack Greinke and the Dodgers host the Cardinals and Lance Lynn. Alfredo Simon and Matt Cain will battle in San Francisco. Lots of great pitching going on tomorrow, that’s for sure.
National TV: White Sox-Blue Jays (1 PM, MLB Network), Rangers-Twins (4 PM, Fox Sports 1), Red Sox-Yankees (7 PM, Fox), Cardinals-Dodgers (7 PM, Fox), Nationals-Cubs (7 PM, Fox), Phillies-Braves (7 PM, Fox), Reds-Giants (10 PM, MLB Network), Diamondbacks-Padres (10 PM, MLB Network)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.