I don’t think Miami is much of a contender in the National League for the final two months of this season. But quite frankly, if we’re going to keep calling the Reds a contender, the Marlins also deserve that attention. Miami has won five in a row and seven of eight over the past week. Maybe the Marlins won’t make it to the playoffs, but they could play spoiler down the stretch – in September, they have eight games with the Nationals, four with the Brewers, and three with the Braves. That says nothing about their August, which also has three with the Braves, along with three with the Cardinals, three with the Angels, three with the Pirates, and six with the rapidly fading Reds. Point all of the fingers you want at the National League’s top teams, but the club in south Florida could be holding all of the cards when all is said and done.
Game of the Night: Marlins 7, Nationals 6. Washington had a 6-0 lead after six, and it looked pretty safe with Jordan Zimmermann on the hill, cruising along. Miami picked up two in the seventh off of Zimmermann, and one in the eighth against Ross Detwiler, but a 6-3 lead still looked pretty solid going into the ninth. Then…disaster. Rafael Soriano walked Casey McGehee to lead the inning off, and then gave up a double to Garrett Jones to put men on second and third and bring the tying run home. Marcell Ozuna singled in McGehee to make it 6-4, and a sac fly by Jarrod Saltalamacchia scored Jones to make it 6-5. After a wild pitch by Soriano, Adeiny Hechavarria tripled to score Ozuna and tie the game. Donovan Solano was then plunked by Soriano, and Matt Williams finally replaced him with Jerry Blevins. Blevins struck out Christian Yelich for the second out, but Jeff Baker singled in Hechavarria to complete the comeback and stun Washington.
Pitching Lines of the Night: In Atlanta’s 2-0 win over the Padres, Ervin Santana allowed five hits over eight shutout innings, walking none and punching out 11. Vance Worley dominated the Giants in Pittsburgh’s 5-0 win, giving up four hits in a complete game shutout, striking out three while walking one. R.A. Dickey and the Blue Jays smoked Boston 14-1, with Dickey allowing one run on three hits in seven innings, walking one and striking out ten. Diamondbacks rookie Chase Anderson pitched well in the team’s 2-1, 15 inning win over Cincinnati, allowing one run on three hits in seven innings, walking two and striking out eight. Homer Bailey countered him by giving up one run on five hits in eight innings, punching out three while walking one. Jake Odorizzi led the Rays to a 2-1 win over the Brewers, allowing one run on three hits in seven innings, walking none and striking out five.
Hitting Lines of the Night: In Toronto’s romp over the Red Sox, Melky Cabrera went 2/4 with two homers, three runs, five RBI, and a walk. Ryan Goins chipped in for the Jays, going 4/5 with a double, a run scored, and four RBI. Brett Gardner supplied all of the Yankees’ offense in their 4-2 loss to the Rangers, going 3/5 with a pair of solo homers. In the Mets’ 7-1 win over the Phillies, Travis d’Arnaud went 3/4 with two doubles, a homer, two runs, and three RBI. Evan Gattis spurred Atlanta’s offense in their win over San Diego, going 3/4 with a homer and two RBI.
Other Games: The Astros beat the A’s 7-3 thanks to a four homer barrage. The Cubs topped the Rockies 4-1.
Today’s Games: Jered Weaver and Chris Tillman will face off in Baltimore. Hisashi Iwakuma takes the hill for the Mariners in Cleveland. Mike Leake and the Reds host the Diamondbacks. Jose Quintana and Anibal Sanchez will duel in Detroit. Cole Hamels starts for the Phillies in Flushing. Marcus Stroman gets the nod for the Blue Jays in Boston. Stephen Strasburg and Henderson Alvarez will tango in Miami. Alex Cobb and the Rays host Matt Garza and the Brewers. Brandon McCarthy starts for the Yankees in Texas. James Shields starts for the Royals against the Twins. Jeff Samardzija will go for the A’s in Houston. Tyson Ross and the Padres host Lance Lynn and the Cardinals. Tim Hudson will start for the Giants against the Pirates.
National TV: Yankees-Rangers (8 PM, Fox Sports 1), Braves-Dodgers (10 PM, MLB Network), Pirates-Giants (10 PM, MLB Network)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.