The San Francisco Giants are a very streaky team – and right now, they’re not streaking in the right direction. In the second half, the team is 10-13. In their last 17 games, the club is 5-12. In August, they’re 4-6. And over the past week, they went just 2-5, which includes a 1-5 stretch on the road in Milwaukee and Kansas City. San Francisco has fallen to 4.5 back of a Dodgers team that hasn’t lost three in a row since the end of May, 13-9 in the second half, and 5-5 in August. The two teams were separated by just a game at the All-Star Break, but the Dodgers are now starting to pull away – and starting next Tuesday, they play 11 straight games against teams currently under .500. The Giants will need to take care of business against the White Sox, Phillies, and Cubs over the next ten games, and hope that the Braves and Brewers do some damage to the Dodgers if they want to stay in the NL West race.
Game of the Day: Phillies 7, Mets 6. Hey look, the Phillies are showing some life! Kyle Kendrick was beaten to a pulp early on, leaving after five trailing 6-1. A two-run double by Domonic Brown in the sixth made it 6-3, and ended Zack Wheeler’s day on a bit of a down note. The Phillies made it 6-5 in the seventh when Chase Utley hit a two-run triple off of Vic Black. Jenrry Mejia came in for the ninth, and immediately struggled, allowing a leadoff double to Cody Asche and a game-tying single to pinch hitter Marlon Byrd. After Mejia struck out Ben Revere and induced a Jimmy Rollins line out, he allowed Byrd to steal second and intentionally walked Utley. That brought up Ryan Howard, who…laced a ball over the head of Curtis Granderson in right field, capping the comeback and sending the Phillies to a hard-earned win.
Pitching Lines of the Day: In Atlanta’s 3-1 win over Washington, Alex Wood allowed one run on five hits in 7 1/3 innings, punching out 12 and walking three. Phil Hughes led the Twins to a 6-1 win in Oakland, allowing one run on four hits in seven innings, striking out seven and walking one. Johnny Cueto starred in Cincinnati’s 7-2 win over the Marlins, giving up two runs on five hits in eight innings, walking a pair and punching out nine. Hector Santiago pitched well in Anaheim’s 3-1 loss to Boston, tossing six two-hit, shutout frames, walking three and striking out five. In the win for the Red Sox, Rubby de la Rosa gave up one run on five hits in seven innings, walking three and striking out eight. Clayton Kershaw did Clayton Kershaw things in the Dodgers’ 5-1 win in Milwaukee, allowing one run on six hits in eight innings, punching out six and walking a pair. Carlos Carrasco was oddly effective in Cleveland’s 4-1 win over the Yankees, tossing five shutout innings while giving up two hits and striking out four without a walk.
Hitting Lines of the Day: Devin Mesoraco went 2/4 with a pair of homers and six RBI for the Reds in their win over Miami. Chase Utley helped the Phillies walk off on the Mets, going 3/4 with a triple, a homer, two runs, three RBI, and a walk. Seth Smith went 2/4 with a double, a triple, two runs, and three RBI in the Padres’ 8-2 win over the Pirates. Gregory Polanco went 2/4 with a double, a homer, and two RBI in the loss for Pittsburgh. Austin Jackson went 3/4 with a double and four RBI in Seattle’s 4-2 win over hte White Sox. Nick Markakis went 4/5 in Baltimore’s 8-3 loss to the Cardinals, scoring two runs and driving one in.
Other Games: The Blue Jays beat the Tigers 6-5 in 19 mind-numbing innings. The Royals beat the Giants 7-4. The Rangers topped the Astros 6-2. The Cubs walked off on the Rays 3-2 in 12 innings. The Rockies prevailed over the Diamondbacks 5-3 in ten.
Today’s Games: Jon Niese starts for the Mets in Philadelphia. Julio Teheran and the Braves host the Dodgers. Bud Norris takes the hill for the Orioles against the Yankees. Justin Verlander starts for the Tigers in Pittsburgh against Jeff Locke. Drew Smyly starts for the Rays in Arlington. Yovani Gallardo and Jake Arrieta will duel in Chicago. Yordano Ventura and the Royals host Sonny Gray and the Athletics. Tommy Milone makes his Twins debut in Houston. Felix Hernandez and the Mariners host the Blue Jays.
National TV: Mets-Phillies (1 PM, MLB Network), Dodgers-Braves (7 PM, ESPN)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.