I know it’s only June 1st, but things do not look good for the Tampa Bay Rays. One year ago, the Rays were just in fourth place in the AL East, but were only three games behind the division-leading Red Sox and were 30-25. This year, the Rays are 3.5 games behind Boston…who is in fourth place themselves. Uh oh. Tampa Bay’s 23-33 record is the worst in the American League, and only Houston has a worse run differential than the -33 mark the Rays have put together. In fact, the only teams in baseball with a worse record than Tampa Bay are the hapless Cubs and their 1998 expansion partner, the Arizona Diamondbacks. This isn’t a good thing.
Game of the Day: Indians 7, Rockies 6. Cleveland looked well on their way to a victory on Saturday, leading 6-2 going into the seventh inning at Progressive Field after a two-run homer by Lonnie Chisenhall in the sixth. Then, predictably, things fell apart once Trevor Bauer left the game. After forcing former Indian Drew Stubbs to fly out to lead off the seventh, Scott Atchison allowed a solo homer to Corey Dickerson to make it 6-3. Atchison then allowed back to back singles to Wilin Rosario and D.J. LeMahieu. He was replaced by Josh Outman, whose sole purpose was to get Charlie Blackmon out. He failed, as Blackmon hit a three-run homer to tie the game up at six. Fast forward to the eighth, when Cleveland struck quickly against Rex Brothers. Jason Kipnis walked to lead off the inning, was bunted to second by Chisenhall, and scored on a single by Mike Aviles to make it 7-6. In the ninth, Cody Allen walked Dickerson to lead the inning off, but got Rosario to pop up and induced a double play from LeMahieu to end the game.
Pitching Lines of the Day: Masahiro Tanaka dominated the Twins in New York’s 3-1 win, allowing one unearned run on four hits in eight innings, walking two and striking out nine. Rubby de la Rosa pitched the Red Sox to a 7-1 win over the Rays, giving up four hits over seven shutout innings, punching out eight without a walk. Jason Hammel had the exact same line for the Cubs in their 8-0 romp over the Brewers. Johnny Cueto ran over the Diamonbacks in Cincinnati’s 5-0 win, allowing five hits over 7 1/3 scoreless frames, punching out seven and walking one. Michael Wacha pitched the Cardinals to a 2-0 win over the Giants, giving up three hits in six shutout innings, walking none and punching out seven.
Hitting Lines of the Day: In the Dodgers’ 12-2 romp over the Pirates, Hanley Ramirez went 4/5 with two homers, four runs, five RBI, and a stolen base. Yoenis Cespedes led the A’s to an 11-3 win over the Angels by going 3/5 with a double, a triple, a homer, two runs, and five RBI. In the Cubs’ win in Milwaukee, Anthony Rizzo went 2/4 with a pair of two-run homers. Washington crushed Texas 10-2 thanks to Anthony Rendon going 4/5 with a homer and three runs scored. In Cleveland’s win over Colorado, Mike Aviles went 3/4 with a homer and four RBI.
Other Games: The Blue Jays smashed the Royals 12-2. The Padres beat the White Sox 4-2. The Mets beat the Phillies 5-4 in another 14 inning marathon. The Orioles cooled off the Astros with a 4-1 victory. The Braves beat the Marlins 9-5. The Mariners edged the Tigers 3-2.
Today’s Games: Mark Buehrle looks for win number ten, leading the Blue Jays against the Royals. Aaron Harang and Nate Eovaldi will face off in Miami. Yu Darvish starts for the Rangers in Washington. Jon Lester and the Red Sox host the Rays. Jon Niese and Cole Hamels will battle in Philly. Chris Sale and the White Sox host the Padres. Jeff Samardzija and Kyle Lohse will square off in Milwaukee. Tim Hudson and the Giants take on Lance Lynn and the Cardinals. Scott Feldman and the Astros host the Orioles. Sonny Gray and the A’s host Jered Weaver and the Angels. Alfredo Simon starts for the Reds in Arizona. Max Scherzer starts for the Tigers in Seattle. Zack Greinke and the Dodgers host the Pirates.
National TV: Giants-Cardinals (2 PM, MLB Network), Orioles-Astros (2 PM, MLB Network), Pirates-Dodgers (8 PM, ESPN)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.