Anibal Sanchez set the Tigers franchise record for strikeouts in a game on Friday night, fanning 17 Braves and getting 28 whiffs on the evening (good for a 23.1% whiff rate). Considering that Detroit currently features strikeout artists like Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, and Mickey Lolich, that somehow makes Sanchez's accomplishment that much more awesome in context.
PIC OF THE DAY
An ironic one...Josh Reddick slips on the outfield grass in front of an "Athletics" sign in the outfield (Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports)
Game of the Night: Dodgers 7, Brewers 5. The Dodgers are finally back up to .500, but it wasn't an easy trek there on Friday evening. Milwaukee to a 3-2 lead in the fifth after a Yuniesky Betancourt solo homer tied the game and a Jean Segura RBI single but them in front. The Dodgers tied the game at three after an Adrian Gonzalez RBI double in the bottom of the inning, but the Brewers jumped back out in front after a run-scoring single off the bat of Norichika Aoki. Another Gonzalez doubled in the seventh plated two more and put the Dodgers in front 5-4, and they added two more in the eighth against Brandon Kintzler. Milwaukee made it interesting in the ninth, scoring a run on a Segura infield single, but Ryan Braun grounded out as the tying run to end the game.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Anibal Sanchez's line in Detroit's 10-0 blowout over Atlanta was a sight to see: five hits in eight shutout innings, striking out 17, while walking only one. But he wasn't the only great performer on Friday evening. Jordan Zimmermann threw a complete game shutout in for Washington in their 1-0 win over Cincinnati, walking one and striking out four, throwing just 91 pitches in the dominant performance. The Phillies beat the Mets 4-0, and Kyle Kendrick threw a complete game shutout of his own, allowing three hits and striking out five with just one walk. Wei-Yin Chen shut down the A's in Baltimore's 3-0 win, giving up two hits over eight shutout frames, walking two and punching out five. Finally, there's Lance Lynn, who led the Cardinals to a 9-1 win over the Pirates. Lynn allowed one run on two hits over seven innings, striking out nine and walking three.
Hitting Lines of the Night: Red Sox catcher David Ross helped the team to a 7-3 win over the Astros, going 4/4 with three runs and two solo homers. Anthony Rizzo was all the offense that the Cubs needed in their 4-2 win in Miami, going 3/4 with a pair of two-run homers. Carlos Beltran gave Lynn the offense he needed in St Louis, going 2/4 with two homers, three RBI, and a walk. Edwin Encarnacion went 2/4 with a pair of solo homers in Toronto's 6-4 loss to New York.
Other Games: The White Sox edged the Rays 5-4. The Rockies beat the Diamondbacks 6-3. The Rangers survived the Twins, winning 4-3. Andrew Cashner led the Padres to a 2-1 win over the Giants. The Angels beat the Mariners 6-3.
What You Missed: Garrett broke down the failings of the All-Star Game ballot, while Scott offered up six ways to improve the game. Jeffrey Loria is already screwing with the Marlins lineup. The Yankees' cost-cutting plans for 2014 appear to be dead in the water. This week's watchability rankings once again feature the Braves at the top. Michael Rogner's TOC debut looks at Bruce Rondon's major league debut on Thursday.
Today's Games: Kris Medlen starts for the Braves in Detroit. Dan Haren will get the nod for the Nationals, hosting the Reds. Shaun Marcum makes his season debut for the Mets, against the Phillies. CC Sabathia gets the nod for the Yankees against the Blue Jays. AJ Burnett gets the start for the Pirates in St Louis. Matt Moore will start for the Rays in Chicago. Felix Hernandez starts for the Mariners against the Angels.
National TV: Braves-Tigers (1 PM, Fox), Reds-Nationals (1 PM, Fox), Phillies-Mets (1 PM, Fox), Brewers-Dodgers )8 PM, MLB Network), Giants-Padres (8:30 PM, MLB Network [alternate])
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.