I need to beat home this point: the NL West is not a good division. The first place Diamondbacks are just four games above .500, and have the worst record of any division leader in baseball. The last place Dodgers, who had a disastrous first two months to the season, are just five games out of first place despite playing at just one game above .500 in June. The defending World Champion Giants have lost six in a row, are four games out of first place, and have a wonderful 9-17 record this June. Meanwhile, there are the Rockies and Padres, representatives of mediocrity, who are in second and third place respectively while hovering around the .500 mark. It's looking more and more like this is going to be the lowest seeded of the three NL division winners.
PIC OF THE DAY
Paul Goldschmidt evades the tag of Freddie Freeman in stealthy fashion (Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)
Game of the Night: Rays 4, Tigers 3 (ten innings). Detroit jumped out to a 3-0 lead in this one, and with Justin Verlander on the hill, that lead looked safe. Well...until the later innings, it was. The Rays tacked on a run in the third, and another in the fifth to cut the lead to a single run. Meanwhile, Detroit's offense did nothing aside from that three run outburst in the third. Verlander came out to start the eighth, and allowed a game-tying solo homer to Luke Scott. The game went into extras, and Bruce Rondon had a typically Bruce Rondon outing in the tenth. He allowed back to back singles to James Loney and Wil Myers, before pushing the hitters up a base on a wild pitch. With two outs, Yunel Escobar delivered the walkoff hit to give Tampa Bay a much-needed win.
Pitching Lines of the Day: Adam Wainwright dominated the A's in a 7-1 Cardinals win, allowing one run on five hits in a complete game, striking out eight and walking two. Matt Cain had a great start for the slumping Giants in their 2-1 loss to the Rockies, giving up just one run on three hits in eight innings, walking one and punching out five. Jacob Turner of the Marlins pitched well in Miami's 7-1 win over the Padres, throwing a complete game and giving up one run on seven hits, walking one and striking out seven. Joe Blanton (?!?!) had a great start for the Angels in their 7-2 win in Houston, allowing two runs on three hits in seven innings, striking out six and walking two. Esmil Rogers continued his effective start to the season in Toronto's 6-2 win over Boston, allowing six hits in six scoreless innings, walking one and striking out six.
Hitting Lines of the Day: Chris Davis continued to be Chris Davis in Baltimore's 11-3 win over New York, going 2/3 with two homers, three runs, five RBI, and a walk. Matt Adams of the Cardinals carried his offense to a win in Oakland, going 2/3 with two homers, three runs, four RBI, and a walk. Jose Bautista went 2/4 with two homers, three RBI, a walk, and a stolen base. for the Blue Jays in Boston, Hanley Ramirez helped the Dodgers to a 4-3 walkoff win over the Phillies, going 3/4 with two runs, three RBI, a stolen base, a double, and a homer. In the losing effort, Chase Utley went 2/5 with a pair of solo homers. Alfonso Soriano helped the Cubs to a 5-3, ten inning win in Seattle, going 3/5 with three RBI, a double, and a homer.
Other Games: The Braves used a seven run eighth to beat the Diamondbacks 11-5. The Mets beat the Nationals 5-1. The Indians slipped by the White Sox 4-3. Kyle Gibson got his first career win for the Twins in their 6-2 win over the Royals. The Pirates became the first team in the league to reach 50 wins, topping the Brewers 2-1. The Reds beat the Rangers 6-4 in 11.
Today's Games: Gio Gonzalez starts for the Nationals in Flushing against Zack Wheeler and the Mets. Andrew Cashner starts for the Padres in Miami. Justin Masterson and Chris Sale will duel on the South Side. Kyle Lohse and Charlie Morton will battle in Pittsburgh. Ervin Santana starts for the Royals in Minnesota. CJ Wilson gets the nod for the Angels in Houston. Mat Latos and Yu Darvish will take each other on in Texas. Madison Bumgarner starts for the Giants in Colorado. Kyle Kendrick gets the nod for the Phillies in LA. Jake Westbrook starts for the Cardinals in Oakland. Hiroki Kuroda gets the nod for the Yankees in Baltimore.
National TV: Diamondbacks-Braves (1:30, TBS), Yankees-Orioles (8 PM, ESPN)
MLB.tv Free Game: Angels-Astros (2 PM, Wilson vs Harrell)
Pitching Matchup of the Day: Mat Latos vs Yu Darvish (3 PM, Reds vs Rangers)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.