We've got our first playoff teams of the season! The Dodgers became the league's first playoff team after clinching the NL West on Thursday afternoon, while later in the evening, the Red Sox clinched a playoff berth with their win over the Orioles. Of course, Los Angeles' victory didn't come without controversy, as the Diamondbacks got really angry about them jumping in the pool at Chase Field. Because of course they are...
PIC OF THE DAY
Prince Fielder, celebrating the power of nachos (Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)
Game of the Day: Dodgers 7, Diamondbacks 6. This really was a great game. Arizona led 6-3 after five, but the Dodgers woke up and began to fight back. They got two in the sixth thanks to an RBI double by Scott Van Slyke, who later scored on a Michael Young sac fly. In the seventh, Hanley Ramirez tied the game with a solo homer. In the eighth, AJ Ellis hit a solo homer of his own to put LA in front. Brian Wilson and Kenley Jansen preserved the lead, and that lead to what is now being dubbed Pool-Gate. Because, of course it is.
Pitching Lines of the Day: John Lackey pitched a whale of a game to clinch a playoff berth for the Red Sox. In Boston's 3-1 win over the Orioles, Lackey allowed one run on two hits in a complete game, walking two and punching out eight. Madison Bumgarner dominated the Mets in the Giants' 2-1 win, allowing one run on four hits in seven innings, punching out ten and walking three. Todd Redmond led the Blue Jays to a 6-2 win over the Yankees, giving up one run on four hits in seven innings, walking one and striking out seven. Jake Arrieta helped the Cubs to a 5-1 win in Milwaukee, giving up one run on three hits in seven innings, striking out five with one walk. Ubaldo Jimenez controlled the Astros in a 2-1, 11 inning Indians win, allowing one run on six hits in seven innings, punching out nine without a walk.
Hitting Lines of the Day: In the Dodgers' clincher in Arizona, Hanley Ramirez went 4/5 with two homers and four RBI. Neil Walker helped the Pirates roll the Padres 10-1, going 4/5 with a homer and three RBI. In Toronto's win over the Yankees, Anthony Gose went 3/4 with a double, a solo homer, and two runs scored. Bryce Harper provided most of the offense for the Nationals in their 3-2 win over the Marlins, going 3/4 with a three-run homer. Craig Gentry had a nice night for the Rangers in their 8-2 win over the Rays, going 4/5 with a run, an RBI, a triple, and three stolen bases.
Other Games: The Tigers edged the Mariners 5-4. The Rockies beat the Cardinals 7-6 in 15 innings, though Todd Helton's first inning hidden ball trick was the highlight of the day. The A's beat the Twins 8-6.
What You Missed: Marlins president David Samson is going to be in a Miami play. The attendance in Oakland stinks, but whose fault is it?
Today's Games: Jordan Zimmermann and the Nationals host the Marlins. Zach McAllister and the Indians host the Astros. Tim Lincecum and CC Sabathia will duel in the Bronx in what would have been a top-flight matchup three years ago. Max Scherzer once again goes for win #20, this time as the Tigers host the White Sox. Cole Hamels and the Phillies host the Mets. Jon Lester and the Red Sox host the Blue Jays while looking to clinch the division. Mat Latos and Francisco Liriano will duel in Pittsburgh. David Price and the Rays host the Orioles. Shelby Miller starts for the Cardinals in Milwaukee. Martin Perez and Ervin Santana will square off in Kansas City. Jhoulys Chacin and the Rockies welcome the angry Diamondbacks to Denver. Bartolo Colon and the A's host the Twins.
National TV: Reds-Pirates (7 PM, MLB Network), Orioles-Rays (7 PM, MLB Network)
MLB.tv Free Game: Astros-Indians (7 PM)
Pitching Matchup of the Day: Mat Latos vs Francisco Liriano (Reds vs Pirates, 7 PM)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.