There is this growing sentiment from Nationals and Diamondbacks fans that their teams are still in the playoff race. Both clubs won last night, while both the Pirates and Reds both lost. Arizona is now five games back of the Reds for the second wild card spot, and Washington in seven games back. That season-ending Diamondbacks-Nationals series could be quite interesting...or maybe not. All it takes is one winning streak to blow things up.
PIC OF THE DAY
Ryan Doumit goes full extension in full gear (Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports)
Game of the Night: Diamondbacks 10, Padres 9 (ten innings). A wild game like this might indicate why the Diamondbacks won't be going to the playoffs...or on the other hand, why they *are* going to the playoffs. Arizona led this one 7-3 after six, but their bullpen proceeded to implode as it often does. In the eighth, Chaz Roe walked the first two batters, got a pop-up for the first out, and allowed a two-run double to Ronny Cedeno, cutting Arizona's lead to two. Joe Thatcher replaced him, and allowed an RBI single to Mark Kotsay to make it a one run game. Thatcher was replaced by Will Harris, who allowed a pair of singles while getting the final two outs of the inning to tie the game at seven. A two-run double in the bottom of the eighth by Martin Prado put Arizona back on top, but that didn't last long after Brad Ziegler allowed the first four batters to reach in the ninth. Two of them scored, but Ziegler got out of the inning with no further damage. The game went to extras, and in the bottom of the tenth, Dale Thayer allowed a leadoff single to Adam Eaton, the Padres defense got too cute, and Aaron Hill hit a walkoff single to give Arizona the win.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Jonathon Niese threw a complete game shutout in the Mets' 5-0 win over the Phillies, allowing three hits in his outing, striking out five and walking one. Kevin Correia and James Shields both pitched well in the Royals' 6-1 win over the Twins, with Correia giving up six hits over seven shutout innings, walking two and striking out seven, and Shields allowing one run on four hits over 7 1/3 innings, striking out seven and walking four. Travis Wood pitched the Cubs past the Dodgers 3-2, giving up one unearned run on five hits in seven innings, walking a pair and punching out six. Andy Pettitte had a vintage Pettitte outing in New York's 7-1 win over Toronto, giving up five hits over seven scoreless innings, striking out three and walking two.
Hitting Lines of the Night: Shane Victorino went off for the Red Sox in their 13-2 drubbing of the Orioles, going 3/3 with four runs, seven RBI, a walk, a double, and two homers. Aramis Ramirez helped the Brewers outlast the Pirates 7-6, going 4/5 with a double, a homer, and four RBI. In the loss, Pedro Alvarez went 4/4 with a walk, a double, and a solo homer. Alfonso Soriano had a nice night for the Yankees in Toronto, going 2/5 with a pair of homers and four RBI. In Arizona's win over San Diego, Gerardo Parra went 2/4 with a walk, a homer, and five RBI.
Other Games: Atlanta shut out Cleveland 2-0. The A's beat the Tigers 6-3 in a rain-shortened, six inning contest. The Nationals edged the Marlins 2-1. The Angels rallied late to beat the Rays 6-5. The White Sox beat the Astros 4-3. The Cardinals thumped the Reds 6-1. The Giants topped the Rockies 5-3. The Rangers beat the Mariners 4-3 in ten innings.
What You Missed: CJ Wilson, faceplanting like no one else. The Mets traded Marlon Byrd (and John Buck) to the Pirates on Marlon Byrd t-shirt night. The year of Matt Harvey wasn't supposed to end this way. An ESPN player poll about A-Rod and PEDs had some surprising results. The sprinklers at Coors Field came in mid-at bat.
Today's Games: Felix Hernandez and the Mariners host the Rangers. Edwin Jackson and Ricky Nolasco will face off in LA. Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals host the Marlins. Bud Norris and John Lackey will duel in Baltimore. Justin Masterson and the Indians take on the Braves. Hiroki Kuroda starts for the Yankees in Toronto. Charlie Morton and the Pirates host the Brewers. Doug Fister and the Tigers host the Athletics. Chris Archer starts for the Rays, welcoming the Angels to Tampa. Cole Hamels starts for the Phillies in Flushing. Jarred Cosart and Chris Sale will face off in Chicago. Homer Bailey and Adam Wainwright will duel in St Louis. Madison Bumgarner and the Giants take on Jhoulys Chacin and the Rockies.
National TV: Orioles-Red Sox (7 PM, ESPN)
MLB.tv Free Game: Angels-Rays (7 PM)
Pitching Matchup of the Day: Homer Bailey vs Adam Wainwright (Reds vs Cardinals, 8 PM)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.