There's going to be a very tight race for the NL Rookie of the Year award, especially after Evan Gattis has fallen off the map and Yasiel Puig has slightly cooled since his torrid June. But one player who has been there all year has been Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez. On Friday, Fernandez became the fourth-youngest pitcher to strike out 13 hitters in back to back starts, and the first to do that since Randy Johnson in 2004. The Miami rookie is fourth in the NL in strikeout rate and fifth in ERA, showing that he's not just kicking ass among the NL's freshmen.
PIC OF THE DAY
Mere weeks after surgery to remove two brain tumors, Darren Daulton returns to Citizens Bank Park. (Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports)
Game of the Night: Mets 4, Royals 2 (11 innings). New York was so close to snapping the Royals' nine game winning streak. They led 2-0 going into the eighth inning, but three pitchers in that inning combined to give up a run without allowing a hit, thanks to a walk, a hit batter, and a pair of groundouts. David Aardsma (and *not* Bobby Parnell) looked to close out the game in the ninth and allowed a double to Miguel Tejada before allowing him to score on a sac fly by Lorenzo Cain. So for those of us counting at home, the Royals managed to score two runs in the final two innings of the game while collecting just one hit. Good job, good effort, Mets. New York couldn't get Ike Davis homer in the ninth after a leadoff double, and we went to extras. Each team wasted a leadoff single in the tenth, and we moved to the eleventh. In the bottom of the inning, light hitting Eric Young Jr came up with Omar Quintanilla on first, and Young someone smashed the ball over the right field fence at Citi Field to give New York the win. The Mets are now tied with the Phillies for third in the NL East, believe it or not.
Pitching Lines of the Night: All hail Jose Fernandez: the Miami rookie helped his team to a 10-0 blasting of the Indians, allowing three hits over eight shutout innings, walking one and striking out 14. In the Mets' win over the Royals, Dillon Gee gave up one run on three hits in seven innings, walking two and striking out four. Jhoulys Chacin controlled the Pirates in a 4-2 Rockies win, allowing one run on six hits, striking out three without a walk. Madison Bumgarner dominated the Rays in a 4-1 Giants win, giving up one run on seven hits in seven innings, striking out 11 and walking three. Doug Fister led the Tigers to a 2-1 win over the White Sox, allowing one run on seven hits in eight innings, striking out a pair without a walk.
Hitting Lines of the Night: Cody Ross helped the Diamondbacks top his former team in Boston 7-6, going 4/5 with two runs, three RBI, two doubles, a homer, and a stolen base. In Miami's blowout win over Cleveland, Logan Morrison went 4/5 with two runs, four RBI, a double, and a triple. Daniel Descalso helped the Cardinals to a 13-3 romp over the Reds, going 3/5 with three runs and a pair of solo homers, while Allen Craig went 3/3 with three runs, three RBI, a walk, and a homer. Kendrys Morales performed well for the Mariners in their 11-8 loss in Baltimore, going 4/4 two runs, two RBI, a double, and a homer.
Other Games: The Dodgers beat the Cubs 6-2. The Braves survived three homers by the Phillies to win 6-4 and pick up their eighth straight victory. The Twins topped the Astros 4-3 in 13 innings. The Angels beat the Blue Jays 7-5. The Rangers prevailed over the A's 8-3. The Nationals beat the Brewers 4-1. The Padres smashed the Yankees 7-2.
What You Missed: A pair of Rockies minor leaguers were charged with rape. This week's watchability rankings. Melky Cabrera threw the ball backwards on Thursday night.
Today's Games: Matt Garza and Jarrod Parker will duel In Oakland. Jeff Samardzija and the Cubs host the Dodgers. Scott Feldman and the Orioles welcome the Mariners to Camden Yards. Max Scherzer and the Tigers take on the White Sox. Francisco Liriano and Jorge de la Rosa square off in Pittsburgh. Pat Corbin starts for the Diamondbacks against Jake Peavy, making his Red Sox debut. Cy Young winners face off in St Pete, as Tim Lincecum and the Giants take on David Price and the Rays.
National TV: Dodgers-Cubs (4 PM, Fox), Braves-Phillies (4 PM, Fox), Rangers-Athletics (4 PM, Fox)
MLB.tv Free Game: Royals-Mets (1 PM)
Pitching Matchup of the Day: Jorge de la Rosa vs David Price (Giants at Rays, 7 PM)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.