Prof: Well, folks, this is it for the first half of the baseball season. Lots of surprises this year – the firings of Bryan Price and Mike Matheny, the Phillies, Brewers, and Braves being several years ahead of schedule, breakout seasons of Scooter Gennett, Jesus Aguilar, and Blake Snell, and the historic collapse of the Baltimore Orioles come to mind. What does fate have in store for us in the second half?
Obviously, because we’re coming up on the All Star Break, our traditional daily wrap-up won’t need to be written. Fear not, we have fresh posts brewing for each day until we get back to our usual scheduled programming, so be sure to stop by.
Music choices, picked out by yours truly today, is Queen. Because why the hell not? Guess which one of these is my favorite Queen song.
Rangers 5, Orioles 6 – Prof: It rained in Charm City yesterday, delaying the game at beautiful Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Due to the field conditions, the Oriole front office and manager Buck Showalter didn’t take any chances with what was more than likely Manny Machado’s last game in the orange and black, and pulled him early as to protect the merchandise. He did hit a homer in the first inning, though. A nice way to say goodbye to the faithful O’s fans who know he’s not coming back after the break, or if he is, it’s only for a very limited time. Adam Jones made a case for a trade to a contender as well with a three run double. Zach Britton, back and looking like one of the best closers in baseball again, got his fourth save of the season, and is also an attractive piece of bait to a team who would need a solid guy at the end of games. All of these guys can be and probably should be traded.
Blue Jays 2, Red Sox 5 – Prof: Stop me if you’ve heard this one before – the Boston Red Sox won. The Sawx has the best record in baseball, an incredible 68-30 for the first half. This is their best performance since 1949, when they had legends like Ted Williams and Bobby Doerr in the lineup. Boston’s lineup today ain’t all that shabby, either: Xander Bogaerts hit a solo homer and Brock Holt had two RBI singles. Craig Kimbrel now has 30 saves on the year.
Yankees 2, Spiders 5 – Scouts: Michael Brantley showed off his All-Star game selection by leading off the 8th with a homer that would give the Spiders the final lead of the day.
Nationals 6, Mets 1 – Scouts: A 5-run spree in the 7th made the difference in this one as the Nats continue to play hot and cold and no one really knows what this team is all about.
Phillies 5, Marlins 10 – Prof: Oh boy, this is bad. And it started out so great for Philadelphia, too. The Fightin’ Phils went hard in the fourth inning, gathering five runs and a strong lead. Then we go to the Phillies bullpen, where no run is safe. In the fifth inning, the Feesh basically said, “Anything you can do, I can do better” and exploded for eight runs and the lead. They capped off the game with two more runs in the eighth inning. Brian Anderson smashed a three run homer while Cameron Maybin crushed a 429 foot solo shot of his own.
Diamondbacks 1, Braves 5 – Prof: Julio Teheran had a rare good outing in Atlanta’s home park and picked up the win against the also very good Patrick Corbin and the Gritty Snakes. Mostly small ball, with doubles and singles in the third inning contributing to four of the Braves’ five runs.
Brewers 6, Pirates 7 F/10 – Prof: Swept by the Pirates, this is a bad way to end the first half of the season. Milwaukee still has a spot on the top of the NL Central leaderboard, but sloppy, exhaustive play in the last few weeks have been a weakness. With several Brewers going to the All Star Game, and a few more having been drafted as replacements, they will need to use this time to refocus and refresh. Craig Counsell will get a much needed break, although I’m not sure if he’ll actually do much relaxing since he wants to take the Brew Crew to the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
Royals 1, White Sox 10 – Scouts: Chicago went out on a bang, dropping 10 big ones on the Royals at home. Daniel Palka and Yoan Moncada both went 3-4 with homers.
Rays 7, Twins 11 – Scouts: I know someone who is pretty “happy” today as Brian Dozier walked it off with a grand slam in the 10th to send the Twins into the break on the highest of notes. This was the end result of a lead-off double, a sac bunt, and a pair of intentional walks. Also, can anyone possibly explain to me just what the hell the problem was in the 7th between these two teams? The bench clearing but nothing happening arguments are getting too many to track these days.
Tigers 6, Astros 3 – Scouts: I’m not entirely sure how Histo is supposed to feel about this one. On the one hand, her beloved Tigers picked up a win headed into the break, on the other they roughed up her beloved Verlander for wow, 4 homers.
Reds 4, Cardinals 6 – Prof: I’m sure it’s just coincidence that the Redbirds won less than 24 hours after sacking the current reigning Handsomest Manager in Baseball (according to some, not to me), Mike Matheny. St. Louis breaks a six game losing streak, and Dexter Fowler celebrated accordingly with a solo homer in the second inning.
Mariners 3, Rockies 4 – Scouts: Seattle limps into the break by getting swept by Trevor Story and the Rockies. Story walked it off with a homer in the 9th over the center-field wall.
Angels 3, Dodgers 5 – Prof: Here are some facts that no one can deny. Mike Trout is a generational talent. Clayton Kershaw is one of the best left handed pitchers of all time. Neither one was at his best in this game. Now, granted, Trout has been nursing a thumb injury on and off this season and Kershaw did have that DL stint earlier in the season as well, so I will cut them slack. And Kersh also went nearly seven innings and had eight Ks. But he also gave up three runs – none of these to Trout, who went 0-2. Here’s another fun fact – Kersh hit an RBI single as well. Two Dodger homers seal the deal in this battle of crosstown rivals.
Athletics 6, Giants 2 – Scouts: So, are the A’s good now? I’m confused. They are 13 games over .500 but 8 back of the division and 3 out of the final wild card spot. I just don’t get this season.
Cubs 7, Padres 4 – Scouts: Jon Lester picked up his 12th win, Javier Baez picked up an RBI, and the Cubs picked up a win headed into the break.