What we're watching: Lincecum aims for 13th win, 200 Ks

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– Matt Cain and Jason Marquis have both failed twice and Johan Santana and Adam Wainwright once apiece, so now Tim Lincecum will have a shot at becoming the first NL pitcher to reach 13 victories.  He’ll be facing the Reds for the first time in 80 career starts.  I’m not positive about this, but with nine strikeouts tonight, it looks like he’ll be the earliest to get to 200 in a season since Randy Johnson’s 334-strikeout campaign in 2002.  Erik Bedard got their on Aug. 15 in 2007.

 

– The Braves will attempt to recover from a devastating loss Thursday tonight in the second game of a four-game series in Los Angeles.  The Braves led 4-2 going into the bottom of the ninth on Friday, only to see Rafael Soriano give up a walkoff homer to Andre Ethier.  Tonight’s game will be a rematch of the contest five days ago in Atlanta, which the Dodgers won 9-1.  Chad Billingsley threw five scoreless innings in that one before leaving with a hamstring cramp.  Jair Jurrjens surrendered four runs in five innings to take his first loss in five starts.  He’s 9-8 with a 2.85 ERA, while Billingsley is 11-6 with a 3.82 ERA.

 

– Carlos Lee will aim again for his 300th homer, this time against the Brewers’ Carlos Villanueva.  He has four extra-base hits in his last three games, but all were doubles.  He’s 4-for-13 with a homer against Villanueva in his career.

 

Game of the Night

 

Boston vs. New York – Having fallen to 8-1 against the Yankees, the Red Sox are terribly desperate for a win, what with there only being 45 games left and them being a mere two games up in the wild card (even if that is the same lead they held 10 games ago).  With the season on the line, they’ll send Josh Beckett to the mound.  He’s 2-0 in three starts against the Yankees, despite having a 5.82 ERA.  Burnett has been roughed up in both of his outings versus Boston, compiling a 12.91 ERA in 7 2/3 innings. 

Jon Niese leaves start with knee pain

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 17:  Jonathon Niese #49 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 17, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
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Mets starter Jon Niese left his start Tuesday night against the Cardinals due to left knee pain.

Niese walked two and gave up an RBI single before leaving with a trainer with one out in the bottom of the first inning. He was eventually charged with three earned runs. Robert Gsellman, just up from Las Vegas, took over, making his major league debut under unexpected circumstances.

Niese, who has not pitched well at all since coming over in a trade with the Pirates, is likely to be placed on the disabled list after the game or before tomorrow’s game.

Mark Trumbo’s home run streak ends

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 11:  Mark Trumbo #45 of the Baltimore Orioles hits an RBI single against the Oakland Athletics during the fourth inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 11, 2016 in Oakland, California. The Baltimore Orioles defeated the Oakland Athletics 9-6. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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Mark Trumbo still has many chances to hit a home run tonight — it’s only been an inning or so in the Nats-Orioles game — but his weird home run streak is over.

Coming into tonight’s game, Trumbo’s last seven hits had been homers. The all-time record had been 11, set by Mark McGwire back in 2001. The last time Trumbo got a hit that wasn’t a dong was back on August 11. Later in that game, however, he hit a grand slam. After that he went 6 for his next 34, with all those safeties dingers.

But that’s over now. In the first inning tonight he drove in a run with a two-out single. Then he was thrown out trying to stretch it to two. Good job on the RBIs, Mark. Bad job on the base running. Judgment withheld on the homer streak because, really, that’s just kind of weird and cool.