Arizona won its seventh straight game yesterday, beating the Rockies 5-1 behind a strong outing from Daniel Hudson. Hudson added an RBI to — altogether now — help his own cause. Meanwhile the Giants were pounded 7-0 by the Cubs, their already weak bats silenced even more by Randy Wells, who tossed a two-hitter. Bruce Bochy referred to the loss as the low point of the Giants’ season. It’s hard to disagree.
The upshot: Arizona now has a five game lead in the NL West. As Nick Piecoro points out in the Arizona Republic, it’s the Dbacks’ biggest division lead since June 15th 2008.
The two teams play a three-game series this weekend in San Francisco. If their relative trajectories don’t change, the Dbacks could secure the division by Sunday evening.
Which we all saw coming back in March, right?
The Yankees fell behind early to the Orioles on Sunday afternoon, a day after dropping both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader. Their game, as did every other game on Sunday with the exception of the Braves-Cardinals doubleheader, started at 3:05 or 3:10 EDT, a change Major League Baseball recently made to create fairness on the final day of the season.
Girardi is not a fan. Per the Associated Press:
It was cloudy at Camden Yards at 3:05 p.m., but late-afternoon games often make it difficult for batters to see pitches.
Girardi said, “Here’s the thing that bothers me: If it’s a sunny day you’re playing in shadows.”
He added, “If it’s the most important game of the year to get in, I don’t think that’s right.”
Understanding the idea is for every team to play at the same time, Girardi said, “Then play all night games.”
One wonders if MLB had scheduled Sunday’s slate of games for the night, if Girardi would have instead complained about batters losing fly balls in the stadium lights. Furthermore, both teams have to play in the same conditions.
Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki was given an opportunity to play a new position in Sunday’s series finale against the Phillies. After the Phillies rallied to take a 6-2 lead in the seventh, the Marlins let Suzuki take the hill in the eighth. And, in news that surprises no one, he was impressive.
Though Suzuki gave up a run on two hits, he flashed a fastball that hit the mid-80’s and a breaking ball with some bite.
Suzuki, who turns 42 years old later this month, is 65 hits of 3,000 in his major league career. The Marlins are interested in bringing him back in 2016.