Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:
Pirates 14, Cubs 3: The Pirates scored ten runs off of Jon Lester in the first inning. Only four were earned but that’s just by virtue of one error that itself didn’t cause a run to score. They hit Lester hard — six hits, two of which were homers and one of which was a double — and walked three times. People keep wondering why the Cubs are struggling this year. There are a lot of reasons for it, including a lot of their hitters falling back from last year. But I think we all overlooked how unlikely it was to expect some of their veteran starters to repeat the years they had in 2016.
Dodgers 5, Royals 2: Clayton Kershaw, man. Complete game, two runs, 13 strikeouts no walks. Justin Turner hit two homers. The Dodgers enter the break with
60 61 wins and a 7.5 game lead in the West — their biggest of the season — and a +163 run differential. Most teams love the All-Star break. The Dodgers have to wonder if they can somehow just keep playing. And it may get even worse for the NL foes. For now the Dodgers have . . . The Rally Granny:
They should have a bobblehead night for her soon. Or at least a bobblesomething night.
The Milwaukee Brewers have scored 81 runs in the first inning this season, more than any team in baseball. That’s not exactly a fluke. In fact, it’s by design . . . “A lot of starters settle in after the first inning and we’ve kind of taken that same approach with every pitcher,” Shaw said. “Try to jump on them early and grab the momentum and then work on it after that. We’ve been a really good first-inning team.”
Shaw shouldn’t say that out loud. If other teams hear him they may try to steal the Brewers’ “score a lot of runs early” strategy. Because before now no one has thought to try to do that.
Astros 19, Blue Jays 1:
Carlos Correa homered twice and drove in five. Jose Altuve got three hits for the fifth straight game. The Astros become the fifth team to notch 60 wins by the All-Star break, joining the 1998 Yankees, 2001 Mariners, 2003 Braves and this year’s Dodgers.
Rays 5, Red Sox 3: Brad Miller hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the eighth as the Rays take three of four from the Red Sox. The Rays are four over .500 and only three and a half back of the Sox.
Nationals 10, Braves 5: Nats starter Joe Ross left after just three and a third due to some triceps soreness but the Nats’ pen picked him up. Matt Wieters drove in three and Anthony Rendon drove in two and reached base five times. Freddie Freeman went 2-for-4 with three driven in in a losing cause. He’s 10-for-26 with two homers, three doubles and eight RBI in six games since coming off of a two-month DL stint. Dude is a machine.
Phillies 7, Padres 1: Six homers for the Phillies, two from Freddy Galvis. Nick Williams, Cameron Rupp, Odubel Herrera and Aaron Altherr went deep as well. Jerad Eickhoff struck out eight in five innings. Philly snapped a five-game losing streak.
Cardinals 6, Mets 0: Lance Lynn tossed seven shutout innings, allowing three hits and Trevor Rosenthal and John Brebbia . finished off the shutout. Tommy Pham, Paul DeJong and Luke Voit all went deep.
Angels 3, Rangers 0: JC Ramirez tossed six shutout innings and three relievers finished it off. That made the Angels one reliever less-efficient than the Cardinals I guess. Albert Pujols homered, Andrelton Simmons doubled in a run and Juan Graterol hit a sac fly. Ramirez after the game, when asked about what he plans to do during the All-Star break:
“I’m going to Vegas for a couple of days. I need my mind to get away from baseball.”
I’d read the hell out of a story about what non-All Stars do during the break. They’d have to be honest, though.
Rockies 10, White Sox 0: Kyle Freeland flirted with a no-no, losing it with one out in the ninth. He struck out nine and walked only three. Shortstop Pat Valaika had his back with five driven in thanks in part to a three-run homer.
Mariners 4, Athletics 0: Yet another shutout. Here Felix Hernandez looked King-like again, allowing only two hits over six innings and striking out eight in his best start of the season. Nelson Cruz hit a two-run shot. He leads the AL in RBI with 70, tied for the MLB lead with Nolan Arenado and Macell Ozuna.
Reds 2, Diamondbacks 1: Homer Bailey was shelled in his first two games back from the DL, allowing fourteen runs in four and two-thirds. In his last two: two runs in twelve and two-thirds. Here he allowed one and worked around four walks and seven hits. Joey Votto singled in a run, Scott Schebler doubled in one. The Dbacks enter the break having lost five of six.
Marlins 10, Giants 8: Giancarlo Stanton is ready for the Home Run Derby. He homered twice here, but it was A.J. Ellis‘ tie-breaking two-run home run in the 11th which loomed the largest for Miami. Not that Stanton was chopped liver: he scored four times and walked twice. He was also hit by a pitch. They needed it all as Miami blew a 7-3 lead in the seventh before winning in extras.
Tigers 5, Indians 3: First time I’ve watched Sunday Night Baseball in a few weeks. David Ross was in the booth which gave him and the other two guys an excuse to talk more about David Ross than the Indians and Tigers playing in front of them. Which is quite a trick given that the game lasted almost four dang hours. Corey Kluber was alright but inefficient, so he was out after five and the bullpen didn’t have his back. Michael Fulmer was more effective, allowing two earned runs over six innings. But again, that just distracted from us all thinking about David Ross’ career, the 2016 World Series, Dancing with the Stars and all of that. What a time to be alive.