Charlie Blackmon

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The First Base Race Remains Tight in NL All-Star Balloting

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The latest balloting is in for the NL All-Star team and the race to start at first base remains tight.

Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman has 1,404,251 votes and remains slightly ahead of Chicago’s Anthony Rizzo, who has 1,247,219. Zimmerman is batting .349 on the season with 19 home runs and 54 RBI. If he holds on, this would be Zimmerman’s first ever elected start at first base. Rizzo was the starter in 2016.

The remaining NL leaders include second baseman Daniel Murphy of the Nationals, third baseman Kris Bryant of the Cubs, Cincinnati shortstop Zack Cozart, catcher Buster Posey of the Giants and outfielders Bryce Harper, Charlie Blackmon and Jason Heyward of the Nationals, Rockies and Cubs, respectively.

Here are all of the top vote getters:

All-Star Balloting Update: Zack Cozart shoots to the lead among NL shortstops

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Zack Cozart of the Cincinnati Reds is having a fantastic season. He’s hitting .329/.416/.580 with nine homers and 33 RBI. Corey Seager of the Dodgers is also having a fantastic season, hitting .279/.388/.473, but Cozart’s superior one thus far has shot him past Seager for the lead among NL shortstops in the All-Star balloting.

The other leaders in the voting so far: first baseman Ryan Zimmerman of the Nationals; second baseman Daniel Murphy of the Nationals; third baseman Kris Bryant of the Cubs; catcher Buster Posey of the Giants; and outfielders Bryce Harper of the Nationals, Charlie Blackmon of the Rockies and Jason Heyward of the Cubs.

Here are all the leaders. American League update will come tomorrow:

 

And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Yankees 9, Red Sox 1: Gary Sanchez hit two homers and drove in five and Michael Pineda allowed only an unearned run and struck out eight over seven innings of work. David Price said he wasn’t talking to the media except on days he pitched. Yesterday he pitched. And he gave up six runs on eight hits in five innings. I’m sure he was looking forward to that conversation for the rest of the game but, to his credit, he refrained from expletive-filled rants and simply answered questions.

Diamondbacks 15, Padres 3: This game started at 3:40 Eastern time and lasted less than three hours, so Senator McCain has no excuses if he’s less than sharp today. Chris Iannetta hit a two run homer and drove in five more runs with a pair of RBI doubles. Ten of the Dbacks’ 15 runs came with two outs.

Giants 9, Brewers 5: This game had everything. Lead changes. A blown ninth inning. A big extra innings rally. A guy with no pants storming the field:

You know, the usual. As for the baseball, Giants closer Mark Melancon, blew a two-run lead in the ninth by giving up a leadoff homer to Eric Sogard and an RBI single to Travis Shaw‘s before recording an out. He stopped the damage there, however, and his teammates rallied for four in the tenth.

Reds 5, Cardinals 2: A four game sweep for the Reds capped with a four-hit day from Joey Votto. One of those hits was a two-run shot. Adam Duvall had three hits. It’s the first time the Reds have swept the Cardinals in a four game series since 2003. The Cards have lost seven in a row.

Angels 11, Tigers 4: The Tigers had an early 4-1 lead but Michael Fulmer faltered and the bullpen utterly failed. The Angels took the lead with a four-run fifth and piled on six runs in the seventh. Eric Young Jr. had three hits and scored three times and Danny Espinosa drove in three.

Nationals 6, Orioles 1: A makeup game no one wanted to play. The Nats were coming off of a west coast road trip and Orioles just played a couple of long, tough extra innings games against the Pirates which drained their bullpen. The starters were fresh, but only one of them pitched well. Joe Ross of the Nats gave up one run and four hits over seven and a third innings, striking out 12 and not walking anyone. His secret:

“Tried to execute and keep the ball down”

Oh, thanks.

Stephen Drew homered and Trea Turner had three hits and three stolen bases

Marlins 7, Pirates 1: Often times guys have a bad outing following a no-hitter. Not Edinson Volquez. The Marlins starter, who no-hit the Diamondbacks last Saturday tossed seven shutout innings here, allowing only three hits and striking out eight. He’s lowered his ERA on the season by more than a run in just his last two starts. Derek Dietrich and Christian Yelich each had three hits, each with two doubles.

Rays 7, White Sox 5: Derek Norris has not had a good week off the field, but on the field yesterday he was just fine, homering in the third and the fourth innings. Peter Bourjos and Colby Rasmus also homered for Tampa Bay. Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier left the game with a jammed right hip after sliding into first base while trying to beat out an infield hit in the fifth. Sliding into first base is never a good idea, people. Ever.

Braves 3, Phillies 1: R.A. Dickey hasn’t had a good year so far, but last night he got things right, allowing only one run on three hits in seven innings. The highlight of this game, however, may have been when Maikel Franco hacked at a knuckleball, lost control of the bat and sent it flying into the protective netting. Where it got stuck:

 

Rockies 4, Cubs 1: All of the scoring was over after the second inning in this one, with Kris Bryant hit a solo homer in the first and Charlie Blackmon and D.J. LeMahiew each knocking runs, on a double and a homer, respectively, in the second. Tyler Chatwood went six innings, allowing only tat Bryant homer. That’s five straight wins for Colorado. For years the deal with the Rockies was that, if they could only get average pitching, they had a fighting chance given their offensive environment. So far this year Colorado has a top-10 pitching staff in all of baseball.

Astros 6, Royals 1: It was a 1-1 game heading into the ninth, thanks in large part to Lance McCullers, who took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. McCullers wasn’t able to hang around for the decision, but his teammates did their part in the final frame, scoring five runs thanks in part to Jose Altuve‘s  two-run homer. Jason Hammel was pretty dang good himself, allowing only one run over seven.

Twins 2, Mariners 1: The M’s five-game winning streak came to end, thanks in part to Robinson Cano who made two errors on one play, allowing the Twins’ go-ahead run to score in the fifth. The Twins first run came on a Jason Castro homer in the fourth.