Braves 6, Marlins 0: Shelby Miller has a no-hitter broken up with one out to go. Sorry kid. Still, a 94-pitch shutout is nothin’ to sneeze at. It’s something that even has a cool name. And let the record reflect that Miller is 4-1 with a 1.60 ERA in seven starts while Jason Heyward is hitting .252/.310/.382. I’d rather have the Cardinals’ record than the Braves, but so far the Braves are winnin’ that trade.
Orioles 3, Angels 0: Mike Wright’s major league debut: seven and a third innings pitched, four hits no runs and his first big league strikeout came on a swing-and-miss by Mike freakin’ Trout. Not bad!
And since we mentioned a debut, let’s mention a finale. I won’t give anything too major away here in case people haven’t seen it, but I’m OK with how “Mad Men” ended. The big thing to remember: you don’t spend eight years pounding the twin ideas of cynicism and people’s powerlessness to change and then suddenly give your main character enlightenment or transcendence or something. If Don Draper had done anything other than what he did here it would’ve been a nice payoff for fans, yes, but it also wouldn’t have served the show’s central ethos very well. So, I liked it. If you require crazy twists, stunning personal journeys and catharsis, “Mad Men” really wasn’t your kind of show to begin with.
Phillies 6, Diamondbacks 0: Sean O’Sullivan was hit way harder by his own catcher than he was by any Arizona Diamondbacks. The Dbacks managed only five hits off of him. Catcher Cameron Rupp hit O’Sullivan in the throat when he tossed the ball back to him. He was shaken for a second but stayed in the game, delivering one more pitch to complete his six innings of work. The Phillies have won five in a row, you guys.
Royals 6, Yankees 0: The Royals were powered by a battery: Edinson Volquez tossed three-hit ball for seven innings and Salvador Perez homered and drove in two. The third 6-0 game of the day. The seventh shutout in fifteen games overall. Everyone was gettin’ away for getaway day, I guess.
Giants 9, Reds 8: The first half of the line score here is sort of messy, as the Giants had a five-run lead early and squandered all but one run of it in the third. Crooked numbers and disorganization. The last half of the line score is very satisfying for the sort of person who likes symmetry and order, as each team scored one run a piece in the fifth, seventh and eighth, leaving that one-run margin for San Francisco. Brandon Belt homered Nori Aoki drove in three.
Mets 5, Brewers 1: Noah Syndergaard got his first career win, allowing one run over six innings and striking out five. He also beaned Carlos Gomez in the ear flap, scaring the hell out of everyone, but thankfully Gomez is OK. It also led to this bit of good sportsmanship.
Rays 11, Twins 3: The Rays rattled 19 hits off of Twins pitching to avoid the sweep. James Loney had four of those hits and three RBI. Chris Archer allowed only one run in six innings. Also: the way “Mad Men” ended TOTALLY keeps the idea of “Don invents ‘New Coke’ in 1985, ruining his career” speculation in play! McCann-Erickson did that campaign! Don pitched the Max Headroom “Catch the Wave!” commercial, everyone loved it and then it totally fizzled. Or, perhaps, Peggy did that while Don was off on some bender or another journey around the country. Don watches it fail, comes back and pitches “Coca-Cola Classic.” If I were AMC It’d throw a truckload of money at Matt Weiner to do that as a six-episode mini-series 10-15 years from now.
Astros 4, Blue Jays 2: Luis Valbuena and Colby Rasmus homered and Collin McHugh allowed two runs on six hits over seven innings and struck out nine. Mark Buehrle went the distance for Toronto and, though he lost, he served his second-best purpose and kept this game to a crisp two-hour, twenty-two minutes.
Pirates 3, Cubs 0: A.J. Burnett tossed seven shutout innings. Last August the dude said he’d probably retire, but came around to give it another go. Then in January he said he only had one more season left in him. So far, however, he’s 3-1 with a 1.38 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 43/18 in 52 innings. That’s the sort of thing that can change a man’s career plans.
Rangers 5, Indians 1: Mitch Moreland had a two-run homer and hit another ball off the top of the wall. Carlos Carrasco pitched all eight innings the Rangers batted, making him the second dude on the day to do that after Buehrle. Going the distance in a loss is the new inefficiency.
White Sox 7, Athletics 3: The sweep. The first White Sox sweep in Oakland since 1997. Avisail Garcia hit a two-run homer. Jeff Samardzija allowed three runs over eight.
Mariners 5, Red Sox 0: James Paxton tossed eight shutout innings. Kyle Seager homered, drove in two and scored twice. Everyone has talked about how the Red Sox’ starting pitching stinks, and it has, but the offense is no great shakes either, ranking 11th in the American League in runs per game and 14th in slugging percentage. And yet they’re only three and a half back because the American League East is kind of a hot mess. But some hot messes are fun, so who cares?
Dodgers 1, Rockies 0: Mike Bolsinger and three relievers combined to three-hit the Rockies. Kyle Kendrick limited Colorado to a run and three hits over seven innings, but he walked five and one of those walks put a man in scoring position prior to the RBI single which proved to be the only run in the game.
Nationals 10, Padres 5: Bryce Harper hit a three-run homer, tripled and drove in four on his 3-for-4 day. On the year he leads the National League in games, plate appearances, runs, home runs, walks, slugging percentage and OPS. Clearly overrated.
Cardinals 2, Tigers 1: Ausmus. Matheny. The battle of the Baseball’s Most Handsome Managers concluded with King Handsome Ausmus’ squad taking two of three from Prince Handsome Matheny’s squad. Matheny prevailed here, however, as Kolten Wong hit a tiebreaking home run in the sixth and Lance Lynn allowed only one run while pitching into the eighth and hit an RBI to [altogether now] help his own cause. This will not, however, alter the handsomeness standings as it was a non-title match. All bets are off if the Tigers and Cardinals meet in the World Series.