Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:
Dodgers 3, Padres 1: I was in Petco Park, waiting for the Futures Game to start yesterday while watching the Padres play on TV, 122 miles to the north. It just underlined how strange it was to have the Futures Game going on while real baseball games were happening. Although I guess this may not have been a real baseball game as far as the Padres were concerned. They struck out 16 times — 13 from Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda — and generally looked like a club full of players waiting to get away for their three days off in Cabo or wherever they’re going for the break. Petco was was certainly hopping, though. I guess two teams full of prospects are a better product than San Diego fans are accustomed to, so the excitement was understandable.
Nationals 3, Mets 2: Daniel Murphy hit yet another homer against the Mets. That’s seven so far this year. He’s only got 10 more against the rest of baseball. It’s the stuff that launches narratives — REVENGE FOR LETTING HIM GO! — but it’s not like he’s not trying to hit homers against the other teams too. It’s a coincidence, not payback. People have evolved for millions of years in such a way that seeing patterns, signs and connections, even when they may not exist, aid in survival. Are those horizontal strips in the underbrush a tiger, or just a bunch of shadows? Better to assume the tiger. There aren’t too many tigers anymore, so we look for different kinds of patterns now.
Braves 2, White Sox 0: When Mike Foltynewicz looks bad he looks pretty bad, but when he looks good he looks fantastic. This was the good Mike Foltynewicz (7 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 10K). Jeff Francoeur and Jace Peterson homered. Braves manager Brian Snitker used the phrase “God almighty” as an exclamation when describing Foltynewicz after the game. That’s almost as good as Terry Collins’ famous “cripes!”
Astros 2, Athletics 1: Houston wins on a walkoff E-5. Not the most inspiring form of walkoff win, I don’t suppose, but it still counts. Jake Marisnick, who scored the winning run, said this of the walkoff win: “We seem to be full of those lately. It’s a nod to this team and how we don’t give up.” Maybe it is. Or maybe it was just a nod to how Danny Valencia borked a throw. Or maybe it’s more about the universe’s inherent randomness. Events can have lots of meanings.
Blue Jays 6, Tigers 1: The Blue Jays are entering the All-Star break on a roll, having won eight of nine. They’re 51-40 at the break this year and were 46-45 last year. Granted last year they made some pretty monster trades to give them that second half surge, but they have certainly flipped the script since their sluggish start. Josh Donaldson is tearing the cover off the ball like it was 2015 again himself. He hit a three-run homer here and enters the break batting a cool .304/.418/.598 and is on pace for 41 homers and 112 RBI. Those are better than last year’s rate stats and exactly the number of homers he hit. All he did then was win the MVP.
Orioles 4, Angels 2: For all the good stuff the Jays have been doing the O’s have been doing better. Mostly on the power of their power. Chris Davis and J.J. Hardy homered — the O’s have 137 at the break and that leads all of baseball — and Chris Tillman pitched seven innings, allowing one run on three hits.
Yankees 11, Indians 7: The Indians dropped three of four to the Yankees, but they maintain a 6.5 game lead in the Central so it’s probably OK. The Yankees won three of four against the Indians and that may fool them into thinking they’re good, so that’s probably not OK. Masahiro Tanaka had an 11-1 lead entering the bottom of the fifth and only needed three outs to qualify for the win but the Indians scored six and Tanaka couldn’t make it out of the inning. That’s gotta sting.
Marlins 7, Reds 3: The Marlins sweep the Reds with the aid of a Giancarlo Stanton homer. He now flies here to San Diego for the Home Run Derby. Even if his season has been kind of a mess, you have to think he’ll launch some. That should be fun to see.
Red Sox 4, Rays 0: David Price tossed eight shutout innings with ten strikeouts. David Ortiz hit a two-run shot. The Rays have lost 22 of 25. I’d say they’re skidding into the All-Star break but to skid you have to have some sort of forward momentum first. They’re just kind of, I dunno, plotzing into the All-Star break.
Cubs 6, Pirates 5: Kris Bryant had three hits and reached base four times. His big hit was his go-ahead RBI single in the eighth, which helped the Cubs go ahead for the third time in the game. The Cubs ended their five-game losing streak. For as bad as it’s been in the past couple of weeks for them, they still carry baseball’s biggest lead into the break.
Cardinals 5, Brewers 1: Mike Foltynewicz wasn’t the only guy who struck out 10 over seven innings. Wasn’t even the only Mike. Leake did it too, while allowing one run on six hits. Matt Adams and Steven Piscotty homered.
Mariners 8, Royals 5: Robinson Cano and Adam Lind homered in a five-run seventh inning. The Mariners were up and down in the first half but they enter the break a game above .500. Not a lot of people figured they’d do that, I bet.
Phillies 10, Rockies 3: Viva the thin air of Coors Field. According to Elias, Cameron Rupp‘s 465-foot home run was the Phillies’ longest in five years. Then, an inning later, Maikel Franco broke that mark with a 471-foot shot.
Giants 4, Diamondbacks 0: Jake Lamb broke up Madison Bumgarner‘s no-hit bin in the eighth inning. Otherwise MadBum cruised, striking out 14 in a one-hit compete game shutout. In the process he dropped his first half ERA below 2.00 to a cool 1.94 as he picked up his 10th win of the season. The Giants finish the first half with the best record in all of baseball at 57-33.