Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:
Mets 1, Reds 0: Noah Syndergaard did it, all, tossing a complete game shutout and hitting a solo homer for the game’s only run. The last time a pitcher did both of those things in a 1-0 game was Bob Welch in June of 1983 against these same Cincinnati Reds. Well, not the same Reds, as none of them were alive yet. Even Joey Votto wasn’t born until September of that year. Zach Duke was alive — he was a couple of months old — but I’m guessing he didn’t pitch in that game. Here’s the box score of that contest. It’s a who’s who of every pack of 1983 Donruss cards you ever opened. You’ll also note that the game took two hours and twenty five minutes. Yesterday’s Reds-Mets game, in contrast, took only two hours and ten minutes.
Padres 11, Braves 2: Ian Kinsler homered and doubled in a run. Wil Myers homered and drove in three on the day. Eric Hosmer drove in a couple. The Padres had two five-run innings, one in the fifth and one in the sixth, and beat Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz like a rented mule. Atlanta fared better when utilityman Charlie Culberson took the mound in the ninth. He allowed a hit and walked two but stuck out a guy too and got out of a bases-loaded jam.
Twins 8, Astros 2: Jason Castro homered and drove in four and José Berríros twirled seven innings of two-run ball as the Twins took three of four from the Astros and now have the best record in the American League. After the game Jonathan Schoop said “If you want to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best.” Which is a variation of “to be the man you’ve got to beat the man.” No word if he also found some slightly different way to say that he’s a stylin’, profilin’, limousine riding, jet flying, kiss-stealing, wheelin’ and dealin’ son of a gun, but if he did that’d be boss.
Rockies 11, Brewers 6: Nolan Arenado, David Dahl and Raimel Tapia all homered as Colorado scored seven runs in the first two innings and hung nine on Brewers starter Freddy Peralta. The Rockies are heating up. They’ve played 32 games. They scored 46 runs in their first 16 and 101 in their last 16. They have also won 12 of 17 following a 3-12 start. Not that that’s being super honest with end points, but if you want people to be honest with end points you probably shouldn’t be reading any sports writing.
Rays 3, Royals 1: A nice pitcher’s duel between Danny Duffy and Charlie Morton with both guys allowing a single run over six and six and two-thirds innings, respectively. The decisive run came in the top of the ninth when Brandon Lowe hit a two-run dinger off of Wily Peralta. Lowe on the homer:
“I didn’t know it was going to be a home run. As I was running, I was saying, `C’mon, get up.’ I was asking for it to do something for me. It wasn’t the intention in that at-bat. I was just trying to find a gap.”
If I was a baseball player I’d try to hit a homer most of the time. Homers are the best thing you can do.
Nationals 2, Cardinals 1: Stephen Strasburg struck out nine and allowed only one run in six and two-thirds. In the process he struck out his 1,500th career batter. In so doing he did it in fewer innings pitched than any player in major league history: 1,272.1. Chris Sale had the previous record, having done it in 1,290 innings. Both of them are legit strikeout guys and would be in any era, but let’s not pretend pitching in the age in which they pitch doesn’t skew things a tad in their favor. After the game the Nationals fired pitching coach Derek Lilliquist. I wonder if he tried to keep his job by taking responsibility for Strasburg’s nice outing. I would’ve. Always go down swinging, man.
White Sox 6, Red Sox 4: Boston took a 4-3 lead into the bottom of the ninth but Ryan Brasier couldn’t lock it down, allowing two runners to reach — one on an error, one on a single — and then surrendered a walkoff three-run homer to Nicky Delmonico. Well done, Delmonico! The steaks were high but you pulled off a rare feat, took a choice cut and saved Chicago from the fire. The White Sox have won five of six and are just a game under .500.
Angels 6, Blue Jays 2: Mike Trout and Kole Calhoun homered, Tyler Skaggs pitched four-hit ball into the seventh and the Angels sweep the Jays in three. The Angels have won six of seven after losing nine of 10. Again with those end points, I know, but I think it’s safe to say this is a streaky team. Streaky teams are fun. The hierarchy for fans, I think, goes like this:
- Dominant team
- Good, winning team that wasn’t supposed to win
- Good, winning team that was supposed to win
- Streaky mediocre team
- Simply mediocre team
- Bad but promising team with lotsa prospects
- Bad, colorful team with lotsa interesting veterans
- Bad boring team full of bland tomato cans
There are some other possibilities, of course, but I think these are the main ones. Thoughts?