Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:
Giants 5, Pirates 3: The Giants are hotter than all get out, having won 12 of 14. Who saw this coming? Oh wait: me. Me saw this coming when I predicted them to win the World Series this year. Yeah, you bet your butt I’m not gonna shut up about that as long as they’re still a viable contender this year. If and when they are eliminated from contention or knocked out of the playoffs, I’ll totally shut up about it, pretend I never said anything and possibly delete old posts which reference my prediction. I am, after all, a professional sports writer and there is a long and rich history of my ilk being utterly unaccountable. I shall not stand in the way of that.
Tigers 5, Mariners 4: Detroit wins on a walkoff wild pitch by Steve Cishek. That’s one that stays with you on the long flight back to Seattle. The bases were loaded and it was the bottom of the tenth so I guess there were several other ways for that one to end poorly — a walkoff walk is always fun — but a wild pitch it was. The Tigers sweep the Mariners. It was the first Detroit sweep of Seattle in a four-game series since August 1980. The first game in that four-game series was a walkoff win for the Tigers too. In a 1-0 game won by Al Cowens hitting a bases loaded single off of Shane Rawley to score Rick Peters. Jack Morris went nine shutout innings, allowing six hits. Floyd Bannister almost matched him but ran out of gas in the ninth. Peters was his responsibility so he got the tough luck loss. Just figured you’d want to know that. I probably listened to it on WJR as a seven year-old kid, though I have no memory of it.
Phillies 7, Twins 3: The Phillies end a nine-game losing streak. Freddy Galvis drove in five runs. Cesar Hernandez had four hits and Ryan Howard homered. Afterward Major League Baseball’s scheduling computer was arrested by international authorities for putting this series together. It will be tried for crimes against humanity in The Hague.
Red Sox 8, White Sox 7: Sox win! Red, that is, avoiding the sweep. Xander Bogaerts hit a walkoff single in the 10th. Craig Kimbrel came into a tie game and pitched two innings for the win. I presume that John Farrell will be fined by the Old Managers Society for bucking conventional wisdom like that. He’ll avoid expulsion because it wasn’t on the road — that would shock the conscience — but the two-inning/tie game combo is definitely gonna leave his wallet lighter.
Braves 4, Mets 3: Adonis Garcia hit a two-run homer in the eighth to put the Braves over. The Mets are 5-5 against the Braves this year. 0-3 against the Rockies. 3-3 against the Phillies. It’s not hard to put together an alternate season history that does not have them back of the Nats by four games.
Padres 7, Reds 4: Derek Norris his a three-run homer in the sixth inning to bring the Friars back from behind. The Reds bullpen has given up 54 home runs this year. The next highest on the list: the Twins and Phillies, tied with 40. The major league average is 27.
Marlins 4, Cubs 2: Giancarlo Stanton homered in the fourth inning and singled home the go-ahead run with two outs in the eighth. He’s been lost for so much of the year, but he’s had a pretty nice week or so. Four losses in a row for the Cubs.
Diamondbacks 7, Rockies 6: Nick Ahmed had a two-out RBI single in the ninth, salvaging what would’ve been a dispiriting loss given that Arizona had a 6-3 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth. From the “Stuff you don’t think about” department: in the ninth, Rockies reliever Carlos Estevez struck out Paul Goldschmidt before he ran into the trouble that led to Ahmed’s hit. It took him 12 pitches to do it, though, which both tired Estevez out a bit, probably physically and mentally, and gave Ahmed a chance to watch Estevez for a good while, a fact which he noted in the postgame interview. Most of us are pretty bad about just looking at the results and the numbers — the ATH feature relies on that heavily — but little stuff like that matters more than we acknowledge.
Athletics 5, Angels 4: Kendall Graveman allowed only two runs and eight hits in six and two-thirds innings. It was the first win for an A’s starter since June 1. In that time their rotation combined to go 0-9 in 17 winless games.
PROGRAMMING NOTE: Hey, y’all. I’m going on vacation next week. Bill will be putting up a Settling the Scores post in the morning and will be handling normal blogging duties on a somewhat altered schedule. You’ll see a couple of old friendly faces pitching in with some posts here and there too. I’ll be at the Giants-A’s game on Tuesday night. If anything cool happens there, I’ll not tell you because, remember, I’m on vacation, so why in the heck would I be working? Anyway: have a nice week. See you back here with ATH on July 5. It’ll stink, though, because my head will still be on vacation. You know how it is.