Dugout Digest – diminishing stars

The Braves beat the Phillies 6-3 last night (and I was there, which is why this DD is coming so late), but it wasn't the result that was surprising…it was the Phillies set of struggles since their two stars have returned. Ryan Howard came back to the team on Friday, and despite not playing yesterday, the Phillies are 0-2 with him on the active roster. Chase Utley was activated from the DL on June 27th, and in the ten games since (including one that Utley didn't play in), the team is…1-9. Utley has just a .714 OPS in the nine games he's been active in, including two games where he just had a pinch hit appearance. So here we are, the two stars are back…and nothing has changed for the Phillies, who are now 14 games behind the Nationals in the NL East and 12 games under .500. Tough times in Philadelphia this year.

Game of the Night: Rangers 4, Twins 3 (10 innings). The slate of games yesterday wasn't very exciting, and this was the only one to end in walkoff fashion. Each starter allowed three runs, with Rangers starter Derek Holland exiting after six and Twins starter Samuel Deduno leaving after 5 1/3. Then, it turned into a bullpen game that went into extra innings. In the tenth, Adrian Beltre led off the inning against Kyle Waldrop by singling, and Nelson Cruz immediately followed it up with a walk-off double. And that's all, folks. Former Twin Joe Nathan got the win for the Rangers with a pair of shutout innings in relief.

Pitching Lines of the Night: Jered Weaver of the Angels threw eight shutout innings against the Orioles in Anaheim's 3-0 win, allowing three hits, one walk, and striking out five. James McDonald of the Pirates shut down the Giants in Pittsburgh's 3-1 win, allowing one run over seven innings on four hits, walking none and striking out ten. Jason Vargas of the Mariners threw a complete game in Seattle's 7-1 win over Oakland, allowing one run on seven hits, walking one and striking out six.

Hitting Lines of the Night: In game two of the Red Sox-Yankees doubleheader, Boston won 9-5 and Pedro Ciriaco went 4/5 with two runs, four RBI, two doubles, and a stolen base. Over both games of the doubleheader (with the Yankees winning game one 6-1), Andruw Jones went 3/9 with three solo homers. Nick Swisher went 2/3 with two runs, three RBI, a homer, and two walks in game one. Adrian Beltre of the Rangers went 3/5 with three runs and a homer in Texas's 4-3 win over Minnesota. 

Other Games: The Astros beat the Brewers 6-3, and Zack Greinke was ejected after just four pitches. The Tigers edged the Royals 4-3. The Nationals beat the Rockies 4-1. The White Sox shut out the Blue Jays 2-0. The Indians beat the Rays 7-3. The Mets beat the Cubs 3-1. The Cardinals edged the Marlins 3-2. The Reds nipped the Padres 6-5. The Diamondbacks beat the Dodgers 5-3. 

Today's Games: James Shields starts for the Rays in Cleveland. Ryan Dempster makes his return from the DL for the Cubs against Jonathon Niese of the Mets. Jeremy Guthrie makes his return to the rotation for the Rockies to take on Jordan Zimmermann of the Nationals. Tim Lincecum and AJ Burnett will duel in Pittsburgh. Felix Hernandez starts for Seattle, taking on Bartolo Colon and the A's. Roy Oswalt goes for the Rangers against the Twins. Anibal Sanchez starts for the Marlins against the Cardinals. Johnny Cueto will start for the Reds in San Diego. Chris Capuano and Trevor Bauer will duel in Arizona.

Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.