Dugout Digest – down to the wire

Your daily playoff updates…

-The Nationals are probably going to end up winning the NL East after last night's 6-4 win over the Cardinals. Their magic number to clinch is now at one, meaning that at worst, they've clinched a one game playoff.

-Speaking of the Cardinals, their lead in the NL Wild Card is down to two over the Dodgers, who shut out the Rockies 3-0. Maybe instead of a division title, the Braves should be cheering for a one game playoff for the second wild card spot between St Louis and Los Angeles. The Dodgers hold the advantage, so a tiebreaker would be held in LA, leading to a situation where the Cardinals could play the Reds in St Louis on Wednesday, the Dodgers in Los Angeles on Thursday, and the Braves in Atlanta on Friday. Three games, three days, three time zones. Good lord.

-In the American League, the East is deadlocked after 158 games between the Orioles and Yankees. New York fell to Toronto 3-2, and Baltimore defeated Boston 4-3. The Orioles will finish with the Rays, and the Yankees finish with the Red Sox.

-The second AL Wild Card had its picture clarified just a little bit on Saturday. The A's got a crazy 7-4 ten inning win over the Mariners to retain the top spot in the standings, while the Rays kept their hops alive with a 10-4 win in Chicago, staying three games out. As for the Angels…well, their game with the Rangers was rained out and will be made up as a doubleheader today. Talk about intense…

-Finally, the AL Central. The White Sox fell to the Rays, and the Tigers beat the Twins 6-4, giving Detroit a two game lead with four to play. This one looks just about over.

Four more days of regular season baseball, and absolutely nothing is settled in the American League…just the way we like it!

Game of the Night: Royals 7, Indians 6 (14 innings). You know, sometimes meaningless baseball is really fun. The Royals jumped out to a 6-1 lead in Cleveland after three innings, and this one looked about done. But the Tribe didn't quit, and kept chipping away. They made it 6-2 in the sixth after a pair of errors on pitcher Nate Adcock allowed a run to score, and cut the lead to 6-4 in the eighth after a two-run single by Shin-Soo Choo off of Aaron Crow. Then in the ninth, with closer Greg Holland on the mound, Asdrubal Cabrera hit a two-run double to tie the game. Pandemonium in Cleveland. It wouldn't last though, as after three scoreless extra innings, the Royals broke through in the 14th with a Tony Abreu RBI single against Scott Maine to make it 7-6. Cleveland loaded the bases in the bottom of the 14th with none out against Kelvin Herrera, but didn't get a single run, and that's how things ended.

Pitching Lines of the Night: In Milwaukee's 9-5 win over Houston to stave off elimination for another day, Marco Estrada was unreal, allowing just four hits over eight shutout innings, walking one and striking out 11. Trevor Cahill was great for the Diamondbacks in their 8-2 win over the Cubs, throwing a complete game and allowing two runs on four hits, walking three and striking out nine. Justin Verlander did Justin Verlander things in Detroit's win in Minnesota, allowing one unearned run on four hits in seven innings, walking two and striking out eight. Mike Minor finished off his excellent second half by shutting the Mets out over 6 1/3 innings, allowing three hits and striking out four without a walk in Atlanta's 2-0 victory. 

Hitting Lines of the Night: In Milwaukee, Corey Hart went 2/3 with two homers, four RBI, and a walk, pushing him to the 30 homer mark for the second time in his career. Matt Joyce gave the Rays all the offense they needed, going 2/2 with two homers, four RBI, and a walk of his own. Matt Kemp powered the Dodgers to their win over the Rockies after a 3/4, two homer evening. Brandon Moss was great for the A's in their win over Seattle, going 3/5 with five RBI and a walk-off homer. The Marlins fell to the Phillies 9-5, but you can't blame Giancarlo Stanton, who went 3/4 with two runs, three RBI, a walk, and his 36th homer of the year.

Other Games: The Pirates earned a 2-1 walkoff win over the Reds. The Padres beat the Giants 7-3, and it's looking more and more like the Giants will start the postseason on the road.

Today's Games: The doubleheader in Texas is awesome: Greinke vs Darvish in game one, and Santana vs Holland in game two. Kris Medlen starts for the Braves in his final playoff tuneup against the Mets, while Johnny Cueto has his last chance for win #20 against the Pirates. Phil Hughes starts for the Yankees in Toronto, while Joe Saunders starts for the Orioles against Boston. David Price looks for his 20th win against Jose Quintana and the White Sox, while Anibal Sanchez starts for th Tigers in Minnesota. Ross Detwiler and Lance Lynn will battle in St Louis, while Jorge de la Rosa takes on Josh Beckett in Los Angeles. Finally, out in Oakland, Erasmo Ramirez starts for the Mariners against Tommy Milone of the A's.

Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.

About Joe Lucia

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