Dugout Digest – aces down

It was an odd day across the league on Sunday. Aces got the starts in several games, and many of them just flat-out didn't perform very well. James Shields struggled in Philly, while Cole Hamels got shelled. Jeff Samardzija dazzled early on in Atlanta, but ran out of gas. RA Dickey was just plain terrible. Stephen Strasburg was a horror show. David Price got torched. Yovani Gallardo was underwhelming. Edinson Volquez was…well, Edinson Volquez. Matt Cain was an affront to humanity. Jered Weaver and Yu Darvish both left their games early. Just because a team has their top pitcher on the hill doesn't mean that a win in a low-scoring affair is a lock. I think Sunday pretty much proved that in spades.


2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel sits in the Rangers dugout with team president Nolan Ryan prior to throwing out the first pitch (Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports). 

Game of the Day: Diamondbacks 8, Brewers 7 (11 innings). This game was a back and forth affair, and when Yovani Gallardo left the game after six, his Brewers were trailing 4-3…until a two-run homer by Aaron Hill in the seventh off of Burke Badenhop made ir 6-3. The Brewers picked up a run in their end of the  seventh to make it 6-4, and Ian Kennedy was in line for the win in the ninth inning…until JJ Putz allowed RBI singles to both Norichika Aoki and Jonathan Lucroy to tie the game. The game went into extras, and Arizona jumped back in front in the 11th after a two-run homer by Eric Hinske off of Brewers closer John Axford. Milwaukee cut the lead to one in their end of the inning against Heath Bell, but they couldn't get any more runs across the board with men on the corners and one out, as Bell struck out both Rickie Weeks and pinch hitter (you read that correctly, pinch hitter) Kyle Lohse to end the ballgame.

Pitching Lines of the Day: I told you who did *bad* on Sunday…but who did good? The Indians pounded the Rays 13-0, and Justin Masterson threw seven two-hit, shutout innings, walking three and striking out eight. The Red Sox similiarly beat the tar out of the Blue Jays 13-0, and Jon Lester also threw seven shutout innings, allowing five hits and striking out six without a walk. CC Sabathia was back to his old self in the Yankees' 7-0 win over the Tigers, throwing seven shutout innings and giving up three hits, walking three and striking out four.

Hitting Lines of the Day: Oh boy, where to begin…I guess Will Middlebrooks is the best guy to start with. After all, he went 4/5 with four runs, four RBI, a double, and three homers. The Indians duo of Carlos Santana and Mark Reynolds also did work to support their pitcher, with Santana going 5/5 with three runs, three RBI, two doubles, and a homer, and Reynolds going 3/4 with three runs, four RBI, a walk, a double, and two homers. Ian Kinsler powered the Rangers to a 7-3 win over the Angels, going 3/3 with two runs, four RBI, a walk, and his third homer of the season. Billy Butler had himself a day in the Royals 9-8 win in Philly, going 2/4 with a walk, a homer, and seven RBI.

Other Games: The Braves finished off a sweep of the Cubs with a 5-1 win. The Reds doubled up the Nationals 6-3. The Twins edged the Orioles 4-3. The Mets used a late rally to walk off on the Marlins 4-3 and spoil Jose Fernandez's debut. The Whtie Sox beat the Mariners 4-3 in ten after a Dayan Viciedo walkoff homer.The Dodgers swept the Pirates, beating them 6-2. The Rockies continued to roll, pounding the Padres 9-1 to finish a sweep of their NL West rivals. The A's swept the Astros, winning 9-3. The Cardinals beat the tar out of the Giants, winning 14-3.

What You Missed: Freddie Freeman is on the DL for the Braves, and Carlos Marmol is out of the closer's job in Chicago.

Today's Games: Hiroki Kuroda starts for the Yankees against Ubaldo Jimenez and the Indians. Edwin Jackson starts for the Cubs against the Brewers. Mat Latos will toe the rubber for the Reds against Jaime Garcia and the Cardinals. Matt Harvey and Roy Halladay will face off as the Mets travel to Philadelphia. Wandy Rodriguez starts for the Pirates in Arizona against Trevor Cahill. Jorge de la Rosa will start for the Rockies, and will be opposed by Madison Bumgarner in San Francisco.

National TV: Reds-Cardinals (4:00, MLB Network), Yankees-Indians (4:00, MLB Network [alternate]), Mets-Phillies (7:00, ESPN).

Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.

About Joe Lucia

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