Dugout Digest – the catastrophic NL West

Earlier this week, I mentioned that the Padres were "likely" sellers. On Friday, I mentioned that San Diego could probably use their three game sweep of Atlanta as a springboard to better things this year. Fast forward to today, and the Padres are 34-34, three games out of first in the NL West after a 6-4 win over the Diamondbacks on Saturday night. The Padres have reached the .500 mark for the first time since they started the 2011 season 4-4 before eventually finishing 71-91 and in last place in the division. With the Diamondbacks and Giants sleepwalking through the first half of this month, we've got a four team race right now, with the Dodgers always lurking.


Albert Pujols' bat snaps in half during the third inning of Saturday's Angels-Yankees game (Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports)

Game of the Day: Nationals 7, Indians 6. Washington jumped all over Cleveland starter Scott Kazmir, sending him to the showers after just eight outs and tallying five runs in the process. The Indians offense came roaring back against Washington ace Jordan Zimmermann, putting six runs on the board in innings three through five, eventually taking the lead on a two run double by Michael Brantley. Cleveland's bullpen held down the fort until the eighth, when Joe Smith allowed a game-tying solo homer to Chad Tracy. Then in the ninth, lights out Tribe closer Vinnie Pestano allowed a cheap, 340 foot homer to Washington rookie Anthony Rendon to put the visitors in front. Rafael Soriano shut the door in the ninth, and the Nationals avoided falling under .500.

Pitching Lines of the Day: Bow to the King: Felix Hernandez threw seven shutout innings for the Mariners in their 4-0 win over the A's, allowing five hits, walking one, and striking out eight. Scott Feldman dominated the Mets in a 5-2 Cubs win, allowing one run on two hits in seven innings, striking out six and walking one. Clayton Kershaw got a no decision for the Dodgers in their 5-3, 11 inning win over the Pirates, but gave up just one run on three hits in seven innings, striking out eight while walking three. Finally, Yovani Gallardo led the Brewers to a 6-0 win over the Reds, allowing three hits over six shutout frames while walking two and punching out five.

Hitting Lines of the Day: Carlos Beltran carried the Cardinals to a 13-7 win over the Marlins, going 3/6 with three runs scored, a triple, and two solo homers. His teammate David Freese went 3/4 with three runs, two RBI, a walk, and a homer. BJ Upton had possibly his best game as a Brave in their 6-5 win over the Giants, going 2/4 with three runs, three RBI, a stolen base, and a pair of homers. Trevor Plouffe's bat helped the Twins to a 6-3 win over the Tigers, going 3/3 with two runs, three RBI, a walk, a double, and a homer. Wilin Rosario helped fill the void caused by Troy Tulowitzki's broken rib in the Rockies lineup during their 10-5 win over the Phillies, as he went 3/4 with three runs, two RBI, a walk, two doubles, and a triple. 

Other Games: The Red Sox withstood a late rally to beat the Orioles 5-4. The Blue Jays continued to roll and beat the slumping Rangers 6-1. The Rays beat the Royals 5-3, but Alex Cobb's injury was the real story. The Angels beat the scuffling Yankees 6-2 behind the arm of Tommy Hanson. The Astros edged the White Sox 4-3.

Today's Games: Stephen Strasburg returns for the Nationals in Cleveland. Johnny Cueto and the Reds host the Brewers. Matt Garza starts for the Cubs in New York. Jon Lester and the Red Sox take on the Orioles. Zack Greinke takes on Gerrit Cole in Pittsburgh. Doug Fister starts for the Tigers in Minnesota. Ian Kennedy makes his (probably) last start for two weeks in San Diego. Derek Holland looks to stop the bleeding for the Rangers against Chien Ming Wang and the Blue Jays. CC Sabathia and Jered Weaver square off in Anaheim. Hisashi Iwakuma and the Mariners take on Bartolo Colon and the A's. Cole Hamels looks to help the Phillies to a series win in Colorado against Jhoulys Chacin and the Rockies. Julio Teheran and the Braves host Tim Lincecum and the Giants.

National TV: Dodgers-Pirates (1:30, TBS), Giants-Braves (8:00, ESPN)

Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone, and Happy Fathers Day to all of the dads out there, especially my own.

About Joe Lucia

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