Dugout Digest – the struggling champs

The San Francisco Giants are not playing good baseball right now. The team got smashed by the Dodgers 10-2 on Friday night, and Matt Cain allowed more runs (eight) than he got outs (seven). San Francisco is now seven games under .500, and 5.5 out (remarkably) in the NL West. If the first place Diamondbacks go on a run prior to the All-Star Break while the Giants continue to struggle, we could be looking at the defending World Champions as sellers in three weeks.


Scott Hairson whiffs on a diving catch at Wrigley. (David Banks-USA TODAY Sports)

Game of the Night: Yankees 3, Orioles 2. Baltimore took a 2-1 lead into the ninth, and closer Jim Johnson took the hill to finish off the Bronx Bombers. In losing his seventh game of the year and blowing his sixth save, Johnson was a disaster. He started off the ninth by allowing a single to David Adams. Brett Gardner grounded into a fielder's choice, inspired by an error on Johnson. Ichiro sac bunted the two runners into scoring position, but Johnson proceeded to intentionally walk Robinson Cano and unintentionally walk Travis Hafner to tie the game. Vernon Wells followed up with a walkoff single, breaking the hearts of Orioles fans.

Pitching Lines of the Night: Ivan Nova had himself a great start for the Yankees in their win over the Orioles, giving up just those two runs on three hits in a complete game, striking out 11 and walking one. Tyler Skaggs shut down the Rockies in Arizona's 5-0 win, allowing three hits over eight scoreless frames, walking one and striking out five. Francisco Liriano threw a complete game for the Pirates in their 6-2 win over the Cubs, giving up two runs on four hits, striking out seven and walking four. Rick Porcello threw seven shutout innings for the Tigers in their 7-0 win in Cleveland, allowing five hits, two walks, and six strikeouts. Mark Buehrle threw seven scoreless frames of his own in Toronto's 4-0 win against Minnesota, permitting six hits and five strikeouts without a walk. Finally, Jeremy Hellickson dominated the White Sox in an 8-3 Rays win, allowing one run on six hits in seven innings, punching out nine without walking a batter.

Hitting Lines of the Night: Juan Uribe had himself a night in San Francisco, going 3/5 with a double, a triple, a homer, two runs, and seven RBI in the Dodgers' romp of their rivals. Kirk Nieuwenhuis led the Mets to a 12-5 win in Milwaukee, going 4/4 with three runs, five RBI, two walks, a stolen base, a double, and a triple. In the losing effort, Carlos Gomez went 4/5 with a run, two RBI, a stolen base, and two doubles. Josh Reddick led the A's to a 6-3 win over the Royals, going 2/3 with three runs, two RBI, a double, and a triple. Finally, there's Jose Bautista, who supplied Buehrle and the Jays with all the offense they needed, going 3/4 with a homer and two RBI.

Other Games: The Phillies hung on to beat the Braves 5-4. The Nationals beat the Padres 8-5. The Mariners doubled up the Reds 4-2. The Rangers thrashed the Astros 10-5. The Cardinals beat the Marlins 4-1 behind a strong start from Jake Westbrook. The Red Sox rallied late to beat the Angels 6-2. 

What You Missed: Trade deadline primers for left field, center field, right field, and starting pitchers, with relief pitchers coming today. We also have this week's watchability rankings.

Today's Games: Chris Tillman takes on Andy Pettitte as the Orioles battle the Yankees. RA Dickey and the Blue Jays host the Twins. Jarrod Parker and the A's take on Ervin Santana and the Royals in KC. Charlie Morton starts for the Pirates against Edwin Jackson. Anibal Sanchez returns for the Tigers in Cleveland. Jordan Zimmermann and the Nationals host the Padres. Mat Latos and the Reds host the Mariners. Yu Darvish and the Rangers host the Astros. Chris Sale and Matt Moore duel in Tampa. Yovani Gallardo and the Brewers host the Mets. Madison Bumgarner starts for the Giants, hosting the Dodgers.

National TV: Orioles-Yankees (1 PM, MLB Network), Twins-Blue Jays (1 PM, MLB Network), Braves-Phillies (7 PM, Fox), Astros-Rangers (7 PM, Fox), Dodgers-Giants (7 PM, Fox), White Sox-Rays (7 PM, Fox), Mets-Brewers (7 PM, Fox), Red Sox-Angels (10 PM, MLB Network), Rockies-Diamondbacks (10 PM, MLB Network)

MLB.tv Free Game: Ahtletics-Royals (2 PM)

Pitching Matchup of the Day: Chris Sale vs Matt Moore (White Sox vs Rays, 7 PM, Fox)

Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.

About Joe Lucia

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