Dugout Digest – winds of change

There might be something special happening with the Blue Jays right now. Toronto smashed the Rangers 8-0 last night, and are just six games under .500. The Jays have won three in a row, and in June, their ERA is 2.50, fourth best in baseball and nearly two runs lower than their season ERA. The pitching was the key for Toronto, and now that's coming along and the Jays might be ready to roll.


Mets outfielder Juan Lagares runs into the outfield wall at Citi Field and actually knocks it loose. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Game of the Night: Reds 4, Brewers 3 (ten innings). This was a nice little back and forth game between division rivals. The Reds jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but Scooter Gennett homered to cut that lead in half. Martin Maldonado was plunked with the bases loaded by Bronson Arroyo to tie the game, but Cincinnati surged ahead after a Jack Hannahan sac fly. Maldonado homered in the eighth off of Arroyo to tie the game, and we'd eventually reach extras, where Jay Bruce hit a dinger of his own off of Burke Badenhop to give the Reds the victory.

Pitching Lines of the Night: Madison Bumgarner dominated the Braves in a 6-0 Giants win, allowing just two hits over seven scoreless frames, walking one and punching out ten. Chris Sale ran right through the Astros, but the White Sox lost 2-1 despite Sale's eight inning, five hit, two unearned run, one walk, 14 strikeout effort. Eric Stults led the Padres to a 2-1 win over the Diamondbacks, allowing one run on two hits in a complete game, striking out three and walking one. Jeff Locke continued his great year for the Pirates in their 3-0 win over the Dodgers, throwing seven shutout innings and allowing just two hits, striking out five and walking one. Rick Porcello looked great for the Tigers in their 4-0 win in Minnesota, giving up three hits in seven scoreless frames, striking out five without a walk.

Hitting Lines of the Night: Carlos Gonzalez returned with a vengeance for the Rockies in their 8-7 loss to the Phillies, going 4/4 with two runs, a homer, and a walk. Speaking of the Phillies, Freddy Galvis went 2/5 with a pair of two run triples and a pair of runs scored. In Oakland's 3-2 loss to Seattle, Chris Young went 3/3 with a double and a solo homer. Buster Posey did some Buster Posey things for the Giants in their win in Atlanta, going 3/5 with two runs, an RBI, and three doubles. Brewers rookie Scooter Gennett went 3/5 with a double and a homer.

Other Games: Chris Tillman carried the Orioles to a 2-0 win over the Red Sox. The Indians walked off on the Nationals 2-1. The Royals moved to a game under .500 with a 7-2 thrashing of the Rays. The Cubs doubled up the Mets 6-3. The Marlins edged the Cardinals 5-4. The Angels beat the Yankees 5-2. 

What You Missed: Ian Kennedy got ten games and seven other players got suspended in the aftermath of Tuesday's brawl in LA. Here are this week's watchability rankings. The Rockies put Troy Tulowitzki on the DL with a broken rib.

Today's Games: Scott Feldman starts for the Cubs in New York. Mike Minor and the Braves host the Giants. John Lackey starts for the Red Sox in Baltimore. RA Dickey gets the nod for the Blue Jays in Texas. Clayton Kershaw leads the Dodgers into Pittsburgh. Jeremy Guthrie takes on Alex Cobb in Tampa. Yovani Gallardo will go for Milwaukee in Cincinnati. Lance Lynn starts for the Cardinals in Miami. Jordan Zimmermann starts for the Nationals in Cleveland. Anibal Sanchez starts for the Tigers in Minnesota. Felix Hernandez leads the Mariners into Oakland. 

National TV: Red Sox-Orioles (4 PM, MLB Network), Giants-Braves (4 PM, MLB Network) Yankees-Angels (7 PM, FOX), Nationals-Indians (7 PM, FOX), Tigers-Twins (7 PM, FOX), Mariners-Athletics (7 PM, FOX), White Sox-Astros (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.

Dugout Digest – winds of change

We had a moderately busy day yesterday as the winds of change in the offseason continued to swirl. Yesterday seemed to be National Option Day, with numerous options exercised, declined, and opted out of. Most of the decisions on options were pretty easy to predict coming into the offseason, but that doesn't make them any less interesting.

The closer market this offseason got a little more buff after Rafael Soriano opted out of his Yankees contract, and the Royals declined Joakim Soria's option. I don't think either player will change addresses this offseason, with the Yankees being able to afford Soriano's contract demands and Soria making a statement saying that he wanted to stay in Kansas City and come back to the Royals. The Royals weren't done with just declining of Soria's option though, as they traded for Ervin Santana of the Angels after Los Angeles picked up his option by today's deadline. The Angels will look to do the same with Dan Haren, whose option must be picked up by Friday.

Also yesterday, we neared the end of our Free Agent Preview series by looking at the Rangers, Athletics, and Reds. Today, we're going to look at the Orioles, Nationals, and Yankees, and tomorrow the series will end with the Cardinals, Tigers, and Giants. Then next week, free agency will be in full swing, and we can go in a different direction with things and see how accurate our thoughts in the previews ended up being.

Enjoy your offseason, everyone.

About Joe Lucia

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