The Braves are transitioning to a six man starting rotation today, when they activate Tommy Hanson off of the DL. However, last night's performance from Kris Medlen has really made the conversation about how to knock out of the rotation on August 30th a little silly. Medlen threw a complete game shutout in Atlanta's 6-0 win over the Padres. Not bad for a guy who had Tommy John surgery two years ago, and was primarily a reliever during his major league career. Since the All-Star Break, the highest ERA of any of Atlanta's five current starters is 3.64, held by veteran Tim Hudson. The next lowest belongs to the once-embattled Mike Minor, who has a sparkling 2.39 ERA since that mid-July time off. If that's what Hanson is going to have to pitch like in his opportunity over the rest of the month, he's got a long road ahead of him.
Game of the Night: Diamondbacks 2, Cardinals 1. This wasn't the most exciting game, but the finish was pretty crazy. The Cardinals led 1-0 going into the ninth on a night where both Kyle Lohse and Trevor Cahill pitched extremely well. Cardinals closer Jason Motte struck out Miguel Montero to lead off the inning, but then allowed a homer to Paul Goldschmidt to tie the game at one. Chris Young followed Goldschimidt's dinger with one of his own to give Arizona a 2-1 lead. Motte ended up allowing a double to Jacob Elmore before getting pulled with Jason Kubel coming up. Fernando Salas got Kubel out to end the inning and limit any further damage, but it didn't matter. JJ Putz set the Cards down 1-2-3 in the ninth to finish the game and give Arizona a much-needed win.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Well, aside from Medlen's complete game shuout, there were a couple of good starts. In a 7-0 Rays win over the Angels, David Price shut out Anaheim over seven, allowing three hits, two walks, and tallying eight strikeouts. Mets rookie Matt Harvey was impressive in New York's 8-4 win over the Reds, allowing one run on four hits over 7 2/3 innings, walking one and striking out eight. And...that's about all.
Hitting Lines of the Night: The Brewers got a big comeback 7-4 win over the Phillies, and Ryan Braun went 2/3 with a pair of solo homers, three runs, and a walk. In Pittsburgh's 10-6 win over the Dodgers, Garrett Jones went 2/3 with a walk and a pair of three-run homers, and Pedro Alvarez went 3/4 with two runs, a double, and a homer.. On his bobblehead day in Atlanta, Chipper Jones went 2/4 with two homers and three RBI, while Jason Heyward went 3/4 with a double and his 20th homer of the year.
Other Games: The Rangers pounded the Yankees 10-6. The Red Sox avoided a sweep in Baltimore, winning 6-3. The White Sox beat the Blue Jays 7-2, giving Francisco Liriano his first win with his new team. Dan Straily got his first win in a 3-0 A's victory over the Royals. The Rockies rallied late to beat the Marlins 5-3.
Today's Games: OMG RED SOX VS YANKEES. Franklin Morales vs Phil Hughes is a "whatever" game though. Justin Verlander starts against the Orioles. Johan Santana and the Mets take on Ross Detwiler and the Nationals. Yu Darvish starts for the Rangers in Toronto. Chris Sale and the White Sox travel to Kansas City. Wade Miley and the Diamondbacks take on the hapless (and Happ-less, for that matter) Astros. James Shields and Jered Weaver will duel in an excellent Rays-Angels matchup. Yovani Gallardo and the Brewers host Vance Worley and the Phillies. The skidding James McDonald and the Pirates travel to St Louis in a huge matchup in the NL Wild Card race. Matt Cain starts for the Giants in San Diego.
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.
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