You know, for all the talk surrounding the dominance of Aroldis Chapman and Craig Kimbrel in the National League, the American League currently possesses the reliever with the lowest ERA in all of baseball. He was a free agent signing, but didn't get a lot of money or a lot of years. That reliever...is Fernando Rodney, the much-maligned former Angels closer. Rodney's ERA for the season actually rose to 0.85 tonight in the Rays' 3-2 win over the Blue Jays. Rodney allowed a run last night, his first in nearly two months (June 14th against the Mets) and just the fifth earned run he's allowed all year. Furthermore, the run came on a David Cooper home run. That was just the second homer Rodney's allowed all year, with the other coming on May 26th, a walk-off two-run shot to Jarrod Saltamacchia of the Red Sox. Now, just because Rodney's ERA is lower than both Kimbrel's and Chapman's, he's not having a better year by any means. Both Kimbrel and Chapman have a FIP half that of Rodney's (with Kimbrel's sitting at a mind-blowing 0.96), and both pitchers have much better strikeout rates than Rodney. But hey, Rodney isn't pitching bad at all, considering what the Rays are paying him.
Game of the Night: Rangers 10, Red Sox 9. Another crazy Red Sox game...what else is new? Texas took a 3-0 lead in the first off of Josh Beckett, and Boston responded with three of their own against Matt Harrison. In the fifth, homers by Mitch Moreland and Josh Hamilton made it 6-3. The Red Sox rallied to make it 6-5, but Geovany Soto homered in the sixth to make it 8-5 and chase Beckett from the game. A Nelson Cruz homer in the seventh made it 9-5, but Boston plated four in the bottom of the inning to tie the game, capped off by a three-run homer from rookie Will Middlebrooks. Of course, that tie didn't last long, thanks to a sac fly by Adrian Beltre in the ninth to give Texas a 10-9 lead, and after a 12 pitch Joe Nathan ninth, a 10-9 victory.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Jeremy Guthrie was finally effective for the Royals in a 2-1 win over the White Sox, throwing eight shutout innings and allowing five hits, walking none and striking out six. The Padres shut out the Cubs 2-0, and Clayton Richard threw a complete game shutout, allowing five hits and two walks, striking out five Chicago hitters. Mat Latos was good for the Reds despite a 3-2 loss to the Brewers, allowing one run over seven on three hits, striking out eight and walking one. The Giants ravaged the Cardinals 15-0, and Ryan Vogelsong went seven shutout innings, alowing three hits, three walks, and managing three strikeouts.
Hitting Lines of the Night: Giancarlo Stanton returned to the Marlins lineup in a 13-0 laugher over the Mets by going 4/5 with four RBI and two homers. Josh Hamilton got back on the wagon with a good game in the Rangers win over the Red Sox, going 3/5 with two runs, four RBI, a triple, and his 30th homer of the year. Opposing Hamilton's Rangers, Adrian Gonzalez went 3/5 with three runs, three RBI, and three doubles, while Cody Ross went 3/4 with two runs, two RBI, a double, and a homer. The Yankees beat the Tigers 12-8, and Curtis Granderson punished his former team by going 3/5 with two runs, four RBI, a double, and his 30th homer of the year. In a 9-8 Angels loss to the A's, Kendrys Morales went 3/5 with three RBI and a pair of homers. The Indians finally got a win, beating the Twins 6-2, and Shin-Soo Choo went 4/4 with a run, two RBI, and a double. The Braves beat the Phillies 12-6, and Michael Bourn sparked the Braves with a 3/5 game, scoring twice, driving in three, walking once, doubling, and hitting his career-best ninth homer of the year.
Other Games: Gio Gonzalez homered and threw a complete game for the Nationals in a 4-3 win in Houston. The Pirates edged the Diamondbacks 7-6. The Orioles destroyed the Mariners 9-2. The Dodgers beat the Rockies 6-4, and yes, Colorado's ridiculous 75 pitch limit thing is still in effect.
Today's Games: Only a half of a slate of games today on getaway day, and five of the nine on the schedule are day games. Hiroki Kuroda will take on Doug Fister in Detroit. Josh Johnson and RA Dickey will duel at Citi Field. Madison Bumgarner takes on Adam Wainwright in St Louis in today's best matchup. Wandy Rodriguez starts for the Pirates, hosting the Diamondbacks. Jordan Zimmermann will start for the Nationals in Houston.
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.
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