Every team goes through hot and cold streaks. That's nothing new. But when a dominant team like the Texas Rangers goes on a slide, people start talking. The Rangers are winless in July, with an 0-5 record that has seen the team get outscored 34-9. Their starting ptichers have taken the loss in all but one of those five games. The meat of the streak was made up by a three game road trip to Chicago, where the White Sox beat the tar out of the Rangers 19-2 before winning the final two games by a run each. Texas started the streak with a 3-1 loss to the A's, and last night, they lost 5-1 to the Twins, one of the worst teams in baseball. Thankfully for the Rangers, the Angels are just 3-3 this month, and Texas has lost just 2.5 games in the standings. The Angels are still four games out, so it's not as if the Rangers have someone breathing on their tail. But at the same time...it's getting a little close for comfort.
Game of the Night: Yankees 10, Red Sox 8. This game lasted nearly four hours, and it was a 6-6 game after two innings. Starters Josh Beckett and Hiroki Kuroda managed to last five and 5 2/3 innings respectively, and both didn't perform well at all. But when it came to the bullpen game, the Yankees prevailed. New York's pen allowed one run over 3 1/3, striking out five and walking one, with the one run coming on a Cody Ross homer in the seventh (after the Yankees had scored four of their own in the inning). Boston's bullpen struggled yet again, allowing four runs in four innings while walking five and striking out two. Andrew Miller (who has actually been good this year) and Vicente Padilla each allowed a pair in the seventh, and that ended up being enough for New York to prevail. It's worth noting that Mark Melancon, who's season started off so terribly back in April, threw two scoreless innings tonight and has now allowed just one run in 11 2/3 innings since being called back up in mid-June.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Bronson Arroyo threw a complete game shutout for the Reds in San Diego, allowing three hits, one walk, and striking out eight Padres hitters. Potential trade deadline target Kevin Millwood was impressive for the Mariners, throwing seven shutout innings against the A's while allowing three hits, two walks, and striking out seven. But a Chris Carter walk-off three run homer in the 11th gave Oakland a 4-1 win. Rockies starter Drew Pomeranz outdueled Stephen Strasburg in Colorado's 5-1 win, throwing 6 1/3 shutout innings and allowing just one hit, walking two and striking out six. Over in Philly, Kyle Kendrick continued his dominance over the Braves, throwing seven shutout innings while allowing four hits, one walk, and tallying five strikeouts...buuuuuuut, the Braves won 5-0 after Antonio Bastardo collapsed in the eighth. There's also Orioles rookie Miguel Gonzalez, who led his team to a 3-2 win over the Angels thanks to one run on three hits over seven innings, wallking two and striking out six.
Hitting Lines of the Night: In that 5-1 Rockies win in Washington, Tyler Colvin had a great game, going 3/4 with three RBI and a pair of homers. The Cubs withstood a late Mets rally to win 8-7, and franchise player Anthony Rizzo and potential trade target Reed Johnson were big reasons why. Rizzo went 4/5 with three RBI and a homer, while Johnson went 4/6 with three runs, a double, and a homer. In that crazy Yankees-Red Sox game, Mark Teixeira went 2/4 with two runs, four RBI, a walk, a triple and a stolen base.
Other Games: The Rays clobbered the Indians 10-3. Drew Smyly was unreal in Detroit's 4-2 win over the Royals. The Giants edged the Pirates 6-5. Jake Peavy shut down the Blue Jays in a 4-2 White Sox win. The Brewers beat up the skidding Astros 7-1. The Marlins edged the Cardinals 3-2. The Diamondbacks beat Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers 5-3.
Today's Games: Zack Greinke takes on Wandy Rodriguez in Houston, and both pitchers could get dealt this month. Gio Gonzalez starts in Washington against the Rockies. Pirates ace James McDonald takes on Ryan Vogelsong and the Giants. Matt Moore takes on Ubaldo Jimenez in Cleveland. Carlos Zambrano and the Marlins take on Kyle Lohse and the Cardinals. Tommy Hanson starts in Philly against Joe Blanton. Jason Hammel and the Orioles travel to Los Angeles to take on Jered Weaver and the Angels. Chad Billingsley and the Dodgers go to Arizona to take on Trevor Cahill and their NL West rivals, the Diamondbacks.
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.
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