Brian McCann and Dan Uggla struggled through August, putting a giant hole in the middle of the Braves lineup. Yesterday in Flushing against the Mets, the two rebounded in an amazing way. With Kris Medlen on the mound, Atlanta smashed New York 11-3. Uggla reached base five times, while McCann reached four times. The two combined for seven runs scored and four RBI in the Braves' smashing win. Atlanta is now 20 games above .500, and has a 5.5 game lead in the NL wild card race over the Cardinals, the current leaders for the second position. To put that in perspective, that lead is just a game smaller than Washington's 6.5 game lead in the NL East. It really doesn't look like there will be a collapse this year with 22 games to go. If the Braves go 11-11, the Cardinals need to go 17-6 just to force a tie for that top spot...and the Braves would *still* get in as the second wild card. Good times in Atlanta right now.
Game of the Night: Nationals 7, Marlins 6 (ten innings). Speaking of the Nationals, this was a huge win for them to keep the Braves at pace in the NL East. The Marlins led 6-3 after seven and Mark Buerhle turned things over to the capable Miami bullpen. Of course...things happened. Ryan Zimmerman hit a two-run homer in the eighth off of AJ Ramos to make it a tie game, but Ryan Webb got out of the inning with the bases loaded. In the ninth, a rain delay hit before Washington batted. When the teams came back onto the field two and a half hours later, Jayson Werth immediately homered off of Heath Bell to tie the game. The tenth inning against Chad Gaudin was painless, as he allowed the first three runners to reach, got one out on a fielders choice, and then allowed a walk-off single to pinch hitter Corey Brown to continue the magic in DC.
Pitching Lines of the Night: In a 4-2 Rangers win over the Rays in ten, Yu Darvish was awesome, allowing two runs (one earned) on two hits over eight innings, striking out eight while walking just two. Chris Archer was just as good for the Rays, allowing two runs on four hits over seven, walking two and striking out 11. Jeff Samardzija threw a complete game in his last start of the year for the Cubs in their 4-3 win in Pittsburgh, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits, walking one and striking out nine. CJ Wilson dazzled the Tigers in a big, 6-1 win for the Angels, allowing one unearned run on four hits over 7 2/3 innings, walking two and striking out six.
Hitting Lines of the Night: I mentioned the Brian McCann/Dan Uggla show in New York...McCann went 4/5 with three runs, four RBI, a double, and a homer, while Uggla went 3/3 with three runs and two walks, In the Diamondbacks' 8-5 win over the Padres, Jason Kubel went 2/4 with three RBI, a walk, and a pair of homers, while his teammate Justin Upton went 4/5 with two runs, a homer, and a stolen base. Aramis Ramirez helped the Brewers to a 6-3 win over the Cardinals, going 3/3 with two walks, a double, and a homer. Blue Jays rookie Anthony Gose had the best game of his career in a 9-2 win over the Red Sox, going 2/5 with two runs, five RBI, a stolen base, and his first career homer.
Other Games: The White Sox edged the Royals 5-4. The Orioled nipped the Yankees 5-4, but the main story was the controversial call to end the game. The Dodgers rallied late to beat the Giants 3-2. The Twins shut out the Indians 3-0. The Reds rebounded from Friday's collapse by beating the Astros 5-1. Brett Anderson kept rolling, and the A's beat the Mariners 6-1. The Rockies and Phillies were rained out.
Today's Games: Zach Britton looks to remain impressive as the Orioles look for sole possession of first place against the Yankees. The doubleheader between the Rockies and Phillies will see Cole Hamels start game one for the Fightins, and rookie Tyler Cloyd start game two. Johnny Cueto starts for the Reds against the Astros. Roy Oswalt and the Rangers take on James Shields and the Rays in Tampa Bay. Ricky Nolasco takes on Edwin Jackson in DC. Anibal Sanchez and the Tigers look to avoid a sweep in Anaheim against Zack Greinke and the Angels. Shaun Marcum starts for the resurgent Brewers in St Louis against Joe Kelly. Clayton Kershaw starts for the Dodgers in San Francisco against the Giants.
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.
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