Last night was a crazy night of baseball. Three walk-off homers, one go-ahead homer in the tenth, *and* a no-hitter to boot. Does it get any better than that? In the afternoon, old man Jason Giambi hit a three run bomb to walk off on the Dodgers. Later in the evening, Ian Desmond hit a two run homer to walk off on the Diamondbacks. In an insane, marathon of a game, another old man in Chipper Jones hit a two run dinger to walk off on the Phillies. Jered Weaver no hit an anemic Twins lineup. And then to cap the evening off, Giancarlo Stanton hit a solo homer in the tenth to put the Marlins out front for a game they'd win.
Game of the Night: Braves 15, Phillies 13 (11 innings). By the middle of the fifth, the Phillies had tacked six runs on the board and chased Braves starter Tommy Hanson from the game. The Braves responded with six in the fifth to tie the game, highlighted by a Brian McCann grand slam, and chased Roy Halladay from the game with two more in the sixth. The Phillies weren't done. They took a 9-8 lead in the seventh courtesy of a three run homer by Carlos Ruiz, and extended that lead to 12-8 in the eighth on a three run double from Ruiz. But Atlanta wouldn't die. They used a variety of smallball tactics to score five in the eighth to take a 13-12 lead. Of course, with dominant Braves closer Craig Kimbrel on the mound, the Phililes got a run and tied the game in the ninth. It stayed tied until the bottom of the 13th, when old man Chipper Jones came up with Dan Uggla on first. Of course...Chipper hit a ball 424 feet over the right center field wall to give the Braves a wild 15-13 lead.
Hitting Line of the Night: Carlos Beltran had himself a day, going 4/5 with two homers and seven RBI. Chris Johnson of the Astros went 4/4 with two homers and six RBI. The aforementioned Carlos Ruiz went 3/5 with a homer, a double, and seven RBI.
Pitching Line of the Night: Welp, this is obviously Jered Weaver, who threw a no hitter while walking just one and striking out nine. Jake Arrieta of the Orioles had an excellent start as well against the Yankees, going eight shutout innings while allowing five hits without a walk, and striking out nine. Jeff Samardzija also had a good game for the Cubs, allowing one run onver 7 2/3 on three hits and two walks, striking out seven in the process.
Spotlight Series: You know, I didn't expect this at all. Baltimore won 5-0 over the Yankees last night to take the series. Jake Arrieta absolutely shut down the Yankees offense, and Ivan Nova was dealt his first loss since June 3rd of last year. Matt Wieters continued his march to becoming the best catcher on planet Earth, going 3/4 with two runs, two RBI, a double, and a homer. Robert Andino reached base four times for Baltimore in the nine hole. Nick Markakis also doubled and homered, while JJ Hardy and Nick Johnson had two hits each. For the Yankees, it was a tough night. Only Alex Rodriguez reached base more than once, and the team didn't get a runner into scoring position all night. Now that is some dominance from Arrieta. Seriously: they didn't get a runner past first base. Insanity.
Other Games: The Astros thumped the Mets 8-1, and the Mets fairytale is looking close to being over. The Blue Jays thrashed the Rangers 11-5 to give Texas its second straight series loss. The Rockies walked off on the Dodgers 8-5, and Carlos Gonzalez had a pair of homers. The Royals beat the Tigers 3-2. Really, that happened. The Padres shut out the Brewers 5-0 behind Jeff Suppan (WHAT?!). The Nationals walked off on the Diamondbacks 5-4, and Bryce Harper had a three hit game. The A's and Brandon McCarthy beat the Red Sox 4-2. The Rays beat the Mariners 5-4 as James Shields struck out 11. The Cubs shut down the Reds 3-1. The Cardinals routed the Pirates 12-3. The surprising Indians beat the White Sox 6-3. The Marlins beat the Giants 3-2 in ten, and good news! The old Barry Zito is back, walking seven hitters in 3 2/3 innings.
Today's Games: Abbreviated schedule today, and there's not a lot of impressive starters on the menu. Justin Masterson starts for the Indians against the White Sox and John Danks. Danny Duffy has a tall order starting for the Royals against the Yankees. Brandon Morrow vs Dan Haren is a pretty good matchup in Los Angeles. Ryan Dempster starts for the Cubs against the Reds, while Erik Bedard goes for the Pirates against the Cardinals. Anibal Sanchez starts for the Marlins in San Francisco, and Ian Kennedy goes for Arizona against the Nationals.
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.