Hi all. Here’s how I see baseball on this Friday, July 7.
The game of the night in the majors again was decided while most of the country slept. In Los Angeles, if you bedded down after 8 with the Dodgers losing 4-1 to the D-Backs you missed out on a terrific finish. The Dodger 9 put up 4 in their half of the 9th for the 5-4 walkoff winner. (By the way, take 10 points if you remember which radio character used to say “Sufferin’ Snakes.) In the day’s earliest game, Scranton fans who left their game with the home team behind 3-2 in the 11th missed out as the RailRiders plated 2 in the home 11th for a 4-3 walk-off win over Buffalo.
The mound duel between Rich Hill of the Dodgers and the D-Backs’ Robbie Ray left both men with no decision. Ray struck out 13 Dodgers in 6 innings while Hill blistered the D-Backs for 9 K’s in 7 innings. The game was even at 1 after 7 innings owing to home runs by the D-Backs’ Jake Lamb and the Dodgers’ Logan Forsythe. In the visiting 8th Lamb hit his second bomb of the night on the first pitch thrown by the Dodgers’ Luis Avilan-the first pitch any Dodger reliever threw in the game. Avilan later threw another gopher ball to Ketel Marte for a 3-1 Arizona lead. A Josh Fields’ balk in the 9th made it 4-1, doubtless causing a mass exodus to “beat the traffic” on the notoriously choked LA freeway system. But whoever stayed got their money’s worth when the home team came up in the 9th. D-Backs closer Fernando Rodney got no respect from the Dodger hitters and didn’t retire one of the 7 men he saw. If anything, Rodney gave the Dodger hitters too much respect, walking 3 of them in a row after a modest single by Yasiel Puig to start the inning. The Dodgers took it from there after the 3 walks. Corey Seager tied the game with a two-run hit which advanced Forsythe to third base. Chris Taylor then got his 4th hit of the night ending the game. The Dodgers have now lost just 1 game in the last 16 at Chavez Ravine.
In the afternoon game, the AAA Yankees faced the AAA Blue Jays. At the big league level Toronto just got done sweeping the Yankees. The result was reversed as the Yankees’ top farm team completed a 3-game sweep of the Buffalo Bisons, the Jays’ AAA team. Buffalo scored the first run in their half of the first and made it 2-0 with a 7th-inning tally. Scranton Wilkes-Barre, or SWB for short notched a run in the 8th and tied things in the 9th. Buffalo seemed to have the game in hand when they scored in the 11th but the home team responded. Miguel Andujar who recently had his first taste of the big leagues singled home two runs for the win. Jonathan Diaz collected his third hit of the day to spark the 11th-inning rally. Scranton has an outstanding 54-32 record while Buffalo are 37-50. A quick explanation of that is the first 3 hitters in the order came in below the Mendoza line with .149, .115 and .154 averages. That sounds like the bottom of a class A batting order. For Scranton, Jake Cave had 2 hits as Andujar did. First baseman Mike Ford and Diaz contributed 3 hits each to the total of 14 for the Railriders. Relievers Jonathan Holder and Ben Heller, each of whom have spent time with the big league Yankees combined for 3 innings of work before winning pitcher Joe Mantiply pitched the last 2 innings for his 4th win. Just under 5 thousand people saw the game which started at Noon.
The AA Red Sox and AAA Mets also gave their fans exciting finishes last night. The Portland Sea Dogs beat the AA Blue Jays-the New Hampshire Fisher Cats 8-7 on a walk-off grand slam by Jeremy Barfield. It was his 4th hit of the game and the night’s only home run despite the small dimensions of Portland’s Hadlock Field. In Las Vegas, the 51s (AAA Mets) were down 5-2 when the crowd stood for the 7th-inning stretch. From there on the visiting El Paso Chihuahuas never had a chance. The home team put up 6 7th-inning runs and added 5 more in the 8th for a 13-7 win. It was a rare win in a dismal 34–53 season for Vegas. The El Paso starter Dillon Overton gave up just 2 runs in 6 innings on a 2-run Dominic Smith home run. If Overton hasn’t been in the bigs yet he soon will be considering the state of the Padres. Once he left, the Vegas bats got as hot as the gametime temp of 109 degrees. Dominic Smith drove in 6 runs and Amed Rosario collected 4 hits. What either of them is doing in AAA is a mystery considering the ruinous state of the Mets. Both men have 113 hits and Rosario will start at shortstop in the AAA All-Star game next week. Their nearest rival is Reno Aces’ Ketel Marte with 105 hits but he’s in the bigs with the D-Backs.
Today’s early game is a matinee at Wrigley as the Pirates come to town. The Phillies start their game against the Padres at 6:35 tonight, half an hour earlier than usual. Washington hosts the Braves tonight after a bizarre rainless rain delay last night delayed the game by 3 hours. Freddie Freeman, fresh off his broken wrist drove in 2 runs as the Braves beat the Nats when the game finally got going. The Nats’ Max Scherzer faces R.A. Dickey in tonight’s contest. The Yankees’ Jordan Montgomery who was unbeaten in June faces the Brewers tonight in the Bronx. Both Charlie Morton of Houston and the Blue Jays’ Aaron Sanchez are fresh off the DL as they face each other tonight in Toronto. The Red Sox go with the surprising Drew Pomeranz as they face the Rays in St. Pete. The Tigers see the Indians’ best in Cleveland. Carlos Carrasco faces Detroit, and at least until Danny Salazar gets off the DL Carlos is the best the Indians can go with, though Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer aren’t bad. The Mets’ Jacob DeGrom faces the Cardinals tonight in St. Louis. Following a rainout Wednesday in Washington the Mets had a scheduled off day yesterday, a day of rest for a team that badly needs it. He faces Carlos Martinez, the Cardinals’ best although he’s coming off a rough go in his last outing. After being swept by the Dodgers the D-Backs hope to get well, and who better to get well against but the Reds. The D-Backs go with Zack Greinke in their quest to get on the right track. He beat the Rockies in his last start and is an All-Star again. The Royals face the Dodgers, Oakland meets Seattle and the Marlins face the Giants on the late night slate.0