New York Yankees (Sabathia 6-8, 3.95) at New York Mets (Verrett 3-6, 4.12) 7:10pm ET on ESPN
It’s the dawn of a new era for the New York Yankees, one in which the Bronx Bombers were sellers instead of buyers at the trade deadline. The Yankees over the past week traded away two-thirds of their vaunted bullpen Cerberus, sending Aroldis Chapman to the NL Central-leading Cubs and Andrew Miller to the AL Central-leading Indians. Having raised the white flag on 2016, the Yankees appear to be on their way to missing the postseason for the fourth time in five years, and could be headed for their first sub-.500 season since the days of Melido Perez, Danny Tartabull, and Mel Hall. Hats off... Read More
St. Louis Cardinals (Martinez 10-6, 2.87) vs. Miami Marlins (Koehler 8-8, 4.18) 1:10pm ET on TBS Despite Adam Wainwright’s claim, based on seniority and body of work, to the mantle of staff ace, Carlos Martinez has emerged as the Cardinals’ best starter. He leads the rotation in ERA, wins, and WHIP, has twice as many WAR (3.6) as any other member of the staff, and he’s on a hot streak, with a 1.76 ERA over his last 10 starts. His most recent start was a bit of dud, as he lasted just 5 innings, and gave up 5 hits and 4 walks, but managed to hold the Mets to a pair runs on the way to a 3-2 win.
Thursday in Major League Baseball, John Lackey pitched 6 innings of 1-run ball, and Dexter Fowler doubled and scored twice to lead the Cubs over the White Sox 3-1; the Red Sox’ first baseman Hanley Ramirez’s throwing error in the bottom of the 9th allowed two runners to scamper home with a 2-1 walk-off win for the Angels; Trevor Roark went 7, giving up just 1 run on 4 hits and 3 walks to give the Nationals a 4-2 victory over the Giants; after going nearly a year without blowing a save, Jeurys Familia imploded for the second night in a row, surrendering the winning run on a wild pitch in the 9th as the Rockies beat the Mets 2-1; Hernan Perez’s 2-run... Read More
White Sox (Ranaudo 1-0, 17.18) at Chicago Cubs (Hammel 9-5, 3.35) 8pm ET on ESPN
In his last game, while still with the Rangers, on May 10, Anthony Ranaudo joined an exclusive group of pitchers – including Sandy Koufax, Mark “The Bird” Fidrych, Mitch Williams and Dontrelle Willis – by becoming just the 9th man in MLB history to give up 5 earned runs on 5+ walks and 0 hits. The appearance started well enough, as he came in to face the White Sox with men on second and third, just 1 out and 4 runs already across the dish, as he promptly retired the next two batters to stop the bleeding. In the 4th, however, he went flyout, walk, walk, flyout,... Read More
Detroit Tigers (Verlander 9-6, 3.74) at Boston Red Sox (Pomeranz 8-7, 2.83) 7pm ET on ESPN
At 33, it’s unlikely Justin Verlander will ever contend for a Cy Young Award or win 20 games, again, but he is, once again, one of the better pitchers in the game, engaged to Kate Upton, and making $28 million this season. He’s been brilliant over his last four starts, going 27 2/3 with a 1.63 ERA, but the Tigers could only parlay that into two wins. The Tigers lost a tough one on Sunday, scoring 3 in the top of the 9th to tie it, only to lose on a Melky Cabrera walkoff single in the bottom half of the inning to fall to 51-48,... Read More
Chicago Cubs (Hendricks 9-6, 2.27) at Chicago White Sox (Shields 4-12, 4.99) 7pm ET on ESPN
Kyle Hendricks' Cinderella season just keeps on rolling. In his last four appearances (3 starts and once in relief), Hendricks has allowed just 1 run, and it was unearned despite 13 strikeouts. Hendricks has benefited from a .254 batting average on balls in play this season, part of a larger trend that most Cubs pitchers are enjoying, as the team as a whole is at .259, which would be the lowest such figure in more than 40 years.
James Shields appears to be pulling out of his nosedive. A so-so tenure in San Diego ended with a bang as he... Read More
Washington Nationals (Strasburg 10-0, 2.90) at Chicago Cubs (Kershaw 10-1, 1.58) 10pm ET on ESPN
This is about as good a pitching matchup as one can ask for.
Stephen Strasburg, once one of the most ballyhooed pitching prospects of his generation, looks to finally be living up to the promise after six seasons of tantalizing talent interrupted by injuries and innings limits. In addition to being the last undefeated starter in the Majors, he’s 3rd in strikeouts (118), 2nd in SO/9IP (11.4), 4th in SO/BB 4.92, 7th in innings pitched (93), and in no start has he allowed more than 4 runs. On Wednesday, he had one of the better starts of the year against the vaunted Cubbies, holding them to just... Read More