Friday brought us a full slate of 15 MLB games, including a 2017 World Series rematch in Chavez Ravine., and here is everything you need to know about Friday’s MLB action.
- Cubs 5, Padres 4 (box score)
- Reds at Nationals, POSTPONED
- Pirates 7, Cardinals 6 (box score)
- Phillies 5, Marlins 1 (box score)
- Angels 7, Indians 4 (box score)
- Red Sox 4, Yankees 1 (box score)
- Braves 2, Mets 1 (box score)
- White Sox 3, Rays 2 (box score)
- Rangers 11, Orioles 3 (box score)
- Brewers 5, Rockies 3 (box score)
- Twins 6, Royals 4 (box score)
- Diamondbacks 6, Giants 3 (box score)
- Athletics 1, Tigers 0 in 13 (box score)
- Astros 2, Dodgers 1 (box score)
- Blue Jays 7, Mariners 2 (box score)
Porcello shines, Severino keeps struggling
The Red Sox have taken the first two games of the series against the Yankees and pushed their lead in the AL East to a whopping 7 1/2 games. A big reason why was the divide in starting pitching on Friday night.
Yankees ace Luis Severino looked like the AL Cy Young winner through June, but things have taken a turn. In his last four starts heading to Friday, Severino pitched to an 8.84 ERA. He was still getting strikeouts but was also being pounded.
Things carried over into the first inning Friday, when the Red Sox tagged Severino for three runs. He settled in a bit after that, only giving up one more run, but four runs in 5 1/3 innings isn’t ace stuff. He’s still off his game. The ERA that was 1.98 on July 1 is now up over three.
On the flip-side, Red Sox starter Rick Porcello made only one mistake all night against what was a punchless Yankees offense. He allowed a solo home run to Miguel Andujar and that was it. For real, he threw a complete game and allowed just the one hit. He struck out nine and didn’t walk anyone. Even with those nine strikeouts, he only needed 86 pitches to complete his masterpiece. What an outing.
The Red Sox have won seven of Porcello’s last eight starts.
Verlander deals in World Series rematch
The Astros visiting Dodger Stadium on Friday for the first time since Game 7 was a big deal, no? Things took off with a bang in the bottom of the first, too, when Joc Pederson took Justin Verlander deep for a 1-0 Dodgers lead.
That, however, would be all she wrote. Verlander would settle in and go nuts.
When the dust cleared, Verlander had struck out 14 in 7 2/3 innings. He only gave up four hits and a walk. The only run he allowed was the Joc homer. It was just a master class of ace work after the leadoff bomb.
Baez keeps racking up extra-base hits
Cubs infielder Javier Baez is starting to gain steam with whispers of his MVP candidacy in the wide-open NL field. His on-base percentage, though above average, is the only real knock on his game due to an incredibly low walk rate. Everything else checks the box, with his defensive wizardry, incredible baserunning, hitting for average and, mostly, the power.
Heading into Friday, Baez was tied for first in the majors in extra-base hit percentage with Jose Ramirez and Mookie Betts at 13.6 percent. He’d tack on a home run and a triple to bookend the Cubs’ scoring on the day.
The triple in the eighth featured his signature swim move, too:
On the season, Baez is now hitting .299/.333/.580 with 29 doubles, seven triples, 23 homers, 84 RBI, 69 runs and 19 steals while showing positive value at both second base and shortstop in defensive metrics. He entered Friday close to the top of the NL in position-player WAR, slugging percentage, total bases, doubles, triples, home runs, RBI (he’s in first there), runs, steals and leads the majors in extra-base hit percentage. The Cubs own the best record in the National League.
There are other serious MVP candidates and we still have almost two months left in the season, but Baez is a legitimate threat here.
Brewers walk off as Rockies bullpen implodes again
Thursday,, and it was on display again Friday night in Milwaukee. Rockies starter German Marquez worked seven innings, allowing two runs on three hits against the team with the second-best record in the NL. Marquez struck out nine, too.
Of course, the other part of the equation here is how bad the bullpen has been. It’s awful right now. The Rockies — after a really hot stretch — how now lost four of their last five games. During those five games, the bullpen has allowed nine earned runs in 12 1/3 innings (6.39 ERA), blown three saves, taken three bullpen losses and allowed five inherited runners to score.
Enough with the negative, though. Eric Thames of the Brewers hit the walk-off, three-run shot, and it was a pretty cool scene in Miller Park.
The Brewers remain one game behind the Cubs in the NL Central and hold the top NL wild card.
Archer’s Pirates debut wasn’t good
The biggest name to be traded on July 31 was probably starting pitcher Chris Archer, who the Rays dealt to the Pirates. Archer made his Pirates debut on Friday night and was greeted the way — well, the way Matt Carpenter greets a lot of pitchers.
That’s the only run Archer would allow in the first, but he did get knocked around a bit. He was chased after just 4 1/3 innings, giving up four earned runs on seven hits and four walks. It could have been worse, too, as he was able to leave the bases loaded in the second inning.
The Pirates did, however, prevail in this one to remain in third place in the NL Central.
Same ol’ story for deGrom
Mets starter Jacob deGrom had another very good outing and, once again, came up empty. DeGrom wasn’t perfect, as he did allow two runs. Still, he worked eight strong innings, allowing two runs on six hits while striking out nine and walking one. And he lost due to only one run of support.
DeGrom now sits at 5-7 on the season, despite having a 1.85 ERA and 0.97 WHIP.
Ohtani hits first road homers
Two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani had nine home runs on the season entering Friday, but all nine had come at home in Angels Stadium. That all changed with two blasts in Cleveland on Friday night. Here’s the second one, a monster shot:
Ohtani now has 11 homers on the season. He’s also 4-1 with a 3.10 ERA. He becomes the first player since Babe Ruth (1919) to win at least four games in a season while also hitting double digits in home runs. Sure, I threw up arbitrary endpoints there, but it’s fun and pretty amazing nonetheless.
Velasquez stays hot for Phillies
Phillies starter Vince Velasquez came into the game as a hot hand. He had a 0.95 ERA in his last four outings (one was relief in extra innings, the other three starts). He stayed hot against the Marlins, too.
Velasquez allowed only two hits in 6 1/3 scoreless innings while striking out seven and only walking one.
With the victory, the Phillies maintained their half-game lead in the NL East over the Braves.
- . He’ll be making his MLB debut and starting in place of LHP J.A. Happ, who is out with hand, foot, and mouth disease.
- Red Sox second baseman Ian Kinsler left the game — and was replaced at second by Mookie Betts! — and will be placed on the DL.
- Cardinals outfielder Dexter Fowler left Friday’s game with an apparent injury and after the game it was announced he has a fractured foot. Needless to say, he’ll be hitting the disabled list.
- The Indians have activated LHP Andrew Miller off the disabled list, the team announced. He’d been out since late May with a knee injury. RHP Zach McAllister was designated for assignment in a corresponding move.
- The Rays placed trade deadline pickup OF Tommy Pham on the 10-day DL with a broken foot, the team announced. He was hit by a pitch Thursday. The hope is Pham will return in about one month.
- Pirates 3B Jung Ho Kang will miss 4-6 weeks following wrist surgery, the club announced. Kang had been playing in Triple-A when he suffered the injury. He has not played in the big leagues at all since 2016.
- The Twins claimed RHP Oliver Drake off waivers from the Blue Jays and OF Johnny Field off waivers from the Indians. Drake has gone from the Brewers to the Indians to the Angels to the Blue Jays to the Twins on waivers this year.