Moving the Needle: Pablo Sandoval’s two-run homer puts the Giants ahead in the 11th, +.492 WPA. The Giants tied the game at four in the fourth, and then waited seven more innings to score another run. Both teams threatened in the ninth, loading the bases, but neither came through. In the 11th the Giants got a one-out walk, and then two batters later Sandoval blasted them to victory. Ramon Ramirez, filling in for the injured Brian Wilson, pitched a perfect bottom half.
Also in this issue: Angels 7, Orioles 1 | Braves 1, Diamondbacks 0 | White Sox 10, Rangers 0 | Cardinals 6, Cubs 2 | Tigers 8, Indians 7 | Rockies 5, Dodgers 3 | Red Sox 6, Royals 1 | Yankees 3, Twins 0 | Nationals 5, Phillies 0 | Blue Jays 1, A’s 0 | Brewers 6, Mets 2 | Rays 8, Mariners 7 | Reds 5, Pirates 4 | Padres 4, Marlins 3
Moving the Needle: Matt Wieters grounds into a double play to end the fourth, -.152 WPA. The Angels hit around Brian Matusz in the first three innings, logging seven hits and scoring three runs. In the fourth the Orioles got a little something of their own going, turning three straight singles into a bases loaded, no outs situation. But Vladimir Guerrero struck out, and then Wieters grounded into a 3-6-1 double play that ended the threat. The Angels tacked on another three runs in the bottom half.
Jerome Williams: 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 K. Not bad for a guy who hadn’t started a major league game since May 15th, 2007. OK, it wasn’t bad for anyone. The last time Williams threw seven innings in a start: October 1st, 2005.
Peter Bourjos: 3 for 5, 1 HR. His two-run shot in the fourth put the game on ice.
Moving the Needle: Paul Goldschmidt strikes out with the tying run on third in the ninth, -.212 WPA. The end came in two stages for the Diamondbacks yesterday. Down 1-0 in the top of the ninth, they got a walk and a single to put runners on the corners with one down. (The single was the biggest positive WPA swing of the game.) But Craig Kimbrel struck out Goldschmidt, which meant the Diamondbacks needed a hit to score the tying run. Too bad Kimbrel also struck out Sean Burroughs to end the game.
Tim Hudson: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 K. He’s struck out at least seven in four of his last eight starts, and currently owns his highest K/9 since 2001.
Alex Gonzalez: 1 for 3, 1 HR. Obviously the only run of the game.
Moving the Needle: Brent Lillibridge homers to put the Sox on the board, +.164 WPA. The White Sox put on an absolute clinic yesterday, racking up 16 hits and 10 runs. It all started in the third, when Juan Pierre singled to lead off and then Lillibridge brought him home with a two-run shot. They’d add another pair in the inning, and then add more as the game progressed. The White Sox now have more wins than the Indians, though they also have two more losses.
Gavin Floyd: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K. In three of his last six starts he’s gone 14.2 IP, 21 H, 18 R, 3 BB, 15 K. In the other three he’s gone 21.2 IP, 10 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 17 K.
Tyler Flowers: 2 for 3, 1 2B, 1 BB. He also got hit by a pitch and scored three runs.
Moving the Needle: Yadier Molina’s two-run shot extends the Cards lead, +.189 WPA. In the second the Cardinals got a pair of solo homers, the second of which came from Molina, to take a 2-0 lead. Up 3-2 in the sixth, Molina hit another homer, this one a two-run shot, to give the Cardinals a 5-2 lead. They’d add another on their way to a Sunday night victory.
Jon Jay: 2 for 3, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 BB. He’s 8 for his last 18 with three doubles, a homer, and two walks.
Jake Westbrook: 7 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 3 K. He ran into trouble in the third, fourth, and fifth, allowing seven base runners in those innings. But he battled back and finished strong, retiring seven of the last eight batters he faced, getting the only one who reached on a double play.
Moving the Needle: Austin Jackson makes a perfect throw home to end the game, +.449 WPA. The Tigers lit up Ubaldo Himenez for seven runs in the third, though their own starter, Rick Porcello, didn’t last much longer. The Indians, down 8-7, threatened in the eighth, but came up short. In the ninth they put the first two men on and then sacrificed, allowing them the chance to tie the score on a deep enough fly ball. They appeared to have gotten what they needed when Matt LaPorta flied out to Jackson in center, but Jackson uncorked a throw that Alex Avila caught a few feet up the line, allowing him to easily lay the tag on Kosuke Fukudome, ending the game and completing the weekend sweep.
Delmon Young: 2 for 4, 1 HR. he drove in four in the game. He’s 8 for 26 with two homers since coming to Detroit (.366 wOBA).
Asdrubal Cabrera: 2 for 3, 1 2B, 2 BB. That broke his 0 for the series skid.
Moving the Needle: Seth Smith puts the Rockies ahead with a two-run homer, +.361 WPA. The Rockies, it appeared, were cursed. They took a 2-0 lead in the first, but then lost it by the fourth, mainly because James Loney, who had just 15 doubles and 6 homers coming into the game, had an RBI double and a solo homer. Down 3-2 in the seventh, Smith bailed them out with a two-run shot that would power them to victory. Cursed no more.
Carlos Gonzalez: 1 for 3, 1 HR, 1 BB. The walk was intentional, and the homer gave them the 2-0 lead in the first.
James Loney: 4 for 4, 1 2B, 1 HR. He actually had a 4 for 4 game earlier in the season against the Marlins. But those were all singles.
Moving the Needle: Jason Varitek triples home the first run, +.146 WPA. After going scoreless in the early innings, the Red Sox jumped ahead in the middle. It all started with Jed Lowrie’s single in the fifth. Three batters after him, Varitek tripled to right, bringing home the first run of the game. The Sox tacked on with solo homers in the next two innings and posted a big eighth inning to take the game and the series. That was Varitek’s first tripe since May 25th, 2007 — you know, back when he was actually good.
Jon Lester: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 3 K. The peripherals look crappy, but against the Royals it got the job done.
Darnell McDonald: 3 for 5, 1 HR. He’s predictably not as good as last year, but he has brought some power to the table, with an ISO near .200.
Moving the Needle: Curtis Granderson sprints around the bases for an inside the park homer, +.140 WPA. The Yankees had taken a 1-0 lead in the sixth, and in the seventh sent up the top of their order. With two outs Granderson popped one off the wall in right-center, and both outfielders misplayed it, allowing it to carom back toward the infield. That’s how inside the parkers are born. There appeared to be little urgency in getting the ball back in, which made it even easier for Granderson to complete the trip. Mark Teixeira followed with an outside the park homer.
Ivan Nova: 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K. He’s making a late bid for AL Rookie of the Year.
Moving the Needle: Ian Desmond ties the game in the ninth with a homer, +.489 WPA. The Phillies struck first in the ninth, breaking a 3-3 tie when Michael Martinez singled home a run. But in the bottom half, with no one on and two outs, Desmond blasted a solo shot to force extra innings. After the Phillies failed to score they brought in Brad Lidge, who loaded the bases before hitting Jonny Gomes to end it.
Danny Espinosa: 3 for 5, 1 HR. That’s his first homer since July 17th.
Carlos Ruiz 2 for 4, 1 HR. That was his first homer since July 8th.
Moving the Needle: Coco Crisp grounds into a double play to end the bases loaded threat, -.212 WPA. With the score still tied at zero in the sixth, the A’s walked twice and singled to load the bases. That brought up Crisp, who grounded one to short and start the 6-4-3 double play, leaving the game tied. The next batter was Jose Bautista, who blasted a solo homer. Poor A’s.
Luis Perez: 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K. Read the paragraph above and then come back to read Perez’s line. That’s pretty special for a guy making his first career start.
Guillermo Moscoso: 8 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 7 K. He, too, pitched superbly. About the Bautista homer: whatcha gonna do?
Moving the Needle: Lucas Duda ties the game with a homer in the seventh, +.327 WPA. It seems as though Duda appears a lot in the game-changing portions of these recaps. Yesterday he came up huge, homering in the sixth to tie the game at two. The Brewers, though, came back with a pair of their own in the eighth, which they rode to victory.
Ryan Braun: 3 for 5, 1 2B. He drove in a run and scored twice.
Yovani Gallardo: 7 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 6 K. He’s having a pretty good August, going 28 IP, 21 H, 9 R, 4 BB, 24 K in four starts.
Moving the Needle: Johnny Damon walks off with a homer, +.373 WPA. Damon was the game’s hero, twice bringing home go-ahead runs. In the seventh he came up with the bases loaded and cleared them with a double, turning a 5-4 deficit into a 7-5 lead. In his next at-bat he led off the ninth, the score tied thanks to a Wily Mo Pena two-run blast. Damon took matters into his own hands, homering and winning the game for the Rays.
Matt Joyce: 2 for 3, 1 2B, 1 BB. He scored twice.
Casper Wells: 2 for 4, 1 HR. He was also on base when Pena hit his homer.
Moving the Needle: Joey Votto’s three-run shot puts the Reds ahead in the sixth, +.354 WPA. The Pirates held a 2-0 lead into the sixth, but it wouldn’t last beyond that. A double and a walk set ’em up for Votto, who knocked ’em down with a three-run homer that gave the Reds a lead. The Pirates re-took the lead in the bottom half, but the Reds battled back in the ninth, riding three hits and a walk to two runs and the win.
Jose Tabata: 2 for 4, 1 3B. That’s one way to celebrate being filthy rich.
Garret Jones: 1 for 4, 1 HR. He brought the Pirates back with a two-run homer in the sixth.
Moving the Needle: Mike Cameron ties the game in the ninth with a homer, +.381 WPA. Heath Bell got the first two outs in the ninth, but then allowed a homer to Cameron, tying the game at three. He ran into some further trouble, loading the bases before finally getting the last out. The Padres then loaded the bases with none out in their half — thanks to two straight intentional passes following a triple. A single ended it in less than dramatic fashion.
Will Venable: 2 for 5, 1 HR. He drove in two, including the winning run in the ninth.
Nick Hundley: 1 for 3, 1 3B. That’s his fourth triple in his last six games.
Cory Luebke: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 8 K. I normally only do two notables, but there were three good ones in this game.
Joe also writes about the Yankees at River Ave. Blues.