Moving the Needle: Coco Crisp’s three-run homer in the 10th gives the A’s a convincing lead, +.483 WPA. Crisp started the game right when he homered in the first. The Yankees, of course, covered that run, and eventually took the lead. But CC Sabathia had some trouble in the eighth and allowed the tying run to score. Each team scored one more, bringing the game to extra innings. The A’s singled twice, and then Crisp hit a monster shot to right, into the second deck. The homer gave the A’s all the lead they’d need, even though the Yanks did manage to put up another run in the 10th.
Nick Swisher: 2 for 3, 2 HR, 1 BB. He also hit a homer in the previous game, and came within about two feet of a walk-off grand slam in that one.
Scott Sizemore: 4 for 4, 2 2B. He and Crisp combined for perfect days.
Also in this issue: Angels 8, White Sox 0 | Cubs 3, Braves 2 | Mariners 9, Indians 2 | Rockies 7, Astros 6 | Orioles 6, Twins 1 | Marlins 6, Reds 5 | Reds 3, Marlins 2 | Rays 3, Tigers 2 | Diamondbacks 4, Nationals 3 | Red Sox 13, Rangers 2 | Mets 7, Phillies 4 | Blue Jays 4, Royals 3 | Pirates 2, Brewers 0 | Dodgers 9, Cardinals 4 | Giants 2, Padres 1
Moving the Needle: Jeff Mathis doubles home a pair to extend the Angels lead, +.159 WPA. The Angels had one on and two outs in the second when they started their rally. A pair of singles brought home the first run, and then Mathis’s double knocked home both base runners, giving the Angels a 3-0 lead. With Weaver on the mound it’s all they’d need.
Jered Weaver: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K. At 96 pitches, he probably could have gone eight. But with an 8-0 lead at hand, it was unnecessary.
Vernon Wells: 2 for 2, 1 2B, 1 BB. In his last three games he’s 5 for 10 with three doubles.
Moving the Needle: Alfonso Soriano gets the Cubs on the board with a homer, +.154 WPA. It was a long second inning for Derek Lowe. He faced nine batters, two of whom reached on errors, and both of them stole second. He also balked one of them to third. But before all that happened he walked the leadoff man and then served up a homer to Soriano to put his team behind 2-0. The Cubs scored again, and their three runs held up the rest of the way.
Randy Wells: 6.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 6 K. It’s been a rough year overall for him, but in his last three starts he’s gone 18.2 IP, 14 H, 7 R, 5 BB, 12 K.
Aramis Ramirez: 1 for 2. Soriano had the only extra base hit, and no Cub had more than one hit.
Moving the Needle: Wily Mo Pena puts the Mariners on top with a two-run shot, +.215 WPA. After falling behind by a run in the third, the Mariners came back in the fourth when Pena smacked his seventh homer of the season, his second as a Mariner. The homer put them ahead 2-1, though the Indians did come back to tie it in the bottom half. The tie didn’t last because the Mariners responded with a four-run outbreak in the fifth. Pena himself had a big day, going 3 for 3 and driving in four runs.
Felix Hernandez: 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 10 K. That’s the seventh time this year he’s had double digit strikeouts, though it’s the first time he’s done so in under seven innings. He had just three double digit strikeout games last year.
Kyle Seager: 4 for 4, 3 2B, 1 BB. He scored three times. In his last six games he’s gone 15 for 25 with five doubles and two homers.
Moving the Needle: Carlos Gonzalez gives the Rockies a lead with a two-run shot, +.218 WPA. The ‘Stros and Rox went a little nuts in the first few innings, going back and forth quite a few times. The Astros took a 5-4 lead in the third, and the Rockies threatened in the bottom half, but did not score. In the fourth, though, they got a Gonzalez homer to turn that deficit into a 6-5 lead. Of course, the Astros tied it in the next half inning, and, surprisingly, that’s where they stayed all the way until the 10th. The game ended with the bases loaded on a wild pitch.
Mark Ellis: 4 for 5, 1 2B. He failed to drive in or score a run, which is quite odd considering the overall offensive output and his four times on base.
Troy Tulowitzki: 2 for 3, 1 HR, 3 BB. He walked in the 10th and came home to score the winning run. He also drove in a pair.
Moving the Needle: Nolan Reimold breaks the tie in the fifth with a triple, +.192 WPA. In the fifth the Orioles broke out, putting up a five spot and taking a convincing lead. It started when Mark Reynolds homered to lead off the inning, and continued when, three batters later, Reimold tripled home Jake Fox. Two more doubles in the inning finished the job, giving the Orioles another win in Minnesota.
Jeremy Guthrie: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 K. I’m still unsure why they held onto him at the deadline. Hopefully, for them, it’s because the price wasn’t right.
Matt Wieters: 2 for 5, 2 2B. In his last six games he’s gone 10 for 22 with three doubles and two homers. He also walked four times, but those all came in one game.
Moving the Needle: Jose Lopez puts the Marlins ahead with a two-run homer, +.246 WPA. The Marlins got two homers in the fourth to counteract Joey Votto’s one in the third, which put the Reds ahead 3-2. The second came from Lopez, a two-run shot with two outs. The Reds tied it the next inning, but the Marlins put together a three-run eighth to take the lead for good.
Javier Vazquez: 7 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 11 K. That’s his third double digit strikeout game of the year, all of which have come following the All-Star break. He’s made eight starts since then and has failed to complete six innings just once.
Moving the Needle: Jay Bruce makes a costly base running mistake , -.112 WPA. There wasn’t a ton of needle moving in this one, as evidenced by the biggest swing. There was actually a tie, and both were in the negatives. In the firs the Reds got three straight singles and a double (by Bruce) to open up a 2-0 lead. They also had runners on second and third with none out. That brought up Cairo, who hit a little dinker to second. Omar Infante looked back Votto at third and then went to first. But wait! Bruce had already advanced to third, which left Votto a dead duck. In the ninth the Marlins mounted a comeback, but when it was 3-2 Bryan Peterson merely flied out to left. Yet that was also -.112 WPA.
Joey Votto: 3 for 4, 1 HR. He drove in two and scored only on the home run. He might have scored in the first, too, if not for Bruce.
Bronson Arroyo: 8 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. It was only the eighth start this year in which Arroyo hasn’t surrendered a homer.
Moving the Needle: Elliot Johnson does nothing special, but brings in the winning run, +.347 WPA. The Rays don’t just walk off on opponents; they walk off in odd manners. Last night they had the bases loaded with two outs in the 10th. Johnson grounded one to third, fairly sharply, which should have given Brandon Inge enough time to make the short throw to second. The throw was a good one, really, but Ramon Santiago wasn’t quick enough to the bag. Sean Rodriguez was safe, which meant the runner going home was safe, which meant the Rays won the game.
Wade Davis: 9 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 6 K. Ah, the rare nine inning non-complete game.
Evan Longoria: 3 for 5, 1 HR. That’s his fourth homer in his last seven games.
Moving the Needle: Chris Young’s double, combined with an error, puts the Diamondbacks on top, +.147 WPA. The Diamondbacks struck first, putting two runs on the board in the fourth. Young got them started with his two-out double, which brought around Justin Upton. It appeared that Upton was pulling up coming into third, but Jonny Gomes bobbled the ball, which allowed Upton to score.
Daniel Hudson: 8.2 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 6 K. A pair of solo homers were all that got to him.
Miguel Montero: 1 for 3. He was hit by a pitch and drove in a pair.
Moving the Needle: Carl Crawford doubles home a pair, +.136 WPA. The Red Sox wasted no time in running up the score against Matt Harrison. Four singles in the first made the game 2-0, and then Crawford brought home the other two with a double. Crawford later homered.
Josh Beckett: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 K. It was a nice, smooth day for him as his offense took care of everything.
Jacoby Ellsbury: 3 for 5, 1 HR. He scored three times and drove in a pair.
Moving the Needle: Nick Evans extends the lead with a three-run shot, +.218 WPA. After getting hit around the last few days, the Mets stood up for themselves on Wednesday and plated four in the first. The big one came off the bat of Evans, whose three-run homer made it 4-0 Mets. The Phillies would pull to within one, but then David Wright and Evans, agin, extended the lead.
David Wright: 3 for 4, 1 HR. He drove in two, including a sac fly.
Chase Utley: 3 for 4, 2 2B. He went without an extra base hit from August 7th through the 13th, but he’s hit six in his last nine games.
Moving the Needle: Jose Bautista’s two-run homer ties the game in the fourth, +.198 WPA. Two homers really defined this game for the Jays. The first came in the fourth, when Bautista tied the game with his mammoth two-run shot. Then, in the seventh, with the score tied at three (thanks to an Alex Gordon homer), Brett Lawrie knocked one to put the Blue Jays up for good. (It was +.196 WPA.)
Brett Lawrie: 2 for 3, 1 3B, 1 HR. Big day for the rook, who has been absolutely killing the ball since his call-up.
Billy Butler: 3 for 5, 2 2B. He drove in two runs, both of which were Gordon (he scored all three runs).
Moving the Needle: Prince Fielder walks to put the tying man on in the ninth, but Casey McGehee strikes out, +/-.109 WPA. I think this is the first time we’ve had a tie for biggest WPA swing that involved both a negative and a positive play. Both came in the ninth. After Ryan Braun singled to lead off the inning, Fielder drew a walk, putting runners on first and second. That brought up McGehee, who struck out looking. The next two batters struck out as well, halting the potential rally in its tracks.
Jason Grilli: 2.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K. Not much you can as for from a reliever entering the game in the fifth. Aaron Thompson, making his major league debut, had runners on second and third with one out in the fifth, and so Clint Hurdle went to the pen early.
Jose Tabata: 2 for 4, 1 2B. He was the only Pirate with multiple hits. They scored both runs on sac flies.
Moving the Needle: Juan Rivera doubles home a run in the Dodgers’ big third, +.119 WPA. The Dodgers put up a six spot in the third inning that lasted them the rest of the way. It started with a pair of walks, and then a wild pitch really got things moving. A single, and then Rivera’s double, made it 3-1 Dodgers. They’d get three more singles and a double, which broke the game wide open. Rivera also homered.
James Loney: 3 for 5, 2 2B. He’s 14 for 17 with three doubles and a homer in his last four games.
Skip Schumaker: 4 for 4. They were all singles, but it’s 4 for 4 all the same.
Moving the Needle: Orlando Hudson triples home a run to cut the lead, +.203 WPA. After falling behind 2-0 by the fifth, the Padres got something going in the sixth. Hudson’s one-out triple cut the lead to 2-1 and set up the Padres to tie it without needing a hit. But they couldn’t capitalize, and that was it for their offense on the day.
Tim Lincecum: 8 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 5 BB, 7 K. Surprisingly, that’s not his season high for walks. He handed out six free passes on May 16th and April 23rd.
Carlos Beltran: 2 for 4, 1 HR. Welcome back to the lineup, buddy, they said in San Fran.
Joe also writes about the Yankees at River Ave. Blues.