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The Nightcap! (Apocalypse Tonight Edition)

Bengie Molina batted for the cycle tonight.

Peter Gammons regards the event as a harbinger of doom.

Jesse Spector of the Daily News tell us how unlikely such a thing really is. Here's a hint: veryveryvery.


• "Ted Lilly being Ted Lilly" doesn't roll off the tongue, but it's entirely relevant to this evening's performance by the lefty: 7.0 IP, 10 K, 1 BB, 1 GB on 15 BIP. The latter couple numbers there are why he gave up 2 HR.
Aaron Hill's .180 BABIP took a trip northward today, as he went 3-for-4 with a 2B and HR and no K.

Trevor Crowe went 2-for-3 with a doub-piece and trip-piece. So, basically, he's like Bengie Molina, just not quite as good.

Jason Hammel tonight, people: 7.0 IP, 10 K, 1 BB, 7 GB on 19 BIP (only 36.8|PERCENT|), 30 TBF.
Caution, Warning

Colby Lewis is spreading joy all across the land. He had 7 more K in only 5 IP tonight.

• Obligatory Stephen Strasburg note: 6.0 IP, 7 K, 3 BB, 8 GB on 13 BIP (61.5|PERCENT|). He threw 99 pitches, meaning he has as yet to reach the 100-pitch mark.

• Let's not freak out about Francisco Liriano JUST YET. Line: 7.2 IP, 8 K, 2 BB, 14 GB! on 20 BIP (70|PERCENT|). Shla-bam!

Justin Smoak, Mariner first baseman, tonight: 2-for-3 with a HR. He only had 3 PA, on account of Angel pitchers only faced 5 over the minimum.

Barry Zito! Line: 8.0 IP, 12 K, 2 BB, 2 H, 27 TBF. Ball-in-play profile tonight: 2 GB, 12 FB, 1 LD. Course, if none of those flies go over the fence, you're probably doing well. And conisder this: the league-average infield fly-ball rate is around 7|PERCENT| or 8|PERCENT|. Zito's, on his career, is 13.4|PERCENT|. It's 11.3|PERCENT| this year.

Caution, Warning

Chad Billingsley tonight: 4.0 IP, 0 K, 2 BB, 10 H, 7 ER. He probably got unlucky with his balls in play (10 H on 19 BIP, .526), but he faced 22 batters without striking out even one of them. His fastball velocity was almost exactly where it's been on the season (ca. 91.5 mph), so that's probably not the issue.

• The warning here is: Don't give up on Dan Haren DESPITE his poor performance tonight. Yeah, he gave up 6 ER in only 5 IP. But, look, he also had 8 K versus only 1 BB. His ERA/xFIP split continues to be crazy. It was 4.36/3.45 coming into play. It's been larger than that over the course of the season.

Stolen Bases

Rajai Davis (28), Nyjer Morgan (21), Erick Aybar (15), Rafael Furcal (15), Austin Jackson (15), Franklin Gutierrez (11), Brandon Phillips (11), Alcides Escobar (8), David Eckstein (6), Jason Bourgeois (4,5), Vladimir Guerrero (5), Carlos Santana (2), Kurt Suzuki (2), Luis Durango (1), Scott Rolen (1).

Caught Stealing

Hanley Ramirez (6), Chone Figgins (5), Yadier Molina (4), Ian Desmond (3), Brando Inge (3), Carlos Guillen (2), Michael Saunders (2), Ruben Tejada (2), Kurt Suzuki (1).

Save Chances

Carlos Marmol, converted (17). Line: 3 BF, 3 K.

Kevin Gregg, converted (21). Line: 1 K, no nothing else.

Matt Lindstrom, converted (22). No walks, no hits, no nothing.

Francisco Cordero, converted (25). Pitched with just a one-run lead.

Brian Fuentes, converted (17). No walks, no hits, no nothing. Dave Cameron tweets this in re the Angel closer: "Fuentes' splits this year, by the way: 0.53 FIP vs LHB, 6.39 FIP vs RHB. He's essentially a lefty specialist."

Closer, Non-Save

Mariano Rivera entered with the Yankers tied 4-4 versus Tampa Bay. He gave up a hit to B.J. Upton, then picked Upton off. Got two more outs and, eventually, the W.

Neftali Feliz entered with the Rangers up 8-4 in Boston. No hits, no walks, no nothing.

Jon Rauch entered a 7-2 game and left with a 7-4 game, only recording a single out in the meantime. Line: 0.1 IP, 1 K, 3 BB, 2 H, 2 ER.

Joakim Soria pitched with his Royals down 1-5, presumably just for work.

Ryan Franklin pitched with a four-run lead. Line: 1.0 IP, 1 K, 1 H, nothing else.

Other Relievers

Jon Rauch couldn't handle his bidness tonight, so Jesse Crain got the save.


Cody Ransom played 3B for Philly. Looks like Placido Polanco's coming back this weekend, though – or not long after, at least.

• With Matt Wieters on the DL, Craig Tatum is getting the majority of starts at catcher. Jake Fox will back him up, and might run into catcher eligibility in your league. Heads.

Yunel Escobar made his Blue Jay debut, batting second and going 1-for-4 with a BB.

Carlos Lee was benched tonight after failing to attend a voluntary, post All-Star Game workout. Jason Bourgeois started at left in his place, likely making Houston's outfield defense ten times better. (Also, he had 2 SB.)

Jeff Keppinger batted third for a major league team tonight.

Chris Davis batted ninth tonight.

Alex Gonzalez made his barely anticipated Atlanta debut. He batted seventh and went 1-for-3 with a K.

Jason Heyward made his second start since coming off the DL. He batted second and went 1-for-4 with a BB and K.

Carlos Beltran made his second start (a) in two days and (b) of the season. Line: 1-for-4 with a doub-piece. Unfortunately, Angel Pagan was benched in favor of Jeff Francoeur in right field. Is that because the Mets were facing lefty Barry Zito? Hopefully. Pagan is better.

The Young and Potentially Restless

Juan Miranda isn't YOUNG precisely – he turned 27 in April – but he only has 19 career ABs. In any case, he started today at DH for the Yankers and could be doing that a little bit for the foreseeable future. He's got some pop in that left-handed bat and was batting .291/.380/.509 at Triple-A before his call-up.

• Boston's Felix Doubront induced 11 GB on 16 BIP tonight (68.8|PERCENT|). He doesn't appear to've posted such lofty groundball rates in the minors, but it's something to watch.

Daniel Nava has a .305/.387/.488, but also a .421 BABIP. Great story. Interesting player. Probably not rosterable, though.

Dayan Viciedo started at third base tonight, went 1-for-4 against Francisco Liriano and Co. Over/under on Viciedo's "Consecutive PA Without a BB to Start a Career"? He's at 44 now. Does he make 100?