Brewers 8, Pirates 1; Pirates 9, Brewers 2
- Chris Narveson (9-6) outdueled Jeff Karstens (9-7) in Game 1 of this doubleheader, the lefty going 5.1 shutout against Karstens' two runs over seven frames. Some horrible Pittsburgh relief pitching turned it into a blowout.
- In Game 2, Zack Greinke (12-5) got rocked for seven runs on seven hits in 6.1 innings. He was cruising along through six, having allowed just two runs, but things came undone in what ended up being a seven-run bottom of the seventh. Two wild pitches and a hit batsman for Greinke in this one, so he's been better.
- Brad Lincoln, spot starting, allowed just four baserunners and two runs over his six innings in the nightcap, but received no decision. As usual, he barely missed any bats, striking out just one. Daniel McCutchen (4-3) was the beneficiary of the seventh-inning offensive explosion.
- Ryan Braun went 1-for-9 over the two games, but the one hit was a two-run homer (25).
- Corey Hart went 3-for-6 with a homer (19), starting Game 2 after entering Game 1 as a pinch-hitter and staying in.
- Ryan Ludwick homered (12) in game 1. He has 71 RBI, which is quite a lot for a guy whose offensive numbers are otherwise horrendous.
- Jose Tabata had a big doubleheader, going 5-for-9 with a couple doubles. He's been hot since coming back from a quad injury, putting together an eight-game hitting streak dating back to June 26, his last game before going on the DL.
- Ryan Doumit homered (7) off Greinke in Game 2. Man, when that guy plays, he just hits, period.
- For two teams that generally run a lot, there wasn't a lot of running in this one – just one steal attempt, a successful one by Nyjer Morgan (8).
- Oh, and do you think the Pirates just needed that huge seventh inning just a little, considering they hadn't beaten the Brewers – a team in their division! – in more than a year?
Mariners 3, Indians 2
- Jason Vargas had been absolutely horrendous since the All-Star break, but he found his game against the floundering Indians, who managed seven hits, no walks and two unearned runs off him over seven innings. He struck out just two. Fun fact about Vargas: His ERA at that pitcher's haven, Safeco Field, is 4.69, more than a full run higher than his road ERA, which is now down to 3.48. The young Chance Ruffin (1-0) won in relief, his first MLB victory.
- Solid and unrewarded on the other end was Fausto Carmona, now the second-most-disappointing act in town since the Ubaldo acuisition. He went six, allowing two runs (one earned) and striking out six batters, an unusually high rate for him. Six hits and a walk add up to a nice WHIP day, but he also hit two batters, something that doesn't show up in the fantasy line.
- Chris Perez (2-6) was all over the place, issuing a walk, hitting two batters and committing an error, all of which allowed the Mariners to scratch across the eventual winning run in the top of the ninth.
- Ichiro Suzuki had an unusual game. He hit a home run (3) to lead off the game (unusual), went 3-for-5 (usual, even though he hasn't done it much this year), struck out twice (highly unusual) and was caught stealing for the sixth time (somewhat unusual).
- Casper Wells (4) and Brendan Ryan (9) succeeded on the basepaths where Ichiro failed, as did Lonnie Chisenhall (1, first in the majors!) for the Indians. Ryan (shoulder) had been out since August 3.
- Brandon League decided to struggle some, too, giving up a couple hits before nailing down the save (31).
Phillies 10, Mets 0
- Cliff Lee (14-5) came out on top in this battle of men with rhyming last names, striking out seven and allowing just three hits and three walks in seven innings. He also hit a batter, but he set himself a new career high in strikeouts, now at 191.
- Dillon Gee (11-5) took an eight-run beating while failing to make it out of the fourth inning, but he really fell apart back in the second, when he couldn't shut the door with two outs, a man in scoring position, and the bottom of the Phillies' lineup.
- Big-time game for Hunter Pence, who got on base four times (two walks, a single and homer No. 16), scoring all four times and driviing in a couple. He's been pretty much what you'd expect him to be with Philadelphia: Himself, but moreso.
- Shane Victorino hit a two-run triple and stole his 17th base.
- John Mayberry homered (11) and has really made a case for himself as the best fourth outfielder in the league this year.
- Angel Pagan left the game with a stomach virus, or perhaps just disgust with the Mets' inability to hit or pitch.
Nationals 4, Diamondbacks 1
- Ross Detwiler (2-3) has quietly been pretty effective since coming of the DL, and he continued that here, hurling 6.2 innings of one-run ball. He surrendered six hits and a walk, striking out three. Not that I'm recommending rushing out and adding him or anything like that.
- Joe Saunders (8-11) allowed four runs on six hits over six innings, walking three against just two strikeouts. Sadly, that's three straight outings of 1:1 or worse K:BB for the lefty.
- Jayson Werth decided not to hit like Jason Bay for a day, going 2-for-4 with a double and a homer (15).
- Henry Blanco – I mean, Hank White – had the only multi-hit game for Arizona, going 2-for-4 with a homer (6).
- Ryan Roberts found his way on base via walk and single, and stole his 15th bag.
- Drew Storen needed just 12 pitches in the ninth, striking out two en route to his 34th save.
Tigers 5, Rays 2
- Justin Verlander just wins and wins and wins. He held the Rays to one run over seven innings, striking out eight and allowing only three hits and a walk, for his MLB-leading 19th win.
- Jeff Niemann (8-5) tired in his final inning of work, leaving him with an unfair fantasy line of four runs on six hits and three walks in 7.1 innings. He had won seven straight decisions coming in, but it was not to be this time.
- Matt Joyce accounted for all the scoring off Verlander with his 17th homer in the first inning. He ended up 2-for-3 with a walk.
- Evan Longoria added a homer (21) at the other end of the game off closer Jose Valverde.
- Alex Avila homered in three straight games Aug. 2-5, then went 11 straight without homering, and now has gone yard twice in four games, hitting his 15th of the year in this one. He's been streaking almost this whole time, though, as he only has one hitless game in August – and he walked twice that day. Avila's hitting .340 since the break. He took a foul ball in the second inning, but seemed to suffer no ill effects.
- Don Kelly hit a garbage-time homer (4) in the top of the ninth, enough to make the game a non-save situation for Valverde.
- B.J. Upton left the game with a shoulder injury after crashing into the outfield fence.
Rangers 4, Red Sox 0
- C.J. Wilson (13-5) shut Boston out over 6.2 innings, allowing only four hits and two walks while striking out four, and the Rangers' bullpen didn't allow a hit after he left the game. Must feel great for the Texas pitching staff to actually have a bullpen they can feel confident about.
- Eric Bedard (4-9) got his fantasy line ruined by one pitch, a three-run homer that he surrendered to Mike Napoli. He was charged with four runs on seven hits and a walk, and struck out four.
- Napoli's homer (21) was his sixth long ball in the month of August. He's hitting a sick .373 with a 1.117 OPS since the All-Star break. Where's your Torrealba now?
Braves 3, Cubs 0
- Jair Jurrjens (13-5) put together perhaps the worst 6.1 shutout innings I've ever seen, somehow navigating around eight hits and five walks (tying his season high) while only striking out one batter. It helps to get ground balls, but the Braves only turned one double play in the game. So I guess it just helps to play the Cubs.
- On the other end, Ryan Dempster turned in six solid, allowing three runs on six hits and three walks, but striking out eight batters. This was good enough for him to lose and fall to 10-9.
- Jose Constanza kept the magic happening with a 2-for-3 night and a steal (7), but he had to leave the game with an ankle sprain, giving Jason Heyward another chance to try to nail down right field.
- Dan Uggla connected on his 30th homer, making it five straight seasons of 30 or more home runs for the second baseman. Amazing. He's still young, but he's already redefined power numbers for second basemen, so you have to wonder if Uggla is working on a Hall of Fame career. What do you think, readers? If Uggla hits 30 homers as a second baseman a few more times in his career, how do you keep him out of the Hall, no matter his average? He's 31 and has 184 homers; if he doesn't age prematurely, he could challenge Jeff Kent's record of 351 homers as a second baseman.
- Freddie Freeman is working on his Rookie of the Year award, and he bopped his 18th homer of the year in that effort.
- Tony Campana collected a pinch-hit single and stole his 16th base for the Cubs. He's been sneaky useful in deep leagues as a speed specialist.
- Johnny Venters walked a couple, but picked up his fifth save, presumably because Craig Kimbrel had pitched three of the last four days.
Orioles 4, Twins 1
- Zach Britton (7-9) put together what was, sadly, his best outing and first win since early June, navigating around six hits and four walks in five innings to allow just a single run. He struck out four. Can't say this has landed him anywhere near the circle of trust, but at least he snapped his streak of five straight negative decisions.
- Carl Pavano (6-10) has to be one of the most hittable pitchers in the majors. He allowed four runs on nine hits and a couple walks. Incredibly, Pavano has allowed at least nine hits in seven consecutive starts. Unsurprisingly, he's winless since July 7.
- Kevin Gregg did his closer thing, keeping it clean for once to collect his 18th save. I'll never understand how a reliever who so consistently puts up such horrible numbers keeps getting to be a closer.
- J.J. Hardy hit his 24th homer off Pavano, and Matt Wieters added his 13th.
Dodgers 2. Cardinals 1
- Nathan Eovaldi has looked very solid for the Dodgers, and he delivered five good innings in this one, allowing just five hits, a walk and a run. He struck out only two, but who's complaining? Matt Guerrier (4-3) got the win in relief when the Dodgers orchestrated a late comeback.
- Chris Carpenter went eight excellent innings on the other end, but was removed after hitting Juan Rivera with a pitch to open the ninth. Rivera would come around to score the only run charged to Carpenter on Aaron Miles' triple off Fernando Salas (5-5), who blew his fifth save.
- Javy Guerra worked around a single for his 11th save. He's been a real diamond in the rough for the Dodgers this year.
- Lance Berkman provided the offense against Eovaldi with his 29th homer.
- Matt Holliday, um, had a moth fly deep into his ear and left the game. Yeah.
Rockies 9, Astros 5
- Jhoulys Chacin (10-10) allowed a ridiculous 11 hits in seven innings, but only one run, and it came on a solo homer. He's a nice young pitcher, but there are warning signs all over his stat line.
- Brett Myers (3-13) got rocked for seven runs on nine hits in only five innings. He walked two and struck out three, and he's probably not on your fantasy team at this point.
- Carlos Gonzalez continued stuffing the stat sheet in August, ripping his seventh homer of the month and 22nd of the season and adding a double. He drove in three runs and scored two.
- Rafael Betancourt ended up with an unexpected save chance, which he converted cleanly for No. 3 on the year after J.C. Romero and Josh Roenicke conspired to turn a 9-1 game into a 9-5 game while only recording one out in the ninth.
- Matt Downs did a lot of that damage, hitting his seventh homer of the year, a three-run, pinch-hit job off Romero.
- Brian Bogusevic started in right field and homered (4) among three hits. The former first-round pick is hitting .311 in limited exposure this year.
- J.D. Martinez collected three hits, including a double, out of the three hole and is now up to .298.
- Jordan Schafer started in center field and led off, going 0-for-4 in his first game off the DL with a finger injury.