1. The 10-inning Start: Aaron Harang just kept coming back to the mound, inning after inning. In what is tied for the longest appearance by a pitcher this season, Harang went 10 innings, giving up just one run. He also struck out ten, and remarkably had no walks despite 121 pitches. Harang, however, didn’t even get credit for the win, as the Reds-Brewers game was decided in the 12th inning. Backup catcher Javier Valentin provided the winning hit, and reliever Jared Burton was credited with the W. Harang’s start was the longest in the majors since Roy Halladay went 10 innings on April 13. Halladay also had a ten-inning start back in 2003. Harang, by the way, is doing very well this season with a 3.45 ERA.
2. The Best of the Best: The Boston Red Sox became the first major league team to reach 60 wins after beating the Indians, but they don’t have the highest winning percentage in baseball. That would be the 59-38 Tigers, who beat the White Sox 9-6. Detroit, who has by far the best road record in baseball (33-17), crushed Chicago for 18 hits, including 14 off starter Mark Buehrle. Andrew Miller had his worst start so far this year, but it didn’t matter as Curtis Granderson went 3-3 with 4 RBIs. The 60-39 Red Sox beat Cleveland 6-2 in Jon Lester’s debut after fighting cancer. Lester went six strong innings, and Coco Crisp backed him up with four hits and three runs. The Tigers and Red Sox right now are the best teams in baseball, though many others, such as the Indians, Angels, and Dodgers, are pretty close. With all these elite teams, we should see some great playoff action this year.
3. The D-Train has Crashed: Whatever happened to Dontrelle Willis? A 22-game winner in 2005, Willis was average last year and has been flat-out bad this season. He lost his seventh straight decision on Monday, a career-high. He has walked too many people (57, fifth-most in the league) and given up too many hits (154, well over one per inning). This results in a dismal 1.65 WHIP, along with a 5.15 ERA. Willis hasn’t even won a game since May 29. Despite all the promise he showed over his first few seasons, Willis is now seemingly a below-average MLB pitcher.
Player of the Day: Aaron Harang, Reds: 10 innings, seven hits, one run, no walks, 10 K’s in a 2-1 win over the Brewers.