2H, 1BB and 12K in 8 innings
1. Shut down and shut out: There were an inordinate amount of shutouts last night in the big leagues. Pitching prevailed as seven teams put up straight zeroes on the day. Let’s start with the American League, where three teams got blanked. The AL Wild Card race was affected, as the Twins won 8-0 while the White Sox lost 1-0. For the Twins, Johan Santana won his 17th game to take the lead in each of the pitching Triple Crown categories. The Sox lost to the Red Sox in David Ortiz’s return. Ortiz went 0-3 but the Red Sox escaped thanks to Kason Gabbard’s nice start. Elsewhere, the team that has allowed the most runs this season shut out the team that has scored the most. That’s right, it was Royals over Yankees, 5-0. For KC, Todd Wellemeyer went for a very long save, going 3.1 innings and striking out five. The Yankees still lead the Red Sox by 8 games while the Twins have opened up a 1.5 game lead on the White Sox.
2. Shutouts, NL Edition: There were way too many shutouts last night to contain in just one article. The Cards took on the Nats, winning 2-0 behind Albert Pujols’ 5th homer in 3 days. That gives him 44 on the season, more than last year when he won the MVP. Milwaukee crushed LA with a Doug Davis complete game. Davis allowed just four hits while striking out eight on the day. Claudio Vargas helped the D-Backs earn a shutout win of their own as he outdeuled the Marlins’ Dontrelle Willis. And finally, Bronson Arroyo of the Reds surged back after his recent inconsistency, going for a complete-game blanking of the Giants while his ERA dropped to 3.33. According to Elias Says, this was only the seventh time in major league history that there were seven or more shutouts in a single day.
3. What’s going on?: The Tigers lost again last night. The team that has held the best record in the majors for so long finally finds itself and its starting pitching in a slump. Detroit has only won 4 of their last 13 games and just 9 of their last 27. While the Tigers still hold the best record in the major leagues and Kenny Rogers is on fire, many are now questioning whether this team really is “for real.” Jeremy Bonderman blew a three-run lead last night and has not looked like himself for the past month and a half. Bonderman has a 5.05 ERA and a .280 opponents’ batting average since the break, and he along with Nate Robertson and Zach Miner declined in August. But the Tigers have plenty of time to solve their problems before the postseason begins–if they can hold on to their playoff spot.
4. Now they’re the worst: Could things get any worse for Cubs fans? How does a loss to the Pirates sound? That’s what happened last night, as Pittsburgh won their second game of a four-game series. The Pirates’ Jason Bay had one of his best games of the season, with 2 homers and 4 RBIs. He is just shy of his career highs in both categories, set last year. The Cubs declined to the notorious title of “worst team in the National League.” Basically, considering how relatively bad the NL is, they’re the worst team in the majors. The 55-83 Cubbies have gone 1-9 their last ten to cement this dishonor.
5. Hell does not freeze over: And the Cincinnati Reds’ Key Griffey is hurt again. For Griffey, who last played a full season in 2000, this shouldn’t be news. But he is a major contributor to a contending team, so this could be important. Girffey’s current malady is a dislocated toe that leaves him out indefinitely. The 36-year old has no guess as to when he might be back. Source: http://cbs.sportsline.com/mlb/story/9640364/rss