The American League was a 6-3 winner over the National League in the All-Star Game.
Here are the lines for players from the NL Central:
Kris Bryant: 0-for-1, BB
Anthony Rizzo: 0-for-2
Aroldis Chapman: 1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 3 SO
Todd Frazier: 0-for-3
Ryan Braun: 1-for-1, 3B, R
Francisco Rodriguez: 1 IP, 2 ER, 1 H, 1 BB, 0 SO
Gerrit Cole: 1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 BB, 1 SO
Andrew McCutchen: 1-for-3, HR, R, RBI, SO
Mark Melancon: 1 IP, 1 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 2 SO
St. Louis Cardinals
Yadier Molina: 1-for-1
Jhonny Peralta: 1-for-1, RBI, BB
Your highlights were McCutchen with a solo homer in the 6th inning and Chapman striking out the side in the 9th. The American League bench’s reaction to Chapman’s 103 mph fastball was pretty great.
Back to business on Thursday!
Miguel Montero picked up a 3-run homer for the second night in a row as the Chicago Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds, 6-3, on Thursday.
Montero, batting cleanup, hit his 8th homer of the year in the 1st inning off of Reds’ starter Michael Lorenzen, who lasted just 4.1 innings and allowed 6 runs (5 earned).
Starting pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada struggled again for the Cubs, getting pulled after allowing 3 runs in 3 innings of work, putting on 6 base runners. Travis Wood stepped in and picked up the win (3-2), going 2.1 shutout innings, allowing just one hit and no walks.
In Wada’s last two starts, he has gone a combined 6.1 innings with an 11.37 ERA and 2.369 WHIP.
Hector Rondon was again tasked with picking up the save, and did so with a scoreless 9th. The Cubs’ bullpen really bailed Wada out, at one point retiring 14 consecutive Reds.
For Cincy, it marked the end of a modest 4-game winning streak.
Here’s a proposal for the Cubs. Start Wada – allow him one time through the order against a lineup which has been constructed to face a left-handed starter. Then bring in Edwin Jackson – again, one time through the order, now facing a lineup which is probably going to be right-handed heavy. Then you can either go back to another lefty (Wood) or turn it over to the rest of the bullpen. Crazy? Last year, opponents batting from the right side put up an .816 OPS against Jackson versus .930 from the left side. Piggy-backing those two is something to think about.
For the Reds, Zack Cozart’s knee injury was a big one. He’s out for the season. That hurts. In 53 games, Cozart’s 2.0 WAR was among the highest in the league, per BaseballReference.com. At the plate, he was putting up a slash line of just .258/.310/.459 for a decent OPS+ of 108, but he had committed just 3 errors at shortstop for a .986 fielding percentage, well above the league-wide mark of .971. In short, he was a plus defender who was showing some pop this year, having belted 9 homers already.
* * *
Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Brewers defeated the Washington Nationals, 6-5, lending even more doubt as to the idea that the Nats are a great team.
Milwaukee trailed 5-1 heading into the bottom of the 4th only to chip away for the win.
Tied 5-5 in the bottom of the 8th, Milwaukee got a few base runners on thanks to poor pitching (a wild pitch on a strikeout), poor fielding (an Anthony Rendon error while trying to turn a double play), and then an RBI base hit by Scooter Gennett that gave the Brewers the lead.
It had to be a good feeling for Gennett, who had a miserable start to the 2015 season before being optioned to AAA. He had just gotten called back up yesterday.
Gerardo Parra, Ryan Braun, Adam Lind and Jean Segura had two hits a piece for the Brew Crew.
Francisco Rodriguez continued to showcase himself as good trade bait in the next two months, picking up his 13th save and lowering his ERA to 1.17 on the season.
* * *
Stephen J. Nesbitt at the Post-Gazette took a look at the success of the Pittsburgh Pirates‘ pitching staff at keeping balls on the ground, leading to a league-best number of double plays turned. Read about it over here.
* * *
Pending a pass of a physical, the St. Louis Cardinals are looking to sign their 1st round pick in this week’s draft, Nick Plummer, by week’s end. Plummer was the #23 overall selection of the 2015 draft.
* * *
NL Central Leaders
|Anthony Rizzo (CHC)||3.0|
|Todd Frazier (CIN)||2.9|
|Joey Votto (CIN)||2.6|
|Jhonny Peralta (CIN)||2.4|
|Kolten Wong (STL)||2.2|
|Gerrit Cole (PIT)||2.5|
|A.J. Burnett (PIT)||2.4|
|Michael Wacha (STL)||2.2|
|Jason Hammel (CHC)||1.9|
* * *
|St. Louis Cardinals||39||21||–||W1|
* * *
|27-32||REDS||Cueto (4-4, 2.64)|
|32-26||CUBS||Hammel (5-2, 2.76)|
|3:05 PM CT|
|32-27||PIRATES||Locke (3-3, 5.37)|
|6:05 PM CT|
|31-29||Nationals||Zimmermann (5-3, 3.18)|
|23-38||BREWERS||Fiers (2-6, 4.06)|
|7:10 PM CT|
|34-23||Royals||Ventura (3-5, 4.62)|
|39-21||CARDINALS||Garcia (1-3, 2.67)|
|7:15 PM CT|
The MLB Draft got underway last night with the Chicago Cubs (again) having the top pick in the division, this time selecting outfielder Ian Happ with the #9 pick.
Happ, from an awful University of Cincinnati team (15-41), had a career .338 average in college to go along with a .463 on base percentage. This past season saw Happ hit .369 with 18 doubles, 14 homers, and 12 stolen bases. He’s a switch-hitter with average power and speed and the versatility to be a multi-position player.
Next up from the division was the Cincinnati Reds, who selected catcher Tyler Stephenson 11th overall.
Out of Kennesaw Mountain High School (Georgia), the 6’4″ Stephenson hit .425 with 8 HR in 65 at bats this spring. He was the highest rated catcher in the draft. He’s signed a letter of commitment to Georgia Tech, but is likely to sign with the Reds.
With the 15th overall pick, the Milwaukee Brewers selected outfielder Trent Clark.
Clark hit .552 with 3 HR and 11 SB during his senior year at Richland High School in Texas. Milwaukee plans to use the left-handed hitting Clark in center field. He has a scholarship to remain near home and attend Texas Tech.
University of Arizona shortstop Kevin Newman went 19th overall to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Newman hit .370 with 19 doubles, 2 homers and 22 steals as a junior at Arizona.
Rounding out the NL Central’s top picks was Nick Plummer, the #23 pick for the St. Louis Cardinals.
A center fielder from Brother Rice High School in Michigan, the Plummer pick is the first time the Cards have selected a high school position player in the 1st round since taking Pete Kozma in 2007. (Shelby Miller, a pitcher, was a high school selection in 2009.)
He hit .520 with 22 doubles, 5 triples and 32 stolen bases this year, with a 32/10 BB/SO ratio. He had signed a letter of commitment to University of Kentucky.
The draft continues today.
Now on to last night’s games.
* * *
Kicking things off, Jimmy Nelson and the Brewers shut down the red-hot Pirates, 2-0, in a rain-soaked game.
Nelson went 6 shutout innings, striking out 7 while allowing 4 hits and walking 3. He improved to 3-6 on the season and dropped his ERA to a respectable 4.05, particularly by Brewers’ standards.
A perfect 9th inning and 11th save for Francisco Rodriguez, who could find himself the subject of trade talks in the coming months.
A rough night for Starling Marte, who went 0-for-4 with a strikeout, double play grounder, and error in the field. In his last 9 games, Marte is hitting .114/.205/.200 for a .405 OPS.
Andrew McCutchen got the night off, resting his bothersome left knee.
Down in the minors, top pitching prospect Jameson Taillon threw 47 pitches (4 innings) in extended spring training, rehabbing from last April’s Tommy John surgery.
* * *
The Cardinals’ game ended right after it began, giving up 5 runs in the 1st and another 5 in the 4th en route to an 11-3 loss against the Colorado Rockies.
John Lackey fell to 4-4, allowing 10 runs (8 earned) on 12 hits over 4 innings of work. Wow.
The big play of the game for Cardinals fans was this 2nd inning fly ball that led to Matt Holliday suffering a quad injury. Matt Adams is already most likely lost for the season with a quad tear, so Holliday might make two Cardinals to be lost to that injury. I didn’t see the loss of Adams as particularly huge, given that he hasn’t performed well anyhow and isn’t exactly a perennial All-Star. When he’s on, he’s good, but he’s not a Hall of Famer or anything. This loss, though, could deal a pretty big blow to their lineup.
We’ll update the blog when word comes down.
Matt Carpenter went 0-for-3 with an error as his average dropped to .300. He’s hitting .143 for the month of June.
Lance Lynn, who left Sunday’s game early with cramping in his right forearm, downplayed the incident, stating it was no big deal and something that happens to him from time to time.
* * *
The Reds were 6-4 winners over the Philadelphia Phillies.
Zack Cozart went 3-for-4 with a homer (8th) and double.
Making his first career start as Red, Ivan De Jesus Junior went 2-for-4 and belted his first big-league homer. He had no taters in 185 AAA at-bats this season and none in 73 previous MLB at-bats.
And the Reds finally solved Cole Hamels, beating the Phillies for the first time in 14 occasions when Hamels was their starting pitcher.
* * *
NL Central Leaders
|Anthony Rizzo (CHC)||.332|
|Jhonny Peralta (STL)||.316|
|Brandon Phillips (CIN)||.309|
|Kolten Wong (STL)||.307|
|Matt Holliday (STL)||.303|
|Gerrit Cole (PIT)||1.73|
|A.J. Burnett (PIT)||2.11|
|Michael Wacha (STL)||2.18|
|Johnny Cueto (CIN)||2.64|
|Jason Hammel (CHC)||2.76|
* * *
|St. Louis Cardinals||38||20||–||L1|
* * *
|31-26||PIRATES||Liriano (3-4, 3.24)|
|6:05 PM CT|
|30-25||CUBS||Lester (4-4, 3.86)|
|30-28||Tigers||Sanchez (3-7, 5.69)|
|6:08 PM CT|
|22-37||Phillies||Harang (4-6, 2.45)|
|25-31||REDS||DeSclafani (4-4, 3.60)|
|6:10 PM CT|
|38-20||CARDINALS||Wacha (8-1, 2.18)|
|26-30||Rockies||De La Rosa (2-2, 6.15)|
|7:40 PM CT|