Mazel tov to R.A. Dickey, who won his 20th game for the lowly NY Mets, who beta the reeling Pittsburgh Pirates, 6-5. Dickey — who leads NL pitchers is several categories, including innings, strikeouts (most unusual for a knuckleballer), complete games, and shutouts — has to be the sentimental favorite for the Cy Young award. Ike Davis hit his 31st home run in support of the effort, his lone hit in four at bats.
Ryan Braun had two hits, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Milwaukee Brewers from dropping a 2-1 decision to the Cincinnati Reds. The loss puts the Brewers four games behind in the race for the second NL wild card spot.
Sam Fuld returned to action for the Tampa Bay Rays, walking in his pinch hitting appearance in a 3-2 win over the sinking Chicago White Sox. Kevin Youkilis was 3-4 for the Sox, who fall two games off the pace to the AL Central-leading Detroit Tigers and, even worse, six games behind in the wild card race.
The Texas Rangers, on the other hand, have a bit of breathing room, having beaten the second-place Oakland As in the AL West, thanks in part to another lead-off home run by Ian Kinsler, his seventh this year and 27th overall (and 19th for the season). The Rangers held on for a 9-7 win over their guests. Kinsler added a double in five at bats. He has reached 100-run mark for fourth time in career and set career highs in doubles (41, tied), triples (5), at-bats (626), strikeouts (88), hit by pitch (10), and caught stealing (9); he needs five games and one hit to tie career highs. Scott Feldman did not appear in the game.
The Red Sox and their quartet of MOTS (Ryan Lavarnway, Ryan Kalish, Danny Valencia, and Craig Breslow) were off last night. Jason Marquis remains on the DL.
The existing JMLs will soon be joined by Adam Greenberg. As can be expected, this heart-warming story has been picked up quite a bit in the last 24 hours. I was initially reticent to express my skepticism over the motives behind the Marlins’ gesture, but feel buoyed by other outlets, including Pardon the Interruption and Tyler Kepner in today’s NY Times, who wrote, among the accolades, “The Marlins signed Greenberg to a one-day contract Thursday, an uplifting story for a team that needs one. The Marlins opened a new ballpark this season and increased their payroll, but they have fizzled on the field, lately dissolving into clubhouse bickering. Signing Greenberg changes the conversation, although there are bound to be skeptics.”