The Lineup: Max Scherzer's strength, Jim Thome's power

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer

Max Scherzer

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Saturday had a full menu of baseball, so let's get to it ...

Full Saturday scoreboard with box scores and recaps from all games


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Max Scherzer, Tigers: Scherzer had a solid enough line on Saturday: 6.0 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 7 K, 1 BB in a loss to the Pirates. But the numbers don't even hint at the courage and resolve Scherzer showed in Pittsburgh. That's because Scherzer's younger brother, 24-year-old Alex, took his own life two days earlier. It's astounding that Scherzer was able to pitch at all, let alone well. Our prayers and deepest condolences go out to the Scherzer family.

Jim Thome, Phillies: In the bottom of the ninth against the Rays, Thome stepped in as a pinch-hitter in a 6-6 tie game. He worked the count full against Jake McGee, and then, off a 97-mph fastball, crushed a game-winning homer deep to left field. It was Thome's 13th career walk-off homer, and that was good for a new major-league record. Thome had previously been tied with Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, Stan Musial, and Frank Robinson. The blast also moved Thome into a seventh-place tie with Sammy Sosa on the all-time home run list.

Johnny Cueto, Reds: Cincy came in to Saturday's contest against the Twins having lost four straight and having seen their lead in the NL Central whittled down a single game. Cueto, though, was on the case. Not only did he blank Minnesota for 7.0 innings while giving up three hits, walking none and striking out nine, but he also bunted home a run and notched an RBI groundout.


Marlins' bullpen: The Miami relief corps squandered a Josh Johnson gem and helped the Marlins drop their sixth straight series (and fall to 4-16 for the month of June). Against the Blue Jays, relievers Steve Cishek and Edward Mujica combined for 2.0 innings pitched, six hits, six runs, two walks, and two home runs (one of them a Colby Rasmus grand slam). Oh, and there was balk for a good measure.

Bryan LaHair, Cubs: On a night in the desert when 15 runs were scored and 30 hits were tallied, LaHair managed to go 0-for-5 with a strikeout, a GIDP and eight -- eight! -- runners left on base.

Colby Lewis, Rangers: In some ways, Lewis did his job against the Rockies: six strikeouts, no walks, no home runs. In other ways, though, he didn't: 4.0 IP, 12 H, 8 R. Most agonizingly of all, Lewis allowed seven of those eight runs with two outs.

On Deck

Justin and the Buccos: Sounds like a 60's folk-rock band, no? Actually, it's Justin Verlander and the Tigers against the "refuse to go away" Pirates. The Tigers come in just ? games off the pace in the AL Central, while Pittsburgh has a 13-7 record in June. You'll recall that Verlander almost no-hit the Pirates back on May 18. Kevin Correia goes for the hosts. 1:35 pm ET

By the Bay: The Giants and A's renew interleague hostilities in Oakland, and Sunday's tilt features Matt Cain against A.J. Griffin, who'll be making his major-league debut in place on the injured Brandon McCarthy. Cain boasts a 2.34 ERA and a perfect game this season. The 24-year-old Griffin, meanwhile, cobbled together a 2.66 ERA across two levels with 84 strikeouts against just 14 walks. 4:05 pm ET

New York, New York: This is indisputably the game of the day. No, it's not because it's Yankees-Mets. Rather, it's because it's CC Sabathia vs. R.A. Dickey. As 2012 pitching encounters go, it's hard to dream up one more compelling than this. Will Dickey's amazing run (he hasn't given up an earned run in more than a month) continue against one of the top offenses around? Sabathia, meanwhile, has reeled off five quality starts in his last six outings. 8:00 pm ET

Sunday probables for all games

What's Hot

Busting the blackout: Looking for a way around's widely despised blackout rules? App Judgement has some sneaky advice. (HT: Jeff Passan)

Knuckle knowledge: Will the impossible success of R.A. Dickey lead to a knuckleball revolution in baseball? Most insiders, including Dickey himself, say no, mostly because it's such a difficult pitch to master. [New York Times]

Sleeping Angels: After a headline-grabbing offseason, will the Angels sit out the forthcoming non-waiver deadline? That's how Alden Gonzalez of reads the tea leaves. That's mostly because the Angels are, a, playing very well right now and, b, not blessed with much remaining room in the budget. As such, they're not likely to be active leading up to July 31.

The San Diego Dodgers: Are the Dodgers moving to San Diego? Of course not. Rather, the O'Malley family, who owned the Dodgers for many years and infamously moved them from Brooklyn to L.A., looks to be frontrunner in the bid to purchase the Padres. First Steve Garvey, and now this … [Los Angeles Times]

Trout time: Could Angels phenom Mike Trout take home the AL MVP this season? Jesse Sakstrup of the Hardball Times explores the possibilities.

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