Saturday brings a full 15-game slate of MLB action as the postseason races really begin to heat up. The 2017 regular season ends in six weeks and one day. Should be fun. Saturday was fun. In fact, it was chock full of action. Here is everything you need to know about the day in baseball.
- Cubs 4, Blue Jays 3 (box score)
- Pirates 6, Cardinals 4 (box score)
- Dodgers 3, Tigers 0 (box score)
- Mariners 7, Rays 6 (box score)
- Angels 5, Orioles 1 (box score)
- Twins 5, Diamondbacks 0 (box score)
- Mets 8, Marlins 1 (box score)
- Astros 3, Athletics 0 (box score)
- Reds 11, Braves 8 (box score)
- Yankees 4, Red Sox 3 (box score)
- Indians 5, Royals 0 (box score)
- Rangers 17, White Sox 7 (box score)
- Brewers 6, Rockies 3 (box score)
- Padres 3, Nationals 1 (box score)
- Phillies 12, Giants 9 (box score)
Dodgers ahead of 2001 Mariners pace
The Dodgers won. I know, shocking. They basically win every day. Since June 6, the Dodgers have been on another planet. They are 52-9 since then.
Overall, the Dodgers are 87-34, a .719 winning percentage. The record for single-season wins is 116. The 2001 Mariners were 116-46, which is a .716 winning percentage, so the Dodgers are now ahead of the pace needed to set the record.
Of course, the Mariners are tied for the record in wins with the 1906 Cubs, who actually went 116-36. In order for the Dodgers to top that winning percentage, they'd have to go 124-38.
Here are the teams that won at least 110 games in baseball history:
1906 Cubs, 116-36
2001 Mariners, 116-46
1998 Yankees, 114-48
1954 Indians, 111-43
1909 Pirates, 110-42
1927 Yankees, 110-44
Will these Dodgers be joining that group? It's a distinct possibility.
Down the stretch, surely the Dodgers will be resting guys and worrying more about gearing up for a run to the World Series, but they are deep enough to keep winning.
Sabathia, Devers, Yankees new closer
The Yankees beat the Red Sox and there's a litany of things to run down.
First up, Yankees starter CC Sabathia.
Through two innings on Saturday, Sabathia struck out a pair of Red Sox. That pushed him to 2,808 in his career, but more importantly, 2,680 as an American Leaguer. It might sound crazy, but Sabathia actually has the most strikeouts ever in the American League by a left-handed pitcher. He passed Mickey Lolich's 2,679 on Saturday. The rest of the top five: Frank Tanana (2,669), Randy Johnson (2,545) and Chuck Finley (2,527).
The Red Sox would close the gap a bit, thanks in part to Rafael Devers hitting yet another home run. On that front, how about this?
The youngster is hitting .364/.424/.727 with eight homers and 16 RBI in his first 20 games. Quite the start.
Of course, the Yankees won this one and it was interesting to see it unfold in the late innings without Aroldis Chapman as the closer. David Robertson came in to get the last out of the seventh and then worked the eighth before Dellin Betances closed things down.
The Yankees climb to within four games in the AL East with Sunday's rubber game coming next.
Trout joins exclusive company
It doesn't take a lot to find ways to put Mike Trout in the same company as a group of Hall of Famers. That's just what he has been doing since sticking the majors for good in 2011.
Here's another in a long line. Trout hit his 25th homer of the season on Saturday.
This marks the sixth time in Trout's career with at least 25 homers and this is his age-25 season. The only other players with six 25-plus HR seasons prior to their age-26 season? Hall of Famers Eddie Mathews and Frank Robinson.
Trout, by the way, would homer again a few innings later.
The Angels would go on to win on the strength of Trout's two bombs in addition to Luis Valbuena going deep twice and starting pitcher J.C Ramirez throwing well.
They move to 63-60 and remain in a virtual tie with the Twins for the second AL wild card.
The Orioles are 60-63 and three out.
Davis stays perfect
Cubs closer Wade Davis worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning in their one-run victory over the Blue Jays. It was his second save in the two games of the series and runs him to a perfect 26 for 26 on the season. No one else who has saved more than 10 games this season has done so without blowing at least one (Zach Britton is 10 for 10).
Overall, Davis hasn't been perfect. He's struggled with command at times and isn't quite the lethal force he was in Kansas City two years ago. Still, his 2.32 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 57 strikeouts in 42 2/3 innings are more than OK. And when it comes to saves, he has been perfect.
The Cubs move to 65-57 on the season. Their high-water mark this season is nine games over .500, so they'll look to match that with a win (and sweep) on Sunday.
Brewers grab dramatic win; Rockies' Holland struggling
Heading into the ninth inning in Colorado Saturday night, the Brewers were tied, 3-3, with the Rockies. They would get a huge two-run homer from Jesus Aguilar and then tack on another run before All-Star closer Corey Knebel turned out the lights. The Brewers keep pace with the Cubs (two games out) and take second place back from the Cardinals.
Perhaps more interesting is that the Brewers are now only 3 1/2 games behind the Diamondbacks for the second NL wild card spot. Sure, they are closer to the Central, but the big-picture takeaway here is that we might have a wild-card race after all.
On the Rockies' side, All-Star closer Greg Holland is in a funk. He coughed up three runs in 2/3 of an inning. It's the third outing out of his last five where he gave up multiple runs in an inning or less. His ERA has gone from 1.56 to 3.22 in just over two weeks. That's a definite concern as the Rockies look to make the playoffs for the first time since 2009.
Cruz, Haniger power Mariners
An early big blow the Mariners in their victory over the Rays was Mitch Haniger clubbing a grand slam in his return from the disabled list.
Later, Nelson Cruz homered again. We say again because it was his 10th home run in August. He's been stupid-hot this month. After going 2 for 4 with the homer on Saturday, Cruz is slashing .419/.471/1.000 with 10 home runs and 21 RBI in August.
The Mariners, by the way, have now won four in a row after a five-game losing streak. They are 63-61 and just a half-game out of the second AL wild-card spot.
On the flip-side, the Rays have lost 12 of their last 15 and have fallen to a season-worst five games under .500. They are four out in the wild-card race.
Encouraging outing in Houston (and Bregman!)
The Astros had been struggling in August, but they've now won four of five games and Collin McHugh turned in a particularly encouraging outing on Saturday night. He worked six scoreless innings, meaning he's allowed only two runs in 11 2/3 innings in his last two outings.
McHugh has now made six starts since coming off the DL for his season debut. With the Astros having rotation questions behind Dallas Keuchel, McHugh coming around is a great sign.
Also, Alex Bregman went 2 for 3 with a double and home run. The second-year man got off to a rough start to the season and was still pretty mediocre heading into July. Maybe he's extra patriotic or something, because starting with July 4, Bregman has been scorching hot. In that time, he's hitting .331/.418/.648 with 16 doubles, four triples, seven homers, 21 RBI, 33 runs and seven steals. That's in 39 games. Imagine the hype train if he started the season like that. The timing is especially good for the Astros with Carlos Correa being out until September.
Indians stifle Royals
For the second straight night, the Indians had their way with the Royals. Through two games in the series, the defending AL champs have outscored the 2015 World Series champs 15-1. Worse yet for the Royals, they are now 7 1/2 games out in the AL Central, looking up at the Twins in addition to the first-place Indians.
At 61-61, the Royals' focus should be on the wild card for a bit, where they are 1 1/2 games out.
Twins going well, D-Backs not so much
The Twins beat the Diamondbacks in Target Field with relative ease and the two clubs are heading in opposite directions.
The Twins have now won 10 of their last 13 games and move to 62-59, holding onto a piece of the second AL wild-card spot.
The D-Backs, meanwhile, have lost nine of their last 13 games. They still hold an NL wild-card spot, but the Brewers (3.5) and Cardinals (4) are fewer than five games out while even the Marlins are seven away -- and that's striking range, even if a long shot.
Span's rare feat
Giants leadoff man Denard Span started things off Saturday with a home run, though it didn't leave the yard.
Inside-the-park home runs are really fun (and we've actually seen several in the last few weeks), but this one was extra rare. Per Elias Sports Bureau, this was the first leadoff inside-the-park homer for the Giants since Johnny Rucker did so in 1945.
Sadly for the Giants, it was all downhill from there, as they were crushed by the Phillies.
The Grand Scooter
Reds infielder Scooter Gennett is having an amazing season. He's torching his previous career highs in home runs and RBI, just to name two, and earlier this year he had a four-homer game. On Saturday, he hit a grand slam in the ninth to give the Reds necessary -- as it would turn out -- breathing room.
Yeah, that made it 11-4 and the Reds would cough up four runs in the bottom of the ninth to the Braves before finally winning with the tying run at the plate. All is well that ends well, right?
As for Gennett, that was his third grand slam this season. He has 21 homers and 75 RBI and he's only started 76 games.
Remember, the Brewers cut him in late March before the Reds -- his childhood favorite team -- picked him up. Such a good story.
Marte flashes power-speed combo
The Pirates won on Saturday in a game that at one point had a two-hour rain delay. Notable for the winners was leadoff man Starling Marte. He did it all, going 3 for 5 with a home run and two stolen bases. He scored once and drove home two.
The Pirates remain 6 1/2 games behind the Cubs while the Cardinals fall to 2 1/2 back.
- Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger has a mild ankle sprain and will sit out on Sunday, but otherwise he should be fine.
- The Blue Jays have acquired starting pitcher Tom Koehler (1-5, 7.92) from the Marlins for minor-league starter Osman Gutierrez (4-11, 7.85 in Class A).
- Umpires around MLB will wear white wristbands to protest "escalating verbal attacks" from players, . This comes after Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler ripped umpire Angel Hernandez and said he "needs to find another job."
- Yankees manager Joe Girardi announced LHP Aroldis Chapman is . He's struggled lately, allowing two runs in three straight innings. The Yankees will use a closer by committee approach for the time being.
- The Dodgers placed RHP Yu Darvish on the 10-day DL with back stiffness, . The injury is not considered serious and Darvish is expected to start next Sunday. He left his last start with the nagging back issue.
- After acquiring OF Curtis Granderson from the Mets, the Dodgers sent OF Joc Pederson down to Triple-A, the team announced. Pederson has struggled immensely in the second half. .
- The Rangers placed OF Carlos Gomez on the 10-day DL for "the excision of a cyst behind his right shoulder," the club announced. Gomez has not played since Sunday. UTIL Phil Gosselin was called up to fill the roster spot.
- The Mets awarded C Rene Rivera on a trade waiver claim to the Cubs, the team announced. In corresponding moves, Chicago designated RHP Aaron Brooks for assignment, and the Mets called up C Kevin Plawecki from Triple-A.
- Giants closer RHP Mark Melancon is weighing surgery to repair a forearm muscle, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Doctors have confirmed Melancon's elbow ligament is intact, and he can continue to pitch without risking further injury.
- Blue Jays RHP Aaron Sanchez threw off flat ground with no problems, reports Sportsnet 590. Sanchez has been dealing with ongoing blister issues all season. The Blue Jays hope to bring him back as a reliever in September.
- The Rockies have optioned RHP Jeff Hoffman and IF Ryan McMahon to Triple-A, the team announced. Hoffman has struggled in the second half and is being sent down to help control his workload the rest of the season, reports MLB.com.