The Lineup: Cubs debut a success for Anthony Rizzo; Giants look to tie Dodgers
3 Up, 3 Down for Tuesday, On Deck for Wednesday and then we'll play some Pepper. It's The Lineup for Wednesday, June 27.
It was a full slate Tuesday night and we have some early day games Wednesday, so let's not mess around with an extended intro. Dive in.
Anthony Rizzo, Cubs: After feasting on Triple-A pitching all season, the Cubs' prized prospect was finally promoted in time for Tuesday's game against the Mets. While he wasn't spectacular, he had a very solid Cubs debut, going 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. His RBI was the eventual game-winner, as he drove home the Cubs' fourth run in a 5-3 victory.
Phil Hughes, Yankees: Hughes was awful last time out against the Braves, but got back on track Tuesday night against the Indians. He worked eight shutout innings, allowing only six hits and one walk. And the Yankees have baseball's best record.
Carlos Ruiz, Phillies: CHOOOOOOOCH! He went 3-for-4 with a home run, two runs and two RBI in a Phillies' win. He's now hitting an MLB-best .361.
Rockies' pitching staff: Cue the broken record. This time around the Rockies were bloodied by the Nationals, who put up a club-record (Nationals only, that is) 11 extra-base hits. The final count: 21 hits, 12 runs, seven doubles and four home runs. Every single Washington starter -- including starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez -- collected at least one hit. Of the position-playing starters, only Bryce Harper didn't score a run. Maybe the Rockies' need to go to a three-man rotation?
Marlins in the top of the first: They came into the game having lost 16 of their last 19. After a half-inning, they were headed to their 17th loss in past 20 games. The top of the first inning saw starter Carlos Zambrano allow two singles, a double and a home run while also committing a throwing error. Jose Reyes added an error, meaning that all five Cardinals runs were of the unearned variety. The punchless Marlins would only scrape across two runs, so the game was over almost before it even started.
Blue Jays' bullpen: The Jays got six great innings from Aaron Laffey and held a 1-0 lead heading into the seventh. The Red Sox offense then dismantled the Jays bullpen for six hits and five runs in the next two innings. The Blue Jays lost 5-1.
Battle out West: The deficit was 7.5 games at one point, but with a win over the Dodgers Wednesday, the Giants can tie things up in the NL West. The Dodgers, meanwhile, have lost seven of their last eight games and are facing a sweep at the hands of their biggest rival. It'll be Chad Billingsley (4-6, 4.15) vs. Tim Lincecum (2-8, 6.07). 3:45 p.m. ET
Avoiding the Wrigley sweep: The Mets have playoff aspirations, and it generally doesn't help to go into Wrigley Field and get swept by the team that entered the series with the worst record in baseball. And they need to beat the Cubs Wednesday to avoid the dubious sweep. Jonathon Niese (5-3, 3.75) is tasked with stopping the Mets' four-game losing streak while Jeff Samardzija (5-6, 4.34) looks to help the Cubs get their first sweep since taking down the mighty Padres a few weeks ago. 2:20 p.m. ET
Fister looks to get back on track: Tigers starter Doug Fister (1-4, 2.72) wasn't very good last time out, losing to the Pirates. He wasn't awful and his own throwing error hurt, but the Pirates have a terrible offense. You know who doesn't? Fister's Wednesday opponent, the mighty (and this time I actually mean it) Rangers. Fister's counterpart makes this an intriguing matchup, as Roy Oswalt (1-0, 1.35) gets the ball for the second time in a Rangers uniform. 8:05 p.m. ET
Wednesday's probable pitchers
• Untucked: Yes, we have to dissect everything these days. The latest: Yankees closer Rafael Soriano -- and, yes, it's still weird to write "Yankees closer" with a different name following the phrase than Mariano Rivera -- untucks his jersey after recording the final out. Apparently, via nj.com, some fans don't like it. Man, we're really reaching to complain these days.
• Dickey speaks on Sandusky verdict: Back in March, in his book, R.A. Dickey bravely revealed that he had suffered from sexual abuse as a child. With the Jerry Sandusky verdict having recently come down, Dickey offered up some thoughts. It's worthwhile to hop over to nydailynews.com to check them out.
• Parents defend themselves: Jason and Jennifer DeWitt -- White Sox fans residing in northwest Indiana -- recorded a video of their son sobbing over Brent Lillibridge being traded. And they put it on youtube. Not shockingly, there's been backlash against them. The parents maintain that there's no exploitation here and they only wanted the video to somehow be seen by Lillibridge (bostonherald.com).
• Gio's date: A few weeks back, we mentioned that Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez had taken to Twitter to say he needed a date to the Nats' Dream Gala. As it turns out, he ended up with an impressive date, a First Class Petty Officer from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (DC Sports Bog).
• Worst luck with injuries? It's no secret there have been tons of injury issues this season, so SB Nation's Grant Brisbee tries to sort out which team has had it the worst. The nominees: Blue Jays, Royals, Padres, Red Sox, Yankees and Rays. And no, whiners, he's not east-coast biased. He's a Giants blogger.
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