The Lineup: Milwaukee's meltdown, A's ascension
The Brewers can't stop blowing leads, while the A's can't stop winning. Elsewhere, Adam Dunn is getting close to a career milestone.
|The A's have been doing a lot of this lately. (Getty Images)|
While the deadine dealings stole the headlines, there was actual baseball on Tuesday night. With bats, balls and everything ...
Full Tuesday scoreboard with box scores and recaps for all games
Adam Dunn, White Sox: Not only did Dunn go 3-for-5 with four RBI in the win over Minnesota, but he also became the first player to reach 30 homers this season. Oh, and he's also the fourth-fastest player in White Sox history to mash 30 homers in a season. He's now just five shy of career bomb number 400.
Jordany Valdespin, Mets: The Mets lost to the Nationals on Tuesday night, and overall they've dropped 11 of 12. So how can a Metropolitan possibly be a part of 3 Up? Well, Mr. Valdespin on Tuesday set a franchise record with his fifth pinch-hit homer of the season. And for that, he's here. Valdespin is now slugging .598 on the year.
Clay Buccholz, Red Sox: Sure, Buchholz struck out only one against three walks, but to hold the powerful Rangers to one run in 7.0 innings on a hot night in Arlington? That's an achievement. Also, consider this a nod to Buchholz's steady improvement this season. Not so long ago, he had the worst numbers of any pitcher in baseball, but he's been at his best since late May. Over that span, Buchholz has shaved almost three full runs off his ERA.
Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers: On Tuesday night in St. Louis, Kershaw gave up six runs … in the sixth inning. Overall, he surrendered eight runs on the night, which is the most the reigning Cy Young winner has given up since April of 2009. Kershaw was unable to keep the ball down for much of the night, and the hard-hitting Cardinals made him pay.
Pirates offense: The Buccos had won nine of their last 10 at PNC before the Cubs showed up. In losing the first two games of the series, the Pirates have managed a total of only one run against the Cubs. On Tuesday night, they were tamed by former Pirate Paul Maholm.
Manny Parra, Brewers: The Milwaukee bullpen once again had a core-reactor meltdown in Philly. On Tuesday night, Parra was the main offender. Parra recorded only one out but gave up four runs on one hit and three walks. Of his 25 pitches, just 12 went for strikes. And so much for Zack Greinke's gem. Over the last two nights, the Milwaukee pen has given up 11 runs in 3.2 innings of work.
Dempster diving: The ongoing Ryan Demspter-trade saga will be momentarily interrupted so that Dempster can, you know, actually pitch. Assuming Dempster is still a Cub by 12:35 pm ET, he'll oppose Kevin Correia and the Pirates. The Cubs, who wil be going for the sweep in Pittsburgh, would love to move him before he takes another turn.
A's again: Can the Oakland A's, winners of six straight of 15 of 17 in July, keep their improbable run going? They'll pin their hopes on young A.J. Griffin, who boasts a 2.70 ERA after five starts. The Jays, who are struggling to stay in the playoff race, will counter with the disappointing Ricky Romero. 7:07 pm ET
Ace versus lightning in a bottle: The Rays will trot out David Price, certifiable Cy Young contender and one of the best pitchers in baseball. The Orioles will counter with Miguel Gonzalez, who has a 2.79 ERA since joining the rotation. Can the unheralded 28-year-old rookie keep it up? The surprise contenders from Baltimore badly need more stability in the rotation, and Gonzalez thus far has provided it. Only game separates these two wild-card hopefuls in the standings. 7:05 pm ET
Wednesday probables for all games
• Replay now! Pretty please?: Commissioner Bud Selig seems fairly deaf to calls for instant replay, but a FanGraphs poll suggests that fans really, really want more of it.
• What are you wearing?: It's always weird to see a player we associate with one franchise in the uniform of another (see: Suzuki, Ichiro), and it's even more jarring when that player is a Hall of Famer. Along those lines, the Platoon Advantage has collected some photos of baseball luminaries in the uniforms absolutely not associated with their careers. Harmon Killebrew in a Royals uni is beyond weird.
• Moneyball reboot: Is Oakland GM Billy Beane enjoying his finest season? The Hardball Times explores.
• Dickey's new detail: Should the Mets make an old-school reliever out of R.A. Dickey? Allen Barra of the Village Voice makes the case.
• Bird watch: Former Tigers pitcher Mark "The Bird" Fidrych, who owned the baseball world in 1976, accidentally died in 2009 while working on his dump truck. Now, his family is suing the truck manufacturer. [Worcester Telegram & Gazette]
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