Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Midday Recap: Wheeler wheels and deals into the 7th, Whitney field drawn

Another game, another walkoff for the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Meanwhile, their AL counterparts have a wild game in Texas.  Jake Peavy's heading from one Sox to another.  And today's the draw for the Whitney.

But the big story this morning is Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler, and his flirtation with a no-hitter last night.  For 6 innings, Wheeler looked good as he kept the Marlins at bay, allowing only two base runners by way of walks.  After getting Giancarlo Stanton to strike out, Wheeler then gave up a walk to Logan Morrison, then Ed Lucas broke up the no-hit bid with a single to right, as four straight Marlins reached base as they plated two runs to tie the game.  But after a visit to the mound by the Mets pitching coach, Wheeler returned his focus and got Jeff Mathis to ground into a double play, allowing him to escape the inning.

But those two runs yielded a no-decision for Wheeler.  Marlon Byrd tripled to lead-off the 8th, but was stranded after Ike Davis struck out, John Buck grounded to 3rd to keep Byrd where he was, and Omar Quintanilla struck out after a Juan Lagares walk.

After a scoreless 9th, David Wright led off the 10th with a single, and Marlon Byrd singled after Giancarlo Stanton was unable to scoop in the ball on a diving play.  Ike Davis walked to load the bases, and John Buck made up for his ground out in the 8th with a 2-run single to center field.

So armed with a two run lead, Bobby Parnell made things a little easier for Mets fans by getting the first two hitters to ground out.  But a walk to Christian Yelich allowed the tying run to come to the plate.  Not tonight, Marlins fans, as Yelich would be stranded on a Adeiny Hechavarria ground out.

Wheeler only needed 87 pitches to get through his 7 innings of work, in which he struck out 5 and walked 3.  The two runs he allowed on three hits brought his season's ERA to 3.55.

For the 2nd straight game, both the Yankees and the Dodgers were involved in walk-offs.  For the Yankees, however, they were the victim of one as the Los Angeles Dodgers walked-off in the 9th inning off a Mark Ellis single.

Tied 2-2 in the 9th inning, Andre Ethier singled to left.  Then as Mark Ellis was batting, Ethier put himself closer as he steals 2nd base.  Then on a 3-2 count with 2 men out, Shawn Kelley delivered a slider that Ellis got a piece of.  Kelley delivered another slider, which Ellis got enough of to drive to center, scoring Ethier to win the game.

The Dodgers walked off against the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday when Yasiel Puig homered in the 11th inning to break a scoreless tie.  Earlier in the day, the Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays when Alfonso Soriano singled to win their game in the bottom of the 9th inning.

The Los Angeles Angels and the Texas Rangers combine for 25 total runs as the two teams duke it out until the 10th inning.

The scoring started early as Mark Trumbo homers to center field, scoring Mike Trout for the 2-0 Los Angeles lead.  But Texas struck back, scoring on an Ian Kinsler single and tying the game on a Nelson Cruz single.

Mike Trout would get the Angels back on top with a single to left to score Erick Aybar for the 3-2 lead heading into the bottom of the 3rd.  But Los Angeles was unable to maintain the lead, as C.J. Wilson got into trouble, and further caused more trouble when his wild pitch scored Nelson Cruz.  Craig Gentry would give Texas the lead, 5-3, with his 2-run single.

After Adrian Beltre singled to widen the gap to 6-3, former Met Collin Cowgill homered to lead off the Los Angeles 5th, pulling the Angels back within two.

Then in the 7th inning, Josh Hamilton unloaded the bases with a 3-run double to give the Angels a  7-6 lead.  But Texas answers back with Elvis Andrus's single, tying the game at 7-7.

Los Angeles would take the lead again in the 8th inning as Erick Aybar grounds out, allowing Kole Calhoun to score.  Howie Kendrick brings home J.B. Shuck and Collin Cowgill, and Mike Trout comes home on a Josh Hamilton single.  The four run inning made the score 11-7, but it wouldn't last as Geovany Soto hit a 3-run homer in the 8th inning to pull Texas within 1, then with two outs in the 9th, Adrian Beltre singled home Ian Kinsler to tie the game and to force extra innings.

After a scoreless top half, the Angels walked the first two Rangers, who advanced to 2nd and 3rd on a David Murphy ground-out.  But their position didn't matter as Leonys Martin brought everyone home with his 6th of the season, giving the Rangers the 14-11 win in 10 innings.

The two teams combined for 35 hits.  Every batter for Texas touched the bases, as the only one who didn't have a hit, Engle Beltre, came in to run for Nelson Cruz in the 8th inning.

14 pitchers in all were used.

In a three-team trade, Chicago White Sox Jake Peavy is changing his socks to those of the Boston Red Sox.  In the deal announced late last night, Peavy will head to Boston, who will send Jose Iglesias to the Detroit Tigers, who will in turn send Avisail Garcia to the White Sox.

In 13 games this season, Peavy is 8-4 with a 4.28 ERA.  He's struck out 76 and granted 18 free passes via 17 walks and 1 hit batter.  Against the Mets in May, Peavy went 6 2/3rd innings, allowing only 3 hits and striking out 6 as he allowed one lone run in the winning decision.

Peavy has spent some time in June and early July on the disabled list with a rib injury, but has won his two starts since his return.

And finally, post positions have been drawn for this Saturday's Whitney Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.  A field of 8 is set to run in the 86th running of the midsummer prep for the Breeder's Cup Classic.

In post position order:
1 - Successful Dan - 12/1 - The 4th place finisher in the Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs.
2 - Mucho Macho Man - 6/1 - Last year's runner up in the Woodward Stakes.
3 - Fort Larned - 7/5 - Resume includes wins in the Stephen Foster Handicap, last year's Breeders' Cup Classic, and last year's Whitney.
4 - Cross Traffic - 5/2 - Only has four races to his resume, but all four he has finished 1st and 2nd in.  Was the runner up in the Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont in May.
5 - Ron The Greek - 6/1 - Last year's runner up to Fort Larned in the Whitney.  Finished 4th in the Breeders' Cup Classic, and finished 3rd in this year's Stephen Foster.
6 - Alpha - 10/1 - Co-winner of last year's Travers Stakes, will try to continue his perfect 3-for-3 record at the Spa.
7 - Csaba - 20/1 - Entered the race after an overnight stakes he was slated to run in didn't fill, comes out of a 3rd place finish in the Salvator Mile at Monmouth.
8 - Fast Falcon - 15/1 - Hasn't won since a Maiden at Pimlico last year, comes out of a 3rd place finish in the Suburban Handicap and the Brooklyn Handicap, both at Belmont.

Post time for the Grade I Whitney is scheduled for 5:45PM.  If you're unable to make it to Saratoga, the race will air locally on WNYT, Channel 13.

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