Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Midday Recap: Ouch - Painful Day in the Majors

An NL East star gets plunked, clearing the benches.  Another NL East team continues riding their hot streak that cushions them for the postseason.  And an NL East team sits around and waits 15 minutes after a home plate umpire gets plunked in the jaw by a deflected bunt.

But the big story this morning is the end of a winning streak.  Entering last night's game, the Los Angeles Dodgers won 15 straight road games.  With Clayton Kershaw on the mound, they stood a good chance of making it 16 in a row on the road.

St. Louis celebrates the end of the
LA Dodgers road win streak
Associated Press
Kershaw made it through his first four innings without too much trouble. But a Jon Jay double and a Tony Cruz single gave the St. Louis Cardinals the lead in the 5th inning, and then Pete Kozma moved Cruz over to 3rd with his 18th double of the season.  Joe Kelly brought Cruz home with a sacrifice grounder to make it 2-0 in favor of the Cardinals.

The Dodgers would get one of those two back as Adrian Gonzalez brought Carl Crawford home on his single to right field.  But with the bases loaded, A.J. Ellis ended the Dodgers threat in the 6th inning as he grounded into a double play.

The Cardinals add three in the 8th with Carlos Beltran's 20th of the year, followed with a two-run shot by Matt Adams, to pad the Cardinals lead 5-1.  In the 9th inning, Edward Mujica came to preserve the Cardinals win, ending the Dodgers road win streak.

Clayton Kershaw fell to 10-7 on the season with the loss, striking out 5 while giving up 6 hits.  Joe Kelly won his 3rd of the season, giving up 6 hits.  It wasn't a fine effort - Kelly walked two and struck out 1 in his 5 1/3rd innings - but he had enough run support in the 5th inning.

Bryce Harper takes exception to
getting plunked in the 6th inning.
Alex Brandon | Associated Press
Things got hot between the Atlanta Braves and the Washington Nationals on Wednesday Night.  The Braves, hot on their 11th win on a row, fired up more after Bryce Harper cleared the center field wall for his 17th of the year.

But the Braves got even, as Evan Gattis singled to right scoring both Brian Upton and Andrelton Simmons for the 2-1 lead.  Armed with the lead, Julio Teheran plunked Bryce Harper on the middle of his leg, clearing both benches as Harper took exception to the first offering from Teheran after the homer.

Both teams would be warned and play resumed.  In the 7th inning, the Nationals had their best chance to tie or take the lead with the bases loaded.  But Adam LaRoche grounded to Freddie Freeman to clear the danger and preserve the Braves win.

The Braves 2-1 win is their 12th win in a row and put the Braves in a comfortable 14 1/2 game cushion in the National League East, and just behind the Pittsburgh Pirates for the best record in the majors.

Eric Young celebrates after scoring
on a Juan Lagares single in the 8th.
Howard Simmons | NY Daily News
Scary moment for Home Plate Umpire Manny Gonzalez during the 6th inning of the Rockies/Mets game, as a Charlie Blackmon bunt bounced off the plate and nailed Gonzalez on the throat.  He would have to leave the game, and following a 15 minute delay, took the third offering from Jenrry Mejia after the delay deep to right to the the game at 2.  After the Rockies loaded the bases to chase Mejia from the game, Carlos Torres came in and got Wilin Rosario to fly out in shallow center.  Then with two outs, Todd Helton lined to left that was about ready to fall for at least two runs until Eric Young used his speed and diving ability to snatch the ball before it hit the ground.

Eric Young also used his speed in the 8th inning after Juan Lagares beat a weak chopper to the 2nd Baseman, as Young kept running from 2nd Base and scored on the Rockies brief hesitation after the safe call at 1st.

LaTroy Hawkins earned the save for the Mets as they held on for the 3-2 win.

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