Thirteen games are on a heavy Thursday schedule as we look ahead to the All-Star Break beginning Sunday night. Except for the players going to Los Angeles for the festivities, teams will get four days off to rest and recharge for the remainder of the season.
I’ve got some noteworthy injury updates and some other intriguing stats to share, so let’s dive into the July 14 card.
Mets/Braves: The Mets cooled off the hard-charging Braves by winning Thursday’s rubber match behind six strong innings from Chris Bassitt. Bassitt has come back with COVID with two solid efforts and has put the issues from mid-May and early June behind him, allowing just nine runs over his last five starts.
This was Charlie Morton’s first rocky start in a while after allowing six runs in his last five starts. I don’t see anything in the profile other than some natural variance, though quite a few pitchers have been going every fifth day for a while now and have struggled a bit with it. The Break will help everybody.
Diamondbacks/Giants: To borrow a line from Rounders, the Giants have alligator blood. They trailed 3-0 through six, but came away with a 4-3 win to spoil what was a pretty good start from Zac Gallen, at least until he gave up a couple runs in the seventh. Pitchers are doing that a lot more often these days. San Francisco has 45 wins and 22 have been of the comeback variety. The Giants are 26-6 when they allow two or fewer runs, but are .500 or under with every other number of runs allowed except for 12, oddly enough.
The inconsistency of this team and this offense is pretty glaring, but wins like this one have saved the season.
Pirates/Marlins: Some days it’s better to be lucky than good. This is one of those instances, as the over was dead and buried in regulation, but the teams scored five runs in the 10th inning to end 5-4 in favor of the Marlins. It was a bad handicap that turned into a positive result. Never take those for granted because you’re going to need them every now and then.
I will say that Pablo Lopez continued not to be sharp. He only had nine whiffs in 37 swings with a velo decrease and four walks against three strikeouts in five innings. He didn’t allow much hard contact, but it wasn’t an impressive outing at all. Meanwhile, JT Brubaker struck out nine over seven innings. Jazz Chisholm Jr. had a pinch-hit appearance on June 28, but stopped being an everyday player on June 25. Since June 26, the Marlins are batting .214/.268/.322 with a .264 wOBA.
Dodgers/Cardinals: Tony Gonsolin finally had a rough outing, giving up five runs on seven hits in five innings of work. A start like this had been building with a sub-.200 BABIP and a LOB% north of 90%. He still has a 2.02 ERA and I still have concerns moving forward with the increased workload.
The Cardinals pen blew this one, as Adam Wainwright bobbed and weaved through 5.1 shutout innings before four relievers combined to give up all seven runs. That was only the second game that the Cardinals have lost with a lead after five innings. They are now 38-2 in that split.
Padres/Rockies: The Redbirds weren’t the only team to have a bullpen melt. The Padres had one as well, but Joe Musgrove got the ball rolling with five runs allowed on nine hits over five innings. He started the sixth, but didn’t get an out and didn’t get much relief from Nabil Crismatt either.
San Diego is slipping. The Padres have won consecutive games once since June 20-22 and are just 6-13 over the last 19 games. They were overperforming a bit given the lackluster offense and were being carried by the pitching. That has cooled off, especially with the bullpen. They’re one of the teams that needs the All-Star Break.