It’s a jam-packed schedule for the first Wednesday of July, 16 games in all thanks to a Tigers-White Sox doubleheader at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Some of the storylines worth watching include the Yankees and Mets continuing the Subway Series; the Braves trying to avenge last night’s loss to the Phillies; the Reds hoping to claw their way back into the NL Central playoff picture; and Walker Buehler trying to end his first half on a high note ahead of an appearance in the All-Star Game.
Select games can be streamed regionally via fuboTV (Try for free). For more on what channel each game is on, .
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July 3 scores
Strasburg fans 14 as Nats keep winning
Strasburg fans 14 as Nats keep rolling
Did you know: the Nationals entered the day with the best record in baseball over their last 30 games? It’s true. At 21-9, the Nationals have done well to reposition themselves within the playoff race after seemingly appearing close to finished.
The Nationals kept on rolling on Wednesday, topping the Marlins behind some dominant pitching by Stephen Strasburg.
Strasburg fanned 14 batters in 7 ⅓ innings, permitting two hits and walks apiece. He threw 110 pitches and generated 23 swinging strikes — including nine on his breaking ball and eight on his changeup. The Marlins had no chance, basically.
As a result, the Nationals have now won three games in a row.
Reds win again behind Gray, Puig
The Reds walked-off against the Brewers in thrilling fashion on Tuesday, with Yasiel Puig dashing around the bases to score the winning run. On Wednesday, they beat the Brewers again — this time with less drama.
Puig still contributed, hitting his 19th homer of the season as part of a two-hit effort:
But the bigger story of the evening was right-hander Sonny Gray. Gray lasted eight innings, striking out 12 and permitting no runs on four hits and a walk. He coerced 14 whiffs on his breaking balls, including 10 on his signature curve, per Statcast.
Gray’s season ERA is now down to 3.59.
Cease wins in debut
Cease has since worked his way up the organizational ladder, and on Wednesday he made his big-league debut in what proved to be a winning effort against the Tigers. His line on the afternoon saw him yield three runs on four hits and four walks across five innings. He also gave up a home run, and struck out six batters on a total of 101 pitches.
More than half Cease’s pitches were his high-grade fastball, which clocked in on average around 97 mph, per Statcast. He generated only three swing-and-misses on the heat, likely because his command was suboptimal. Cease also coerced four whiffs on his breaking pitches, each of which is considered an above-average offering.
Because of Cease’s wildness, he could end up in the bullpen down the road. For now, he deserves ample opportunity to turn into a mid-rotation starter at the game’s highest level.
Highlight of the night: O’s trick Rays
The Orioles are one of the worst teams in baseball; the Rays, conversely, are competing for a playoff spot. For a brief stretch of time on Wednesday, those roles were irrelevant and the Orioles seemed to be the more competent team. Take a look:
What you’re seeing there is catcher Chance Sisco faking a throw to second — there were two outs with runners on the corners –and baiting Guillermo Heredia to run home. Sisco’s ploy, which never seems to work, worked. Heredia was caught in a pickle then tagged out, ending the threat.
Obviously the Rays are far, far, far superior to the Orioles. But that’s the beauty of baseball: sometimes the talent gap just doesn’t matter.
Stat of the night: Harper reaches two milestones at once
We wrote about this elsewhere, but Bryce Harper achieved two milestones with one swing of the bat on Wednesday. He notched his 200th home run which doubled as his 1,000th hit. He was the first player to ever accomplish those two feats at once. There is another player who could do it this season..