With a bunch of day games on the slate Wednesday, much of the action in MLB took place while the average fan was at work, which is a real shame. That means the average fan missed out on several nice pitching performances. The gems came from the expected (Alex Cobb), the unexpected (Jeremy Guthrie), prospects (Kevin Gausman) and even failed prospects (Jake Arrieta).
The best matchup of the day took place in the AL East, with Orioles prospect Kevin Gausman matching up with the Rays' Alex Cobb. Gausman fired six frames of five-hit ball, striking out five batters while walking one. Cobb might have been the better pitcher, going seven strong innings and striking out six, though he did walk four. He allowed one unearned run, and ultimately suffered the loss.
Kansas City's recent run continued with Jeremy Guthrie on the hill for the Royals. The normally contact-prone right hander whiffed nine Tigers in six and ⅔ innings, limiting Detroit to just four hits and walking one batter. Drew Smyly was no slouch opposite Guthrie, scattering seven hits over seven innings, striking out six and walking none. The damage came on an Alex Gordon single and an Omar Infante home run.
Perhaps the most surprising turn of the day went to Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta. The former Oriole has been stellar in 2014, starting eight games, churning out a 2.09 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 43 innings. The best sign of his improvement? He's only handed out 14 free passes in those innings, addressing an issue that's plagued him in the past. Arrieta continued on his roll on Wednesday, going seven innings, racking up 11 strikeouts and issuing just the one walk. He out-dueled early season darling Nathan Eovaldi, who was touched up for nine hits and five earned runs in six innings.
Hamilton's hot streak continues
Billy Hamilton caught a lot of flack for his early season struggles, and deservedly so, but he's been on fire of late, slashing .298/.341/.464 over the last 28 days with 12 stolen bases, and three (!) home runs. Perhaps one of the most fun stats this year has to do with Hamilton's current stat line:
Buehrle continues rough run against Yanks
Mark Buehrle falls to 1-11 career vs Yankees. Buehrle's .083 win pct vs NYY is worst of any active pitcher (min. 10 starts vs NYY) (Elias)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 19, 2014
Buehrle entered the game with a 2.28 ERA in 94⅔ innings, and didn't pitch poorly, surrendering only three runs (two earned) in six frames, striking out four and walking two. Still, it wasn't enough as his bullpen couldn't keep the game close enough to let the offense do its thing.
Royals 2, Tigers 1
Orioles 2, Rays 0
Boston 2, Twins 1
Yankees 7, Blue Jays 3