Welcome to another Thursday in Major League Baseball, which brings us a few matinees on getaway day and three late games out West. The Cardinals have sneakily moved into a first-place tie by beating up on two division mates, a hopeful contender continues its second-half tailspin and much more is to come in the night action.
Stick right here throughout the night for updates and let’s get to it!
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Baseball schedule/scores for Thursday, July 25
Red-hot Cardinals sweep Pirates
The Cardinals finished up a four-game sweep in Pittsburgh with Thursday’s win. They jumped out to a 2-0 lead and then got four runs on three homers the rest of the way to the Pirates down yet again. Most importantly, Paul Goldschmidt hit one of them:
On Sunday, I noted that Goldschmidt hasn’t been very good this season but he’s capable of getting insanely hot on a dime. This series, he went 6 for 16 with hour homers and nine RBI. He’s the type of player that can carry an offense.
The Cardinals are now 11-3 since the All-Star break and have had a big hand in effectively moving the Pirates and Reds out of contention in the NL Central, as they took three of four from the Reds before this series. The whole division was within 4 1/2 games at the All-Star break, but now the Reds are eight out and the Pirates are nine back.
Speaking of the division, the Cubs have an off day Thursday, so the Cardinals’ win moves the rivals into a tie at 55-47. Lots of eyes this weekend will be on Cubs at Brewers, but Tuesday through Thursday, the Cubs visit the Cardinals for a three-game series. The three-team race in the Central is getting all kinds of fun.
Rockies rally to ruin Scherzer’s return
The Nationals have been winning at a better clip than any other team since their dreadful 19-31 start, but the back-end of their bullpen was extremely overworked after Wednesday’s doubleheader and it bit them Thursday. Fernando Rodney worked both ends of the twin billing and was called upon to try and close this one down. It did not work. Ian Desmond homered to tie it:
The Rockies rallied for another run to take the lead and steal the win.
The big news in this one for the Nats was they got back their ace, Max Scherzer, from the injured list. He was mostly good, but did get knocked around in the fourth inning. He struck out eight against two walked while allowing three runs on four hits. The damage all happened in that fourth inning. Otherwise he was what we’ve come to expect with Scherzer.
The Braves are off Thursday, so the Nats fall to 4 1/2 back in the NL East. They have the top NL wild card spot, but the division is the goal and it’s now a realistic scenario, despite them at one point being 10 games out. So this one hurts.
On the Rockies’ end, it’s a nice win, but they haven’t played well enough to be called contenders at this point. They are 7 1/2 games out of the second wild card with five teams in the way.
Padres fall again
At the All-Star break, the Padres were 45-45 and in the NL that was good enough to be within striking distance of a playoff spot (they were two out of the second wild card). They had just won three in a row, taking three of four from the mighty Dodgers. It was a successful first half, especially given how young they are and how long they’ve not been a contender. Since the break, though, it’s been a really rough go. With the loss Thursday to Jacob deGrom and the Mets, the Padres have now lost every series since the break.
- Swept in three games at home by the Braves.
- Lost two of three to the lowly Marlins in Miami.
- Lost two of three to the Cubs in Wrigley.
- Lost two of three to the Mets in New York.
At least the Padres get to head home to beautiful San Diego, but they are now seven games out of the second wild card and there are four teams between them and the spot. This is seller territory.
- Rays ace Blake Snell will undergo elbow surgery and miss at least four weeks.
- Troy Tulowitzki has .
- Rangers slugger Joey Gallo will miss four weeks . Willie Calhoun comes up as a corresponding move.
- The Brewers are calling up infielder Travis Shaw, with the corresponding move being Jhoulys Chacin hitting the injured list, reports The Athletic.
- The Yankees have placed Brett Gardner on the injured list and left-handed reliever Stephen Tarpley comes up as the corresponding move.
- The Astros will activate Carlos Correa from the injured list Friday and will designated Tony Kemp for assignment, reports The Athletic.
- The Twins have activated Byron Buxton from the injured list and sent down Jake Cave to the minors.
- , who was designated him for assignment by Houston just a few days ago.
- Lefty Alex Wood will start Sunday, the Reds have announced. He’s been out all season with a back injury. What’s an interesting thing to watch here is that if Wood pitches really well, it might end up being the only outing all season with the Reds. He’s a free agent after the season and the Reds will likely sell at the deadline.
- The Cubs are calling up utility power hitter Ian Happ for Friday’s game, reports Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register. The corresponding move will be interesting. Kris Bryant left Wednesday’s game with a knee injury, though the team has indicated it’s not serious. Maybe he’s placed on the injured list, maybe not. If not, David Bote and Albert Almora would be candidates to be optioned to Triple-A while Daniel Descalso could be designated for assignment. He’s in the first year of a two-year deal, but he’s hitting .181/.283/.263 and his deal is only for $ 5 million.
- The Yankees have acquired minor-league catcher Brian Navarreto from the Twins for cash considerations, the club has announced. Keep in mind, Gary Sanchez is on the injured list.