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A wild night of baseball is in the books. First off, do yourself a favor and check out the NL wild card standings. Well, really every single race in the NL. Hoo boy. 

Let’s round up the entire night.

Tuesday’s scores

Surging Cardinals, sagging Dodgers

There has been a lot of rightful attention on the A’s as the hottest team in baseball, but the best team in August has been the Cardinals. Their win at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday night means they are a ridiculous 16-4 this month. 

After a July 25 loss in Cincinnati, the Cardinals were a .500 team and trailed the Cubs by 8 1/2 games in the NL Central. At this moment, the Cardinals hold the top NL wild-card spot and trail the Cubs by only 2 1/2 games. Their final three games of the season are against the Cubs, so the Cardinals could control their own destiny. Amazing. 

Two big home runs propelled the Cardinals on Tuesday. First, Yadier Molina hit a two-run shot to break a 1-1 tie: 

Marcell Ozuna clubbed a two-run homer in the top of the seventh to make it 5-1. 

On the Dodgers’ end, they are going in the opposite direction. They had a one-game lead in the NL West after winning on Aug. 2. They are 6-11 since then and now trail the Diamondbacks by 3 1/2 games in the NL West. They are also 2 1/2 games behind the Brewers for the second NL wild card with the Phillies and Rockies in between. They have talent, but they’ve got to play a lot better to avoid missing the postseason after five consecutive NL West titles and last year’s NL pennant. 

A’s, Astros hold serve in AL West

The A’s got seven one-hit innings out of Brett Anderson to continue their run of excellent pitching from unlikely sources and won yet another game. Also, Khris Davis hit his 38th homer, tying him with J.D. Martinez for the MLB lead: 

The A’s have won 42 out of their last 56 games. To put that into easy perspective, that’s a 162-game pace of 122 wins. They are out of this world right now. 

They are not, however, in first place alone. That’s because the Astros held off the Mariners in a tight one.

The A’s and Astros are both 76-50 while the Mariners are now 4 1/2 games behind them for both the AL West lead and second AL wild card. 

Indians take another at Fenway

ALCS preview? It’s possible. They aren’t going to square off in the ALDS, after all. If so, perhaps the Indians will have given themselves a confidence boost for a possible Games 1 and 2 at Fenway Park. After taking the first game of the series on Monday, the Tribe followed it up with another victory on Tuesday. 

Rookie starter Shane Bieber got through six scoreless innings before the Red Sox got to him (final line: 6 1/3 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 K), but the offense provided enough support to cushion the lone Red Sox rally in this one. 

Some of the lesser-regarded players spurred the Indians’ offense. Yan Gomes was 3 for 4 with a home run and two RBI, Melky Cabrera went 3 for 4 with a home run and Greg Allen was 2 for 3 with an RBI double. 

Also of note, Jose Ramirez stole his AL-best 28th base, to go with 37 homers. He’s a strong MVP candidate, even if he’d likely just miss out. 

There are two games left in this series, so the Red Sox could salvage a split. Not that it matters a ton. All they really need to do for the next several weeks is not completely fall apart and get as healthy as possible. 

D-Backs walk off on error

Here’s a fun way to win …

Arizona pushes its lead in the NL West to 1 1/2 games.

Cubs offense is stuck in the mud, save for one solo HR per game

The Cubs offense has been among the worst in baseball this month. They’ve covered up some of the futility with stuff like David Bote’s walk-off grand slam and back-to-back 1-0 wins late last week. On the latter, both of those wins came thanks to solo homers in addition to great pitching. The Cubs then proceeded to lose both Saturday and Sunday after scoring just one run and, amazingly, both of those runs were also solo home runs. 

On Tuesday night, almost inexplicably, the Cubs lost to the lowly Tigers, 2-1. The one run? Yep: 

That’s pretty funny, though the Cubs’ offense right now is no laughing matter. The five consecutive games with exactly one run coming on only solo home runs is a record and not one of which to be proud. 

Quite simply, the offense is abysmal right now. Even without Kris Bryant they should have the personnel to break out of it, but it’s not performing. Several players — Willson Contreras is probably the chief culprit at present, but many others have gone through spells — are just lost. Perhaps the introduction of Daniel Murphy gives them a much-needed shot in the arm. 

Brewers defense, pitching fails them

The polar opposite of the team they are chasing, the Brewers didn’t have any issue scoring runs on Tuesday. They had a 4-0 lead after one inning, yet found themselves down 7-5 through four. Two errors and some poor pitching were to blame. The Brewers’ offense would fight back to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth, but then the bullpen coughed up two runs in the ninth, with former Brewers player Scooter Gennett hitting the go-ahead shot: 

Scooter is hitting .313/.360/.497 with 19 homers and 75 RBI. 

The Brewers would get two runners on in the ninth — and a Travis Shaw warning track fly looked like it might tie the game at one point — but remained 3 1/2 games behind the Cubs. Giving up nine runs, including two unearned runs, on 14 hits definitely was a big problem. 

The Brewers are now 7-11 in August. They haven’t fallen out of the race because the Cubs haven’t been great and the entire NL is wide open, but things need to be fixed here in order to make the postseason. 

Gausman, Swanson lead Braves

The Braves have rebounded from a miserable four-game sweep at the hands of the Rockies by taking their first two games against the Pirates. On Tuesday, starting pitcher Kevin Gausman and shortstop Dansby Swanson were the heroes. 

On the hill, Gausman dominated the Pirates for eight strong innings. He didn’t allow a run while working around four hits and two walks, striking out five. He’s only made four starts with the Braves and twice he went eight innings. He’s now 3-1 with a 2.00 ERA and 0.96 WHIP since being traded to the contending Braves. Changes of scenery can work well and it looks like that’s what is happening with Gausman. Good move by the Braves front office to get him. 

On the offensive end, Swanson managed two hits, but got as much out of those two swings as he could, going deep twice and driving home four runs: 

This was the first two-HR game in Swanson’s career. It was also the first four-RBI game. 

With the win, the Braves still hold first place in the NL East. 

Nationals crush Phillies bullpen

A rain delay early in the game meant the bullpens loomed large in the Phillies-Nationals game and they got banged around the yard pretty well. The Phillies got four runs in the top of the sixth to take a 4-1 lead. The Nationals would, however, get five in the sixth, on in the seventh and three in the eighth. 

The final line for the Phillies’ bullpen in this one: 4 IP, 11 H (including 3 HR), 7 ER, 5 BB.

The go-ahead shot came from Wilmer Difo

The Phillies fall to two games back in the NL East. 

White Sox prospect has rain-shortened debut

Right-handed starting pitcher Michael Kopech was one of the big pieces the White Sox got back from the Red Sox in the Chris Sale trade in the 2016-17 offseason and he came into the season a consensus top-20 prospect in all of baseball. Given graduations from the top-10, it’s fair to say he was one of the 10 best prospects left in the minors before making his big-league debut. 

On Tuesday, his debut came and the locals were fired up: 

Unfortunately, a rain delay of around an hour meant the White Sox weren’t going to run their prize back out. Kopech sat high-90s with his fastball — he can go triple digits — and struck out four without walking anyone in his two innings. He did allow three hits, but they were all singles and weren’t exactly torched. 

It was an incomplete outing, but a good debut nonetheless. 

Mets in a strong run

Believe it or not, the Mets don’t suck right now. With a win over the Giants on Tuesday, the Mets have now gone 11-7 with a plus-47 run differential. Yeah, that blowout against the Phillies is holding a lot of the differential up, but still, the Mets aren’t terrible at present. 

Quick hits

Live team updates

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