Thursday Links and Notes

Happy Thursday!

The Nationals defeated the Cardinals by a score of 4-3 to remain 6.5 games behind the Mets in the NL East. After the Nationals blew two leads, Jonathan Papelbon got out of a 1st and 3rd, one out jam in the 9th inning by retiring Tommy Pham and Kolten Wong.

Ryan Zimmerman is getting hot, and after hitting two solo home runs, delivered a decisive RBI double in the eighth inning. Why manager Mike Matheny and pitcher Jonathan Broxton would pitch to such a hot hitter with a base open is one of the many mysteries of baseball.

Elsewhere, Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the San Francisco Giants by a score of 2-1, behind a decisive solo home run by Chase Utley and a 132 pitch complete game from Kershaw, complete with 15 strikeouts (thing Kershaw’s career high). The Dodgers complete the sweep of the Giants to take a 6.5 game lead in the NL West.

The Yankees and Blue Jays both won, the Jays behind a complete game performance from R.A. Dickey. The Orioles ended their long skid with a walk-off home run by Chris Davis to beat the Rays, and the Rangers, Twins, and Angels all won, keeping their playoff hopes alive. Meanwhile, in the NL, the Braves continue their skid with a loss to Miami, falling into fourth place in the division.

For the rest of yesterday’s scores, click here.

More links:

Sporting News looks at why the Mets’ September callups might be more helpful than most.

Rob Neyer at Just A Bit Outside offers his thoughts on the Mets succeeding in an easy division.

Deadspin examines an odd saga about a hoax involving Marlins president David Samson.

At SB Nation, Grant Brisbee looks at what each NL Team would have done differently if the trade deadline was August 31st. Here is the AL version of that article.

Bryan Grosnick of Baseball Prospectus/Just A Bit Outside argues the Red Sox should be careful with Jackie Bradley Jr., comparing the situation to Juan Lagares’ contract with the Mets.

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