3 Up, 3 Down: Archer, Sanchez duel, Phillies score 12 in the first, Simmons makes Baez-like tag

3 for today:

Chris Archer and Aaron Sanchez battle

As his 4.02 ERA would seem to indicate, Archer was not very good at all last year. However, the strikeouts were still there and so was that slider. Sanchez, on the other hand, had a breakout season in 2016, leading the AL in ERA at 3.00. And if Saturday is indicative of anything, it’s that Archer is set for a bounceback season while Sanchez is set for an even better one than last year.

Sanchez mowed down Rays hitters for seven innings, striking out six and giving up just one run on four hits. Archer did the same to the Blue Jays. He went 7 2/3 innings and gave up two runs on five hits while punching out eight.

The Rays scored a run in the fifth, and Toronto managed to tie it up in the seventh. The Blue Jays then took the lead in the eighth, but immediately surrendered a run in the bottom of the eighth.

The game went to extras tied at two, and it wasn’t until the eleventh that one team finally broke through. Righty Casey Lawrence entered the game to start the inning, and Mallex Smith led off the inning with a double. A sacrifice bunt moved Smith to third, which prompted back-to-back intentional walks. Evan Longoria struck out, but Brad Miller won the game with a walk-off walk.

Phillies blow out Nationals… in one inning

The Nationals sent Jeremy Guthrie to the mound to oppose the Phillies on Saturday. What they got was one of the worst outings in Major-League history. It started with a double. Then a single. Then a walk. A sacrifice fly. Consecutive singles. Another walk. Another sacrifice fly. A couple more walks. A triple. That was nine runs and two outs before Guthrie was finally pulled from the game. But it didn’t end there. The Phillies scored three more runs, and Guthrie was charged with one of those. When it was all said and done, the Phillies were up 12-0 after the first inning.

Guthrie became just the fifth pitcher since 1893 to allow 10 runs and not make it out of the first. His career ERA increased from 4.37 to 4.42. This is his 13th season. Oh, and the Phillies ended up winning 17-3.

Andrelton Simmons displays freakish athleticism

Simmons is the best defensive infielder in the game and arguably the best defensive player period. What he did Saturday night only serves to prove that fact.  guess he got tired of all the talk about Javier Baez being the best tagger in the game. Just watch:

I’m not sure why Segura was trying to get to third, but I’m not sure any other player in baseball gets that tag down. He had to focus on getting over to third, catching the poor throw from Jefry Marte, finding Segura, and tagging him all at once. He’s good.

3 for tomorrow:

Pirates vs. Braves (Cole vs. Teheran)

Yes, the Braves are rebuilding, and they aren’t exactly relevant. However, they do have Julio Teheran. And they are facing Gerrit Cole. This will be a good one.

Diamondbacks vs. Indians (Corbin vs. Kluber)

Aside from his All-Star selection a few years ago, Patrick Corbin has yet to live up to expectations. But that has a lot to do with the fact that he underwent Tommy John surgery, and last year was his first season back. He’s now more than three years removed from surgery, and maybe this is the year he finds that All-Star form again. Oh, and he’s facing off with Corey Kluber.

Brewers vs. Cubs (Davies vs. Arrieta)

Arrieta was good in his first start, but his velocity was slightly down. I’m curious to see how Arrieta does in his second start of the year, and Zach Davies isn’t hald-bad himself.

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