Back from hiatus. Son of Shyster — or ShysterBoy, if you prefer — is back to breathing like a normal human being, so things are basically back to normal. Steroids: is there anything they can’t do?
Red Sox 8, Athletics 2: Knuckleballers should be like fire extinguishers: everyone should have at least one around at all times. The Sox’ bullpen was gassed after pitching 11 innings the night before, so what better than to have a 42 year-old flutterballer on standby? Even if he didn’t have it together yesterday, you could at least count on him saving the pen. Except he did have it together, mystifying the A’s for 7+, and ultimately going the distance. Between Wakefield’s CG and a day off today, consider the bullpen recharged, and consider Wakefield’s start one of the more valuable of the young season.
Marlins 10, Braves 4: According to Baseball-Reference.com, the Braves are 141-109 vs. the Marlins all-time. Why, then, does it seem like the Marlins always take two of three against Atlanta? Truly, for as long as I can recall, Florida has served as a total roll-killer for the Braves, and this series is shaping up to be no different. This game was tied until Peter Moylan issued a bases loaded walk in the seventh. At this rate Moylan is going to shatter the career record for bases loaded walks around next Tuesday or so. It remained a one-run game into the ninth until Blaine Boyer and Jorge Campillo doused the field with accelerants and flicked their bics.
Rangers 19, Orioles 6: In light of Son of Shyster’s decision to sorta quit breathing early yesterday morning, I was running on fumes by the time last night came around and went to bed before the later games really got going. As such, I didn’t do my usual GameCast monitoring, and when that happens it tends to lead to more superficial recaps. Thankfully I have readers like Royce the Hack who point neat things out to me via email of Facebook or smoke signals or what have you. Things like the fact that Ian Kinsler had gone 5 for 5 and hit for the cycle by the sixth inning. He added another double and and his fourth RBI of the night in the eighth, giving him what has to be the offensive line of the year so far.
Cardinals 12, Diamondbacks 7: A lot of folks though Ryan Ludwick’s 2008 was a fluke. A lot of folks may be wrong, as Ludwick homers and drives in three runs to boost his digits up to .407/.467/.815. Totally crisp effort on the part of Arizona, as their pitchers issue eight walks and the defense commits three errors.
Yankees 4, Rays 3: Given that they started with a nine-game road trip without their best player, got a bucketful of bad pitching performances, and now look to have lost their starting rightfielder for the season, 5-4 seems like a minor triumph, doesn’t it? They’re ahead of Boston and Tampa Bay, anyway, and now they get the utterly lost Cleveland Indians — and a start against Carl Pavano on Sunday — to christen the new ballpark. Not too shabby, really.
Rockies 5, Cubs 2: The Rockies won in Wrigley for the first time in ten tries, though it wasn’t easy. Closer Huston Street came in to pitch the ninth in a non-save situation and gave up two hits and walk before getting yanked. Clint Hurdle said after the game that he was going to “reevaluate” the closer’s role in Colorado. A good rule to live by in this world is to never be the subject of a “reevaluation,” because that’s rarely a good thing.
Indians 5, Royals 4: Having Kyle Farnsworth relieve Sidney Ponson probably violates some law of moron thermodynamics.
Tigers 9, White Sox 0: Cabrera stays hot, going 3-for-5 with a homer and two RBI, and the White Sox get shutout for the second time this season. According to this game story Tigers’ reliever Ryan Perry “smirked” after buzzing a few guys, which led to Josh Fields having to be restrained from going after him. There are several kinds of smirks. On one end of the smirk spectrum you have the Val Kilmer as Iceman smirk that is just begging to be punched. On the other, you have the Kookie from “77 Sunset Strip” smirk, which is sort of close to endearing. Maybe Fields should spend some time with Perry to see what really lies behind the smirk before acting so rashly.
Mets 7, Padres 2: The last time I slammed Oliver Perez, a bunch of Mets fans came out of the woodwork to tell me that there was a good Ollie and a bad Ollie and that because of it, I shouldn’t make any blanket statements about him. I guess this was good Ollie (6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER). Two of the Mets’ runs scored on a throwing error by Padres’ catcher Nick Hundley, and another scored on a wild pitch. Many wild pitches are really balls that could have been stopped by a decent catcher. I didn’t see this one, but if it was that kind of thing, what a bad day for Hundley.
Astros 4, Pirates 1: Check out Mike Hampton (6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 8K). He was asked about his performance after the game but he was unable to answer due to a sudden development of Landau-Kleffner syndrome. At first doctors were astounded, but then they realized that it’s Mike Hampton we’re talking about, so it was probably inevitable.
Brewers 9, Reds 3: Two homers and a double for Mike Cameron and dinger for Rickie Weeks do in Micah Owings and Cincinnati. On the bright side, Reds’ shortstop Alex Gonzales got his first hit in 18 at bats this season, raising his average up to .053. Jay Bruce and Edwin Encarnacion are hitting .167 and Ramon Hernandez is hitting .174, rendering the 5-8 slots in the Reds’ lineup something less than threatening.
Blue Jays 12, Twins 2: R.A. Dickey is once again the most effective pitcher for the Twins, giving up one run in two and a third innings. You may be thinking “hey, that had virtually nothing to do with the outcome of this game, so what’s the point of mentioning it?” To which I would reply “I’m kind of hoping that R.A. Dickey Googles himself a lot, reads this, and decides to shoot me an appreciative email, which I’ll use as an opening via which I can get secret one-on-one knuckleball lessons.” That’s pretty much what I’m left with, I’m afraid, ever since Wakefield, Bouton and Niekro got those restraining orders against me.
Mariners 11, Angels 3: In a greatly and understandably depleted rotation, the Angels have to have someone come through, and the most likely someone is Jered Weaver. He didn’t last night, giving up ten hits and four runs in five innings. Big night for Ichiro in his season debut: grand slam.
Dodgers 5, Giants 4: Brian Wilson didn’t load the bases in the ninth — that was Bob Howry’s doing — but he did walk in the winning run. at times like these I wish I had an intern, because he or she would be able to tell me just how far ahead of schedule we are on setting the record for bases loaded walks in a season. UPDATE: Who needs an intern? I have David Pinto! Clayton Kershaw was stellar, by the way: 7 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 13K.
Phillies vs. Nats, Postponed: Game of the year so far for Washington.