Reds 4, Astros 2: Micah Owings has a 7.20 ERA for the Reds this year. Yesterday he pinch hit and hit a two-run double that proved to be the game-winner. Management consultants refer to this phenomenon as a “misallocation of resources.”
Blue Jays 1, Athletics 0: The A’s were shutout for the third time this year and blew their only real chance to score when Mark Ellis was thrown out at home plate on a Ryan Sweeney double. Eric Chavez played after missing five games with a sore right shoulder. Bob Geren actually said this with a straight face afterward: “Hopefully this last episode with the shoulder is behind him now and he’ll start swinging the bat.” Geren was later heard muttering cautiously optimistic things about immortality and his tax-free existence now that April 15th has past.
Braves 11, Pirates 1: Atlanta ends a five game skid and a 22-inning scoreless streak by beating up on Zach Duke and the Pirates. “I still liked the way he was throwing the ball, but he just couldn’t get it to go where he wanted,” Pirates manager John Russell said of Duke after the game. Isn’t getting the ball to go where one wants it a key part of “throwing the ball?” What exactly did Russell like about it? That it was going vaguely towards the plate as opposed to left field? That he wasn’t doing it with his feet?
White Sox 12, Rays 2: The Rays drop five of six and Evan Longoria plays this game at DH — where he goes 0-4 — because, according to the AP game story, he “tweaked” his foot in Saturday’s game. So yeah, bad stuff all around. Jim Thome walked twice which, according to the AP game story, moves him within four of tying Harmon Killebrew for 14th place on the all-time list. This might be confusing for the many among you who, like me, believed until now that Thome and Killebrew were the same person.
Phillies 5, Padres 4: A walkoff job for Raul Ibanez saves the day for Philadelphia. Making things worse for San Diego is the loss of shortstop Everth Cabrera, who apparently broke his hand while (according to the game story in the San Diego Union-Tribune) “squirting a groundout.” I’m not exactly sure what it means, but from the sounds of it, someone needs to update this Wikipedia entry.
Yankees 7, Indians 3: After a series which included an Opening Day loss, conspicuously empty seats and a shellacking of historic proportions, the Yankees should consider themselves damn lucky that they didn’t lose to old friend Carl Pavano. Not that they did that much against him. Pavano pitched pretty well, actually (6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER). So well in fact that he probably should have come out for the seventh inning. If he did, maybe the Indians leave with a win. As it was, the Tribe’s bullpen imploded again, Jorge Posada hit a homer in the pinch that almost-sorta-but-not-really was interfered with by a fan, and the Bombers end up with a series split despite being outscored 40-19.
Twins 3, Angels 1: Though he only has one win to show for it, Glen Perkins has had three outstanding starts for Minnesota, going eight innings in each of them. Here he threw only 84 pitches and probably could have gone nine. The Angels are utterly lost, now having dropped five of six. This is their worst start since that year they began 6-14. But since that year was 2002 and they went on to win the World Series, maybe everyone should chill out for a bit.
Rangers 6, Royals 5: A decent start from Kyle Davies thrown away by the bullpen. At this point if you’re Trey Hillman you have to pretty much just stick with Cruz and Soria out of the pen until their arms fall off, don’t you? And even if you decide to trust someone else out there, Kyle Farnsworth — who gave up the game-losing homer and now has an ERA of 18.90 — is not that guy. But why go with someone else? Greinke pitched a complete game on Saturday. The Royals have an off day today. Is there a reason, other than a slavish devotion to the save statistic, that you wouldn’t have Soria out there in a tight game in the ninth inning?
Giants 2, Diamondbacks 0: Seems like all Randy Johnson needed to get back on track was to face a team that decided he wasn’t worth an offer to come back and win his 300th game for them. Seven innings of one-hit shutout ball brings him within four of the milestone. The Giants still aren’t scoring any runs, but they have to be pleased to have gotten three outstanding pitching performances from Johnson, Lincecum and Sanchez over the weekend.
Tigers 8, Mariners 2: A pretty big improvement for Rick Porcello from his first start to his second (7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER). The Tigers are 7-5. Last year the Tigers didn’t get their seventh win until their 20th game.
Red Sox 2, Orioles 1: Jon Lester returns to form, shutting out the O’s over seven and striking out nine. It was 49 degrees, there was a nineteen m.p.h. wind blowing in, and Adam Jones, Baltimore’s hottest hitter left the game with a messed up hamstring in the second inning, however, so temper that excitement a bit, Sox fans.
Marlins 7, Nationals 4: Manny Acta’s presser after the game had him going on and on about all of the changes you’re about to see in the Nats’ bullpen following yet another demoralizing loss. And changes there were, almost immediately after he was done talking. Steven Shell, Wil Ledezma, and Saul Rivera were sent down. Catcher Josh Bard was shipped out too in order to make room for pitching prospect Jordan Zimmerman. Riding four guys out on a rail is a big deal, but for the Nats still have 15-20 other dudes who have no business in the Majors, so I wouldn’t expect any major turnarounds anytime soon.
Brewers 4, Mets 2: the Mets hit into three double plays and went 2 for 13 with runners in scoring position, stranding 10 runners in the process. Nelson Figueroa got the start and pitched passably (6 IP, 5 H, 3 ER), yet was designated for assignment afterward. As such, he’s probably a bit more perturbed about New York’s poor situational hitting than is Jerry Manuel. He probably wasn’t all that thrilled with the fact that Fernando Tatis played his second-ever game at second base while Gary Sheffield got the start in right, either. So basically, no, it was not Nelson Figueroa’s day.
Dodgers 14, Rockies 2: Matt Kemp hits two home runs, including a grand slam, and five RBI while Andre Ethier and Orlando Hudson drive in three runs each. Weird line for Dodgers’ starter James McDonald: he gives up no runs on four hits, but throws 95 pitches in not making it out of the fifth. How do you get a no-decision when your team scores 14 runs?
Cardinals at Cubs: Postponed. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.