Giants 1, Padres 0: Barry Zito was dominant. In other news, “A Beautiful Mind” has won Best Picture, the Queen Mother has died at the age of 101, and I’m under 30, childless, and have money. Hello, and welcome to the exciting year 2002!
Cardinals 5, Mets 2: To my own two eyes it appears that John Maine was responsible for this one getting out of hand, but I’m learning that Daniel Murphy’s methods are insidiously box score-resistant, so I can’t be sure that he isn’t the one that truly messed it up. Like maybe he fell down on a long plank balanced on a boulder in left field, thereby shooting an anvil into the air which fell on Maine’s landing foot or something. I’ve seen it happen, and rarely is the outfielder charged with an error in that situation.
Braves 1, Nationals 0: Eight innings of shutout ball for the Nats and then they walk in the game’s only run. Some questionable bullpen usage by Manny Acta here. The reason the bases were loaded for Kelly Johnson’s fateful plate appearance was that Martin Prado walked before him. The reason Martin Prado was in the game was because Manny Acta brought in the lefty Michael Hinckley to face Bobby Cox’s first pinch hitter, Greg Norton. If Acta had stuck with Garrett Mock or gone with another righty, Norton probably stays in the game. Norton sucks and is 0-11 on the year. Prado is a fiesty little dude who is hitting .368 on the year. Did Acta think that Bobby wouldn’t try to put in someone better against lefties than Norton? Did he not realize that Prado was sitting there, available on the Braves’ bench?
Yankees 9, Athletics 7: CC Sabathia did everything he could to lose this game for New York (6.2 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 4 BB) but the Yanks managed to pull through on the power of a Melky Cabrera homer in the bottom of the 14th. Melky had two dingers, by the way, which more than anything else that has happened in the past week should cause a team of scientists to descend on that park to figure out what the hell is going on. This one breezed by in a crisp four hours and fifty-seven minutes.
Red Sox 10, Twins 1: Scott Baker was shelled (4.2 IP, 10 H, 6 ER). Tim Wakefield was brilliant again (7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER). Because of rain, that counts as a CG for Wakefield, even though as a knuckleballer, seven innings constitutes warm up. Oh, and happy birthday to Tito, who turned 50 yesterday.
Red Sox 7, Twins 3: Game two of the doubleheader went the distance. Francisco Liriano was every bit as bad as Baker was, giving up seven runs on four hits in four innings. The Sox have now won seven in a row and, given the rainout, today’s off-day and strong performances from both Wakefield and Brad Penny yesterday, welcome the Yankees with a fresh pitching staff.
Diamondbacks 2, Rockies 0: Haren has pitched with bubkis for run support and got just above bubkis yesterday, but it was enough because Danny’s pretty much awesome (7 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 9K). The Rockies seeming endless road trip is now over and they can retire to Denver for some home cooking for a bit.
Royals 2, Indians 0: Brian Bannister gets the callup and shuts the Indians out for six innings. Great. Now there won’t be any shutting Posnanski up until at least the All-Star break. And look! A Joakim Soria sighting! Hillman must have really been desperate if he let him in a tight game. I mean, it was on the road in the Western Hemisphere in a non-palindromic year, and the percentages probably called for Kyle Farnsworth in that situation.
Astros 6, Dodgers 5: Decent enough day for Randy Wolf, but it’s not like Lance Berkman was gonna keep hitting .210 all year.
Blue Jays 8, Rangers 7: Darren O’Day was claimed off waivers mere hours before the game and didn’t even get to the ballpark until nearly 10pm. Upon his arrival, he was given someone else’s jersey and thrown in to pitch the 11th inning. O’Day threw five pitches, the last being the game-losing double to Kevin Millar. Way to put your guys in a position to succeed, Ron Washington.
Reds 3, Cubs 0: Johnny Cueto pitched seven scoreless innings and looked for much of the game like that kid who burst on the scene last spring and inspired Bob Gibson comparisons. He still goes too deep into counts and thus has to leave games earlier than you might want him to, but if he is putting it together, the Reds may have a shot of hanging around this thing a bit longer than usual this year.
White Sox 8, Orioles 2: John Danks lowers his ERA to 0.95. Paid attendance — 10,868 — was just 361 souls more than the all-time Camden Yards record low.
Brewers 3, Phillies 1: Just one of many games impacted by the wind and the rain and the cold, and I am getting really, really tired of it. The eastern U.S. is supposed to get warm and sunny this weekend, and dear lord do we need it.
Tigers 12, Angels 10: Something is dreadfully wrong with Scot Shields, who hasn’t recorded an out in two straight appearances. Something is wrong with Justin Verlander too, giving up seven runs on nine hits and two walks. He’s been hit really hard, but somehow his peripherals look OK. What gives?
Rays 9, Mariners 3: I had started to wring my hands a little about the Rays slow start, but then I realized that (a) nine of their first fourteen games were against AL East opponents, and that the thing about winning that division is to beat up the other divisions and simply hold your own otherwise; and (b) the 6-9 record they have right now is exactly the the same record they had through fifteen games last year. So let’s chill, everyone.
Pirates 7, Marlins 4: Leave it to the Pirates to shut down baseball’s hottest team. This is latest into the season that Pittsburgh has been above .500 since 2002. That was so long ago that Barry Zito was good, the Queen Mother was alive, and I was under 30, childless and had money!