Tigers 4, Rangers 0: Dontrelle Willis goes six and a third, shutting out a good Rangers team on one hit while striking out five. You can’t help but hope that this means D-Train is back on the tracks to stay, because baseball is more fun with him in it.
Royals 6, Indians 5: Whoa. The Indians’ bullpen is seventeen shades of terrible, but Kerry Wood turned in maybe the most memorable stinker of the year. With the Tribe leading 5-2 entering the ninth, Wood waltzes in, gives up back to back homers to Mike Jacobs and Mark Teahen, walks Miquel Olivo, gives up a triple to David DeJesus and then gives up the game-losing sacrifice fly to Willie Bloomquist. Cliff Lee (8 IP, 8 H, 2 ER) deserved a much better fate. Cleveland faces Meche and Greinke the next two nights, and then begins interleague play against the Reds this weekend. It doesn’t strain credulity to suggest that these next five games are going to determine whether Eric Wedge keeps his job or not.
Cardinals 3, Cubs 0: The second of two Missouri games I was flipping between last night. WGN announcer Bob Brenly used a line very much like the one I had planned to use about this one, and that’s that the Cubs’ plan of attack against Joel Pinero made you wonder if the team bus was double parked or something. So, so many first pitch swings. Pinero only had to throw 92 pitches in his CG shutout.
Yankees 9, Orioles 1: CC Sabathia continues to round nicely into form and Mark Teixeira and A-Rod continue to power things along. From the game story: “It was the 558th of [Rodriguez's] career, putting him five behind Reggie Jackson for 11th place on the all-time list — before the game, A-Rod and Mr. October visited in the clubhouse.” A person familiar with the meeting said that Reggie “may have given Rodriguez injections of bison testosterone before the game.” How else to explain this power surge? Rodriguez hit no home runs in the month of April, and now he can’t do anything but hit home runs. Also, Rodriguez clearly arranged the meeting so that he could size up Reggie as a substitute father figure.
Diamondbacks 5, Marlins 3: Josh Johnson was cruising until the seventh, but then the wheels fell off for Florida. First Mark Reynolds then hit a homer to make it 2-1 Marlins, and then it was error, single, sacrifice — new pitcher! — HBP, single, single, error — new pitcher! — sacrifice fly and then a merciful end to the inning and, for all practical purposes, the game.
Red Sox 2, Blues Jays 1: Your feeble skills are no match for the power of the knuckleball.
Pirates 8, Nationals 5: The Nats show a little moxy battling back after being down 5-0 early to send it into extra innings, but then Manny Acta went a bridge (or an inning) too far with Joe Beimel to cough the game up in the 10th.
Braves 8, Rockies 1: Jair Jurrjens may be having the most quiet great season of any starter right now, as he ups his record to 4-2 while his ERA sinks back below 2.00. Meanwhile, Casey Kotchman continues his poor-man’s Mark Grace impression (.301/.363/.459), which is really what the Braves had hoped to get from him when they acquired him last year. Oh, and Todd Helton gets his 2,000th hit. In his career, not the game, because that would be a record.
Brewers 4, Astros 3: Mike Hampton was pitching well but had to leave the game after four innings due to a cut on his left thumb. He’s expected to undergo Tommy John surgery on the thumb Thursday morning, but is expected to be ready to go for spring training 2010. Kaz Matsui stole home in the first inning. Though there was a runner at first at the time, it doesn’t appear to have been a double steal, but there’s no video or recap available as the bulldog goes to press tonight. UPDATE: happened during a rundown, so I give it a “meh.” In other news, now’s about the time that David Pinto or Jayson Stark’s indentured servants or someone will tell us if we’re experiencing a record number of steals of home this season.
White Sox 6, Twins 2: Irresistible force of recent suck (Twins) meets immovable object of recent suck (White Sox). Mark Buehrle steps in and ends the stalemate, however, continuing to play stopper and moving to 6-1 on the year.
Athletics 4, Rays 1: 0-0 through ten innings is pretty intense no matter who’s playing, so I kind of wish I had the broadcast of this one last night. Matt Holliday continues to warm up, as he hit the three-run dinger that ultimately won the game. At this rate he should be red hot at almost the exact moment the A’s trade him to the Red Sox or the Mets in July.
Angels 6, Mariners 5: King Felix gets rocked (5.2 IP, 11 H, 6 ER). Adrian Beltre is on an 0-17 slump. Game story: “The Angels stole a season-high five bases and were thrown out a season-high three times. Their baserunning success drew a strong response from Wakamatsu.” Wait, is going 5-8 in stolen base attempts really “success?” I thought that was below the break even point? I guess allowing five is embarrassing, but catching them three times means that it was a net loss for the Angels, right?
Padres 2, Giants 1: Barry Zito: best 1-4 pitcher in baseball. Zito pitches his first complete game in six years, but gets no help from his hitters.
Dodgers 5, Mets 3: Dodgers win, but they lost Orlando Hudson to a shoulder injury in the seventh inning. Doesn’t sound serious, but if he has to miss any time it may be more costly to them than losing Manny. Not that losing Manny has been that costly: they now lead the West by seven and a half games, which is a larger margin than they had when all Manny Hell broke loose two weeks ago.
Phillies 4, Reds 3: Fine game and all of that, but this Joey Votto business is getting scary. From the Reds’ website: “Joey has undergone a series of tests at the Scripps Clinic in San Diego and here in Cincinnati, and we have more tests scheduled over the next few days. After those additional tests, we will be more prepared to discuss the cause of his dizziness.” That sounds like they know what it is but want to confirm it. One tends not confirm short term weirdness via more tests. One confirms big things. Here’s hoping it’s wax buildup or that he’s become unstuck in time or something as opposed to something more Nick Esaskyesque.