Reader YankeefanLen wrote me yesterday afternoon with the following observation: “It strikes me that this 3 game series- Yankees v. Rangers, Tigers v. Sox, could be a portent to the first round playoffs. Tigers have division lead and would have to play BoSox, who would be, of course,wild card, and from all I see, Rangers and Tigers should hold on to West and Central.” Lots of baseball to go, but yeah, I could see that happening. So Let’s see how the division series are playing out:
Yankees 12, Rangers 3: Jorge Posada’s throwing error broke the team errorless streak, but given what he did at the plate (3-4, HR, 4 RBI), I don’t think his teammates mind all that much.
Red Sox 5, Tigers 1: Crap, this means that we’re going to have a Boston-New York ALCS, doesn’t it? If so, I give the Yankees the edge, because the Red Sox’ closer is shaky. Papelbon came into the game and gave up three straight singles to load the bases, then struck out the side to preserve the win. John Rocker used to do that kind of thing, and it’s the reason why I’m bald and jumpy and everything. The Sox beat up Porcello a bit over 4.1 innings, and since he’s, like, 13 years-old and on a no-doubt strictly-enforced pitch count, making him work is the key to beating him.
Pirates 3, Mets 1: Zach Duke beats Johan Santana, with the former failing to strike out a single Met and the latter striking out only three Pirates. Guess that means that everyone was just suffering from a case of the feebles.
Blue Jays 6, Angels 4: Ah, there’s where all of the strikeouts went. Halladay (CG, 7 H, 4 R, 14K) was hording them all.
Braves 6, Cubs 5: Atlanta sent Jordan Schafer down to Gwinnett before the game. Jeff Francoeur, obviously thinking “there but for the grace of God go I,” responded with a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to tie up a game the Braves trailed 5-0 in the eighth. He walked once, too! That kind of killed it for Randy Wells, who took a no-hitter into the seventh. Chipper Jones’ RBI single in the 12th definitely killed it for the Cubs.
Rays 6, Royals 2: Andy Sonnanstine lowers his ERA to 7.16 and Matt Joyce goes 3-4 with a double, a homer and four RBI. Kyle Davies walked six guys and threw 114 pitches in 5.2 IP for the Royals. Guess he’s not into that whole, you know, brevity thing.
Nationals 10, Giants 6: Tim Lincecum strikes out the 500th batter in his brief career, but then sits down and watches his bullpen give up six runs in the eighth. Ron Villone gets the win, which inspired me to look at his career stats for a moment. I knew he was a journeyman, but I didn’t know that Washington was his 12th team. Mike Morgan, much celebrated for his nomadic ways, “only” pitched for 12 teams himself. Have left arm, will travel, eh Ron?
Athletics 5, White Sox 0: Mazzaro, Breslow & Ziegler — which sounds like a personal injury law firm — combine to shut out Chicago. Colon, Gobble, Carrasco & Whisler — which kind of sounds like onomatopoeia from a French children’s book about farms or something — were not as impressive.
Astros 3, Rockies 2: Miguel Tejada goes 4-6 with three RBI including the game-winning home run in extra innings. Apparently he did not hear me when I said earlier in the day that he was playing over his head and that his current level of production was not sustainable. It’s as if he’s doing this just to make me look ridiculous. And a man in my position can’t afford to be made to look ridiculous. Now you get the hell out of here. And just know it if you want to try any rough stuff that I ain’t no band leader. Yeah, I heard that story.
Mariners 8, Orioles 2: Erik Bedard (6.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 7K) was very considerate to put together a nice performance at home against the Orioles so as to make everyone forget, even if for only a couple of hours, about just how badly the Mariners were fleeced in the Adam Jones deal.
Phillies 10, Padres 5: Raul Ibanez (3-5, 2 HR, 5 RBI) may be reaping the rewards now, but there will be hell to pay when it is found out that his 2009 production is the result of his clandestinely stealing the life force of some younger, unknown ballplayer in the course of his dark, twisted effort to attain immortality. Yeah, I dropped a Fistandantilus reference. I don’t care. I’m old now, and my kids will soon think I’m a dork anyway, so why should I pretend not to be?
Marlins 10, Brewers 3: Manny Parra was lifted after throwing exactly 100 pitches. Given that the dude gave up ten runs on eleven hits in that time, I’m going to assume that it wasn’t a forced pitch-count thing. For a guy with a bum groin, Hanley Ramirez is hitting damn well. Three for five both Monday night and last night.
Twins 4, Indians 3: Joe Mauer (3-3, HR, BB 3 RBI) is not bad. And as if Cleveland’s season needs to get any worse, Asdrubal Cabrera left the game with shoulder injury.
Cardinals 5, Reds 2: Nick Stavinoha comes through again, hitting a two-run double to put the Redbirds ahead for good in the sixth. He’s been driving in a lot of runs since his callup in mid-May. After the game he had this to say: “Memphis is a nice place and all. but I like it a little better here.”
Dodgers 6, Diamondbacks 5: Danny Haren (7 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 7K — and 3-3 at the plate!) deserved much better than the no-decision he got thanks to the Tony Pena and Dan Schlereth-led bullpen implosion. As for the Dodgers, they are now halfway through Manny’ suspension and, really, haven’t missed him a bit. When he comes back it will be as if they went out and acquired a big bat at the trade deadline without having to give up anything in return.