Pirates 6, Tigers 3: The Pirates ain’t the walkingest team you’re ever going to see — in fact they’re one of the worst — so it’s not like Dontrelle Willis was simply outworked by the opposition in giving up eight walks in three and two-thirds. Pittsburgh Penguin forward Bill Guerin threw out the first pitch and had better command than Dontrelle did. The Tigers are three up on Minnesota in the Central. That’s great, but they don’t have any room to experiment with Willis any longer. He simply can’t be allowed to pitch for this team any more this season. In other news, the 1909 throwback uniforms these guys wore were sweet as hell.
Yankees 15, Mets 0: Johan Santana was terrible. His fastball was at 89-90, and he couldn’t locate anything anywhere close to where he wanted it. Jerry Manuel continued to impress too. When David Wright was livid over a called third-strike in the sixth, it took Manuel a minute to get out there, and when he finally did, it seemed like he was arguing out of a sense of obligation as opposed to passion or pique. How he got ejected during such a low-wattage argument I’ll never know, but I’d like to think he pulled one of those “Psst — throw me out. Really, I need to be run in this game or I’m going to lose my team. C’mon, do me a solid, OK?” things.
Orioles 11, Braves 2: Brad Bergesen has only given up six runs in his last 32 innings. Not that he needed to be that good against the Braves on Sunday, as Ty Wigginton hit two home runs and Robert Andino drove in three runs and freakin’ stole home. The steal was on a botched rundown play so it was not some feat of derring-do. That botch caused Bobby Cox to pull Yunel Escobar from the game. I can’t recall Jeff Francoeur ever getting pulled out of a game for doing something stupid (and it’s certainly not for a lack of opportunity) so why Escobar had to go I have no idea. I can only guess that Francoeur has Bobby Cox’s grandchildren locked in a tower someplace and vows not to release them unless he’s given 160 starts a year.
Phillies 11, Red Sox 6: Dustin Pedroia, Jason Varitek, J.D. Drew and David Ortiz all sat, but this loss isn’t attributable to a lack of bats for Boston. Josh Beckett just came undone in the seventh, and got no real relief from Daniel Bard, as everyone except Greg Dobbs smacked the ball around for the Phillies.
Indians 3, Cardinals 0: St. Louis must have had an early flight out of Cleveland. Cliff Lee takes a no-hitter into the eighth — broken up by Molina Unit No. 1249BHG5 — and this one was brought home in a cool one hour, fifty-eight minutes. Lee finished with a three-hit shutout, getting the job done on a mere 93 pitches. Oh, and since I mentioned throwback uniforms above, allow me to offer a few more words on the subject: on Saturday, Cleveland and St. Louis wore some of the weakest throwbacks you’ll ever see. Each team was wearing pullovers as opposed to their usual button-downs, which appeared to come from the mid-to-late 80s. Except they kind of didn’t. The Indians wore the specific pullover they sported on Saturday from 1978-1985, when they switched to a button-down model. Except they never wore the Wahoo cap like they wore on Saturday during those years; they only had the block C, meaning that this wasn’t really a throwback as much as it was a mishmosh. The Cardinals were a little better — their gray road pullover was actually worn by the club between 1971 and 1975, and again from 1985-1991. But if they’re going to go with unfashionable 1970s and 80s throwbacks, why not go with the powder blues? Sure, they looked terrible on the Cardinals, but it least it was interesting.
Marlins 11, Blue Jays 3: Yet another game in which one team scores at least 11 runs. Ronny Paulino went 4 for 5 with a couple of homers and three RBI and the fish rapped out 18 hits. Between the sweep and Halladay’s groin, the Jays couldn’t have imagined a worse series than this.
Angels 6, Padres 0: Jered Weaver was fantastic, pitching his first career shutout. Juan Rivera was pretty spiffy himself, hitting two homers.
Dodgers 6, Rangers 3: For those who care about such things, Andruw Jones went 3-8 with a couple of homers against the Dodgers over the weekend. Those who don’t should just know that Chad Billingsley gave up three runs — only two of them earned — over seven innings to notch his ninth victory on the season.
Royals 7, Reds 1: Johnny Cueto’s line shows zero earned runs and five unearned, and the game story talks about how Jerry Hairston’s errors led to all of that unearnedage, but the fact remains that after the first inning error, Cueto still had to give up a run scoring double to Migiel Olivo, and after the third inning error, Cueto still had to give up a walk, a triple and a single for those runs to score, so it’s not like he was totally boned by his defense. Sometimes you gotta suck it up and pitch through an error or two, and Cueto didn’t necessarily do that.
Giants 7, A’s 1: San Francisco Sweeps Oakland, allowing only three runs all weekend. Matt Cain (CG, 4 H, 1 ER, 9K) was impressive: He allowed no hits after the third inning, and retired 19 of the last 20 he faced. Nate Schierholtz hit an inside the park home that bounced high off the base of the wall and forced Jack Cust to wait for it come back down forever. This is what I was talking about a couple of weeks ago when I said that triples are more exciting than inside the park homers. Sure, this was neat, but it was essentially a function of some quirk (i.e. the high bounce), whereas triples are more often just flat out speed. There was no play at the plate on Schierholtz here, so really, how exciting could this really be?
Rays 5, Nats 4: If the rumors are to be believed, this was Manny Acta’s last game as the Nationals’ manager. Acta didn’t always get as much out of his teams as he could have, and a change is probably needed, but it’s not like the manager was the difference between winning and losing in Washington. Acta is by all accounts a good guy, so here’s hoping he latches on someplace else quickly and gets another, better shot to manage again someday.
Rockies 7, Mariners 1: I guess Colorado isn’t going to lose again. Too bad they dug such a hole for themselves beforehand, because L.A. is just too far ahead and there are at least five other teams hanging around Wild Card land.
Cubs 3, Twins 2: Clearly firing hitting coach Gerald Perry is what led to this offensive outburst on the part of the Cubs. The new hitting coach is named Von Joshua, which I’m pretty sure was the name of a bad guy in one of the Lethal Weapon movies.
Astros 8, Diamondbacks 3: My arguments against interleague play are somewhat undercut by the fact that this matchup — the only intralegaue matchup — was by far the least interesting of the entire weekend’s slate. Sometimes it’s hard to be a purist.