Royals 2, Astros 1: The legend goes that Zack Greinke fell in love with an Earth woman. Deciding that he wanted to be with her, he chose to undergo the irreversible process of immersing himself in the red Kyptonian sunlight, stripping him of his super powers. After three or four weeks of being mortal, however, he realized that he needed to trek back to the Fortress of Solitude to see if he couldn’t get his powers back. It all worked out in the end, as Greinke returned to Planet Houston and defeated his enemies in impressive style (8 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 5K). Only hitch: Brian Bannister still knew his secret identity when it was all over, so they had to engage in a very awkward kiss to set everything back the way it was.
Braves 4, Yankees 0: The book on the Yankees is that they are nearly powerless when facing rookie or, at the very least, unfamiliar starters. I don’t know if that’s actually true, but it certainly seems it, and getting shutout by rookie Tommy Hanson and a gaggle of relievers doesn’t help the perception any. Sad thing is that Wang actually pitched better than Hanson in some respects, so at least that’s something for the Yankees to build on. In other news, Braves’ catcher Brian McCann continues to be astounding (3-4, 2B, HR 2 RBI) and has no business trailing Yadier Molina in the All-Star voting right now.
Phillies 10, Rays 1: Unlike the Yankees, the Phillies seem to have no such trouble against rookie pitchers, and they roughed David Price the hell up (4.1 IP, 7 H, 10 R). Only five of those runs were earned due to three Rays’ errors, but it’s not like Price wasn’t smacked around, because he clearly was.
Dodgers 5, White Sox 4: Early Wynn was knocked out of the box, well, early, giving up four runs on eight hits in two and two thirds. Roger Craig wasn’t any great shakes himself (7 IP, 10 H, 4 R) but between that and a homer and an RBI single from Hodges, it was enough. Next it’ll be the youngster Koufax facing off against Bob Shaw two nights from now back in Chicago. If he can pull it off, the Dodgers will have won their first title since moving to Los Angeles. Turning to business news, General Motors announced today that it foresees profits for the next century at the very least, and anticipates that Flint, Michigan will soon rival New York, London and Paris in wealth, prosperity and opulence.
Red Sox 11, Nationals 3: Over 41,000 in attendance in Nationals Park on a Tuesday night? Yep, Boston must be in town. Jason Bay (4-6, HR 3 RBI) made the interlopers happy, and Brad Penny continued to show would be trade partners that he’s basically a five inning pitcher, even if he’s becoming an increasingly effective one. Give up value at your own risk.
Tigers 5, Cubs 4: Magglio Ordonez got the start after riding the pine for four games, goes 0-2 and is lifted for a pinch runner, and then later the guy who has been starting in his place hits a two-run, come-from-behind walkoff homer. I suspect that it’s back to the pine for Magglio.
Indians 5, Pirates 4: There was an article yesterday about how one could conceivably get pumped up for what looks to be such a blah series between two blah teams. I don’t know if I buy a lot of them, but I can definitely buy the Cleveland-Pittsburgh rivalry thing. It’s slanted way east in football, but baseball could maybe spice it up a bit, no? After all, Cleveland is way closer to Pittsburgh than it is to its putative interleague rival, the Reds, and Cleveland and Pittsburgh have more in common with one another from a cultural and demographic standpoint than Cleveland and Cincinnati do.
Marlins 7, Orioles 6: Two counts of bullpen malpractice. Count I: against Danys Baez for allowing five runs on four hits in the seventh. Count II: against a quartet of Fish relievers that immediately turned around and blew that lead in the eighth and ninth. Jorge Cantu singled in the winning run in the twelfth, but that can be blamed on the pen too, as Brian Bass walked Emilio Bonafacio for some strange reason, then uncorked a wild pitch to allow him to get to second before Cantu did his thing. Pfun Pfact: by the year 2017, use of the term “uncorked” in the wild pitch context will exceed its use in the wine context for the first time in recorded history. If you don’t believe me, you can look it up.
Cardinals 3, Mets 0: Joel Pinero shuts the Mets down with a two hit shutout. He had two hits on his own too, which really rubbed the Mets noses in it, no? And the Mets didn’t even make him work a little it: he threw 100 pitches even and this one was over in two hours and thirteen minutes.
Twins 7, Brewers 3: It was a victory just getting this game played at home given the damage last week’s flooding caused at Miller Park, so let’s call this a split for the Brewers. Joe Mauer goes 0-5, knocking him down below .400 for the first time this season. Apropos of nothing, I’ll note that knuckleballer R.A. Dickey is sporting a 2.43 ERA on the season.
Blue Jays 7, Reds 5: Joey Votto returns. He only goes 1-4, but as I’ll write later this morning, he could have taken a golden sombrero and it wouldn’t have made a difference, because the mere fact that he’s playing ball after what he’s gone through is a triumph.
Padres 9, Mariners 7: With the exception of one inning, Chad Gaudin pitched excellently (7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 11K) then had to bite his nails as reliever Greg Burke did his best to throw it all away.
Diamondbacks 8, Rangers 2: The season may already be lost for Arizona, but Max Scherzer (6 IP, 7 H, 2 ER) and Justin Upton (2-4, 2B, HR, 3 RBI) at least provide a bright future.
Angels 4, Rockies 3: This win, combined with the Rangers loss, puts the Angels into a first place tie. There was a point in April where that seemed impossible, but it seems that anything is possible in the AL West.
Giants 4, A’s 1: Lincecawesome! (CG, 7 H, 1 ER, 12K). OK, that was probably uncalled for.