Reds 8, Indians 1: It was Brandon Phillips’ birthday and he beat up his old team to celebrate (3-5, 3 RBI). But he overplayed it: “It’s good to have a game like I did today, especially on my birthday and against the guys you used to play for. Today, I was like, ‘I’m going to show the Indians what they missed out on.’” Please, Brandon. They gave you 462 major league plate appearances and you gave them .206/.246/.310. They also gave you parts of four seasons in Buffalo, and you gave them 269/.329/.411. It’s nice of you to show them what they missed out on, but maybe if you had showed some of it, oh, 5, 6, 7 years ago, you’d be the starting second baseman for the Indians today. But happy birthday anyway.
Braves 2, Red Sox 1: Look, you can spin it any way you want to, Boston fans, but you got beat by a kid with a mullet yesterday. But he’s a good kid. Hanson’s last three starts: 17.1 IP, 9 hits, 0 ER. And that ain’t against no tomato cans, neither: that’s against the Red Sox, the Yankees, and the Reds in that playpen they call a ballpark.
Yankees 4, Mets 2: Mariano Rivera got his 500th save. More impressive: he drew a bases-loaded walk, giving him his first career RBI in 15 seasons. Francisco Rodriguez gave it up, which in some cosmic way illustrates the vast gulf between those two pitchers in my mind. How do you walk Mariano Rivera? Nerves is all I can think, and you can bet your ass that if the situation was reversed, Rivera would never have walked Rodriguez, because Rivera’s body temperature runs at a constant 57 degrees.
White Sox 6, Cubs 0: Jon Danks shut out the Cubbies over seven innings, and the bullpen handled the last two. One of the few reasons I’m sad that the interleague season is over is that it will provide fewer opportunities for Ozzie Guillen to talk smack to Cubs’ fans. Here he was over the weekend: “White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was asked why attendance was so low at the Sox-Dodgers series, and said: “Because our fans are not stupid like Cubs fans. They know we’re (expletive).” Guillen said Cubs fans will go watch any game at Wrigley Field because “Wrigley Field is just a bar.”
Phillies 5, Blue Jays 4: You hate to throw this out there on a day he won, but to me it’s the most interesting thing that came out of this game: Jamie Moyer, who allowed three home runs, has now allowed 483 in his career, passing Phil Niekro for third all-time. He’s a lock to pass Fergie Jenkins, who is in second place at 484, but he’s almost certainly going to need to go into next season to beat out Robin Roberts for that all time lead at 505. He’s under contract for 2010, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to see him hold on and take the record.
Royals 3, Pirates 2: Greinke wins his 10th and, thanks to a rain delay, gets a bit of a rest too, coming out in the seventh after throwing only 80 pitches. The Pirates’ highlight of the day didn’t come in Pittsburgh: “Ian Snell, the former Pirates’ No. 2 starter who was demoted Thursday after deciding he needed a change of scenery, struck out 13 in a row after walking the leadoff batter Sunday for Triple-A Indianapolis against Toledo. He finished with 17 Ks and two hits allowed in seven innings, throwing 70 of 108 pitches for strikes. Indianapolis won 2-1 in 10 innings.” I think that (a) he probably needs to come back to Pittsburgh; and (b) if I struck out 17 guys in a game and got a no-decision I’d be pretty damn pissed.
Nationals 5, Orioles 3: Adam Dunn hit a home run that reached the B&O warehouse on the bounce, traveling an estimated 442 feet. The Nats got another run when Josh Willingham scored on a single. He was dead to rights at home plate, but Matt Wieters dropped the ball, missing the tag. Which leads to a theological question: Can Matt Weiters allow himself to make an error? If so, then it seems that he could cease to be omnipotent. But if not — if he is somehow precluded from allowing himself error — perhaps he is not omnipotent to begin with. Think about that one for a minute and get back to me. Either way, though, the answer to this question is less important than the act of asking it. You see, Matt Weiters is sitting at .234/.289/.390, which means that I have to use up all of these Wieters = God jokes quickly, because they’re rapidly approaching their expiration date.
Tigers 4, Astros 3: I made fun of Russ Ortiz quite a bit early in the season, but he just finished with a 1.90 ERA for June. I even added the dude to my Scoresheet team, though that probably tells you more about the quality of my Scoresheet team than it does Russ Ortiz. He got a no-decision here, but for that he can blame Edwin Jackson and the Astros’ bats. Brandon Inge hit a two-run homer off Jose Valverde with two outs in the ninth inning to win it.
Rays 5, Marlins 2: David Price bounces back after a hellish outing against the Phillies, this time holding the Marlins to one run on two hits in six and a third. That makes five straight wins for the Rays, who after seventy some-odd games of fooling around now look ready to make a serious run in the second half.
Twins 6, Cardinals 2: The extent to which the Cardinals have been a one man gang this year was illustrated by the fact that their new addition — super ute Mark DeRosa — hit cleanup in his first game with the team. Mark DeRosa has been a lot of things in his career, but a cleanup hitter has never really been one of them. In fact, before yesterday, he had only started four games as a cleanup hitter in his entire career. Of course, three of those came this year with the Indians, which tells you the dire offensive straits they’ve been in as well.
Mariners 4, Dodgers 2: L.A. has lost four of five, but they can get away with it with their lead. More interesting “the Dodgers hadn’t decided whether they’ll discipline reliever Ronald Belisario after the 26-year-old rookie was arrested early Saturday morning on suspicion of DUI in Pasadena.” I anxiously await the Bill Plaschke column in which he decries the horrible example set by Belisario and declares that whatever punishment the Dodgers mete out to him is insufficient. Because clearly Plaschke thinks that drunk driving is worse than steroid use, doesn’t he?
Rockies 3, Athletics 1: The A’s have dropped five in a row. As for the Rockies, Aaron Cook has been somethin’ special recently, giving up a single run in four of his last five starts.
Angels 12, Diamondbacks 8: A straight steal of home by Gary Matthews, Jr. was pretty spiffy. Four Arizona errors were not. The Angels finish interleague play 14-4, including an 8-1 mark in NL parks.
Padres 2, Rangers 0: Chad Gaudin allowed one hit over eight innings for the Padres. The box score says it was 99 degrees at game time. Seems like it’s always hot down there, no matter when you come. It’s the kind of heat that holds you like a mama holds her son. Tight when he tries to walk, even tighter if he runs.
Giants 7, Brewers 0: Ryan Sadowski (who?) stymies the Brewers in his major league debut (6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER). He’s bumped Jonathan Sanchez to the pen. Sanchez must have been mad: he plunked Prince Fielder and then struck out the side in his one inning of work.