Phillies 2, Mets 0: Blanton beats Santana, yadda, yadda, yadda. I want to use this entry to make my first observation of the All-Star season. Fact: Charlie Manuel manages the NL team this year. Fact: he has an All-Star roster with too many first basemen and nary a legitimate centerfielder to be found, among other issues that may very well prevent the NL from winning. Fact: the league which loses the All-Star game costs its World Series representative home field advantage. Fact: the Phillies stand a decent enough chance to go back to the World Series this year. Fact: the Phillies have been a much better road team than home team this year. Theory: Charlie Manuel is deliberately tanking the All-Star game in the hopes that the Phillies lose home field “advantage.” Clever, Charlie. Very clever.
Marlins 5, Pirates 0: Ricky Nolasco continues his post-call-up tear, this time shutting out and striking out 12 Pirates and giving up only three hits over eight innings. Hanley Ramirez was scratched from the lineup because his hip is sore. When asked if he’d play in the upcoming series in San Francisco, he said “I’ll see how it feels after a 7-hour plane ride.” That’s funny. I checked Expedia, and there are no direct commercial flights between Miami and San Francisco that take more than six hours, and many take a little less. A chartered team plane shouldn’t do any worse. If Ramirez is right, though, I can only assume that Jeff Loria is so cheap that he has his team flying Southwest or something. If you’re at the Oklahoma City airport later today and see a guy that looks kinda like Dan Uggla getting a TCBY while waiting for his connection, it probably is Dan Uggla.
Athletics 5, Indians 2: OK, we’ve got a situation here. Last week I said I’d go with “Major League” quotes until either (a) Eric Wedge was fired; or (b) the Indians won three in a row. In reality, when I said that I assumed that Wedge was a dead man walking and that the bit would end soon. Then, prior to yesterday’s game, Shapiro goes and announces that Wedge will keep his job for the rest of the season. So here’s the problem: there’s no way in hell this team is gonna win three games in a row any time soon. Just look at yesterday: they had two in the bag, their ace on the mound, and Gio-freakin’-7.27 ERA-Gonzales facing them. At home. What happens? Of course they lose. So what do I do? I mean, I beat some bits into the ground, but I had no intention of running “Major League” quotes every day. If I did, I’d start to run out of good ones by, say, September. I’m going to give some thought to how long I stick with this, but I’m leaning towards giving it up and simply trying to find new ways to describe how depressing this team is. I’ll leave that decision for tomorrow or the next day. In the meantime: “Let me get back to you, will ya, Charlie? I got a guy on the other line asking about some white walls.”
Cubs 8, Brewers 2: The AP game story quotes Ryan Braun talking about how the Milwaukee pitchers aren’t getting the job done. That’s interesting enough, but the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel quotes him getting into the GM’s business as well. He then spent the whole bus ride back to Milwaukee complaining about how the driver changed lanes too much and yelling at Corey Hart for taking up too much armrest space.
Nationals 5, Braves 3: Atlanta sweeps the first place Phillies and then drops two of three to the worst team in Major League Baseball. Anyone who couldn’t have predicted that hasn’t watched much Braves baseball for the past three or four years.
Cardinals 10, Reds 1: I’ve sorta not been paying that much attention to the Reds lately, so I had just been assuming that Bronson Arroyo was continuing his patteren of getting shelled, then pitching well, then getting shelled, etc. Looking at it now, the “getting shelled” option has been a lot more prevalent, and it happened again yesterday (5 IP, 11 H, 8 R). Arroyo now has the worst ERA among regular NL starters.
Yankees 10, Blue Jays 8: Joba Chamberlain gets his ineffective butt saved by Derek Jeter and the rest of the Yankees’ offense. In Chamberlain’s defense, neither of the homers he gave up would have reached the seats in old Yankee Stadium. Such a defense only goes so far, of course, given that Alfredo Aceves pitched against the same Blue Jays and in front of the same outfield walls yesterday, and he only gave up one hit in four innings of relief work.
Red Sox 8, Mariners 4: The Mariners would have liked to take this one, but the fact is that they finished nine road games against the Dodgers, Yankees and Red Sox 5-4, and that’s pretty damn impressive.
Royals 6, White Sox 3: Some interesting thoughts about the whole Rany-Royals dustup here. I wish someone would have thought to ask Ozzie Guillen about this over the weekend. Even in the very likely event that he knows none of the actors and cares not a bit about this drama, the way in which he would have put it would have been pretty entertaining.
Twins 6, Tigers 2: A bunch of those “The Tigers are in the driver’s seat” stories popped up last week. Everyone who wrote them forgot the fact that the Twins just never, ever seem to go away, no matter how hard you try and make them. They take two of three from the kitty cats and stand ready to be a total pain in Detroit’s butt for the next three months.
Diamondbacks 4, Rockies 3: Dan Haren pitched six innings and stood to be the winner after the Dbacks took the lead in the top of the seventh. I probably would have bet the balance of my 401K that the Arizona bullpen wasn’t going to hold that lead for him, but I’ll be damned if they didn’t.
Angels 9, Orioles 6: Baltimore held 4-0 leads on Saturday and Sunday and blew them both. But it’s not like there isn’t hope.
Dodgers 7, Padres 6: Broxton blows a four-run lead in the ninth (I’m sure it was Manny’s fault somehow), but James Loney hits a solo homer in the 13th to give the Dodgers the win.
Astros 7, Giants 1: Roy Oswalt is 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA over his last three starts. Randy Johnson bailed early with a strained shoulder. He probably did it while batting earlier in the game. Some joker somewhere will use that as an argument for the DH, ignoring that Johnson has had nearly 700 career plate appearances without incident before yesterday.
Rangers 5, Rays 2: The Rangers sweep the Rays — allowing only seven runs in the three game set — and now start a big series against Anaheim. Tasty.