Phillies 22, Reds 1. I’m not sure what’s more impressive: the Phillies’ offensive outburst, or that it was all said and done in 2:53. The only downside of this for Philadelphia is that it will skew Cole Hamels’ run support numbers, thereby making his season look a little worse than it actually is. I’m guessing he’ll take the win, however.
Athletics 6, Red Sox 0: Because Smoltz got beat and Nomar returned and this is the Red Sox and they’re the most important thing in the world and everything, all of the stories this morning will likely focus on those things instead of the fact that 21 year-old Brett Anderson completely and utterly shut down one of the best offenses in baseball in what, by game score anyway, was the third best start by any pitcher in baseball this year (CG SHO 2 H, 9K).
Mariners 5, Orioles 0: Jarrod Washburn (CG SHO, 1 H 3K, 0 BB) was nearly as good as Anderson. Actually, by most measures we’d say he was better because a one-hitter > than a two hitter. Game score gives him a slight, slight deduction, however, because he didn’t strike as many guys out. Which suggests to me that the game score stat is boring and fascist.
Cubs 4, Braves 2: Steve Phillips, sometime around the fourth inning or so: “You know, there’s been a lot of talk around Atlanta about getting rid of Bobby Cox and getting someone with more fire.” OK, I’ve heard enough idiotic sports radio in my time to know that, yes, there is probably someone in Atlanta saying that. Phillips’ job, however, should be to do more than parrot crazy talk. No one I know of with a functioning brain stem is seriously talking about firing Bobby Cox, and even if they are, it’s not to get someone “with more fire.” I’m convinced that Phillips was just at a loss of something to say as the camera panned over to Cox, and started spewing things, attributing it to others so that it had a whiff of legitimacy to cover for the whiff of the place whence he pulled it. Nice save by Hershiser, however: a few seconds later, talking about Chipper Jones, Orel suggested making Chipper player-manager in the event Cox does step down for some reason. There are probably 57 things wrong with that, but I love the idea on a gut level. I think Jones is the oldest and grumpiest 37 year-old on the planet, which makes him just right to be a Major League manager. Kind of a Bobby Cox mini-me. In fact, I can totally picture that and now that the idea is in my head, I’m kind of wishing for it.
Royals 4, Tigers 3: Willie Bloomquist drove in three runs on a homer in the sixth inning and a two-run triple in the eighth. Bloomquist — a thirtysomething utility guy — must have felt pressured to perform given today’s trade for Ryan Freel — another thirtysomething utility guy.
Blue Jays 7, Yankees 6: Joe Girardi was ejected and Derek Jeter had to be restrained after Jetes was called out on a steal attempt at third despite the fact that he clearly reached around Scott Rolen’s tag and grabbed the bag. Jeter: “I was told by the umpire that I didn’t have to be tagged to be out.” Crew Chief John Hirschbeck: “It would make his actions seem appropriate if that’s what he was told. It used to be if the ball beat you, you were out, but it isn’t that way anymore. It’s not a reason to call someone out. You have to make a good tag.” If what Jeter says is true, and third base umpire Marty Foster told Jeter that he was out because the ball beat him, Foster should clearly be suspended or demoted or even fired, shouldn’t he? Isn’t that proof positive that there’s a guy out there calling his own game instead of enforcing the actual rules? In other news, why on Earth was Jeter stealing third with nobody out in the first inning of a 0-0 game with Swisher, Teixeira and Rodriguez coming to bat? Update: great minds think alike.
Astros 4, Pirates 1: Mike Hampton (7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER) broke into the bigs the same year the Pirates’ current streak of losing seasons began. Other things that happened in 1993: Clinton began his first term, “Jurassic Park” ruled the box office, I turned 20, and “The Bridges of Madison County” made anyone with taste want to barf their guts out. None of this has anything to do with Mike Hampton, but he gets so much crap for being fragile, that I thought I’d write something that makes him seem steady and venerable and everything.
Rockies 1, Nationals 0: See, here’s what happened: Jason Marquis (8 IP, 7 H, 0 ER) was tired of hearing you complain about him being selected to the All-Star Game and wanted to shut your know-it-all ass up. Got anything else to say, wise guy?
Angels 9, Rangers 4: Round 1 goes to the Angels, as Kevin Millwood gets beat up by the middle of LAA’s order. Millwood didn’t strike anyone out over five innings and, it would seem, his luck simply ran out.
Diamondbacks 6, Padres 5: Upton works a walk and steals second ahead of a Mark Reynolds’ All-Star snub defying single to win it in the ninth. The Dbacks have won three in a row for the first time since the end of May.
Giants 5, Marlins 4: Pablo Sandoval likewise mocks your All-Star snub by hitting a grand slam to provide what proved to be the winning runs.