Pirates 8, Brewers 5: Pittsburgh snaps their 17-game skid against Milwaukee, and the Brewers look pretty damn immature in defeat, plunking Jeff Karstens in what I guess was retaliation for him hitting Ryan Braun back in April. This despite the fact that they hit three Pirates the day after the Braun thing, and had an opportunity to hit Karstens if they wanted to the same day he hit Braun (why John Russell so frequently has his relief pitcher hitting is a topic for another day). Jason Kendall had to be restrained from, it appeared anyway, going after Pirates’ pitching coach Joe Kerrigan, and then after the game kept calling him “Dave Kurwin,” even after being corrected. So apparently Kendall is 6 years-old.
Athletics 14, Twins 13: You don’t win a lot of games when your starter gives up 11 runs on 10 hits in 2.2 innings, but the A’s did. Yep, the Twins led this game 12-2 at one point, but after Matt Holliday’s grand slam in the seventh, followed immediately by a Jack Cust solo shot, the lead was history. Largest blown lead for the Twins in 25 years. Largest comeback for the A’s in 84 years.
Dodgers 7, Reds 5: Jason Schmidt threw his first pitches in anger in over two years, and got the win to boot. Oh, and Manny Ramirez hit his 537th home run to pass Mickey Mantle into 15th place on the all-time list, which should inspire about 125 rage-filled, single-sentence paragraphs from Bill Plaschke or someone like him. Mantle was pure, you see. At least once you took away the booze and the speed and the painkillers.
Mets 6, Nationals 2: Jeff Francoeur! Livan Hernandez! Now if those two just keep on producing like we know they can, well, then, um . . . crap, this was a fluke, wasn’t it?
Phillies 10, Cubs 1: Now that is seems the Phillies have figured out how to win at home, there seems to be nothing that can stop them. Jack Nicholson was at the game, and according to the game story, the Phanatic wore a Batman suit. That’s kind of cool, but it would have been way cooler if he had dressed up like Nurse Ratched or the waitress who wouldn’t hold the chicken. I mean, I love Batman as much as the next guy, but Nicholson has had better foils.
Braves 11, Giants 3: The Braves hit Jonathan Sanchez and then continued hitting Segio Romo. Tommy Hanson, on the other hand, was much harder to hit (7 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 11K). And as Mac notes, not all of those earned runs were really “earned.”
Astros 3, Cardinals 2: Carlos Lee hits a three-run homer, receives “stingy kisses.”
White Sox 4, Rays 3: Carl Crawford hit an inside the park home run, but as is the case with so many of those things, it was the product of a bad defensive play. In this case, a crappy jump by Scott Podsednik. Sox won, anyhow, and are only a game and a half behind Detroit.
Rangers 6, Red Sox 3: There are a lot of smart people working for the Red Sox, so surely someone will soon realize that John Smoltz only pitches effectively for a few innings and then falls apart. If only there were some place he could pitch where his outings would be shorter, and maybe more frequent as opposed to longer and more sucky (5.2 IP, 9 H, 6 ER).
Yankees 2, Orioles 1: Eric Hinske has started off with a bang in New York, hitting four homers in his first five games. Jose Molina turned in two sweet plays behind the plate late in the game. No need to congratulate him, though. He’s a Molina and that is what they do. Walkoff for Matsui, and after the game he was hit in the face with a cream pie. Those zany, zany Yankees.
Marlins 3, Padres 2: The Padres have lost 15 of 19. I’m assuming that will all turn around once Oscar Salazar gets a chance to play more.
Rockies 10, Diamondbacks 6: With Colorado’s win and the Giants’ loss, the Rockies take a half-game lead in the wild card standings. And no, I don’t think it’s too early to talk about it. There isn’t a ton going on right now, so I’m totally cool with getting an early start on pennant race stuff.
Angels vs. Royals: Postponed: The fitful alternations of the rain/ When the chill wind, languid as with pain/ Of its own heavy moisture, here and there/ Drives through the gray and beamless atmosphere.