White Sox 5, Rays 0: Nice game for Josh Fields (1-4, grand slam). Scott Kazmir’s nightmare season continues. Rumors have him on the trading block to free up some salary for the Rays to get Lee or someone. What a difference a year makes. Wait, why are you looking at me like that? Did something else happen in this game worthy of comment?
Mariners 2, Tigers 1: And with that, the AL Central is tied. Perfect game juju gives the Sox the momentum, though (that’s how that works, right?). And how about Jarrod Washburn? Walk a few less guys, strike a few more guys out, and bammo — you’re ending July at 8-6 with a 2.71 ERA.
Giants 5, Braves 1: It makes total sense that the Braves hit Tim Lincecum like he’s Derek Lilliquist and then get shut down by Barry Zito (7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER). You’re not going to believe this, but Bobby Cox was ejected. Strange, though. It was only about 80 degrees and the game was tied. He usually saves that sort of thing for the really hot days when the game’s outcome is no longer in doubt. Unlike almost all of his other ejections it’s possible that he was really upset here.
Indians 5, Blue Jays 4: You can leave in a taxi. If you can’t get a taxi, you can leave in a Huff (7.2 IP, 8 H, 4 ER). If that’s too soon, you can leave in a minute and a huff. You know, you haven’t stopped talking since I came here? You must have been vaccinated with a phonograph needle.
Phillies 9, Padres 4: It strikes me that a lot of that “but the Phillies need Roy Halladay” talk implicitly assumes that Cole Hamels is going to continue to be a 4.80ish kind of pitcher all year, and I can’t say I’m sure why people think that. No, the Padres aren’t exactly a formidable test, but I have this feeling that this fall’s Cole Hamels is going to look an awful lot like last fall’s Cole Hamels.
Cardinals 4, Nationals 1: Rain put an end to this one early, as the field became an unplayable mess. Tony La Russa on the conditions and the grounds crew’s efforts: “You can’t try harder than that — whether it’s the grounds crew or the umpire. Mother Nature is always stronger than anybody.” I’d call that profound if I thought he believed it. Let’s be honest: if there’s a manager in baseball who spends his offseason building weather-controlling satellites and wishes to one day destroy the sun itself, it’s Tony La Russa. The man is not exactly the type to simply defer to nature or anything else. Pfun Pfact: Cards GM John Mozeliak was on NPR yesterday afternoon being interviewed about the fact that the team plans on taking the train from D.C. to Philly in advance of tonight’s game, which is kind of cool. To get in the era-of-train-travel mood they should all wear suits and smoke too.
Yankees 6, A’s 3: ESPN’s little “Fast facts” box said “The Yankees came back from four runs down to win their seventh straight game . . . New York trailed 4-0 before scoring four runs in the fourth inning.” What happened? Did New York have to begin the game with -1 runs for some reason, or was Oakland docked one?
Diamondbacks 11, Pirates 4: In a rare events, the Dbacks scored a lot in a Dan Haren start. Unfortunately for Dan, most of the runs came after he left the game, so he got a no-decision. Chad Tracy hit a pinch-hit three-run homer that broke the game open. I have this feeling that it will not, however, inspire the kind of ruckus Manny Ramirez’s did the day before.
Angels 6, Twins 5: Howie Kendrick hit one up the middle in the ninth that ricocheted off of Joe Nathan’s glove and then hit the second base bag, preventing anyone from making what would have been a game-ending play and allowing the tying run to score. Not a hell of a lot you can do about that if you’re the Twins except to hope you don’t miss the playoffs by one game this year and spend all winter thinking about stupid bounces.