Red Sox 7, Tigers 5: You’ve probably seen the Youkilis-Porcello fracas, but here’s video of it from a slightly different angle which makes Youkilis seem like even more of the bad guy here. Of course his ejection was the best thing to happen to the Sox last night, as he was replaced by pinch-runner Mike Lowell, who stayed in the game and proceeded to hit two homers and drive in three. So yeah, that was all fun and everything, and it actually worked out for Boston, but can we all agree that plunkings, retaliation plunkings, retaliation for the retaliation plunking and all of that is a total drag? It’s the one part of baseball where Klingon law basically reigns, and I’ll just never get it. Your guy hits my guy? Who cares? The only reason you’re doing it is because we’re hitting you hard. That kind of thing doesn’t call for revenge. It calls for pity.
Indians 5, Rangers 0: Laffey, Smith and Sipp — pitchers, not a 1960s kids show featuring puppets — combine to shutout the Rangers. The Indians did all of their damage in the third via one of those death by a thousand cuts kinds of innings: single-single-HBP-walk-single-double, eventually followed by a sacrifice fly.
Braves 8, Nationals 1: Tommy Hanson (6.2 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 9K) puts a stop to the uppity Nats. Every Braves regular had a hit. Leadoff hitter Ryan Church reached base in four of his five plate appearances. Sure, he doesn’t get big feature stories like the guy he was traded for does, but I don’t think anyone cares.
Orioles 3, Athletics 2: Brian Roberts had three hits, an RBI and two stolen bases as the Os get a rare win over the A’s. Wait. Why does the apostrophe look right on the “A’s” but not the “Os?” I’d think that the apostrophe would be improper in both instances given that they’re abbreviations of plurals as opposed to possessives, but everyone writes “A’s” don’t they? Did Oakland ever formally change their nickname? When I was growing up they were almost always referred to as the A’s, but in recent years you hardly ever see that anymore. Maybe “A’s” was just the proper noun, apostrophe and all, now it’s not, and we’re just dealing with vestigial punctuation? Man, what I wouldn’t give to have a linguistic anthropologist handy right now. Short of that, I’ll settle for APBA Guy. Got any insight here, dude?
Yankees 7, Blue Jays 5: Hideki Matsui and Jorge Posada hit back-to-back homers leading off the eighth inning to give the Yanks the lead (where have we heard that before?). There was a moment of silence before the game for Merlyn Mantle, the widow of Mickey Mantle, who died Monday. There, my friends, was a woman of serious freakin’ strength, because God love him, but Mickey Mantle would have driven most women to their graves about 40 years before Mrs. M. was finally put to rest in hers.
Marlins 9, Astros 8: Game story: “Just before the bottom of the 11th inning, Cody Ross turned to teammate Dan Uggla on the bench and gave him a few choice words. “This is the inning,” Ross said he told him. “I feel it. I usually don’t say stuff like that.” Of course the bases were loaded at the time, so the odds were decidedly in his favor. Nice game-winning single by Uggla, but I’m not going to give Ross “I see dead people” kind of credit.
Padres 13, Brewers 6: Adrian Gonzalez went 6 for 6 and the Padres had 22 hits in all off of Braden Looper and six other Brewer pitchers.
Phillies 4, Cubs 3: Brad Lidge blew a 3-2 lead in the ninth, but Ben Francisco homer in the 12th got him off the hook. Lidge certainly ain’t right, though. How about this: Jamie Moyer, closer. Or would he complain about that too?
Reds 5, Cardinals 4: Coming off a shutout, Justin Lehr pitches well again, although this time in much better luck, giving up only one run in six innings despite allowing 11 hits and only striking out one dude. Which is why I hate the first sentence of the AP game story: “Apparently, Justin Lehr is no fluke.” Isn’t he? He’s a 32 year-old journeyman who isn’t allowing any runs despite not striking anyone out and has allowed 19 hits and 8 walks in 20 innings. Great results that still count and everything, but that’s pretty much a textbook example of fluky.
Royals 14, Twins 6: Demoting a knuckleballer like the Twins did with R.A. Dickey last week is the same as breaking a mirror or killing an albatross while crossing the ocean or something: courting doom. How else to explain a shellacking at the hands of the usually punchless Royals? Miguel Olivo homered and drove in three runs. The Twins have lost five of six and eight of 10, and they’re getting beat up at home on a pretty regular basis.
Pirates 7, Rockies 3: Ugly game for the Rockies, as they walk a bunch of dudes, commit a bunch of errors, and make the Pirates look like a good team in the process. Andrew McCutchen stole three bases.
Angels 6, Rays 0: Yesterday I read this story entitled “The Mighty Fall of Angels Pitcher Ervin Santana.” Ervin Santana apparently didn’t read it (CG SHO 3 H). David Price didn’t allow a hit until the fifth, and then the wheels just came off (6 IP, 8 H, 6 ER).
Diamondbacks 6, Mets 2: I think it’s safe to say that we’ve entered the “playing out the string” portion of the season for New York. Trent Oeltjen had four more hits, with a triple, a double and a couple of singles. Crikey.
White Sox 3, Mariners 1: Janks (8 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 8K) and Denks (23rd save in a perfect ninth) more or less shut down Seattle, but if it wasn’t for an Alexei Ramirez three-run homer in the ninth, it would have been in vain. Well, I suppose it could have been a two-run homer.
Dodgers 9, Giants 1: Remember that thing I said on Monday morning about there maybe being a race on in the NL West? Eh, forget it. Manny hit a two-run homer, had an RBI double and, working off of the general “treat Manny like Barry Bonds” vibe, was intentionally walked twice. Randy Wolf allowed one run and three hits in eight innings, retiring 16 of his final 19 batters. This allowed Giants fans to leave early, obviating the need to rush to get to the Larkspur Ferry.