Royals 3, Tigers 2: A lot of people experience anxiety about taking a day off work. They check their email a lot, allow themselves to be preoccupied, and generally feel as though the office can’t get by without them. This is baloney, of course. The world goes on fine without you. No one is so damn important that they can’t take a day off. Well, no one except Brandon Inge. That dude is freakin’ essential, it seems.
Mets 3, Giants 2: At this point, any game the Mets don’t forfeit due to a lack of warm bodies has to be considered a victory. This one, however, was a bona fide win, with Daniel Murphy singling in Jeff Francoeur to win it in the ninth. After the game, however, all of the questions were about David Wright. Jerry Manuel: “Nobody wants to ask me about Murphy’s game-winning hit? You guys are really bad.” Look Jerry, David Wight is practically the last major league-quality hitter the Mets had left, so his health is big news. When a couple of out-machines luck into hits in what will certainly turn out to be a meaningless game, there’s really nothing that can be said about it besides some variation of “blind hogs find acorns.” Cut the press boys some slack.
Cardinals 7, Padres 5: The Cards are as hot as anyone right now, having won eight of ten and continuing to maintain a five game lead over the Cubs despite Chicago’s recent spurt. Yadier Molina and Colby Rasmus were the heroes in the ninth, capping off a come-from-behind win with an RBI single and a home run, respectively. Actual quote from Heath Bell after the game: “I was surprised how big it was when I took my pants off.” Context, my friends, is everything.
Angels 17, Orioles 8: Nothing like a tight extra-innings affair. The nine runs scored by LAA in the 13th were the most scored in a single extra inning in 14 years.
Nationals 5, Reds 4: Josh Willingham hit a massive home run, doubled, had three RBI, and scored the winning run from third on a heads up play when Drew Sutton lollygagged a throw in from shallow right in the eighth inning. You know what that makes Sutton, don’t you?
Rays 5, Blue Jays 2: Cast in an unlikely role for which he is usually ill-equipped to act, Gregg “Z-Game” Zaun launched a pinch-hit home run in the eighth to break a 1-1 tie. Approaches the unreal, really.
Rangers 4, Red Sox 3: And the Rangers take the series and the wild card lead. I presume that this will be reported in most quarters in terms of Boston’s continuing struggles as opposed to the Rangers staying hot, because it’s impossible to report on anything in which the Red Sox are involved without casting them in the lead role.
Indians 7, Twins 3: Cleveland scored six in the third inning, with the first three of those runs coming on eight pitches. The Indians are playing spoiler. Says Grady Sizemore: “Guys are playing loose and having fun. We had kind of fallen back and now we’ve got nothing to lose. So now we can go out there and just relax and play, and sometimes you get your best baseball when you’re playing that way.” That’s swell, but this happened to the Indians last year too. Perhaps it means that Eric Wedge inspires nervous, sloppy, and all around chokey play when it matters, and can only inspire a relaxed vibe when there is absolutely nothin’ on the line. Guys like that often become ex-managers.
Astros 8, Brewers 5: Geoff Blum drove in four as the Astros rallied in the eighth inning to come from behind. In other news, the Astros box score made my mind wander again — my lord, that team fails to interest me for some reason — and it wandered into the paintings of Edward Hopper, who just so happens to be my favorite artist. I go back and forth (and forth) between Early Sunday Morning, Office at Night, and Automat as my favorites, though there are no small number of his paintings which stun and enthrall me. Strange to me, though, is the fact that a guy who lived in New York and spent so much time painting modern American life in the middle of the 20th century never touched on baseball. At least not that I know of. Maybe it just didn’t speak to him. Maybe every game he ever saw struck him like Astros games strike me.
Athletics 3, White Sox 2: Mark Ellis hits the game-winning home run off of Bobby Jenks in the bottom of the ninth. Oh, and I think these throwbacks looked sweet. Bob Geren even went all Connie Mack before the game, wearing a suit, tie and hat to exchange the lineup cards before changing into his uniform. According to the game story, someone gave him hell from the stands, however, because Connie Mack wore a straw hat. That, my friends, is some good, informed heckling.
Mariners 10, Yankees 3: Chamberlain, Aceves and Gaudin do their part to make Sergio Mitre’s seat in the Yankees’ rotation feel less hot. Derek Jeter passed Luis Aparicio for the most hits ever by a shortstop. Omar Vizquel is still playing, however, and is only five hits behind Jeter. If you think that Omar isn’t sitting in his secret Antarctic lair, watching dozens of video monitors, stroking an exotic cat, and contemplating some devious sort of attack on Jeter in order to incapacitate him and claim the record for himself, well, then you just don’t know the capacity for evil and cunning that resides inside the mind of Omar Vizquel.
Philles 4, Braves 1: Atlanta blows a chance to make a real race out of it in the east by dropping two of three. Looks like it’ll be more important for fans like me to watch the Marlins, Rockies and Giants’ scores than the Phillies scores. Two homers for Ryan Howard. J.A. Happ walks six but gets away with it because the Braves squandered a couple of chances.
Dodgers 9, Diamondbacks 3: Randy Wolf was 3-4 with a homer and three RBI and struck out ten over 7.2 IP. He’s the Wolf. He solves problems.
Pirates-Cubs: Postponed: It’s really gonna suck for the Pirates to have to end the season at Cincinnati, jog back up to Chicago to make this game up, and then head back to Pittsburgh to host Game one of the division series.