Dodgers 6, Rockies 1: Randy Wolf (7.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER) and Andre Either (3-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI) put this one away pretty early, thereby preventing me from being able to use the second in a series of choke jokes I had prepared. There’s still a lot of time left in the season, however, and I’m sure the occasion will present itself again.
Phillies 4, Pirates 1: All day yesterday people were saying “Forget Lidge, bring in Ryan Madson! Madson can get the job done!” Guess not, as Madson’s blown save cost Cole Hamels his first win in a month despite pitching eight shutout innings. Best part: Madson gets the W! Which means that he’s a winner. QED. At least that’s what Joe Morgan taught me. Anyway, Ryan Howard saves everyone’s bacon with a three-run homer in the 10th. Mmmm . . . bacon.
Marlins 5, Mets 3: This Mets team is so depleted that the very concept of depletion is insulted by being associated with them. The latest DL resident is Oliver Perez, who was sidelined with a season-ending knee injury. While is absence would seem like just what the doctor ordered, the Mets were still somehow lost this one.
Red Sox 3, White Sox 2: A walkoff homer for Big Papi, who homered earlier in the game as well. In fact four of the game’s five runs came on solo home runs. Tim Wakefield made his first start since the All-Star break, and pitched well despite not getting the win (7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER). Victor Martinez did his best to catch the knuckler, though the first pitch of the game did get away from him. The late Senator Edward Kennedy was honored before the game with a solemn ceremony and “Taps” and all of that. With all due respect to the recently departed, however, don’t you think he would much rather have been honored by the allowance of beer sales past the seventh inning?
Padres 12, Braves 5: This is basically the Braves we’ve been living with for the past four years: Awful play out of the gate, a nice little run to give you hope, and then an inexplicable swoon in games a contending team has no business losing. Mac calls the 6th-9th innings “the worst four innings that the Braves have played this year . . . probably the worst anyone has played.” Another tragic thing about this game, courtesy of reader Melissa D: Jerry Springer sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” Melissa does point out one ray of light: the Turner Field organist continues to dazzle, playing “Papa Don’t Preach” each time Tony Gwynn, Jr. came to bat. I’m guessing it’s only a matter of time before this organist is punched out cold by an angry player. Which I hope is something he would view as a very, very worthy goal.
Cardinals 3, Astros 2: The scary thing about all of this is that the guy who is 13-9 with a 3.11 ERA is only this Cardinal team’s third best starter. Pineiro gave up two runs over eight innings pitched, and without looking, I’m going to guess that the Cardinals have won more close, low-scoring games than any team in baseball this year. Seriously, I’ve recapped around 100 Cardinals games this year, and I’m pretty sure that 92% of them finished 3-2.
Orioles 5, Twins 1: His team lost, but Alexi Casilla made a humdinger of a play, ranging right, diving to snag the ball, and then flipping it out of his glove to Orlando Cabrera covering second for the out as Casilla face planted. Also, I was not aware that the Twins have a pitcher named Jeff Manship, which is perhaps the coolest last name in the world. I’d lose the “Jeff” though, and go with something like “Jack” or “Brock” or “Pud.” Seriously, tell me that “Pud Manship” wouldn’t be your favorite player. See, now I know you’re lying.
Blue Jays 3, Rays 2: Rod Barajas ties it up with a ninth inning homer off of J.P. Howell. Howell was apparently the only relief pitcher the Rays brought with them on this road trip, as he was allowed to stay in to issue three straight walks and then a wild pitch which allowed Marco Scutaro to score the winning run. Bad day for the home plate umpires, as first Jerry Crawford was knocked out of the game in the third after he was hit by a foul ball to the face, and then his replacement, Tom Hallion, left in the sixth inning after taking one off the chest. Hallion manshipped up, however, and stayed in the game over at third base following a delay in play, with Brian O’Nora moving behind the plate. Sadly, O’Nora was stampeded by wild buffalo in the eighth, but by then I think everyone knew it was coming.
Cubs 9, Nationals 4: Livan Hernadez made his first start on his second tour of duty with the Nats, but the final score wasn’t his doing. He actually pitched pretty well (6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER). It was the bullpen — mostly Jorge “how in the hell do I still have a job in baseball” Sosa — that did Washington in. Milton Bradley had three RBI, but make no mistake: he still feels your hatred.
Yankees 9, Rangers 2: The Yankees win this one easily behind a nice outing from Pettitte and a three-run homer from Posada. The Rangers are now two and a half behind Boston for the wild card, which kind of bums me out, because I think they’d be fun to watch in the playoffs, whereas Boston is the opposite of fun to watch.
Indians 4, Royals 2: I have mornings when I can’t find anything interesting to talk about in a given game. AP game story writers have nights like those too: “Most of the game was nondescript, as might be expected of two teams with little left to play for and a crowd that hardly seemed there . . . Lots of lazy popups, routine grounders, a few strikeouts, the occasional grounder through the infield. Boring? Maybe a little, especially after what Greinke did the night before, but it worked.”
Angels 4, Tigers 2: Vladimir Guerrero got his 1,000th hit as an Angel. Seven other guys have done that: Garret Anderson, Tim Salmon, Brian Downing, Darin Erstad, Jim Fregosi, Bobby Grich and Chone Figgins. Before looking that up I tried to guess the other seven. I got five right, forgetting Fregosi for some reason that probably has to do with me being too young to remember him as a player, and Figgins, who for some reason I still tell myself is, like, 24 and just got called up a year ago, even though I know better.
Reds 4, Brewers 3: You don’t hear nearly as much about Ryan Braun’s defensive deficiencies these days as you used to, but once in a while we do get a reminder that, for all of his merits as a ballplayer, he can be a liability out in left. Such a reminder came when Pinch-hitter Darnell McDonald hit a liner over Braun’s head in the 10th inning which he misjudged, allowing Craig Tatum to score. It’s a testament to the Reds’ season by the way, that I had not heard of either McDonald nor Tatum before this morning. A greater testament, however, comes in connection with the Brewers’ season: 19 of the their 22 losses since the break have come to teams that are currently under .500.
Giants 4, Diamondbacks 3: Benjie Molina hit a pinch hit three-run home run in the eighth. Good game for Jonathan Sanchez, who went seven innings giving up three runs and six hits while striking out nine.
Mariners 5, Athletics 3: Seattle sweeps Oakland despite not having Ichiro available. Surprisingly, they’re 9-2 without him this year so, like, they should totally trade him to Atlanta for cash considerations or something.