Rockies 5, Reds 1: Jose Contreras had to leave the game in the third inning with angina or dropsy or consumption or whatever the hell it is that 86 year-old people get all the time. Didn’t matter though, because at this point the Rockies could probably put the 1985 Hackensack Bulls in the lineup — including both Richard Pryor and John Candy in their current conditions — and still keep winning. Case in point: Jason Giambi, your starting first baseman yesterday. He hasn’t played much since coming to Colorado, but against all odds he’s done well when given the chance (1-3, 2B 2 RBI yesterday). When Giambi started hitting home runs with those mid-90s A’s teams I used to get him confused with Matt Stairs. Now that his career is winding down and he’s providing some fat guy pop off the bench, I’m starting to get him confused with Matt Stairs again.
Nationals 8, Phillies 7: The Phillies almost came back in the ninth inning, scoring five runs but falling just short. How much you wanna bet that Charlie Manuel is secretly happy that they didn’t score seven that inning, thereby forcing him to figure out what to do with a one-run lead in the ninth?
Royals 7, Tigers 4: Four straight wins for the Royals. Four straight games in which Yuniesky Betancourt took a walk. Coincidence? Well, yeah, probably, but that doesn’t make either of those things any less amazing.
Marlins 13, Mets 4: Yesterday Bud Selig, in response to a question about competitive balance, said “By the way, there have been teams with high payrolls and have drawn a lot of people who have been stunning disappointments.” I wonder who he was talking about? The game story described the Mets as “listless.” That’s fine, but how are they fixed for hap?
Blue Jays 3, Twins 2: Another painfully small crowd in Toronto last night. No hockey to report. Hmmm, why might they not have drawn well . . . I’m going with Cirque du Soleil’s Ovo, which was playing at the Grand Chapiteau at Port Lands. It is, after all, a headlong rush into a colorful ecosystem teeming with life, where insects work, eat, crawl, flutter, play, fight and look for love in a non-stop riot of energy and movement, and that sounds way better than a late season Jays’ game, doesn’t it?
Braves 9, Astros 7: ESPN’s little teaser feature had this game on the sidebar yesterday, saying “another solid pitching duel tonight, with Derek Lowe towing the mound for ATL.” How the hell does one “tow a mound?” Toe a rubber maybe? And screw it, they were wrong about the pitching duel anyway: Roy Oswalt got bombarded for six runs on ten hits in two innings. Derek Lowe’s tow truck must have broken down too, because he wasn’t a ton better (5.2 IP, 9 H. 5 ER).
Angels 3, Mariners 0: John Lackey pitched a five hit shutout, striking out seven — he got Ichiro twice, which is kind of amazing — and walking one. Branch Rickey Award winner Torii Hunter hit a two run homer. Probably worth noting that this west coast game ended before the eastern time Steelers-Titans game did. Even better, it didn’t end with the losing team not having a chance to play offense. I’d list all the other reasons why it was superior to football, but I’m going on a trip next week and therefore won’t have the time to get to them all.