Red Sox 4, Angels 1: Say what you want about the guy, but Dice-K has always done well on 89 days rest (6 IP 3 H, 0 ER). I’m not sold yet. Even Dontrelle Willis had a good game his first time back this year.
Blue Jays 10, Yankees 4: Fisticuffsmanship! Jorge Posada and Jesse Carlson threw down in front of the Yankee dugout in the eighth. Unlike most baseball fights, however, someone connected. Girardi got popped once too. Even an umpire was taken out, with crew chief Derryl Cousins leaving the game after the fight. Either Cousins got a case of the vapors or else someone is going to be suspended for about a decade for roughing up an ump. UPDATE: according to the game story he was hit in the knee with a bottle of soda thrown from the stands. So basically everyone was misbehaving.
Giants 10, Rockies 2: Barry Zito struck out nine and the Giants pull to two and a half back. Nervous Jim Tracy?
“Here’s the deal. Here’s our situation. It’s very simple. It’s black and white. There’s no gray. There’s no middle area. We’ve got an opportunity to win a game in this series, which is something that we’re obviously striving for, and you move on and you’re 3½ ahead. Or you lose and you’re 1½ ahead and then everything’s up for grabs. I’m not sitting here saying to anybody that we’re trailing. We’re not going to trail. We’ve still got a lead. But the opportunity of having a cushion versus giving it back — that’s what tomorrow is all about.”
With quotes like that, I give it greater than even odds that that man is sitting in a broadcast studio someday.
Dodgers 5, Pirates 4: Andre Eithier gets his fourth walkoff home run of the year. He’s the first Dodger to hit 30 home runs since 2004.
Braves 6, Mets 0: The Mets had absolutely no answers for Tommy Hanson. Couldn’t even get a man past second base on him during his seven innings of shutout ball (his second straight start without allowing a run). Adam LaRoche homered twice and drove in three, doing nothing to harm his second-half-stud reputation. Too little too late for Atlanta, but it’s nice to see them play out the schedule on a high note.
Phillies 5, Nationals 0: After three lackluster starts, Cliff Lee returns to being Superman (CG SHO 6 H, 9 K). Lee is an Adam LaRoche All-Star himself, improving to 20-3 after the break over the past two seasons.
Royals 11, Tigers 1: Good thing Detroit doesn’t have to play Kansas City in the playoffs, because KC has their number, taking their fifth straight from the Tigers. Magglio hit an $18 million groundout in the fifth. Play was delayed briefly in the top of the seventh when a shirtless fan ran onto the field. I have some nogoodnik kin up in Detroit who don’t do much all summer besides drink beer with their shirts off, so I’m expecting the call for help with bail any moment now.
Orioles 10, Rays 5: After lulling the American League into a false sense of security, Matt Weiters finally decides to strike: 3-5, 5 RBI. It begins.
Marlins 2, Cardinals 1: Wainwright pitched well, but got the loss because Sean West and the Marlins’ bullpen pitched better. Wainwright stays at 18 wins. Unless La Russa decides to give him extra rest heading into the playoffs, he probably has three starts to go. I’m going to assume at this point that if he wins 20, he’s a lock for the Cy Young.
Reds 5, Astros 4: I’m not going to say that it’s hard to find something interesting to talk about in a late-season, no-hope Astros-Reds series, but here are two of the “game notes” from the game story: “Janish became the first Reds batter with three doubles in one game since Jorge Cantu on Sept. 21, 2007, at San Francisco” and “ESPN college basketball announcer Dick Vitale watched the game with Reds owner Bob Castellini.” Feel the magic.
Cubs 13, Brewers 7: The Brewers walked 12 guys and hit three more, so this wasn’t exactly a crisp one. Carlos Zambrano kind of melted down after four good innings. I’m sure this has absolutely nothing to do with him being rattled at the “we’re gonna trade you” talk from earlier in the day, because Carlos is totally composed and cool when he’s out there and let’s no emotions intrude on the task at hand. Total iceman.
Athletics 6, Rangers 1: That sound you hear is the Rangers’ playoff hopes being stuffed into a burlap sack and thrown into a river. The sack’s technically still floating, but it’s about to go under any minute now. Michael Young came back as a DH after missing two weeks, but he pulled himself from the lineup because he tweaked the hamstring again. It’s been a nice season for the Rangers and the future is bright, but it’s just not happening.
Twins 5, Indians 4: The game stories still talk about the Twins having a chance to make a run at Detroit, but then you read something like this: “Along with Morneau, third-baseman Joe Crede is likely out for the season with back problems, and recent call-up Justin Huber is day to day with a strained oblique. But Gardenhire said his desire to call up reinforcements was “squelched” by the front office.” Has the front office thrown in the towel, or is Gardenhire asking for unrealistic things? And why is he telling reporters about that kind of family business? Stange.
Diamondbacks 4, Padres 2: Mark Reynolds hit what proved to be the game winning homer in the 9th. Nick Hundley made a pretty spiffy defensive play, acrobatically pursuing an overthrown ball into the dugout (he went in, not the ball) and throwing out Eric Byrnes at the plate, who was tagged out by Ardian Gonzalez, who was sliding/diving for the throw. I’m guessing video does that play better justice than that description did.
White Sox 6, Mariners 3: The White Sox have gone back and fourth between wins and losses for nine games. One more and they get their Dutch 200 patch, right?