Blue Jays 5, Orioles 4: Of course, if Chamberlain was on the money like Roy Halladay usually is (7.2, 100 pitches even, seven strikeouts, no walks, the win) he could go deeper into games.
Marlins 9, Reds 2: Dan Tucker makes his Major League debut. From the game story:
After learning of his promotion Friday night, Tucker said he spent Saturday trying to corral his nerves and listening to his minor league teammates warning him about pitching to Griffey."They were saying, 'Don't give it up, don't give it up,' " Tucker said. "I just tried to let that go. As awesome as it would have been for him to get No. 600, I didn't want to be the one to give it up.Tucker obviously misunderstood. They weren't warning him about giving up an historic home run. They were warning him about giving up a home run, no matter what number it was, to a guy who has no business batting third in a Major League lineup.
Tigers 5, Indians 2: Detroit wins the rubber match in this crucial early June series, leaving the Tribe a mere 1.5 games ahead of the Tigers! How exciting would that sentence have been if the they weren't fighting it out for third place?
Phillies 6, Braves 3: Ryan Howard gets the press here (3-5, 3 2B, 4 RBI), but the win may be more the doing of Bobby Cox's insistence on shredding Blaine Boyer's arm. Before this season, Boyer had never pitched in more than 43 games in a season. Yesterday's implosion (0.1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, BB) was his 34th already. We saw this last year too, when Cox leaned heavily on Soriano, Gonzales and Yates. Yates survived 2007 and is pitching more or less decently this year for Pittsburgh, but he definitely ran out of gas as the weather got hot last year. Soriano and Gonzales have both seen extended time on the DL. Blaine Boyer? Here are the hotel listings for Birmingham, Alabama. You may need them when you go visit these guys. By the way, how many gabillions of dollars do you suppose James Andrews gets from Major League Baseball? A lot, I'm sure, which makes me wonder why they have such a low-rent website.
Red Sox 2, Mariners 1: J.D. Drew is 14 for his last 27 with four homers and 10 RBIs. Vertigo appears to agree with him.
Giants 6, Nats 3: Barry Zito, happy to see an offense more hapless than his own, walks away with the victory. Speaking of the Giants' offense, they are still third to last in runs per game in the NL and that's all that really matters, but did you know that they are in the top half of the league (7 out of 16 entering play yesterday) in batting average? That says worse things about batting average than it does good things about the Giants, but I bet you wouldn't have guessed that.
White Sox 12, Twins 2: Given the week his team -- specifically his hitters -- have had post-ranting and raving, expect a rash of "crazy, like a fox!" stories about Ozzie Guillen in the coming days.
Pirates 6, Diamondbacks 4: A long game on a hot, humid day that, according to the Arizona Republic "felt interminable at times." But, hey, the Dbacks won the previous two, so they get to take off after a loss on a Sunday afternoon feeling good about the series win, freshen up in the new hotel, get the usual Monday off, and start with a clean slate against the Mets on Tuesday. Oh, wait, they don't, because this is yet the latest of those four game wraparound series that seem ubiquitous this year. So instead of that cleansing Sunday evening routine, they get a long afternoon and night in Pittsburgh, followed by an early wake up call and then another hot day game tomorrow. Are these new, or was I just not noticing them before I started recapping all the games this year?
A's 7, Angels 3: Mark Ellis is such a showoff. The bases were loaded with two out in a tie game in the bottom of the 12th. All he really needed to do was to walk or hit a single, but he goes and hits a home run. Such a stunning example of inefficiency by the A's second baseman.
Cardinals 5, Astros 4: I just feel like I need to mention this once a month or so, but Kyle Lohse was available to anyone who wanted him for about $4M three-quarters of the way through spring training. He's 7-2 with a 3.92 ERA. At the moment I'm struggling to think of a team that couldn't use that about now.
Rangers 6, Rays 3: Matt Garza and Dioner Navarro get to shoving in the dugout after the fourth inning. Manager Joe Maddon says "It was nothing, in-house kind of stuff, things that happen on occasion and we took care of it." That may be true regarding the shoving (note how most everyone has already moved on from Manny and Youkilis the other day). But the on-the-mound jawing that preceded the fight? To me that's uglier than the actual scuffle. It's one thing to lose your cool in the theoretical privacy of the dugout following a bad inning. That could be about anything. Maybe someone calls someone a jackass or something random and isolated. But fighting like that on the mound? That can only be about baseball, and it's indicative of a team that has some potentially deeper issues. If I had to bet, though, I'd say it was Garza's fault and had to do with pitch selection, because he's had issues with that sort of thing in the past.
Brewers 3, Rockies 2: Prince Fielder has started June hot: .300/.417/.650, and goes 2-4 against the Rockies. 6.5 games is still a lot to make up -- the frickin' Giants are only 6 back in their division -- but things are looking up for Milwaukee lately.
Padres 8, Mets 6: Has to suck to be Billy Wagner right now. I mean, if there was ever a day when you would just want to shower, dress, and get the hell out the back door, it would be a day when you give up the game winning home run to a guy like Tony Clark. Except after that blowup a couple of weeks ago, he has no choice but to hang around and take whatever the press throws at him. Scanning the box score I noticed that the Padres have a pitcher named C. Guevara. I hope he turns out to be good, because the marketing opportunities would be fantastic.
Cubs 3, Dodgers 1: With Smoltz out for the year and Atlanta sinking 6.5 games back of the Phillies, it's been a pretty bad week or two for Braves fans. Then we look at a box score that shows the best damn team in baseball being led to victory by Mark DeRosa (3-5, HR, 2 RBI) and Jason Marquis (6.1 IP, 3 H, 0 ER) and we just want to cry. The only thing that would make things worse right now would be for Mike Hampton to be DFA'd, get signed by the Marlins, and go on a 12-2, 1.74 ERA run, supported by a Wes Helms run at the triple crown, of course.