Cardinals 7, Phillies 6: Scary moment as Yadier Molina is taken off the field on a back board. Mitigating the situation: (a) later reports seem to indicate that he's OK; and (b) even if he wasn't, the Molina home world is standing by to replicate additional Molinas as needed. On a more serious note: Everyone is lauding Molina for being tough, but I've watched the reply several times, and it seems clear that if the throw from Chris Duncan had been online, Bruntlett would have likely gotten to Molina before the ball did. In other words, Molina was blocking the plate without the ball. It happens all the time, but a catcher shouldn't be allowed to do that, and if he wasn't doing that, he wouldn't have had his back turned to the runner when the ball came in, and probably wouldn't be in a hospital bed as you're reading this. Just sayin'.
Indians 7, Padres 3: C.C. Sabathia continues his Yankees' audition (8 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 10K) and bests Greg Maddux in the process. Actually, since all the stuff came out about the Yankees' rumors the other day, I'm way less inclined to believe that a trade will actually happen. Partially because those of you out there who know the Yankees' system have convinced me that the available parts don't match up, but mostly because I'm not convinced that Cleveland has any intention of giving up on the playoffs unless and until they go on some nasty skid. Right now, they basically have Grady Sizemore and no one else performing consistently, yet they've gained a game on Chicago in the last week and stand 5.5 games out. If I'm Shapiro, I probably don't think about unloading Sabathia until the All Star break, and then not at all if the margin is around the same or smaller. Why? I know my team is better than it has shown, and I have no faith in the White Sox keeping it up all year. Someone has to win this division, and I think Cleveland is as good a bet as Chicago, even with the 5.5 game deficit.
Tigers 5, Dodgers 4: The Dodgers have lost 15 of 20. By all rights they should be buried, but since Arizona has played pretty poorly too, they're still theoretically in the race. The Dodgers lost their designated hitter by moving Russel Martin to catcher in the eighth inning. How does Joe Torre make that mistake after managing in the AL for the past 12 years?
Red Sox 9, Reds 0: Homer Bailey is as lost as George Bailey was just before jumping off the bridge to save Clarence.
Cubs 7, Blue Jays 4: The Cubs lineup is obviously in flux now that Soriano is out for a while. I like the move of Fukudome up to the two-hole, which seems like a natural place for him. On the other hand, the only basis I can think for batting Jim Edmonds ahead of Geovany Soto is that Soto has an RBI incentive clause the Cubs are trying to avoid reaching maturity.
Brewers 4, Twins 3: Some controversy in the eighth inning as Brendan Harris called for time, didn't get it, and wasn't looking when strike three came over the plate from Guillermo Mota. Harris complained. Gardenhire was ejected for arguing it. Silly me. I thought you were supposed to pay attention unless and until the ump actually calls time. While we're talking about this, I'll note that this is one area in which I'd like to see umps become more aggressive in an effort to shorten games. It's not the umpire's job to ensure that the batter has optimized everything prior to taking a pitch. He only has to be sure that the guy is generally ready to go. My view would be that unless the batter has crap in his eye or unless the pitcher is really pushing the envelope with respect to Rule 8.04, the batter is committed once he digs in, and the next thing that should happen is either a pitch or a called ball in the event the pitcher takes more than 12 seconds.
Pirates 5, Orioles 4: Matt Capps blows his third save opportunity in four games, but manages to hang around through the 10th to pick up the win. His quote after the game: "Obviously it would have been a whole lot better to have the game end in the ninth inning, but I am what I am. I am who I am." What's that, a vulture?
Yankees 13, Astros 0: The Yankees have won four in a row and 9 of 12, but a 13-0 win that ends with Wang leaving on crutches can't feel like much of a victory. As for the Astros, whose reign as the NL's Team-Frisky is officially over now that the Pirates, of all teams, have passed them in the standings, Cecil Cooper said it best: "Today, we didn't even show up, didn't even compete. A total embarrassment."
Marlins 9, Rays 3: Congratulations Ricky Nolasco! You have now taken the lead for most pitches thrown by a starter in a game this season with 132. Even better, there was no competitive reason for it! Your team was up by seven as you entered the ninth, and your manager has admitted that sending you out again was for purely trivial purposes: "It would have been my first [complete game] as a manager as well. I've never had one, so I guess we were both cheering hard for it." To repeat: no shutout or milestone of any type was on the line, and the game was not in doubt. Fredi Gonzalez just thought it would be kind of cool to shred your arm.
A's 5, Giants 3: Oakland has swept the Giants twice in a row now. The Giants still have the questionable legal right to keep the A's off the peninsula and out of San Jose, imperiling the future of the franchise. Let's call it a wash.
Rockies 5, White Sox 3: After getting right against Detroit and Minnesota, the White Sox have hit the offensive skids again. How many reporters do you think were hanging around Ozzie Guillen at the end of this one, waiting for red meat?
Royals 8, Diamondbacks 3: After losing Friday's game 1-0 on a 10th inning walkoff homer, and
UPDATE: As Dre properly notes in the comments, I'm a freaking moron. Kansas City won on Saturday, not Arizona. I just lazily looked at the box score, saw a big number and a little number, and assumed that the Royals were on the short end of the stick. The lesson -- aside from the fact that I should probably pay attention to what happens over the weekend -- is that I am pretty shoddy when it comes to details.
Angels 2, Braves 0: The Angels salvage one behind seven and a third scoreless innings from Joe Saunders. Chipper goes 0-4, and is one more bad game away from dipping below .400. In other news, I'm not going to say that I'm losing touch with my favorite team, but until yesterday I had no idea that the "exciting new Braves starter" Jorge Campillo turns 30 in August. Still, a 2.17 ERA after six starts is nothing to sneeze at, even when he takes a hard luck loss like this one.
Nats 6, Mariners 2: The lowly Nats sweep the lowlier Mariners and now Seattle has lost approximately a gajillion straight home games. I scrolled down to the paid attendance, figuring it would be pretty pathetic. I was mistaken: 38,548, which is an 81% capacity crowd. This on a cloudy, cool day too. My first thought: promotion day. Second thought: not even free bats or balls could draw this many people to watch this crap team lose this crap matchup on what looked like a crap day. It must have been "free money day" or some promotion where every 10th customer gets a chance to play an inning at first base for the home team. I mean, at least that would explain Miguel Cairo's place in the lineup. What? Really? The MAJOR league roster? Wow.