Yankees 2, Rays 1: Did you know that Sidney Ponson was made a knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands in 2003? It's true! I find that no less plausible than the fact that he has an ERA under 4.00 at the All-Star break. More fun than Sidney Ponson: the Yankees provided fans and employees fake mustaches to wear (see Mike Mussina wearing his on the right) on the same day the tabloids reported that A-Rod was in the habit of wearing fake mustaches in order to sneak into Madonna's house. AWK-ward!
Red Sox 18, Twins 5: It wasn't really sporting for the Sox to go for that two point conversion following the second touchdown, now was it?
Marlins 5, Padres 2: The only good thing about a team playing as poorly as San Diego is right now is the quality of their message boards. Go to a Red Sox blog anytime in the past two or three years and everyone's so goddamn serious. Go to a Padres blog right now and you find 15 straight posters speculating -- in excessive detail -- about the exact nature of the compromising photos of Bud Black possessed by Khalil Greene which are enabling him to stay in the lineup.
Tigers 8, Indians 6: Remember, fans, Thursday is Die Hard Night. Free admission for anyone who was actually alive the last time the Indians won a ballgame.
Astros 6, Pirates 4: The Pirates spotted the Astros four runs, then tied it up, than gave up two more to blow the game. As a fan, I always find losses like that to be the worst kind. At least with a blowout you can turn your TV off in the third inning and go for a walk in the neighborhood or something.
Nationals 5, Diamondbacks 0: Last year David Pinto proposed a new stat called the "short shutout." The idea is that since hard pitch counts have become the rule, no one gets real shutouts anymore, so Pinto suggests giving a gold star -- a short shutout -- to anyone who goes six innings or more without allowing any runs. By that rationale, John Lannan (6 IP, 0 ER) gets a short shutout in this game. Personally, however, I don't think Pinto is going far enough. What about the relievers who aren't even given a chance to get a shutout? They should have something too! Under my new scoring system, Joel Hanrahan (1 IP, 0 ER), Luis Ayala (1 IP, 0 ER), and Jon Rauch (1 IP, 0 ER) all get short-short shutouts for the Nats. Tomorrow: I'll explain the concept of "meta-hits."
Mets 5, Giants 0: Johan picks up his first win since June 1st. Yeah, it's been a rougher than expected first half for him, but there he is, his ERA under 3.00 and his team knocking on the door. Given the recent reversal of the Mets' and Phillies' fortunes, there's no reason to think that the Mets can't win this thing and that Santana won't be carrying them on his back to the finish line. If that happens, all of the recent "what's wrong with Santana" articles will have been forgotten.
Blue Jays 9, Orioles 8: A.J. Burnett picks up one of the weaker wins you'll see this year: 5.1 IP, 7 H, 7 ER.
Cubs 5, Reds 1: Rich Harden is nice to have around, but Cubs fans know that Big Z is The Man, and he delivered last night (8 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 5K 0 BB).
Rockies 8, Brewers 3: CC Sabathia is nice to have around, but Brewers fans know that Ben Sheets is The Man, but he didn't deliver last night. OK, that's a lie in service of pointless symmetry. He delivered pretty darn respectably (6 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 11K), keeping his team in the game until Guillermo Mota came in and took a dump all over the box score (1 IP, 4 H, 4 ER).
Phillies 4, Cardinals 2: Mark Mulder left in the first inning with shoulder soreness. He is on record saying that if the doctors tell him he needs more shoulder surgery, he is simply going to retire, because it ain't worth it. So what I'm saying is, we may have just seen the end of Mark Mulder's career.
White Sox 7, Royals 6: Like the Indians earlier in the evening, the Royals jumped out to a big lead, only to fritter it away. Maybe "fritter" isn't the right word given Carlos Quentin's two two-run homers off of Brian Bannister. It was more like they had a lead, only to get bashed in the back of the head and have it ripped from their hands.
Rangers 5, Angels 4: You don't see K-Rod get slapped around like this very often (.2 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, BB, blown save), but this sort of thing is bound to happen every once in a while when you face guys like Josh Hamilton.
Dodgers 2, Braves 1: Two days after letting Kuroda take a perfect game into the eighth, Derek Lowe takes a perfect game into the seventh. The Braves have either caught the Dodgers' pitching staff at its best this year, or else they're simply making them look good through their own ineptness. I have a theory.
Mariners 6, A's 4: And the funny thing about it is that going into the season, Joe Blanton (6 IP, 9 H, 6 ER) was supposed to be the big chit should Billy Beane decide to get all tradey.