Cubs 7, Brewers 1: Ben Sheets was knocked around and Carlos Zambrano was dominant (8 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 9K). According to reader Chris H. who watched the game, there was a serious lack of hustle on the part of the Brewers:
The box score won't show it, but the Brewers outfielders really look demoralized out there. Several of the runs scored tonight have been gifts, and in particular I think Ryan Braun is going to need an extra couple hours of sleep tonight, because by the 7th inning he seems to be loping rather than running. Oh, and Corey Hart totally handed Theriot a triple by jogging after a fly ball and basically watching it roll past him. Seriously, I think they're drugged or something.Anyone else feel that way? If that's the case, don't you pretty much have to blame Ned Yost for letting his team come out flat and loaf in what is the most important series of the year so far?
Astros 6, Reds 2: Fifth loss in a row for the Redlegs. That probably doesn't matter because their season is lost anyway. What does matter is that a couple of guys you know they'd like to shop -- Dunn and Arroyo -- each put up stink bombs, with one going 0-4 with no walks and the other giving up six runs on eight hits in six and a third. As for Houston, the buy-now Astros creep to within 12.5 games of the Cubs, biding their time . . . biding their time.
Rays 3, Jays 0: So much drama in Boston has obscured the fact that the Rays aren't giving up the division, especially to a bunch of dysfunctional babies like the Red Sox. Matt Garza threw a five hit shutout, beating Roy Halladay who, you may have noticed, is pretty good himself.
Mets 4, Marlins 1: The Mets are understandably upset that Teixeira was traded to an AL team on the west coast because now they'll have to buy more expensive plane tickets to get the guys they have scouting him for the inevitable free agent signing. Or at least that's the kind of thing I was reading on a couple of Mets' sites last night. Really, one commenter was saying something like "the worry is that Teixeira is gonna fall in love with the California lifestyle and not wanna come to New York," like it's a fait acompli or something.
Orioles 7, Yankees 6: Attention Yankees fans: Carl Pavano made a rehab appearance down at Class A last night. He struck out four and allowed one hit in two scoreless innings. And you know what? A couple more Sidney Ponson and Darrell Rasner starts, you won't even boo him when he finally pitches a game for the Bombers.
Twins 6, White Sox 5: Another Twins win, and just like that, this race is this race is hotter than a Times Square Rolex! It's as thin as turnip soup! But there's a long way to go, and if you try to read the tea leaves before the cup is done, you're gonna get yourself burned! OK, that had nothing to do with this game. I'm just starting to get a little excited about election season, and I wanted to whip out some Ratherisms.
Rangers 11, Mariners 10: There were
Phillies 3, Nats 1: Before any Phillies fans get the idea that Brett Myers is all better now, remember that the team he shut down for seven innings last night has only scored three runs in its last five games.
Pirates 6, Rockies 4: There are some folks out there -- mostly in the Rockies' front office, I think -- who believe that this team has another run in them a la 2007. Worth noting that, 108 games in last year, Colorado was only 3.5 out and was playing above-.500 ball. Also worth noting is that as late as September 16th last year, their deficit in the NL West -- 6.5 games -- was about the same that it is now. I don't think anyone's ever going to get rich gambling on white-hot streaks, but given how bad everyone in this division is capable of playing, it's too late to close the books on the possibility.
Cardinals 8, Braves 3: As evidence of just how nightmarish a season this has become for the Braves, I give you Mark Kotsay, batting third. By the way, Jeff Francoeur was the only Braves player who got into the game last night who was on the team the last time they made the playoffs.
Tigers 8, Indians 3: The Casey Blake trade has created a tremendous opportunity for Andy Marte. After years of failing to live up to the potential with which he was once credited, he basically has 2/3 of a season with no pressure and no competition for the Indians' third base job. Even moderate production over that time will ensure his future employment in Cleveland, because quite frankly, they need him. Since the trade, Marte has gone something like 2-15 with a single extra-base hit. Marte will never be handed an opportunity like this again, yet here he is, blowing it.
Diamondbacks 3, Padres 0: Doug Davis -- who took a perfecto into the seventh -- was the story here, but Alex Romero's back-to-the-plate catch of a deep fly to right center in the bottom of the eighth was the play of the game. Fire up the video highlight mechanism of your choice to get a look at it.
Royals 5, A's 2: Remember back in the day when Kansas City used to send all of its good players to Oakland this time of year? I kinda miss that.
Dodgers 2, Giants 0: The Dodgers keep pace with the Dbacks via a surprising (at least to me) start from Jason Johnson of all people, who shut the Giants out and didn't walk anyone over six innings. I remember when Johnson came up, and have always had a vague awareness of his presence in the Major Leagues, but I don't think I could tell you when he played for who at basically any time over the course of his career. I love unexpected goodness from journeymen starters for some reason. Always have.