Reds 6, Brewers 3: Manny Parra and Prince Fielder scuffle in the dugout as the Brewers lose the first game of a stretch in which they face the NL's three weakest teams (Cincy, Washington, San Diego). What on Earth can happen in a game against the Reds that would cause two players on a playoff contender to fight like that? Did Parra welsh on his promise to get the tab at the Montgomery Inn before the game? It's the Reds! You beat them, go back to the hotel and rest, and then come back and beat them again tomorrow.
Indians 5, Rays 2: Remember the mini-flap earlier this season in which some bloggers were talking up Cliff Lee's great start and others were talking down those bloggers for talking it up due to small sample size? Well, the sample size is getting pretty big now, and it looks as though there is no slowing Lee down. Last night he threw seven innings of two run ball. Though I'm no scout, he's looked confident and at times dominant in every start I've seen of his this year. He obviously figured something out since last season, and the only bummer about it is that he hasn't had a lick of help from any of his teammates.
Blue Jays 6, A's 1: Halladay gave up a run on four hits, walked one and struck out eight over eight innings. He's another one of the 1960s guys I referred to in yesterday's post about Zambrano. Throw him out there as much as possible and let good things happen.
Rangers 9, Yankees 5: Not one of the 1960s guys? Joba Chamberlain. Leaves with shoulder tightness in the fifth which, if serious, is an absolutely revoltin' development for Yankees' fans. So how did this game end? Take it away ShysterBall's only known Rangers' fan, Royce The Hack:
Rangers Fans in North Texas are in a state of delirium, tonight. My Primo Amigo, Marlon Bryd jacked a two-out Grand Slam in the bottom of the ninth to put a clear punctuation mark on the first of a four-game series with the Hated Yankees.Mariners 11, Twins 6: I sometimes turn a game off around the sixth or seventh inning if there's a big lead. Say, five runs or so. Here's hoping the Twins fans who did that last night are sitting down when they read the box score this morning. Giving up ten runs in one inning is pretty damn bad, but the thing about this one is that it could have been worse in that the third out of the inning came when Willie Bloomquist was thrown out at home trying to score from first on a single. If he holds up, Adrian Beltre -- who was already 3-4 at that point -- gets to bat again. Mercy.
I have grown to really enjoy watching Byrd play this season. He's no Roberto Clemente, but the man knows his way around right field. And after you spend a few minutes rowing through his collegiate and professional background, you can figure out that if he didn't do well this year, he was likely destined to spend the remainder of his baseball career bouncing round AA and AAA, with an occasional trip to The Show for a week here and there. But, he's done very well in the Rangers' lineup all summer. I think every Rangers fan saw and felt his disappointment at Nady's HR in the 4th - it looked like the ball literally bounced off of the top row of stiching in his glove and flopped over the wall.
With that, his triumphant slammer in the bottom of the 9th was that much more enjoyable. I was jumping around the house and going crazy when he hit it. I felt like they won a playoff game - it was great. Even my dopey old Labrador sat up and wondered what was going on.
Giants 4, Braves 2: The Braves have lost eight of ten, and the way they've been hitting there was no way they were going to hit Matt Cain, who is much, much better than that 7-9 record suggests.
Angels 6, Orioles 5: K-Rod blows the save, but All-Star George Sherrill loses the game with a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth. Ever been to a game that ends on a bases loaded walk? I have once, and it's just the strangest feeling. The crowd cheers, but their hearts aren't in it in the same way they would be for a game ending single or even a strikeout by the visitors or something. Walks are simply hard to get excited about as they happen. Which is one of the handful of reasons, by the way, that I suspect that sabermetrics are hard for many to accept.
Royals 4, Red Sox 3: As Neyer pointed out the other day, the Royals have a pretty darn good bullpen that, as so many color commentators like to say, serves to shorten games. This one was certainly shortened, as it were, even if Soria gave up a run.
Diamondbacks 13, Pirates 7: Arizona doesn't have the sexy midseason acquisition like the Dodgers do, but they'll take 18 hits. This is the kind of thing they were simply unable to do earlier in the season when their starter came out of the gate struggling like Danny Haren did last night.
Nationals 9, Rockies 4: Washington takes advantage of a rare bad outing by Aaron Cook. Folks in Colorado are kind of hoping for another miracle surge like the Rockies had last year. If it's going to happen, it's gotta happen now.