Red Sox 19, Rangers 17: Sure, the much touted Charlie Zink gave up eight runs on eleven hits in just over four innings, but hey, at least he left his team in a position to win it, right? OK, that's a stretch, I admit it. But let's make lemons out of lemonade here. If you're Charlie Zink last night you know a couple of things: (1) You just stunk it up something awful in your MLB debut; and (2) Your team just acquired Paul Byrd, so there's a good chance you're going to get sent down again. Wouldn't it be great then for him to have found some reporters after the game and to have angrily chastised the Sox bullpen for squandering his 12-6 lead? I mean really get into it and not break character for anything. To say things like "some people around here -- and they know who they are -- need to step it up," and to say it with dead seriousness. Boston wouldn't know what to make of him, and I'm sure he'd have a load of fun in the process. At least until he was released.
Mets 4, Nationals 3: When you have a lockdown bullpen like the Mets do, games like these are effectively shortened.
White Sox 9, Royals 0: Javier Vazquez makes mincemeat of the Royals (8 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 10K). It was made to look even worse as a result of the 5-spot allowed by some bad pitching and some bad fielding by, respectively, Josh Newman and Jose Guillen in the eighth.
Reds 5, Pirates 1: I wish I had remembered to tune into WLW for this one, because I'm certain -- so certain I'd bet my kids on it -- that Marty Brennaman credited this win to the absence of the lackadaisical, cancerous, unclutch, disgrace of a ballplayer that is Adam Dunn. That Dunn had been more productive than almost the whole of this game's lineup so far this season is no excuse.
Blue Jays 6, Tigers 4: Sheffield spouts off, pisses his teammates and manager off, gets put on waivers, and then hits two home runs in the game. This is pretty much a microcosm of his entire career. Too much of a jerk to tolerate, too talented to ignore.
Indians 7, Orioles 5: My first reaction to Byrd being traded away was "well, that's another town for Byrd." What I didn't realize until just now, though, is that Byrd was in Cleveland longer than he had been in any other city. Which sorta seems wrong, doesn't it? Don't you picture him as a Phillie or a Met or something longer than an Indian? I sure do.
Astros 12, Giants 4: Lincecum had to leave the game after Brad Ausmus smashed a line drive off of his knee. It's only bruised, but man, that looked scary.
Dodgers 4, Phillies 3: Andre Either doesn't get the start because of all of the speedy veteranness of Juan Pierre, but he came through with the game winning hit in the bottom of the ninth all the same. Who wants to bet whether Torre will now be inspired to write his name in the lineup more often?
Oakland 2, Tampa Bay 1: Crawford and Longoria's absence is felt. Brad Ziegler extends his awesomeness streak to 38 innings.
Brewers 5, Padres 2: Milwaukee continues to get excellent starting pitching, this time from Jeff Suppan, who gives up two runs over eight innings, helping lead the Brewers to their seventh straight win. Gabe Kapler goes 2-4 filling in for the injured Ryan Braun. Someone who follows the Brewers tell me: has the local media taken my sage early season advice and started calling Kapler "skip" due to this stint as a minor league manager last year? I think that would be cool.
Diamondbacks 4, Rockies 2: The Big Unit wins again, this time striking out seven and giving up two runs over six innings. That's 294, with maybe eight or nine starts to go. Adam Dunn makes his first Dbacks start. He got on base three times in five plate appearances. Unfortunately he did not move any runners along with fiery, productive outs to the opposite field or whatever, so he continues to be an abomination as a player and a human being.
Angels 7, Mariners 3: This win pushes the Angels to a fifteen game lead in the West. No team has won a division by that many games since the Giants in 2003.
Marlins 4, Cardinals 3: The Redbirds are now four games back in the Wild Card race. With Milwaukee soaring lately, we could be watching the end of the business-end of the St. Louis season.
Yankees 9, Twins 6: A-Rod and Nady homers in the 12th save the bullpen's bacon. We expect Marte to blow up because he's been doing it a lot lately, but Rivera blowing a save is a rare sight indeed.
Cubs vs. Braves: Postponed: Baseball's "Teenage Symphony to God"-- much delayed, then shelved, only to be enjoyed at a later date.