Red Sox 3, Rays 0: It was reported yesterday that Lance Armstrong might make a comeback in next year's Tour de France. I know jack about cycling, but back when he was winning it every year, I would always marvel at how he could be behind after all of those early stages yet still win the thing with ease. I'd read the cycling guy ESPN.com dusted off every year explain how it was so obviously Armstrong's race to win, and that he'd take over once they got to the time trials and mountain stages and everything, and I would have a hard time wrapping my brain around it. "But he's so many minutes behind," I'd think. "How could he possibly close that gap?" And the answer was simply that the race was long. Some guys don't know the course as well as he did. Some guys were great sprinters but didn't have the stamina. Some guys got hurt along the way. Armstrong? Steady as she goes, always with his eyes and mind on the prize. Simply expecting to win, and making us all feel silly for thinking in the middle stages that he might not.
Orioles 14, Indians 3: Aubrey Huff and Adam Jones are a two-man wrecking crew, each going 3-5 with a homer and 4 RBI. They are not to be confused with the Minnesota Wrecking Crew, which consisted of Ole and Gene Anderson. OK, I'll give you Lars, but he was really the Shemp of that team. Arn? Curly Joe DeRita at best.
Phillies 8, Marlins 6: Blanton beats Florida tonight. It's Kendrick tomorrow. If Philly can beat a Marlins team that has given them trouble this year with their two weakest starters, they'll have to feel pretty darn good about themselves.
Tigers 14, A's 8: It's not every day that you give up eight runs on eleven hits in four innings and don't get hung with a loss, but then again, it's not every day you face one Gio Gonzales either (1.2 IP, 5 H, 9 R). How, though, does Curtis Granderson -- a guy whose praises I sung a mere 24 hours ago -- pull an 0-6 with strikeouts in a game like this? Oh, and congratulations to Gary Sheffield for hitting baseball's 250,000th home run.
Reds 5, Brewers 4: We haven't been talking about it much lately, but those problems with Milwaukee's bullpen that were all the rage back in the early summer haven't gone anywhere. Witness a ninth inning in which Salomon Torres was handed a 4-2 lead and blew it by loading up the bases and then giving up an RBI single to Corey Patterson of all people, followed by a double to the rarely dangerous Jeff Keppinger. Here's a proposal: have CC close the four games a week he's not starting, and have Sheets close CC's starts. OK, I'll admit that's silly. Yost would never yank Sabathia out of a game he started.
Astros 3, Pirates 2: Houston wins their 12th of 15 and continues to make all of us who wrote them off as a disaster back in the spring look foolish. As do most other teams, by the way, which is kind of why I avoid writing formal predictions in March and April.
Angels 12, Yankees 1: In an embarrassing inning of an embarrassing loss the Yankees choose to officially signal the unraveling of their season in the form of a bench-clearing ball. Appropriately, the fight was characterized by Pudge Rodriguez taking a mighty swing . . . and missing.
Giants 6, Diamondbacks 2; Padres 4, Dodgers 0: Tim Lincecum dominates the Dbacks (8.1 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 9K) and Cha Seung Baek (and a couple of relievers) dominate the Dodgers, who were shut out on four hits. These games were brought to you by the Commission To Remind You That Despite the Dodgers Recent Winning Streak, The NL West Is Still A Wasteland Of Mediocrity.
Blue Jays at White Sox: Postponed: All other districts are on a two-hour delay.