Yankees 7, Orioles 3: For the record, the last home run in Yankee Stadium was hit by backup catcher Duke Sims. It happened on September 30, 1973 against the Tigers. After that game, New York played for two years in Shea Stadium and then 33 years in one of those unfortunate 1970s-era ballparks that are now finally and mercifully gone.
Phillies 5, Marlins 2: A 1.5 game lead and six games left against the Braves and Nats? Yeah, I like the Phillies' chances to win the East.
A's 5, Mariners 3: A game story and a player that acknowledge the existence of the Three True Outcomes: "Jack Cust took good-natured ribbing after the Oakland Athletics' slugger had quite a typical day.This familiar Jack Cust effort featured a walk, a strikeout and a two-run homer.'That's been my whole career for better or worse,' Cust said Sunday after his eighth-inning home run helped give the A's a 5-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners. 'Those are the three big things in my stat book.'" I wonder if he's read Rany's article.
Giants 1, Dodgers 0: Scoreless through 10 before the Giants broke through. How very 1966 of everyone involved.
Diamondbacks 13, Rockies 4: L.A.'s lead is now only 2.5., but with only seven games to play, 2.5 is an awful lot, isn't it? The Dodgers finish with the Padres and the Giants. Even though they dropped two of three to San Francisco this weekend, that's an easier order than the Dbacks closing against St. Louis and Colorado, no?
Angels 7, Rangers 3: After the game Marlon Byrd said, in reference to the Angels' 20+ lead over the Rangers in the West, "I've never seen that before, [the gap] between the first- and second-place teams." In his first season in Philly, Atlanta beat second place Montreal by 19. So, yeah, I guess he's technically right, but it ain't that big a difference is it?
White Sox 3, Royals 0: I and many others waited the entire first half of the season for the White Sox to drop out of the race, and waited the whole second half for Minnesota to really make a run and challenge them. Still, Chicago hasn't been more than a game out of first since May 15th, and looks to be taking the division going away. If confounding expectations is a skill, they may very well go deep into the post season.
Twins 4, Rays 1: Not that the Twins don't have a chance to make one last stand. They have three games against the Sox in the dome starting Tuesday night, and if history tells us anything, it tells us that anything can happen in that wretched building. They'll turn on the air conditioner at curious times. They'll pipe in the fake crowd noise. They'll invite Kent Hrbek back to tackle opposing base runners. The stops, they will be pulled out, all of them.
Cubs 5, Cardinals 1: The Cubs clinched the division on Saturday night, which meant that yesterday's lineup consisted almost entirely of backups, scrubs, and other assorted flotsam. Daryle Ward hit cleanup. I'm guessing that hasn't happened for a while.
Astros 6, Pirates 2: The only notable thing about this game from the Pirates' point of view was that it was probably the last time Jack Wilson played for them in Pittsburgh, as he is likely to be shipped off during the offseason. He pinch hit and got a single. After the game he said "It's definitely the best moment of my career. By far." That says far less about the moment than it does about the state of the Pirates since Wilson's debut in 2001.
Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 0: Dice-K is going to end with something like 30-40 fewer innings this season than last, when he seemed to be quite out of gas late and into the playoffs. Right now he's ending on a high note (7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 6K).
Padres 6, Nationals 2: My brother, who has lived in San Diego for thirteen years, is spending the week visiting his girlfriend's family in Seattle. He called me yesterday to tell me that he has actually been talking smack with all of them about how the Padres are going to finish ahead of the Mariners in overall record. "Looks like we're putting away the Nats, too," he said, without a hint of irony or sarcasm. He didn't root this vocally for the Padres in any of the last three contending years, in the 1998 pennant season, or when they won the division in 1996.
Indians 10, Tigers 5: Dontrelle Willis is deader than vaudeville (2.1 IP, 5 H, 6 ER, 6 BB). Meanwhile, get Cleveland: they're over .500, and a scorching 41-24 since their July 9th nadir. Everyone picked them to do things in the AL Central this year and they didn't. That doesn't mean people shouldn't pick them to do something again next year.
Braves 7, Mets 6: The Mets remain 1.5 ahead of Milwaukee for the Wild Card, but with the way their bullpen is going, they won't be lasting much longer than the Brewers even if they do hold on.
Brewers 8, Reds 1: Nice, but any team that loses 2 of 3 to the Reds in the season's penultimate weekend doesn't really deserve to play in October.