|Golden Boy continues to mop up.
- Joba Chamberlain seemed to get pumped up after his four-run first inning against the Red Sox, and he was cutting loose with his best fastballs of the season on his way to striking out 12 Red Sox.
- I don't care who, but either manager Joe Girardi or Chamberlain should be suspended after the events of the last two days. Girardi threatened Red Sox players with bodily harm during Monday's game and Chamberlain pretty clearly followed his lead by drilling Jason Bay in the shoulder after his homer tonight. It's hardly an isolated incident with Joba. Someone should be slapped on the wrist just as a sign that the league office is paying attention.
- Of course, Josh Beckett couldn't retaliate tonight, having already been suspended once this year. For once, the Red Sox are letting their play do the talking. Taking care of business on the field has always been the best way to deal with these things, but the Red Sox have made a habit of acting macho on the field.
- The Cubs took Jeff Samardzija out of the rotation at Triple-A Iowa for this? He's pitched 3 1/3 innings in 13 days since being recalled, and all five of his appearances have come in games that the Cubs were losing by at least three runs.
- Even though he was working on five days' rest, Ian Snell didn't have his usual stuff in Tuesday's loss to the Brewers after throwing 131 pitches in his previous start April 29. It's entirely possible that Pirates manager John Russell cost his team two games by sending him back out for the seventh in his last start.
- How about Cleveland's Eric Wedge for the first manager fired this year? He's not handling his bullpen well at all, and his lineups keep getting more unsettling. Using Shin-Soo Choo as a DH and sitting Ryan Garko today against a lefty was truly baffling. Choo is a career .244/.347/.386 hitter against lefties, while Garko comes in at .318/.398/.498. Sure enough, Choo made four outs in three at-bats in the Indians' loss to the Blue Jays. And not that it really matters, but Garko had his eight-game hitting streak snapped after grounding out as a pinch-hitter.
I'm certainly not saying Choo should sit against all lefties. But DHing him over Garko made no sense at all.
- Wladimir Balentien's arm is plenty strong, but he showed terrific finesse in throwing out Michael Young at home plate to preserve a 1-1 tie in the eighth inning. After fielding Adam Jones' liner on one bounce, the left fielder made a one-hop throw to the plate that couldn't possibly have been in a better location. It's that combination of strength and accuracy that earned him 15 outfield assists in the minors in 2007.
- Alexi Casilla hit .163/.230/.200 and he's not only playing every day, but he's batting second in the lineup. Nick Punto is also in there every day with his .211/.321/.235 line. However, the Twins' most valuable defensive player -- maybe the American League's most valuable defensive player -- is finding himself on the bench more and more with his .213/.260/.340 line. Sure, I'd love to see more from Carlos Gomez. But he's so good in center field that he needs to be left there and given a chance to hit his way out of his slump. It's not even as though the alternative, Delmon Young, has been any good himself.
- The Braves rewarded Garret Anderson's refusal to go on a rehab assignment by inserting him right into the cleanup spot in his return from the disabled list. He went hitless -- against Livan Hernandez of all pitchers -- but he did make it through nine innings without being charged with an error.
- While the Red Sox are happy enough with Jacoby Ellsbury in center field and Ramon Ramirez in the bullpen, they do have to be pretty annoyed to see Coco Crisp playing like this in Kansas City. In his three years in Boston, Crisp's isolated OBPs were .054, .062 and .061. In Kansas City, he's drawn 21 walks in 102 at-bats, putting him at .128. He's also almost halfway to his extra-base-hit total from 2008.