Reds 4, Cubs 0: Justin Lehr? Really? The same Justin Lehr making his second career start at the age of 32? The same Justin Lehr who hadn't previously pitched in the majors since 2006, and was really, really bad when he did that? The same Justin Lehr who the Reds signed in 2007, sold to the freakin' Korean league, signed again with the Reds later in the year, was let go again and allowed to sign with the Phillies, then the Reds traded for AGAIN back in May? The same Justin Lehr who had someone updating his Wikipedia page with news of this shutout against the Cubs (CG SHO, 4 H, 4K, 1BB) mere minutes after the game went final? For Pete's sake, you gotta love baseball.
Phillies 7, Rockies 0: I don't think that anyone was truly serious about moving J.A. Happ out of the rotation in lieu of Pedro Martinez, but to the extent there was even a hint of chatter on this point, it needs to stop now (CG SHO 4 H, 10K 2 BB). Well, maybe. Damn, it's gotta be good to be a Phillies fan right now.
Brewers 4, Dodgers 1: Game story: "The final meeting of the season between the teams was played with a heavier-than-usual presence of security personnel stationed between both clubhouses before and after the game. Usually there is one security guard in front of each door. This time, there were five on the Dodgers' side and eight on the visitors' side." Prince Fielder behaved himself, but he was seen searching for a wheelbarrow and a holocaust cloak between innings, so there was genuine reason for concern.
Tigers 4, Orioles 2: Edwin Jackson gave up a two-run homer to Adam Jones in the ninth on his 117th pitch. Until then, however, it was cream cheese (8 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 8K).
Diamondbacks 4, Pirates 3: Ross Ohlendorf left with a lead, but the pen couldn't hold it for him. From the game's scoring summary in the 8th inning: "S Drew singled to center, C Tracy and A Romero scored, S Drew out stretching at second." Drew probably should have stretched before the game or at the very least kept his foot on the bag while stretching in the 8th.
Indians 8, Twins 1: Minnesota threw five guys out there -- Liriano, Dickey, Keppel, Mijares and Guerrier -- with names that sound like they belong to partisans in some European civil war or something. In fact, I'm pretty sure those were the names of the five main characters from a Hemingway novella I read back in college. I'm blanking on the title right now and don't have time to check, but trust me, those are the dudes. Keppel was a German defector -- once a mid level Weimar bureaucrat -- unhappy with the sinister influence that had come to his homeland and trying to find meaning in the world. Liriano had been close with Franco in their youth, but suffered a falling out over a woman, and now no man truly knows the reason why he fights. Dickey -- the narrator -- was a laconic American expatriate with a deep secret. Mijares and Guerrier, often mistaken for brothers, but unrelated, had met in France after the Great War and formed a life bond. At the risk of giving away the ending, I'll say that it was sad to see those two die in each others arms, their chests pierced by the same Fascist bullet, even if we knew it was inevitable from the first chapter which foreshadowed their doom. Why yes, I was drinking a little last night as I wrote this. Why do you ask?
Rays 6, Red Sox 4: Bad night all around for the Sox as first Penny gets beat up (6 IP, 6 H, 5 ER) and then Jason Bay leaves the game with a hamstring injury. Sutcliffe made this one as unwatchable as usual. I didn't click off, however, until the promos for the upcoming games were announced: we're watching the Sox tonight, we'll get the Sox on Sunday, and then the Sox on Monday. ESPN: Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is Red.
Yankees 8, Blue Jays 4: It was all chips and gravy for the Jays until the seventh, but then Swisher homered, Cano doubled, Matsui knocked him in, Molina walked, then Damon knocked in Matsui and Texeira knocked in Molina. Now come the Red Sox. They get Smoltz first, so there's a good chance that the winning streak gets stretched to four.
Braves 6, Padres 2: Tommy Hanson is from San Berdoo (did the mullet tip you off?), so this was kind of like homecoming for him. Kevin Kouzmanoff was far more welcoming, however, as he hit into three double plays, including one that got Hanson out of a tight spot in the first. The Braves had 14 hits, every one of them singles, which is not something you see every day.
Nationals 5, Marlins 4: Wow, four wins in a row for for the Nats. Back to back homers by Zimmerman and Dunn in the first set the tone.
Giants 10, Astros 6: You really aren't living right if you give up ten runs on 13 hits to the Giants. Joe Martinez wins his first ever major league start. Eli Whiteside, filling in for Molina unit #3VH162, which required some routine maintenance, hit a grand slam.
Mets 9, Cardinals 0: Jonathon Niese tore his hamstring -- like really tore it and needs it repaired with surgery -- and is now done for the year. Man, it's tough to be a Met this season. His teammates weren't fazed, though, and put the hurt on the Cards. Angel Pagan did a lot of the hurting, going 3-4 with four RBI.
Mariners 11, Royals 6: I still can't fathom why Posnanski wants to give up getting paid to watch this team play every night. I mean, he'll probably still watch them, but now he'll do it for free.
Athletics 7, Rangers 5: Adam Kennedy, Scott Hairston, Kurt Suzuki and Cliff Pennington all went yard for Oakland, with Kennedy's two-run blast serving as a difference maker in the sixth. Dallas Bradan was supposed to start but didn't because he "had a swollen left ankle, which developed from a rash caused by a Neoprene guard used to protect his big toe when pitching." I hate it when that happens.
White Sox 6, Angels 2: HI MY NAME IS JI
AND I HIT TWO HOME RUNS IN THIS GAME.