The pitching last night was even better than a Basque travel agent upselling a young couple from Jersey into blithely donating their entire vacation budget into the anti-facist revolution movement. Let's sort it all out and look to today as it surely brings better things.
Tigers 1, Indians 0: The rumors of Justin Verlander's demise were greatly exaggerated. A quick look at his Fielding Independent Pitching numbers and the meager defense offered by the Tigers could tell you that. Oh, about that Tigers defense. Turns out every so often it proves to be somewhat valuable. Curtis Granderson's catch of Grady Sizemore's would-be walkoff ding dong was robbery worthy of the Spanish grifters currently eyeing up a Jersey jamook from a mile away. Verlander didn't need much else in the way of help, striking out 11 while only surrendering 2 hits. The Central leading Royals stumbled before the surging Angels behind the overwhelming offense of one Howie Kendrick. Gil Meche didn't pitch poorly but he didn't pitch well enough to prop up the meager Royals offense. Kansas City's still in first place by 2 full games in the parity-stricken Central. The Twins pounded three home runs in one inning in beating the struggling Mariners. Joe Mauer is pretty good after all.
Giants 3, Dodgers 1: Life without Manny continues to be a less than rosy proposition. The Giants handed their high-priced pitcher Barry Zito his first win of the year. Zito hasn't pitched terribly this year and with the help of his new perhaps-not-so-personal catcher Pablo Sandoval. The mighty Dodgers have now lost two games in a row, something I didn't think they'd do until October. The Snakes new boss must wonder what he signed up for, as his team lost to the white-hot Nationals. Adam Dunn and Jesus Flores totted while the Nationals bullpen improbably held a lead. AJ Hinch what hath you wrought?
Yankees 4, Orioles 0: Alex Rodriquez once again benefits from pitch tipping. Rather than the opposition tipping off A-Rod, it was the ESPN cameraman in centerfield providing the highlight of the month thus far. One pitch, one three run home run and all is forgotten in Yankeeland. CC Sabathia clearly required he not be the highest-paid guy in the dressing room as he pitched a complete game, four hit gem upon Rodriquez's arrival. The only person happier about A-Rod's return are headline writers relieved to be delving back into their A-______ bag of tricks. The Boston Red Sox taught James Shields and the Rays an important lesson: you don't get to be called Big Game just because your name is James. The Sox put a big old 5 spot on the Rays right hander in the sixth inning via home runs by Jason Bay and JD Drew. Bay currently sits second in baseball in OPS (1.154) and second in walks, too.
Really Quickly: The Phillies beat up on the Braves to remain up on the Mets in the NL East. Brad Lidge struggled in a mop-up appearance which should trouble the first place team every so slightly. The Rangers, the RANGERS got a complete game shutout from young Matt Harrison. If the Rangers are pitching shutouts, we know something's up. Harrison gave up just 5 hits, none of which were home runs incidentally, to beat the White Sox. That is all it takes to beat the White Sox, keep the ball in the ballpark. They don't even run the bases any more. Ball lands on grass, White Sock runs back into dugout crying. Ozzie's really into their heads.