Philles 6, Mets 5: I don't know if you noticed, but the Mets bullpen is much improved in 2009. As a staff they rank second in FIP, tied for fifth best in K/BB while surrendering home runs one of the lowest rates in the league. Guess how much that stuff matters when Shane Victorino steps in with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 11th inning? A single, a pitch hits Matt Stairs in the foot, and back-to-back walks send them to the seafood buffet happy. The Mets hit consecutive tater tots with Raul Ibanez countering for the mighty Phils. The Nationals finally snapped their 5 year losing streak with a victory over the first place Cardinals. Shairon Martis pitched a hell of a game, going the distance without walking a single batter. The start time for tomorrow's rubber match may move back to accomodate the jersey retirement ceremony for Martis, having pitched only the 4th complete game since 2006.
A's 3, Mariners 2: The American League West is quickly becoming the division nobody wants. The Mariners squandered a good pitching performance by Jarrod Washburn in what experts call "a horrible waste of scarce natural resources." Jason Giambi knocked in two of the runs with a double in the sixth inning and a single in the eighth. The Texas Rangers heard two teams from the west were involved in a tight, well-played pitching contest so they stepped in to remedy the situation. Only one home run (slow night) but six doubles paced the Rangers behind a good start from Brandon McCarthy. The Angels beat the Yankees because Brian Cashman forget innings 6 through 8 count just the same as the rest.
Dodgers 2, Padres 1: Very, very, nearly our second WoW of the day. Andre Ethier faced a full count with the bases loaded in the bottom of the tenth inning, but mistakenly chose to drive an inside pitch off the right field wall rather than trying to make us all happy. I assume Ethier's moved on from seafood to something with a little more cache like Swedish-Indonesian fusion. The Padres aren't good at scoring runs. The Giants aren't either, which is why they were nearly shut out by Jason Marquis in a loss to the Rockies. Feeling my scorn yesterday surely motivated Marquis to go the distance, only giving up a home run to Pablo Sandoval in the ninth inning. The poor Rockies are last in the NL West but sport a positive run differential. Surely a factoid to steel them after the Dodgers clinch this division in early June.
Blue Jays 5, Orioles 4: Aaron Hill giveth and Aaron HIl taketh away. The man who's positive contributions in 2009 rank behind only Raul Ibanez booted a straight-forward double play ball in the 10th inning allowing the Orioles to score a go-ahead run. This didn't sit will with Aaron Hill so he lead off the 10th with a home run to tie the game. One inning later, with a running standing on second base, Hill singled to center to cash Rod Barajas with the winning run. The Jays walked off for the 4th time this season, the OriLOLs lost their fifth straight game and currently have the worst run differential in baseball. Worsening. The Red Sox stopped worsening for one night against the Rays soft, supple back of the rotation. Tim Wakefield hardly baffled the hard-hitting Rays but he and the Sox 'pen held the line. The Rays bullpen, such a source of strength last season, coughed up 4 runs and issued 4 free passes. No team that employs Scott Kazmir should be cavalier about their bullpen innings.
Elsewhere: The Riot hit The Dinger for the second day in a row, the Duel of the Day materialized in the form of Dan Haren's 11 strikeouts, the Royals overcame three unearned runs to beat the Twins in extra innings. Good stuff, more later!