It's a beautiful day to play some afternoon baseball; if you're headed out to the park today, try to behave and not punch any men wearing funny straw hats. Today's sked:
- Rockies at Mets, 12:10PM: Last night's massive thunderstorms that passed through the tri-state area have paid off as the Mets and Rockies will tussle in a separate admission doubleheader at CitiField today. Johan Santana and Jason Hammel will pitch in this daytime affair as the Mets attempt to creep their way back into the discussion.
- Padres at Reds, 12:35PM: Dismiss the Padres all you want but they've won two straight against the Reds and five out of six overall against Dusty's hapless squadron. Stud rookie Kyle Blanks has four hits so far in the series with a double, a homer, and three RBI while Adrian Gonzalez has three ding-dongs in three games.
- Royals at Orioles, 12:35PM: Speaking of hapless teams, the Royals and Orioles have actually played some pretty good games this week but you wouldn't know it because you're too busy organizing your sock drawer. Two impressive young hurlers go at it today: Luke Hochaver for KC and Brad Bergesen for the O's. Luke is coming off a 13 K win over the Rangers while Bergesen is 6-1 at home.
- Athletics at Red Sox, 1:35PM: If you want to know how the Yankees are in first place despite losing every single Red Sox game this year, look no further than Boston's poor performance against AL West teams in '09. The Red Stockings are a lowly 9-18 against the Left Coasters including a mediocre 4-5 against these last place Athletics. Jon Lester will try to right the ship today but watch out for Orlando Cabrera, who owns a 1.149 career OPS against the lithe lefty.
- Nationals at Brewers, 2:05PM: Completely unrelated to this game, but Chico Harlan reports that former Nats scout Jose Rijo is running against Raul Mondesi for the position of mayor of San Cristobal, D.R. I wonder if both of them are using this story in their attack ads.
- Astros at Cubs, 2:20PM: With a loss here, the Astros will limp into the weekend having lost 3 of 4 and fallen back to the .500 mark. JUST KILL THEM ALREADY. KILL THEM DEAD.