Those who know me can easily pin down some simple facts about me; my impeccable dress, my razor-sharp wit, and my ability to wax poetic about baseball. The third of these I have employed in my short time here at TPA. Not today, folks. I’ve had a really crappy day. It was a tough day at work, I lost my house key and had to wait two and a half hours to get into my house, and my fancy new smartphone apparently can’t, you know, make or receive phone calls. I’m in a mood, people. Let’s hope some baseball will make it all better.
Pitch-Thrower of the Night: Marco Estrada, 6.2 IP, 4 H, 1BB, 6 K, 0 R
I’ve said it before: were it not for the calamity that is the 2012 Milwaukee bullpen, the Brewers would be right in it this year. Technically they are still in it, and have won seven of their last ten. The Greinkeless rotation has remained very good since the break.
The Evening’s Most Prominent Batsman: J.J. Hardy, 4-5, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R
Look, if your team is going to make an improbable run to the postseason, somebody’s gonna have to keep the offense rolling. It’s been Mark Reynolds as of late, but J.J. Hardy helped push the O’s past the Rays last night. Yet another solid season from the sure-gloved Hardy, which should aggravate Twins fans after their team traded him for ostensibly a Free Big Gulp coupon and a used Sega Genesis.
Oooooooh, Fancy Glovework:
This is more of a display of heads-uptitude (yes I made that up), than it is of athleticism, but it’s still pretty slick.
Player Got a Boo-Boo:
Jason Hammel, who has recently returned from a nearly two-month DL stint, left the game early after aggravating the knee that knocked him out in the first place. Orioles are dropping like flies recently, but I’m assuming Baltimore will find the pitching equivalent of Lew Ford to fill in nicely until they win the World Series.
The Rest of the Best:
Mariners: Erasmo Ramirez, 7 IP, 6 H, 1 BB, 6 K, 2 ER, W
Sorry, Mariners fans. I had no idea who this guy was until about 15 minutes ago. Judging by his peripherals, though, I may have to start remembering his name. The Mariners improve to 32-23 since the break.
Red Sox: Dustin Pedroia, 3-4, HR, 2 RBI, R
Spoiler alert! (Sorry, had to). Boston doesn’t have much to play for the rest of the way, but ruining Yankee fans’ days/weeks/seasons should be incentive enough for anyone.
Phillies: Jimmy Rollins, 2-3, HR, 3 RBI, 3 R
Rollins, the leadoff hitter, improves his OBP to a scorching .306 on the season. The leadoff spot for the team as a whole has an OBP of .307. It’s just one stat, but wholly hell.
Indians: Carlos Santana, 3 SB allowed
This is more egregious when you consider that one of the thieves was Geovany Soto, the opposing catcher. Santana has thrown out just 26% of possible base-stealers this year. That’s Pierzynski territory.
Astros: Justin Maxwell, 1-2, RBI
Maxwell drove in the only run in what I can assume was a mind-numbing game against the Cubs that involved nine pitching changes. I’m only being slightly facetious when I say you couldn’t have paid me to watch that game.
White Sox: Jake Peavy, 5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 BB, 9 SO, 3 ER, 3 HR, L
What a weird line. This game was back and forth from what I caught on MLB.tv, which makes sense when you consider one of the starting pitchers fanned nine, but also allowed two dingers. The race to mediocrity between the Tigers and Pale Hose continues.
Royals: Mike Moustakas, 0-4, 1 K, 1 BB
In a game where his team got 16 hits, Mous was the only guy not to have one. I mean, come on. Even Francouer had an RBI in this 9-1 win.
Giants: Madison Bumgarner, 2-2, HR, 3 RBI
Bumgarner pitched such a stinker that he wasn’t even kept in long enough to be the pitcher of record. He contributed in another way before his departure, though.
Diamondbacks: Ian Kennedy, 7.1 IP, 4 H, 0 BB, 6 K, 0 R
Kennedy has been very inconsistent compared to his stellar 2011 campaign, but he pulled it together last night with a very solid performance. The Dodgers are now 4-6 in their last ten over what has been a lack-luster push to the postseason by the New York Yankees West.
Cardinals: Adam Wainwright, 6 IP, 5 H, 4 BB, 6 SO, 5 R
The Cardinals’ grip on that last wild card spot continues to loosen, as the Padres play spoiler in this one. There are now five teams within five games of that last playoff berth.
Athletics: Brandon Moss, 1-3, BB, HR, 2 RBI
The A’s beat the Halos again, and now own a better record than any team in the powerhouse AL East. They remain in the top spot for the wild card, and trail Texas in the West by three games.