Cardinals 8, Brewers 4: Albert Pujols came up big — two homers including a grand slam — and the Cards swept the division-leading Brewers. Yes, that’s cool, but some perspective: Even if the Brewers go .500 in their remaining games the Cardinals would have to go 20-5 to tie them. Ten-game deficits are a lulu.
Dodgers 6, Pirates 4: Dana Eveland was impressive, allowing only one run on six hits in eight innings. Which is great for me because I have an excuse to trot out the observation I make any time I have occasion to talk about Dana Eveland: If you didn’t know he was a pitcher and you simply heard the name, you’d think that “Dana Eveland” was an actress from the 1940s who used to play second banana in musicals and light comedies. She was under contract with Warner Brothers but was loaned out to MGM on occasion. Try it: list off a leading man and a leading woman of that era and then say “and also starring Dana Eveland!” It totally works.
Athletics 7, Indians 0: Gio Gonzalez and Craig Breslow combined to shut out the Indians. Of course, as is usually the case, it wasn’t an equal combination, what with Gonzalez pitching seven innings and Breslow two. Games like these are a lot like when Hunter and Dee Dee used to take down some crime boss. Hunter would shoot 16 dudes, take a bullet in the arm and still find time to crack wise. Meanwhile, Dee Dee would — especially if it was sweeps week — be posing as a stripper or a prostitute or something and would maybe — maybe — hit one of the bad guys over the head with a pitcher of beer or her purse or something. At the end, Captain Devane would still say “great job, you two” as if it were somehow a matter of equal effort. What? don’t look at me that way. I never said that 1980s action/adventure shows were enlightened. But I grew up on ’em, OK? They’re part of my cultural DNA.
Danny Duffy overthrew his catcher on an intentional walk, and Alcides Escobar struck out on a pitch that hit him in the shoulder.
Jeff Francoeur was 3 for 5 with a homer, a double and three driven in. His assessment of the game: “You saw a lot of stuff.”
Phillies 6, Reds 4: Vance Worley does nothin’ but win baseball games. Ryan Howard hit a home run — his 30th — giving him the 30 home run, 100 RBI combination that so many of you are impressed with.
Mets 7, Marlins 5: Miguel Batista makes his Mets debut and its a good one: 6 IP, 6 H, 2 ER.
Braves 5, Nationals 2: Brian McCann and Chipper Jones homered to kick things off and Tim Hudson carried things through. The Nats actually scored a run off Jonny Venters. You don’t see that happen very often.
Yankees 4, Red Sox 2: A.J. Burnett didn’t win, but he kept his team in the game, and that’s something he hadn’t done for a long time. Things got scary in the ninth as the Sox loaded the bases and Adrian Gonzalez came to the plate. But dude, Mariano Rivera. Also: 4:21. Four a nine-inning game with six total runs scored. My lord.
Rangers 7, Rays 2: Two solo homers for Ian Kinsler and a nice outing for C.J. Wilson, who was perfect through five innings but injured his index finger when he reached for a grounder with his pitching hand. He stayed in for a while, but it was buggin’ him too much.
Angels 4, Mariners 3: Ervin Santana walked seven, but you can get away with that against teams like the Mariners.