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Closing Time: Tim Stauffer 2.0

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It's probably time to dust off the name Tim Stauffer(notes) and get him on the post-hype sleeper list. The No. 4 overall pick from 2003 missed all of last season after getting a torn labrum repaired and wasn't on anyone's radar entering 2009, but he's worked his way up from Double-A to the majors and thrown a couple of solid games for the Padres. The latest effort was a tidy no-decision against Florida on Monday (6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 K), with eight of 12 outs coming on the ground.

Stauffer wasn't a big strikeout guy in his revolution with the Padres and his average fastball barely cracks 90 mph, but a fixed shoulder can't hurt the cause and he struck out seven Giants in his first start. Petco Park isn't getting any smaller, you know. A start at Washington calls on the weekend, and that's a cushy draw in our make-believe game.

Baseball games don't come any crazier than the match the Twins and Athletics put down on Monday (AP bureau reporter Janie McCauley, one of the best sports writers in the business, has the game story here). Minnesota jumped out to a 12-2 lead through the top of the third (thanks to a couple of Justin Morneau(notes) homers), then proceeded to blow that lead over the course of the evening. You know how to read a box score – dig in and collect your prize. Had umpire Mike Mulchlinski not botched the bang-bang play at the plate that ended this strange game – Michael Cuddyer(notes) was safe and the out-of-position Mulchlinski missed it – these teams might still be playing.

The just-promoted Daric Barton(notes) hit one of Oakland's four homers and he's in line for regular playing time now that Jason Giambi(notes) is on the DL. Barton was a highly regarded prospect a few years ago but his star faded after a .226 mess last season; he didn't have flashy stats at Triple-A (.260, eight homers), though he's got a keen eye at the plate (38 walks, .375 OBP). Your league depth determines your level of interest here; Barton's a long way from being relevant in mixers.

Jonathan Sanchez(notes) allowed a couple of homers at Atlanta and had to settle for a no-decision, but for the most part he validated the no-hitter we saw a week and a half ago (6 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 8 K). If he can be around the plate this much on a consistent basis, there's a tasty upside here. Tommy Hanson(notes) had a similar night on the other side (7 IP, 3 R, 11 K), picking up his fifth victory and producing this filthy highlight reel.

Andy Pettitte(notes) had a rare strong turn at the new Yankee Stadium (7.1 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 8 K), but he had to settle for a no-decision against Baltimore. Handy reliever Alfredo Aceves(notes) picked up the win when Hideki Matsui homered in the bottom of the ninth. David Hernandez(notes) was solid on the other side (6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 4 K), throwing lots of fly-ball outs and getting away with it. He hasn't been dominant in his recent four-game trial, but he's allowed three runs or less in all of those turns.

It's ironic that the Mets get introduced to "Eminence Front" for their Citi Field games, because the current New York lineup truly is a put-on. But a trip to Washington usually does wonders for any club, and the no-name Mets put up six runs and nine hits in a tidy victory Monday. Jeff Francoeur(notes) sparked the way with three hits and a homer, and his teammates seemed to endorse the Frenchy approach for most of the night (no walks, seven strikeouts).

Handshakes: Joe Torre used both Jonathan Broxton(notes) (23) and Ramon Troncoso(notes) for the third consecutive game, so a day of rest is probably in order for those guys Tuesday. … The Florida bullpen worked three hitless innings in back of Rick VandenHurk(notes) (6 IP, 2 R), with Leo Nunez(notes) pitching a perfect ninth. … Huston Street(notes) was warming up in the Colorado bullpen as Manuel Corpas(notes) made a mess of the ninth, but Arizona came one baserunner away from forcing a save situation. … Jose Valverde(notes) (10) threw a scoreless inning against the Cardinals and stranded one runner. It's been almost four weeks since his last 1-2-3 appearance. … Bobby Jenks(notes) (22) kept everyone engaged in Chicago, loading the bases while striking out the side. The final out came on a 3-2 pitch to Jason Bartlett(notes).C.J. Wilson(notes) (8) didn't cower against the Red Sox, mowing down four batters without a hitch. He'll be the ninth-inning guy for Texas while Frank Francisco(notes) gets over pneumonia. … Chad Durbin(notes) (1) picked up one of those cheap working-man saves, pitching three innings to mop up Philadelphia's rout of Chicago. … Francisco Rodriguez(notes) probably wasn't needed at Washington, but the Mets called on him to protect a four-run lead and he set the side down in order (no save, of course). … Michael Wuertz(notes) (3) was the last man standing in Oakland; Andrew Bailey(notes) threw 29 pitches in Sunday's loss to the Angels.

Speed Round: Mat Gamel(notes) became the odd man out in Milwaukee after the Felipe Lopez(notes) deal; Gamel was optioned to Triple-A on Monday. Lopez, incidentally, went 4-for-4 with his new club; keep in mind how his bat became reinvigorated after joining the Cardinals late last season. … Alfonso Soriano(notes) stroked three hits for the Cubs but also made his eighth error of the year. It's hard to do that much damage as an outfielder, especially these days where official scorers seem especially reluctant to hand out errors. … The Angels and Royals were washed out, setting up a doubleheader for Tuesday (weather permitting). … J.D. Drew(notes) wasn't doing anything as Boston's leadoff man, so Jacoby Ellsbury(notes) got the call there at Texas (1-for-4, steal No. 41). … Make it nine wins in a row for the Phillies (and 9-of-10 at home); no one can hold the NL's best offense down right now. I don't want to hear any gibberish about Jimmy Rollins(notes) being a buy-low; he's been dynamic this month (.377/.472/.590, 13 runs, 6 steals) and clearly has his mojo back. … Gio Gonzalez(notes) allowed 11 runs in that crazy Minnesota-Oakland game, but hey, he didn't get a loss. … Jason Schmidt(notes) had a rocky beginning to his LA return, allowing three runs in the first inning, but he put the Reds aside for the next four frames. Still, eight baserunners against just two strikeouts, that's not begging for a pickup. Torre says Schmidt has a regular rotation spot, but you have to figure the Dodgers will make an upgrade at some point. … Russell Martin(notes) had a rare three-hit night, but he was a carnival on the bases (Ryan Hanigan(notes) nabbed him twice trying to steal). Martin's just 8-for-14 running on the season. … If you don't have the stomach to watch Derek Lowe(notes) down in the ATL Tuesday night, give Plan B a shot – it's Singles Night at Turner Field. … The Mets gave GM Omar Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel a vote of confidence Monday. Feel free to discuss the pros and cons of that regime in the comments.

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