Gather 'round, because it's time to recap the most recent diamond doings. With Dave Brown on vacation this week, your Roll Call is being brought to you by the fine men of Walkoff Walk. Today's rundown is written by Drew Fairservice, who can be found at Ghostrunner on First and on Twitter @drewGROF.
Game of the Night: Brewers 3, Cubs 2
Summerfest: With the Strastivities getting all the attention (covered here with loving detail by our gracious host 'Duk), a fine pitcher's duel went largely unnoticed in the great state of Wisconsin. Unfortunately for Ted Lilly and Yovani Gallardo, the respective bullpens of the Cubs and Brewers added no small amount of fireworks to the proceedings. Seven scoreless innings quickly gave way to late-inning fireworks; each team posting runs in their half of the 8th and 9th with third baseman Casey McGehee driving in the winning runs in the bottom of ninth.
Hart's Foundation: Corey Hart's 8th inning blast not only tied the game (albeit briefly), it also shoved the lanky outfielder into sole position of the National League home run crown. Hart's fly balls are crashing over fences at twice his career rate, hinting that this power surge might not last. Going by the moonshot-ish nature of Hart's clutch tater tot last night, I wouldn't take too many bathroom breaks during Corey Hart(notes) at bats if was Bernie Brewer.
Let's Hang On, To What We've Got: Neither Cubs relief ace Carlos Marmol nor recently-promoted Canadian Closer John Axford could hold leads for their clubs. Axford coughed up a tough luck run, surrendering only an infield single and soft bloop to center before Alfonso Soriano summed up his Cubs experience completely with an RBI ground out — not what everyone expected or wanted, but effective none the less. Marmol's adventurous ninth featured a hit batter, a walk, a botched bunt, and McGehee's seeing-eye single to end the game.
They Also Played ...
Phillies 10, Marlins 8: One day after feeling the scorn of The Stew, the Phillies banged out 10 runs and 13 in trouncing the reeling Marlins. Even slumping Chase Utley got into the act, notching two knocks. Brad Lidge(notes) picks up his third save of the year with a very post-2008 Brad Lidge inning — two walks, two strikeouts, two Phillies fans sent into cardiac arrest.
Yankees 12, Orioles 7: Watch out world, Phil Hughes is 8-1 and Mark Teixeira hit a meaningless late-inning home run. The Yankees are gearing up for a run, hide your women and children! Kevin Millwood dropped to 0-7, proving once and for all that
signing a free agent contract with being traded to the Baltimore Orioles results in nothing but swift and brutal justice from the Gods of both baseball and karma.
Red Sox 3, Indians 2: The Indians new, makeshift centerfielder Trevor Crowe paid homage to Tim Wakefield — now the Red Sock with the most innings pitched in team history — with a centerfield clank job worthy of every inexperienced catcher attempting to squeeze Wake's knuckler for the first time. Way to go Wake, you'll outlive us all.
Giants 3, Reds 0: This Matt Cain character seems interesting. His apparent distaste for relievers (only one inning pitched by the 'pen in his last four starts, including this complete game masterpiece) does wonders for morale. Who doesn't like an unscheduled day off?
Rays 9, Jays 0: Jeff Niemann carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning, finishing with a complete game two hit shutout. Carlos Pena continued heating up after a comfy May slumber to club two prodigious home runs, giving him three in two days. Brian Tallet took the loss to the surprise of exactly no one.
Mets 2, Padres 1 (11): Not so fast, Mr. Heyward and Mr. Strasburg. Ike Davis isn't going to let you stroll onto the scene and just take the Rookie of the Year award. Davis's walkoff ding dong in the 11th inning sent Mets fans home as happy as Mets fans can get, meaning they booed the subway conductor with a little less oomph last night. Mike Pelfrey sparkled for nine innings, walking none and striking out six. The loss slides the Padres out of first place, a half game behind the Dodgers.
Rangers 7, Mariners 1:Vlad Guerrero has 13 home runs? In 2010?!? And Felix Hernandez gave up seven runs for the second time this year? I'm going to the grocery store for water and canned goods, you guys let me know if you need anything.
Astros 4, Rockies 3: The Astros banged out 10 hits while only striking out twice all night. Stephen Strasburg(notes) registered more Ks than the Rockies staff while walking through the parking garage to his car.
Tigers 7, White Sox 2: Generally untouchable relief ace Matt Thornton turned out to be as untouchable as an overweight sheep at the petting zoo. The fireballing lefty let five runs cross the plate on his watch, one fewer than he had allowed thus far in 2010. Perfect gentleman Armando Galarraga pitched a perfectly serviceable five innings, giving up two perfectly normal runs on seven run-of-the-mill hits.
Twins 7, Royals 3: All the Strasmas stuff is good fun, but let's all keep our eyes on poor Zack Greinke. Not only is he a hard-luck 1-8, he's not pitching anywhere near the level of 2009. Kevin Slowey tossed seven tidy innings of three-hit ball, more than enough for the offensive juggernaut known as Jason Kubel.
Braves 7, D'Backs 5: The Diamondbacks are one of the worst pitching ballclubs in baseball. They get hit, hard and often. The Atlanta Braves hit them hard last night, just never at the right time. The Bravos stranded a whopping 22 runners last night, 15 spread between Jason Heyward, Chipper Jones, and Eric Hinske. Hinske hasn't seen a team with such a high numerical advantage since his tryout with the Crazy 88s.
A's 10, Angels 1: Question: Is Jered Weaver(notes) the best bad pitcher in baseball, or the worst good pitcher? He wasn't great on Tuesday night, absorbing 12 hits and 6 runs over six innings. Kurt Suzuki's(notes) four hits ensure he's still the best player nobody ever talks about.
Dodgers 1, Cardinals 0: Hiroki Kuroda matched Chris Carpenter pitch for pitch over seven innings, neither man giving an inch. The battle of the bullpens is one the Dodgers will rarely lose, as Hong-Chih Kuo and Jonathon Broxton kept the door firmly shut after Manny Ramirez drove in the winning run with a ground rule double. Broxton's two strikes outs give him 44 on the year, against only three walks.