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 Rob Iracane (@iracane).
Game of the Day: Yankees 4, Blue Jays 3
In a close game between two AL East powerhouses, it was the missteps of a very key player that set the tone early. Specifically, it was the ballboy stationed along the left field foul line at the Rogers Centre. Fella made a great grab of what he thought was a Robbie Cano hard foul grounder down the line in the second inning; the only problem was that third base umpire Gary Darling had called it fair.
Cano ended up getting stranded at second but the ballboy got the brunt of the punishment. Between innings, Darling fake-confiscated the ballboy's glove and handed it off to a lady mountie. Later, the Blue Jays mascot Ace surrounded the embarrassed ballboy with caution tape. No word as to whether the ballboy will get suspended for questioning someone's sanity.
At least the ballboy got to stay on his perch today, unlike Yankees manager Joe Girardi. Coffee Joe took umbrage with home plate ump Bruce Dreckman's strike zone, blew his top, and was heave-ho'd from the game in the top of the eighth. Bench coach Tony Pena(notes) took over, and decided to make a pitching change in the bottom half of the inning, calling for the greatest closer in MLB history.
But once Mariano Rivera(notes) emerged from behind the outfield walls, Coffee Pena thought twice about it and summoned southpaw Damaso Marte(notes), sending Mariano back to the 'pen in an awkward walk of shame. No matter, because Marte made Adam Lind(notes) look downright silly with a swinging strikeout to end the eighth and Mariano closed it out in the ninth.
They Also Played
Giants 6, Pirates 5 (10): Hey, wasn't that Delwyn Young(notes) breaking out his omgBOOMstick to tie up the game at five apiece in the ninth? Shame that Pittsburgh lost its first extra inning contest of the year
Dodgers 5, Braves 4 (11): Ho-hum, another extra innings affair between the two best teams in the National League. This one went to the Fightin' Lasordas as Braves savior Jason Heyward(notes) ended both the ninth and eleventh innings with a strikeout of the swinging variety.
Reds 5, Nationals 4 (10): To all (all?) the Pirates fans out there who miss former Bucs closer Matt Capps(notes), I point out this news: Capps has blown three of his last four save opportunities for the Nats since converting his first 16. New Bucs closer Octavio Dotel(notes) hasn't blown one since April. Love the one you're with.
Orioles 4, Red Sox 3 (11): Cheer up, Baltimore. Even one piddling walkoff win against the hated Bosox can make up for the spanking the O's received on Friday and Saturday. And hey, Juan Samuel got his first win as a manager! Powder blue jerseys for everybody!
Padres 6, Phillies 5 (10): A sluggish game between two good teams actually took a turn for the bizarre in extras as Placido Polanco(notes) got thrown out by noodle-armed Tony Gwynn(notes) and helped ruin a chance for shrimp. Padres fever: catch it before it gets to Dick Enberg!
Mets 7, Marlins 6: The Mets must have unpacked all their boxes and painted the guest bathroom because they finally feel comfortable in their new digs. This makes eight straight wins for the Queens crew, thanks in part to a game-tying, three-run homer from Jeff Francoeur(notes). Seriously, Jeff Francoeur.
Rockies 3, Diamondbacks 2: Imagine if Ubaldo Jimenez(notes) pitched for a team with a poor defense, instead of having some of the fastest, rangiest outfielders in the game behind him? Not so fast, Brad Hawpe(notes). No defense could have stopped Conor Jackson's(notes) home run, however, that exploded Jimenez' ERA by a whopping 20 percent.
Rays 9, Rangers 5: Alexander Cartwright probably never imagined that the great game whose rules he codified in the 19th century could one day take four hours to play in the sweltering heat of Texas. Not only did the Rays avoid a sweep but they probably lost 3 percent of their body weight in the process.
Athletics 5, Twins 4: Wait a second, were there really ELEVEN one-run games on Sunday, too? ... This one wasn't really close until Delmon Young(notes) pounded a two-run homer in the eighth; he obviously wanted to continue the close game meme.
Astros 6, Cubs 3: I present to you the National League Central, where being in third place still means you're eight games outta playoff contention.
Royals 7, Tigers 2: Brian Bannister(notes) is 20-8 in day games in his career but 16-33 at night. If Royals skip Ned Yost can somehow sabotage the overhead lights at Kauffman he might salvage the season.
Angels 9, Mariners 4: Don't look now, but thanks to a tidy five-game winning streak, Anaheim has quietly climbed back into contention in the West. NO I SAID DON'T LOOK NOW WHAT ARE YOU DOING THE MIKE SCIOSCIA FACE WILL TURN YOU INTO STONE!