Game of the Day: Phillies 7, Nationals 1
King Cole of Comedy: Hamels was cruising along, with everything going splendidly against the Nationals when he tried to field a bunt by pitcher John Lannan and sprained his left ankle.
X-rays were negative, though most of the crowd at Citizens Bank Park had to be treated for shortness of breath. In what should be the rallying cry/marketing slogan for the '09 Phils, "Hamels expects to make his next start."
"There's some frustration, almost comedy," Hamels said. "Last time I felt like I was doing really well. This time I felt like I was finally getting in a good grove again. I don't know what else to do but laugh about it."
Dainty: One of the most wanted men on the off-season talk-show circuit, Hamels has worried that his own busy personal time led to "minor" arm trouble in spring training, which led to him getting a late start on the season. Then there was the line drive Hamels took off his shoulder in his previous start. Now he's rolled an ankle. Is Hamels' charmed life over as he knows it?
Bleeping Utley: Two home runs from Chase Utley, who knows something about working past injuries, plus a three-run shot from Pedro Feliz, powered the Phils offense. Chad Durbin, who allowed one run over 3 2/3 in emergency duty, eased the strain on the rest of the pitching staff.
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Feelin' Rundown (other places, other games):
Marlins 7, Mets 4: Nobody’s ever been moodier in April than the Fish. Elias reports that no team had ever won seven in a row and also lost seven in a row in April before the Marlins did it ... Two homers for Jorge Cantu. Once in a while, I wonder where Our Rays would have been if they hadn't cut Cantu before last season started. The answer, probably, is the same exact place they ended up. But it was a good move for Cantu ... They continue to boo David Wright at New Shea, like that’s going to help anything.
Astros 8. Reds 3: Betting on baseball is risky but if you do, playing the Astros in Cincinnati is as sure as it gets. They’ve won 11 straight at Great American Ballpark and are 32-15-1 (there ain't no TIES in baseball, are there?) since the park opened in 2003.
Braves 2, Cardinals 1: After trying to will the ball to hit him in the head — that’s what he said — Matt Diaz used his bat instead, and drove in the go-ahead run the conventional way.
Cubs 11, D-backs 3: Carlos Zambrano pitched pretty well, but his hitting — he finished a triple short of the cycle — was worth the price of admission.
Dodgers 5, Giants 3: The smallest crowd at a Dodgers game in S.F. — 30,482 — since 1995. ... In Cole Hamels-ish type news, Jason Schmidt threw 89 pitches in an extended spring game before leaving because he was hit in the leg with a line drive. ... Will Ohman gets the save after Jonathan Broxton blows the lead in the eighth. Was Joe Torre having "inside-out day" for the Dodgers pen?
Mariners 9, White Sox 1: Game 2 looked to be one of the great pitching matchups of the young season, but only King Felix did his thing. John Danks did not. ... In Game 1, Bartolo Colon pitched like his old self, though he still looks like young Marty Sherman from "The Critic."
Yankees 11, Tigers 0: Phil Hughes DID save the Yankees, just as 'Duk predicted ... We have to break out the ol' baseball encyclopedia for this one, too. The Yankees had a 10-run seventh inning — the first time a team broke up a scoreless tie after the sixth with a 10-run inning since the Reds scored 10 in the 13th inning against the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1919. "I've never seen anything like that in my life," 64-year-old Jim Leyland said. "You are 0-0 through six, and then it is 10-0? That’s not something I ever remember."
Indians 9, Red Sox 8: Four hours, 19 minutes later, Boston’s 11-game winning streak is over. A boo-boo by lefty Javier Lopez brings in the game-ending run in the ninth.
Angels 7, Orioles 5: A balk — or was it? — by Jamie Walker wiped out a pickoff and preceded a key two-run double by Kendry Morales. Walker spoke out against umpire Angel Hernandez, who made the crucial call. "It's a [terrible] call," Walker said. "I don't know if the guy's got something against me or what, but no way did I balk. It changed the whole game. … It's unacceptable at this level." I seriously doubt that Angel Hernandez has a clue who Jamie Walker is, much less that he has "something against" him, but whenever people complain about bad umpires, Angel Hernandez is often the target ... Taking bets on what "[terrible]" stands for in Walker's quote. I'll say it's either got a "bull" or a "horse" in it.
Rangers 5, Athletics 4: Bad news for the A's; Nomah and Mark Ellis to the DL. Good news; Eric Chavez might not need the DL. This is how you measure progress if you’re the A's, I guess. ... Andruw Jones, who’s batting .345, played some first base in this game.
Blue Jays 8, Royals 1: 29-year-old Scott Richmond is a good choice for AL Rookie of the Month. He’s 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA. ... Aaron Hill leads the majors in hits with 36. ... Gil Meche has a sore back. Not what the Royals need. Joakim Soria, who's been nursing a sore shoulder (also not what the Royals need), threw a bullpen.
Twins 4, Rays 3: Justin Morneau hustled down the line to beat out a double play, allowing the winning run to score in the ninth. ... Ben Zobrist, who was clutch last year down the stretch, tied the score against Joe Nathan in the ninth, but J.P. Thurston Howell III got into trouble in the bottom half.
Words of Mouth:
"My speed usually kills us." — Morneau