August 22, 2011
Nine innings and nine items to get you going. Ladies and gentleman of the Stew, take a sip of morning Juice.
1. Hose beast: The Cleveland Indians did the right thing by sending home Kosuke Fukudome(notes) on a short fly to center, even if outfielder Austin Jackson(notes) made them look silly by throwing him out at home to seal a thrilling 8-7 victory for the Detroit Tigers on Sunday.
Check out this list compiled at Baseball Reference to see how rare the 8-2, game-ending DP is. Only six of them since 1977!
"When the ball was hit, I just started running to cover home plate," Valverde said. "I looked back, saw the throw and the tag and just yelled 'Thank you!"'
2. Chopped snake: Starter Tim Hudson(notes), bridge Jonny Venters(notes) and closer Craig Kimbrel(notes) combined on a five-hitter, leading the Atlanta Braves past the Arizona Diamondbacks 1-0. The D-backs would have scored at least once, were it not for Freddie Freeman(notes) turning this inning-ending double play in the sixth inning.
The Braves strengthened their wild-card lead, and D-backs — though they dropped their fifth straight game and have scored only nine runs over their past six — still lead the Giants by 1 1/2 games in the NL West. San Francisco beat the the Astros in 11 innings on Pablo Sandoval's(notes) two-run homer.
3. Send it in, Jerome!: Do you remember pitcher Jerome Williams(notes)? Well, he's back in the majors with the Los Angeles Angels after an adventurous absence, picking up his first win in six years by dominating the Orioles over seven innings in a 7-1 victory.
4. Texas-sized whoopin': The White Sox helped out the Angels by pummeling Derek Holland(notes) and the Rangers 10-0. Gavin Floyd(notes) allowed three hits over seven innings and Brent Lillibridge(notes) contributed three hits and his 11th home run — as many as Adam Dunn(notes) has, but in 197 fewer at-bats.
5. Sunday, bloody good Sunday: The Colorado Rockies beat the Dodgers 5-3 after Seth Smith(notes) connected for a go-ahead homer in the eighth, which wouldn't be that big of a deal, except it was Sunday — and the Rox had dropped a record 17 straight on Sundays.
6. Take four bases, give two back, win: Tampa Bay's Johnny Damon(notes) hit an apparent grand slam in the seventh inning, but had it removed from history after umpires reviewed the video. Actually, they simply called it a three-run double, taking away two bases and an RBI. Damon rebounded from the emotional loss and hit a game-ending solo home run in the ninth to beat the Seattle Mariners 8-7.
7. Crew-pendous: The Milwaukee Brewers have won 22 of 25 after beating the Mets 6-2 to complete a three-game sweep at Citi Field. Prince Fielder(notes) was a good sport after he struck out on an 84 mph fastball by knuckleball maven and Sith lord R.A. Dickey(notes).
8. Fredbird time: The St. Louis Cardinals slugged four homers, including a pair by Yadier Molina(notes) and one by Albert Pujols(notes), to avert a sweep at Wrigley Field with a 6-2 victory against the Cubs. Chicago's looking for a new GM after telling Jim Hendry to please go.
9. Big market corner: In Alex Rodriguez's(notes) hitless return to the lineup, Curtis Granderson(notes) hit an inside-the-park homer to lead the Yankees past the Twins 3-0. In slower news, Jason Varitek(notes) probably felt like his knees would kill him after legging out a rare triple in a 6-1 victory for lefty Jon Lester(notes) and the Boston Red Sox at Kansas City.
10. Because we like Canada: The Toronto Blue Jays got a great start by rookie Luis Perez(notes) — who probably was helped by facing the anemic A's offense — and Jose Bautista(notes) hit home run No. 36 to provide all of the scoring a boy could want in a 1-0 victory at Oakland. Nice job by Casey Janssen(notes) to finish with a three-inning save. Very Mark Eichhorn-esque.