We had a special one in Tampa last night and when I use the word special, it’s meant in the most unflattering way possible. With the bases juiced in the bottom of the 10th and two out, Elliot Johnson hit a hard ground ball directly to Brandon Inge, who had a number of things he could have done with the ball to varying degrees of difficulty. He naturally ended up choosing the most illogical option and threw to second, where a frantic Ramon Santiago did his best to cover the bag even though he was nowhere near the base when Inge made the throw. Ballgame over. Plays like this, ladies and gentleman, are exactly why the AL Central is far from over despite Detroit’s six game lead. I keep watching the replay in the hopes that Inge decides to do something else, but he keeps throwing to second. The still from the game pictured above is exactly when Inge had the ball in his glove. Jogging to third and stepping on the bag or even throwing home would have been so damn easy.
Angels 8, White Sox 0 — Fresh off signing a new contract and delivering a few stunning quotes, Jered Weaver pitched seven shutout innings. Perhaps Verlander blows up a couple times before season’s end and the Cy Young race becomes intriguing again? Probably not.
Red Sox 13, Rangers 2 — The Rangers only lead the West by 2.5 games! We have ourselves another division race where the loser will stay home. But until something drastically changes with Boston’s health or Justin Verlander puts on a clinic and takes them down twice, no one in the AL is beating the loaded Red Sox. And no, that’s not a reverse jinx.
Brewers 2, Pirates 0 — Aaron Thompson, Jason Grilli, Jose Veras and Joel Hanrahan combined for a five-hit shutout. It was the first time the Brewers had been shutout since July 15. These things happen.
Mariners 9, Indians 2 — Wily Mo Pena drove in four runs. That alone much sums up the Mariners taking three of four in Cleveland. After starting the season hot with a record of 30-15, the Indians have been an atrocious 33-49. Stick a fork in them.
Giants 2, Padres 1 — Timmy allowed one run over eight innings and even had an RBI. Carlos Milk Dud went 2-for-4 with a solo shot. Encouraging signs for the Giants.
D-Backs 4, Nats 2 — Daniel Hudson was one away from the first shutout of his career until he served up back-to-back home runs to Lance Nix and Jonny Gomes. The D-Backs simply refuse to allow the Giants to come any closer than two games. John McDonald’s play in the eighth to preserve the shutout is definitely worth a look (third replay in).
A’s 6, Yanks 4, 10 innings — Coming into the game Coco Crisp had just five home runs. Last night he hit two, one of which came off Rafael Soriano in the 10th innings. I’m sure he happily stuck around to politely answer any and all questions regarding his outing. He loves it in New York.
Mets 7, Phils 4 — Bobby Parnell walked two in the ninth to make things interesting because, even in victory, it’s mandatory for the Mets to inspire their fanbase to shit their pants.
Amazingly enough, here’s an embeddable highlight from last night… Robert Andino’s barehanded catch:
Yardwork ends on an incredibly sour note today. Former Orioles pitcher Mike Flanagan, who won 167 games over 18 seasons with Baltimore and Toronto, was found dead outside his home yesterday. Suicide is suspected. According to a relative of Flanagan’s, he had been distraught for some time with the “perception of fans and colleagues alike of his role in team’s failures.” That’s just gut-wrenching and heartbreaking to read. Here’s video of an understandably devastated Jim Palmer reflecting on his friend following last night’s game at Camden Yards. And here are some quotes from Earl Weaver along with some thoughts from Buster Olney, who refers to Flanagan as the funniest man in baseball.