Ugh. Ugh ugh ugh. Maybe Silent D stole a base last night or something. That'd cheer me up.
Byung-Hyun Kim pitched poorly in his second game back, but Jeff D'Amico pitched worse for the Indians, giving up a pair of homers to David Ortiz, as the Red Sox won 9-5. Kim's got to do a better job for my fantasy team's sake.
Billy Koch gave up another run in the ninth inning of the White Sox game against Baltimore, but again escaped with a save. Koch's ERA is 5.40 for the season. Closers' ERAs are pretty reliable, since they generally start innings with no one on base and don't get relieved, so a lack of ability to clean up messes can't get hidden in other people's earned runs, and there's no luck in who relieves them. In other words, Koch has been bad.
Zach Day continued pitching very well with a two-run seven-inning outing against Colorado. Unfortunately, Joe Kennedy and the Rockies bullpen pitched better, allowing no runs to the Expos. Every day Nick Johnson is out is an ucky day for the 'spos. Not to mention for my Yahoo team.
Lots of happy notes for the Blue Jays, who picked up their tenth win at the expense of the Royals: Vernon Wells popped two homers, Roy Halladay allowed just three runs despite giving up eleven hits, and the game was safely over after the second, when they scored six runs to take a 7-0 lead. Even with Carlos Beltran and Mike Sweeney, KC's offense isn't going to overcome that kind of deficit very often.
Florida scored two runs in the bottom of the first, and the pitchers went at it from there, with neither side allowing a run again. Jeff Weaver took his fourth loss for allowing those runs, but his final seven-inning line would normally be good for a win. Pitching for the Yankees, he almost certainly would have gotten one. Brad Penny, though, was just a little better, getting two more outs, allowing two fewer hits and runs, one fewer walk, and getting one more strikeout. Matt Perisho and Armando Benitez took it from there, with Benitez getting his eleventh save of the year.
It's OPF time for Benitez: 66 saves in 109 innings, six earned runs (all on home runs), twelve runs allowed total.
San Diego ran its record to 17-11 as David Wells outdueled Jaret Wright. Read that again. Wells gave up no runs in seven innings and was followed perfectly by two relievers, while Wright gave up one run in six frames, and had Wil Cunnane allow another run in the top of the ninth. That's the third 2-0 game from last night, by the way.
Terrence Long was again starting and batting fifth for the Padres. Just thought I'd mention it.
Scott Podsednik went 0-5 ... and still managed to steal his fifteenth base in a loss to the Reds. Adam Dunn popped his tenth homer of the year, though, tying the game in the eighth, which allowed Juan Castro to hit a pinch-hit (for Danny Graves) homer in the tenth to win it. Dunn's OPF 58 homers for the year, which is a pretty immense number.
Meanwhile, Ben Sheets struck out ten in six innings, but walked four and threw 125 pitches. Sheets is 25, so this isn't incredibly terrible, but if I rememeber correctly, he has an injury history. It's not like the Brewers are playing for anything this year (except the greater glory of Silent D), so perhaps it'd pay to be a little more conservative with their ace.
The Mets' six-run bottom of the eighth finished off the Giants. San Francisco continued to be helpless sans-Bonds, as they only managed two runs in the game. The KazMatSuit made his sixth error of the year, putting him OPF for something like 36 for the season. That's kind of a lot. It doesn't really tell me anything about his overall defense, but you'd still like someone a little more steady at the position.
Kerry Wood pitched well, allowing only two runs in seven innings to Arizona, but Casey Daigle and the 'Back bullpen pitched better, not allowing any Cub to go the full 360.
Guess who was responsible for one of the two D-Back runs? Steve Finley, with his eighth homer of the year. That's preposterous. From 1991 to 1993, when Finley was with the Astros, he had three complete seasons, 600+ plate appearances each time, in which he had eight homers or less. Under "late career power-surge" in the dictionary, which is of course defined by Barry Bonds, there should be a "See also: Steve Finley." Because of course I'm not just talking about this year: since 1996, when Finley was 31, after having been essentially a league-average slugger (though possibly one depressed by the Astrodome), he's had just two years when he wasn't at least 60 points above the league slugging average. There's park effect here, too, of course, with Arizona being a nice place to hit.
The longer this goes on, the more I worry that there's not that much here at all, that Finley's essentially be the same player he was when he was 25 or 26, that his park and league has changed around him more than he's changed himself. On the other hand, being the same player at 39 as you were at 25 is remarkable in itself, so perhaps he's owed props in any case.
Roger Clemens ran his record to 6-0 with a six-inning, nine-strikeout outing against (admittedly) the Pirates. Clemens is on pace for a 35-win season, which would be pretty good, considering the era he plays in. More impressive, of course, would be if he maintained a season-long 2.11 ERA. Clemens probably would have pitched longer, but it took him 114 pitches to get through the innings he did.
Chad Harville threw to one batter and got him out.
Texas won yet again, as strong pitching (even if it was the Devil Rays) overcame three caught-stealings and a pickoff. That's ugly base running.
Jose Guillen is hitting surprisingly well for the Angels: .315/.388/.500, and he hit his fourth homer last night. That's pretty much what the Angels are paying for, and far more than what most other people on the planet figured he'd keep doing. Troy Glaus also popped his 10th homer of the year. If he comes back, and if Dallas McPherson doesn't push him off the hot corner (which, given his bum shoulder, is pretty likely, I'm hearing), the next few years could be an interesting power race between the two AL West third baseman, Glaus and Chavez. People have been saying that for years, of course, but both had disappointed, particularly Glaus. It looks like things are coming together for him a little, while Chavez will probably continue to be his streaky self for the rest of his career.
The Twins won again, as Carlos Silva, obtained from the Phillies phor Eric Milton, ran his record to 5-0 with a 3.43 ERA. That's pretty good. The Twins have a reputation for good starting pitching, though the substance hasn't been there in recent years, as Brad Radke has kind of been coasting on his good press, but when you're carrying Jose Offerman at DH (keeping Justin Morneau tragically in the minors), you need all the pitching you can get.