Just 7 more hours... and it's 4 days of Freedom... 7... more... hours...
News, Notes, & Nonsense:
- Nick Johnson hit 2 HR yesterday. He should be back on the DL any day now.
- There was a Tulo sighting. His owners have been patient, waiting for the dominant SS to yield the expected returns, and a HR with 4 RBI Wednesday night helped ease their tensions, like a young Vietnamese employee at a bath house; only they didn't have to pay extra.
- Like Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it was 2 A-Bombs from A-Rod in the Bronx as the Yankees were finally able to beat the Royals. Very few things bring me as much joy as watching the Yankees in last place.
- Paul Konerko may have replaced Ben Zobrist as my Most Underrated Player in the MLB most deserving candidate. Dude is perennially drafted well below his production level, and is about as consistent as consistent gets. If he was on the Red Sox they'd be brandishing his plaque for Cooperstown already in Boston. It'd be right next to Will Middlebrooks'.
- B.J. Upton swiped his 10th bag of the season and despite missing a good chunk of April remains a strong candidate to steal 40 bases and approach 20 HR. He's also batting .300.
- Cole Hamels was very Cole Hamelsish against the Nationals, save the whole part where he intentionally plunks Bryce Harper and then talks about it after the game.
- Chris Sale was back to looking like Chris Sale, going 7 scoreless innings of 2 hit ball, fanning 6 against the hapless Twinkies. Sale's real test will come next week when he faces Tampa, who might bat Fred McGriff lead off, or maybe Kirby Puckett's ghost. Nothing would surprise me. Whoever bats there, they'll probably hit a Home Run while Maddon twiddles his fingers like an evil villain in his hipster glasses.
- Andrew Pettitte continued to pitch strong for the Yankees, who are going to need him to keep misremembering that he's 48 years old through the summer, if they wish to contend.
- Shields struck out 10 Blue Jays. 76 people watched the game.
- Closer controversy in Anaheim? Manager Mike Scioscia has publicly maintained that Scott Downs is his team's closer, but his actions are indicating what many bloggers are saying is the MLB's worst kept secret: that Ernesto Frieri, who has yet to surrender so much as a Hit since joining the team, is the team's new closer, and Downs has been relegated back to setup/LOOGY duty, who may occasionally see a Save Op. Does it even matter at this point? Is it just me or has everyone else spent 80% of their Adds this season on Relievers?
DET: Verlander (5-1, 2.14 ERA)
CLE: Masterson (1-3, 5.04 ERA)
SD: Stults (0-0, 2.70 ERA)
NYM: Hefner (0-1, 2.25 ERA)
MIN: DeVries (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
CHW: Humber (1-2, 5.31 ERA)
ATL: Delgado (2-4, 4.26 ERA)
CIN: Bailey (2-3, 4.34 ERA)
LAA: Haren (1-5, 4.37 ERA)
SEA: Vargas (5-3, 3.34 ERA)
SF: Vogelsong (2-2, 2.27 ERA)
MIA: Sanchez (2-2, 2.32 ERA)
PHI: Blanton (4-4, 3.74 ERA)
STL: Westbrook (4-3, 2.41 ERA)