Choosing a game this week proved to be a very difficult task as certain games stood out for the wrong reasons and other solid ones were not really indistinguishable from games glossed over earlier in the season. The Phillies fan in me would love to choose the pop-up heard ’round the world but was that game really anything remarkable save for a routine play gone wrong at the end? Color me unimpressed otherwise. I mean, it might have been fun to watch but I’d much rather highlight some games we may have missed. With that in mind, let’s instead shake things up a bit and look at each day, Monday-Sunday, and highlight a game that stood out.
Monday: Pirates 6 @ Braves 7
Not three days after settling in his new digs in Atlanta, Nate McLouth had to host his former employer. He didn’t shy away, either, going 3-7 with a homer and a steal. Those seven plate appearances were amassed over the course of 15 innings, as both teams decided to play bonus baseball. In the bottom of the fifteenth, David Ross hit a walkoff single with the bases loaded and one out to end the game.
Tuesday: Cardinals 3 @ Marlins 4
The double quality start was in full effect as Chris Carpenter took on Josh Johnson. Johnson lasted one inning longer, but both of their efforts were largely for naught, as the game was decided on a Jeremy Hermida walkoff home run in the bottom of the ninth.
Wednesday: Reds 4 @ Nationals 2
Even when they manage to come back, the Nationals struggle to hold on. Shairon Martis allows just two runs over seven solid frames and back to back RBI singles from Josh Bard and Alberto Gonzalez tie the game in the bottom of the ninth off of Francisco Cordero. The Nats bullpen coughs up two more in the top of the 12th and David Weather prevents a second comeback.
Thursday: Blue Jays 0 @ Rangers 1
Marlon Byrd knocks in a run on a sac fly in the bottom of the second and nothing happens for the next seven frames. Ricky Romero leaves after 6.1 truly effective innings and Kevin Millwood keeps the Blue Jays off the scoreboard for 7.2 innings. The Rangers are known predominantly for their offense but their pitching really came through here.
Friday: Mariners 4 @ Rockies 6
After finding himself down 3-0 early in the game, Ubaldo Jimenez bounces back, logging a complete game with rather odd numbers (4 BB/3 K and 4 ER) and knocking in the tying run with a single in the sixth. Rockies are rolling.
Saturday: White Sox 7 @ Brewers 1
The recently called up Jose Contreras continues his resurgence, scattering two hits and two walks over eight shutout innings while fanning eight. Since returning on June 8, Contreras has pitched 16 shutout innings while allowing just three hits and three walks, earning Player of the Week honors in the process.
Sunday: Cardinals 0 @ Indians 3
Cliff Lee continues to show that last season was no fluke by tossing a complete game shutout against the Cardinals. After 9 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, Lee now has a 2.88 ERA and 3.01 FIP in 97 innings of work. With his groundball and flyball rates virtually identical to those posted last season (becoming a groundball pitcher was a big key to his success), and minimal regression in his walk and strikeout rates, this incarnation of Lee really looks like the real deal.
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