A pair of Sox, a long distance dedication, and Borat

1. Second-half Sox start like the first-half Sox ended

The second half began as the first half ended as Gordon Beckham had a home run and two RBI to help the White Sox win their ninth game in a row, 8-7 over the Twins.

John Danks (9-7) gave up six runs on six hits in the 2nd inning, but only allowed three hits in his other five scoreless innings. Bobby Jenks picked up his 20th save in 21 chances. Chicago has won 26 of 31 while the Twins have lost 7 of 9 and 14 of 20. Starter Kevin Slowey was rocked (again) for five runs on nine hits in three innings, in his past six starts he is 1-2 with a 9.11 ERA.

But neither Danks nor Slowey was the worst pitcher on the mound last night. That honor goes to Tim Wakefield of the “other” Sox. Tim Wakefield (3-8) had his shortest outing since September 2008, allowing six earned runs on eight hits and striking out two before leaving three batters into the 3rd inning, as the Texas Rangers continued their drive for the divisional title with a 7-2 win. Tommy Hunter (6-0) held Boston to five hits over 6.2 innings. Josh Hamilton took over the major league batting lead (.351) with three doubles. Boston has lost six of its last eight games.

2. The elder part of the 90-year old pitching duo struggled too

Aramis Ramirez hit a pair of two-run doubles, and Derrek Lee and Geovany Soto each had two-run homers to lead the Cubs to a 12-6 win over the Philadelphia Phillies and Jamie Moyer (9-9). Moyer gave up for six runs on five hits in three innings allowing a pair of home runs and (softly) hitting two batters.

Ryan Howard hit a pair of homers for the Phils. I was his 25th career multi-homer game.

In the 2nd, Starlin Castro tripled to center after Shane Victorino misjudged the ball in center. Ryan Dempster (8-7) who picked up his first win against the Phillies since June 22, 2001, came to the plate and attempted a suicide squeeze, but didn’t get the bunt down. However, the ball got by catcher Carlos Ruiz, and Castro was awarded a steal of home becoming the first Cubs player to record a straight steal of home since April 13, 1996, when Brian McRae did it at San Francisco.

Nelson Mandela is 90 all by himself. I wonder if he can pitch?

3. Yes, they’re 90 and they’re proud

Jaime Moyer was born on November 18, 1962.

Tim Wakefield was born on August 2, 1966.

  • In his last two starts, the 47-year old Moyer has allowed 13 runs in 8.1 innings
  • In his last two starts, the 43-year old Wakefield has allowed 13 runs (12 earned) in 7.2 innings

4. Joe Buck and Tim McCarver or Pete Twinkle and Greg Stink?

You decide.  From the ESPYs.

5. The Song of the Day

We tell stories. We talk about statistics. And in 1978, we added an element of the show that gave it its heartbeat: the long distance dedication. Casey Kasem

Now its time for our long-distance dedication:

He attended Liberty Senior High School in Renton, Washington, where as a senior, he won state player of the year and led his school to the 2003 3A state championship. Then this young man went on to pitch for the University of Washington eventually winning the 2006 Golden Spikes Award, awarded annually to the best amateur baseball player.

In 2006, he was drafted tenth overall by the San Francisco Giants and, after a brief stint in the minors, he made his first major league start on May 6, 2007. It didn’t take him long to become brilliant in the majors. In fact, he became the first pitcher in history to be awarded the Cy Young in each of his first two full seasons in the Major League Baseball after he took the honors in 2008-09.

Despite having a few struggles this season, he was once again named to the All-Star team but did not pitch which enabled him to be on the mound last night and face the New York Mets. And boy did he pitch. He tossed a six-hitter while striking out five and walking just one in his fourth career shutout as his Giants topped the Mets, 2-0 for their eight win in their last 10 games.

If the Giants are going to make a drive in the NL West they will need their ace Tim Lincecum pitching with the skills and style that have led him to be known as “The Freak.”

So this long distance dedication goes out Tim and all his fans everywhere.

Here’s the horrible disco sound of Chic with Le Freak

6. The other NL pitcher not used

Chris Carpenter (10-3) gave up just four hits in eight innings of the St. Louis Cardinals’ 7-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers. He struck out six with no walks. Carpenter and Lincecum were the only NL pitchers not used in the All-Star Game as they were each scheduled to start on Thursday.

Rookie Jon Jay, a defensive replacement in right field in the 6th had an RBI double in the 7th to extend his hitting streak to 12 games. He’s batting .500 (19-for-38) during the longest current streak in the league.

7.  Bay side

Actually Bayside is in the upper right

An interesting article by Steve Popper of The Bergen Record has an interview with Jason Bay and his rough first half in his debut season with the Mets. At the break, Bay was hitting.265 which is better than the .260 he was hitting last year at the break with the Red Sox. He even has the same 19 doubles, but it’s the power numbers that make this season a disappointment. Last year, at this time, he had 20 homers and 72 RBI, a vast difference between the 6 homers and 44 RBI this year. It will be interesting to see if Bay can adjust as the season progresses now that Carlos Beltran has returned to the Mets lineup.

8. Good defense + good pitching = 1 win

In his return from the DL, Jason Heyward made two great plays in right field and Jair Jurrjens (2-3) earned his second win in three starts since returning from the DL and the Braves beat the Milwaukee Brewers, 2-1.

Martin Prado and Chipper Jones gave Atlanta all the offense they needed with home runs in the 3rd inning off Dave Bush (4-7). Corey Hart increased his trade value by hitting his 22nd homer to briefly give Milwaukee a 1-0 lead. Billy Wagner pitched a perfect 9th for his 21st save.

9. Three Questions

  1. Why didn’t Alex Rodriguez play third or swing the bat in the All-Star Game?
  2. Why did Adrian Beltre play in the All-Star Game if he had a sore hamstring?
  3. If Adrian Beltre was healthy enough to play in the All-Star Game, why wasn’t he healthy enough to play for the injury-depleted Red Sox last night?

I smell a Scott Borat.

Today

AL

Blue Jays (Ricky Romero) at Orioles (Brad Bergesen), 7:05

Tigers (Max Scherzer) at Indians (Jake Westbrook), 7:05

Rays (James Shields) at Yankees (C.C. Sabathia), 7:05

Rangers (Colby Lewis) at Red Sox (Felix Doubront), 7:10

A’s (Gio Gonzalez) at Royals (Zack Greinke), 8:10

White Sox (Gavin Floyd) at Twins (Francisco Liriano), 8:10

Mariners (Felix Hernandez) at Angels (Jered Weaver), 10:05

NL

Phillies (Joe Blanton) at Cubs (Ted Lilly), 2:20

Astros (Brett Myers) at Pirates (Zach Duke), 7:05

Rockies (Jason Hammel) at Reds (Bronson Arroyo), 7:10

Nationals (Stephen Strasburg) at Marlins (Ricky Nolasco), 7:10

Brewers (Randy Wolf) at Braves (Tommy Hanson), 7:35

Dodgers (Chad Billingsley) at Cardinals (Jamie Garcia), 8:15

Diamondbacks (Dan Haren) at Padres (Jon Garland), 10:05

Mets (Jonathon Niese) at Giants (Barry Zito), 10:35

AL
Blue Jays (Ricky Romero) at Orioles (Brad Bergesen), 7:05
Tigers (Max Scherzer) at Indians (Jake Westbrook), 7:05
Rays (James Shields) at Yankees (C.C. Sabathia), 7:05
Rangers (Colby Lewis) at Red Sox (Felix Doubront), 7:10
A’s (Gio Gonzalez) at Royals (Zack Greinke), 8:10
White Sox (Gavin Floyd) at Twins (Francisco Liriano), 8:10
Mariners (Felix Hernandez) at Angels (Jered Weaver), 10:05

NL
Phillies (Joe Blanton) at Cubs (Ted Lilly), 2:20
Astros (Brett Myers) at Pirates (Zach Duke), 7:05
Rockies (Jason Hammel) at Reds (Bronson Arroyo), 7:10
Nationals (Stephen Strasburg) at Marlins (Ricky Nolasco), 7:10
Brewers (Randy Wolf) at Braves (Tommy Hanson), 7:35
Dodgers (Chad Billingsley) at Cardinals (Jamie Garcia), 8:15
Diamondbacks (Dan Haren) at Padres (Jon Garland), 10:05
Mets (Jonathon Niese) at Giants (Barry Zito), 10:35