Man Mountain is battling some soreness in his right elbow, Red Menace has worked in each of the past 3 games, and Brendanukkah is suffering from "flu-like symptoms." What that means is that JD has been forced to call in the last man from the 'pen to provide the Purple Prose Index for the week. As spectators, I only ask that you go easy on me. I'll likely be assigned to Bat Reporter immediately following this appearance.
1. Milwaukee (4-2)
Milwaukee was only there in negative: no runs, no hits, 12 strike-outs, just three balls hit out of the infield No word on whether the Brew Crew turned the radio on and turned the radio up, nor whether this woman was singing their song.
The day after they were roasted by Justin Verlander ROASTED!!!1!!11!! Roasted by WARMTH!!!!11!!! Shit, that's not right. See, I told you I was no good at this.
(The Brewers used) Carlos Villanueva (one run, five hits, five innings) as a last-minute replacement for Chris Capuano, who came up lame. Sadly, after developing laminitis, Capuano had to be put down just a few days later.
Hart finished the series with five hits (including two home runs) and six RBI in 15 at-bats, Bill Hall was five for 10 with three RBI, and Geoff Jenkins, who hit a grand slam on Friday, was six for 13. Fuck Bill Hall. That's all.
2. Pittsburgh (4-2)
The Pirates got rare wins from Zach Duke (3-6, 5.68 ERA), who held the Rangers to two runs in eight innings on Tuesday, and Paul Maholm (3-9, 5.00 ERA), who dry-cleaned the White Sox (one run and three hits in seven innings) on Friday. Ozzie Guillen went back to Maholm on Saturday to pick up his team, and unleashed a profanity-laced tirade when he was told that they would not be ready until Monday.
On Wednesday, Ian Snell (6-4, 2.63 ERA) pitched the first complete game of his career, allowing one run while striking out seven, but he'll miss his scheduled start in Week #12 due to a burn-blister he got while grilling chicken No joke here, kids. Outdoor cooking safety is not a laughing matter. Those blisters have been known to sting a little when they pop.
With Van Benschoten in the mix, Pittsburgh is the only MLB team that's developed all of its starters through its farm system. With Dave Littlefield in the GM chair, Pittsburgh is the only MLB team unwilling to open up the wallet and acquire a starter despite the fact that all of its current starters blow nutsack.
3. Chicago (4-3)
For the second consecutive week, Chicago started 4-1 but finished 0-2 and had one of its stars plunked with a fastball after a sizzling performance SIZZLING!!!!11!! Sizzling with CONVECTION CURRENTS!!!!1!!! Goddammit, that's not right either.
Carlos Zambrano (7-6, 4.53 ERA), the glowering inferno, hit a home run and pitched eight innings vs. the Astros, giving up one unearned run and three hits, and then threw a complete game vs. the Padres, allowing one run (a ninth-inning homer) and two hits. THE GLOWERING INFERNO!!!!11!! Have I worn out this joke yet?
Lee: "I don't like when a ball is thrown at my head." After the game, Mike Piazza called Lee to ask if he'd be okay with two balls in the vicinity of his head. Piazza then called a press conference to reiterate that he is, in fact, a heterosexual.
Houston Astros (4-3)
The starters are also warming up, as Woody Williams (3-9, 5.50 ERA) delivered his best start of the season vs. Chicago (two runs and four hits in seven innings) Woody's previous best outing had been a 5 inning, 5 run effort on a rehab assignment in A-ball.
Lance Berkman: "Halley's Comet or Brad driving in four runs -- which happens more often?" Brad Ausmus: "Hey, Lance Berkman, you're a prick!"
Berkman missed the first two games of the series against Oakland due to suspension, and he didn't play on Sunday ("flu-like symptoms"). Luke Scott, who's been troubled with a hip strain, didn't play on Wednesday ("abdominal discomfort"). On the plus side, both Berkman and Scott are now convinced that it is, in fact, impossible to chug a gallon of milk in an hour.
Loretta: "This is a game of streaks, and you've got to take advantage of the times that are good." he said, as a giggling Phil Garner ran through the locker room naked.
5. St. Louis Cardinals (3-3)
Chris Carpenter has begun to throw off a mound, and St. Louis is counting the days -- they should number about 45 -- until he returns to the rotation. David Eckstein has a little calendar in his locker where he X's out the days as they pass. So Taguchi has a countdown on his MySpace.
The Cardinals are the only team in the NL whose ERA is above 5.00, and their pitching staff fell to earth with a loud, ugly thud in Week #11. After all, they were flying so high with their 4.77 ERA just a week ago.
Things were so bad that Scott Spiezio pitched an inning -- a scoreless, hitless inning -- on Friday. Tony LaRussa's extensive scouting revealed that the Athletics hit extremely poorly against pitchers with stupid chin hair. That's called playing the matchups, boys and girls. That's why he's a genius.
6. Cincinnati Reds (2-4)
This is getting embarrassing. Why must you mock our pain?
Homer Bailey (1-0, 5.73 ERA) continued his major-league odyssey vs. the Angels on Thursday, permitting five runs, seven hits, and three walks in six-plus innings and giving the bullpen a lead it couldn't hold Not bad, considering the fact that the Angels employ a 6-headed sea monster who swallows sailors whole, and a deadly whirlpool that swallows entire ships.
On Tuesday vs. the Angels, the Reds managed to squeak out a 5-3 win despite striking out 16 times and going one for 14 with runners in scoring position, thanks to the fact that they scored runs via a fielder's choice, a suicide squeeze, a sacrifice fly, and an error. Or, perhaps, the reason that the Reds went 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position is that they gave up outs to.....not the place, BLee. Not the place.
Against Texas, David Ross went five for 10 with three home runs and, in the process, brought his batting average above the "Castro Line" for the first time this season.