Man Mountain couldn't stand the HEAT so I'll try to channel him in the weekly diary of RJVasilak's ups and downs. Let's get purple!
1. Milwaukee Brewers (4-3)
To paraphrase Rudyard Kipling, winning the NL Central may simply be a matter of keeping your head while those around you are losing theirs.: To quote Arrow, "My mind's on fire / My soul's on fire / Feeling hot hot hot!
Ned Yost, tongue planted firmly in cheek: "We've been consistent within our division.": You really don't want to know where Ned Yost's tongue has been this week (hint: it's got a lot of HEAT).
2. St. Louis Cardinals (4-3)
Those sirens you hear are ambulances chasing St. Louis, whose players are dropping like flies.: Too... many... metaphors... cannot... process... Take over ken: "I thought it was ARod chasing Sirens in Toronto?"
Scott Spiezio was removed from Tuesday's game due to dizziness apparently caused by medication: (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)-- he's off the wagon.
Still, the Cards climbed into second place in the division, 6.5 games behind Milwaukee, mostly on the strength of old-fashioned Powerball : The Cards matched four of five numbers (18, 21, 22, 35) and the Powerball (16). They elected to take their payment in a lump sum.
Edmonds: "Everybody's starting to put it together a little bit." Well, not everybody. Kip Wells (2-10, 6.40 ERA) had another dreadful week: Little tip: if you ever interview Jim Edmonds don't contradict him to his face. He's one ornery SOB.
3. Cincinnati Reds (4-3)
Just when it appeared that they were going to roll over and play dead, the Reds posted their best record since Week #1.: And that wasn't enough to fetch us #1 in the Heat Index? 4-3 is as good as anyone else did. Throw us a bone!
Edwin Encarnacion went for nine for 24 in Week #9, including a career-high four hits vs. Houston on Thursday, and he hasn't made an error since he was recalled from AAA Louisville a couple of weeks ago.: Last week the Heatmaster had this to say: The Reds put Josh Hamilton (gastroenteritis) on the DL and recalled -- shudder -- Edwin Encarnacion, whose.218 batting average and team-leading six errors got him shipped off to AAA Louisville in Week #6. He was right to shudder. I believe he's now been burned! (by the HEAT!)
Encarnacion: "I've got more luck than I've had in the past.": Say it with me everyone!
(Seriously is this a shout-out to us? Are we the favorite NL Central site of the HEAT?)
Cincinnati turned four double plays on Saturday.: Ok, this is as good a time as any to mention this. Those double plays have helped us become 29th in the majors in defensive efficiency. The Pirates, tops in the index with 54 DPs, are 24th in the majors. Is there anything more pointless that a running tab of team double plays, which are greatly affected by baserunners allowed and groundball pitchers? For that matter why do we need fielding percentage, errors, team BA, and stolen bases (without caught stealing)? Ok, we now return to your regularly scheduled HEAT...
Milestone: On Wednesday, Adam Dunn drove in the 500th run of his career.: It goes without saying that he should have more, if only he would strike out less.
4. Houston Astros (2-4)
Welcome back, Brad Lidge!: He's back to closing? Crap, I have to pick him up! Oh, wait, he's exactly where he has been for a month. Touche, HEAT.
Drayton McLane, the team's owner, had some face time with Phil Garner and GM Tim Purpura ("I have great confidence in both of them," he warned afterward), and he blew the kiss of death at Craig Biggio, saying, "Concessions need to be made.": Unfortunately for Biggio, Drayton McLane had applied his poison lipstick.
Ashley Judd was at the game on Wednesday.: HOT!
Chad Qualls (4-3, 4.55 ERA) gave up the deciding run vs. Cincinnati on Tuesday, back-to-back home runs to start a fateful ninth inning vs. St. Louis on Friday: You can't blame him though. He was fated to give up those homers. It was his destiny!
Rick White, who'd given up 14 earned runs and 21 hits since he came off the DL in mid May ("I'm stuck in a big pile of unlucky dog doo," he said): Courtesy of the Reds. Bow wow!
Carlos Lee, who's arguably the division's best off-season signing, leads the NL in RBI (52) and is tied for 10th in home runs (11).: That's a tad premature. This is like when your buddy marries a chick who you all know will lose her looks in a hurry. And when you're in Vegas for the bachelor party there's always one guy who won't stop about what a fox she is. Let's put a moratorium on statements like this until three years after the wedding or contract signing. Can we get someone moving on this?
Sorry, I was supposed to be channeling Man Mountain. That was someone else.
5. Pittsburgh Pirates (2-5)
In war and baseball, everything revolves around arms.: And the high ground. And planes. And gloves and supply lines and outs.
Pittsburgh has two very good ones and a bunch that don't often shoot straight: They went cheap and got them used from the midway shooting range at the Allegheny County Fair. This is why there needs to be a salary cap in baseball.
6. Chicago Cubs (1-5)
Mount Zambrano erupted: For centuries the Wrigleys, a simply Pacific Island society, had lived peacefully at the base of Mount Zambrano on the North Side of the Windy Islands archipelago. Discovered by Clark Addison in 1902, the Wrigleys pass their days by fishing and consuming a fermented drink they call Ohldst'Ial. But the Wrigley's lived in constant fear of the mountain, which they named Big Zee. Their wise men attempt to pacify the volcano by ritualistically throwing balls onto the field of play of the island's past time, a simple stick-and-ball game the natives have played for years without becoming very adept at it. Please, give to the Zambrano relief fund. Many of these poor Wrigleys live on nothing but a diet of cheese and sausages and are sickly pale.
The Cubs were mere chum for the Marlins: So... somebody's trying to catch the Marlins?
extended its losing streak to six games (a season high), and fell nine games under .500 (a season low) before winning a consolation prize on Sunday.: The consolation prize was a rock tumbler and his-and-hers Huffy bikes. The grand prize was a week at Space Camp.
Besides, there's some poetry involved when a pitcher celebrates his 26th birthday by giving his catcher a fat lip.: Call for entries! Submit the best poem about a pitcher celebrating his 26th birthday by giving his catcher a fat lip and win week at Space Camp (consolation prizes include bonus points and a Webster Pocket Word Organizer).
the benefits of his rest were evident on Friday, when his passed ball and errant throw detonated Zambrano.: Teachers take note. If you chastise your students too much about using the passive voice the results could be this unfortunate overcompensation.
My error Last week I reported that Ken Griffey had hit home run #547 of his career. It was #574.: And the HEAT never made another error again.
Until next time, it frightens me the awful truth of how HEAT the Index can be.