1. Big Tex’s Big Game: Of all the disappointing players from the first half of the season, perhaps none was more puzzling than Mark Teixeira. The slugger, who was an All Star in 2005 with 43 homers and 143 RBIs, only had 9 and 49, made his first step to a comeback yesterday. He crushed 3 homers and 7 RBIs off the weak Orioles pitching. That means in one day he achieved one-third of his first-half homerun total and one-seventh of the RBIs! Tex wasn’t the only offensive star in the Rangers’ 15-1 rout of the O’s. Mark DeRosa went 4-4 and homered, and Brad Wilkerson drove in four runs. The awful Baltimore bullpen combined to allow 11 runs, including 5 homers.
2. Albert Again: When people think of the great clutch hitters in baseball, David Ortiz and Derek Jeter usually come to mind. But now that short list should definitely include Albert Pujols, who once again won the game for the Cardinals yesterday. Pujols homered in the 14th inning to break a long-lasting 2-2 tie. It was his 30th homer of the year, and he also has 77 RBIs. Pujols also won a game last Saturday with a homerun.
3. Offense rules: That saying is apparently upheld by the Rockies and the Reds, two perennially high-scoring teams who combined for 4 multi-run innings at the Great American Ballpark last night. The Reds started the scoring with a three-run first, including a two-RBI single, a steal, and a run by Adam Dunn. The score was 4-1 Reds in the sixth when the Rockies’ Todd Helton connected with a two-run shot. The seventh inning was all-Reds, as Ken Griffey Jr. and Juan Castro both hit shots to right to lead a 5-run inning. The game was apparently sealed in the ninth, with the Reds up 9-3. But no lead is too large when you have the Reds’ bullpen, and Jason Standridge and Eddie Guadardo nearly blew the game in the ninth. They allowed four runs, all charged to Standridge, but Guadardo struck out Helton with two outs to finally end this showdown.
4. Why’d they do that?: The Reds had more action last night than just their game. They were also involved in a semi-blockbuster trade. Cincy sent shortstop Felipe Lopez and outfielder Austin Kearns to the Nationals, but they didn’t acquire a big-name player from the willing-to-deal Washington organization. In return for these two offensive standouts, the Reds got relievers Bill Bray and Gary Majewski in addition to three other players. The Reds are desperate for bullpen help, but this might be going a little too far. They traded two everyday players to get relievers with mid-three’s ERAs on the year. In our esteemed opinion, that’s not a good deal.
5. His life: That might be the only thing that Jose Canseco is not willing to give federal officials. Yesterday Canseco told investigators the names of more former major league players who used steroids. Even more importantly, he told them the names of managers and administrators who might have known about the illegal drug use but did nothing to stop it. Canseco is even willing to join the investigators and “use his friendship with [the players] to talk to them comfortably [about steroids].” Canseco probably isn’t the most trustworthy of sources in our books. He recently called baseball the “mafia” and said they played favorites with drug tests.