St. Louis Cardinals

Albert Pujols scares the crap out of a ball boy

So, what do you do when Albert Pujols hits a laser shot right at you? Well, if you the ball boy for the St. Louis Cardinals you take a dive into the first row of the stands. Can’t blame the guy for not wanting to get blasted by the ball but he is the ball boy, right? Last time we checked it was his job to catch those things. But, hey, we’re not complaining; it gave us a great clip to chuckle about for hours.


[]: Sometimes you just gotta bail…

MLB General

The Full Count: Dodgers doing it right

1. Honoring Jackie: 60 years to the day after Jackie Robinson first took the field for the Dodgers, the entire team wore his number 42 and many Hall of Famers were present at Dodger Stadium to honor him. After a pregame ceremony celebrating Robinson and his achievements, the Dodgers honored him on-field with an impressive win over the Padres. Three Dodgers had three hits as San Diego starter Chris Young lasted only two innings. Randy Wolf was the winning pitcher with a quality start that improved his record to 2-1. The Dodgers’ 9-3 victory broke a tie with the Padres for second in the NL West. Arizona still leads the division.

It’s a good thing the Dodgers moved to the west coast as more than 1/3 of the games were canceled due to heavy rains on the eastern seaboard.

2. Only one hit was needed: The White Sox must have been puzzled after allowing only one hit against the Indians but still losing 2-1. Sox starter Jose Contreras allowed two unearned runs in 5 one-hit innings to take a loss. The Indians took advantage of two errors in the win, and got some incredible pitching of their own. CC Sabathia, who was one of numerous non-Dodgers wearing #42, pitched 8 innings, allowed one run, and struck out ten. He’s 3-0 on the year with a 2.14 ERA. The Indians are now first in the division at 6-3.

3. Breaking out the Bats: Albert Pujols may be struggling this year, but at least he’s good on Sundays. The 2005 MVP hit his first homerun of the season on Sunday, April 8, which was his only homer until Sunday, April 15. Pujols led the Cardinals with 2 homers, 5 RBIs, and 2 runs as they crushed the Brewers 10-2. Chris Duncan and Preston Wilson helped out with four hits and three runs, respectively. Braden Looper pitched well to earn his second win of the year for the Cardinals, who are now tied with the Brewers for second in the division. Pujols is still hitting just .183 on the year, though.

Player of the Day: Kyle Lohse, Reds: 8 innings, no runs, 12 strikeouts in a 1-0 win over the Cubs.

Stat of the Day: Chris Young’s loss to the Dodgers ended his streak of 25 road starts without a loss. Young had been 9-0 with 16 no-decisions during the streak.

Walk Off: The Yankee aren’t in good position right now. Three of their best starters (Ming-Wang, Mussina, Pavano) are injured right now, leaving Andy Pettitte as their only starter with experience. However, Mariano Rivera blew a save to waste Pettitte’s excellent start on Sunday. Pettitte has a 1.50 ERA in four appearances but only one win. Without the pitching to carry their dynamic offense, I think this is the year the Red Sox will takeover the division from the Yanks.

MLB General

The Full Count: sneaky Giants in postseason chase

1. A Giant comeback: The San Francisco Giants have sat toward the back of the NL West division throughout most of this season. However, via a recent winning streak they’ve snuck up on the class of the division, the Padres and Dodgers. After beating the Rockies 10-6 yesterday for their 7th win in 10 games, the Giants are just 3 games back of the leading Dodgers and 1.5 games out from the Wild Card-leading Padres. Yesterday Pedro Feliz drove in three RBIs in the win, giving him a team-leading 91. Despite being a quiet team throughout most of the year, the Giants have a serious shot at the postseason.

2. The Greatest Show on Grass: The St. Louis Cardinals appear to have the division title wrapped up once again. They’ve won two straight games and lead the pretending Reds by just five games, but they are the vastly superior team. Their record is 77-67 after winning last night, while the Reds are stuck at 72-72. The Cards slipped away with a late win due to the usual suspect: Albert Pujols. He hit a two-run double in the ninth that provided the difference in their 6-5 win over the Astros. Pujols, who has 45 homers and 120 RBIs, has a good shot at his second straight MVP award. However, our vote would still go to Ryan Howard of the Phillies, who was rained out again yesterday but leads Pujols in most categories.

3. West vs. Central: The “Big Three” AL Central teams are currently in battle with the three top teams from the AL West. The Tigers are taking on the Rangers, the Twins are playing the A’s, and the White Sox are facing the Angels. Yesterday, the Tigers, Twins, and Angels won among those three series. Detroit snapped a losing streak with a 3-2 win, with each of their runs coming off a solo homer. Kenny Rogers earned the win in that one. Meanwhile, the Twins beat the A’s 7-5 to win their fifth straight. Justin Morneau improved his average to .324 while hitting two RBIs (120). The Sox lost, however, by a 4-3 margin to LA. Chone Figgins drove in a run off Bobby Jenks in the 11th to win that one.

4. Over after the first: The Yankees displayed all their offensive power as early as the first inning in yesterday’s home game against the Devil Rays. They scored 9 runs in the first, including a remarkable 6 driven in by Bobby Abreu. Abreu hit a three-run homer his first time up and followed that up with a three-run double. His 6 RBIs in one inning tied him for the second-most in the last 30 years. Only Fernando Tatis, who hit two grand slams in one inning on April 23, 1999, has ever had more. Abreu is hitting .346 with 31 RBIs as a Yankee and has a .298 overall average. Mike Mussina pitched well for the Yanks and improved to 14-6 on the year. New York rolled 12-4 and has reopened their double digit lead over the Red Sox.

5. 14 and done: This has been a forgone conclusion for a while now, but at least now it’s official. The Braves are out of the running in the NL East, and they won’t win their 15th straight division title. Yesterday the Mets edged the Marlins, and even though the Braves were off that sealed the deal for Atlanta. The Mets, who are 89-55 and so much better than the Braves in every way, have done what they haven’t been able to do for 15 years. They even made the World Series in 2000, but they’ve hadn’t beaten the Braves since the Internet Age began. Now they have. They lead Atlanta by 19.5, and the Braves’ Wild Card hopes are all but over as they are 5 out with six teams ahead of them. RIP, Braves dynasty.

MLB General

The Full Count: Pujols on the DL

1. No more 73?: Because of Albert Pujols’ torrid pace, many predicted that he would break the all-time homerun or RBI records, or at least have a monster season. He still might have the latter, but the first two are out of the question as he was put on the 15-day DL. Pujols suffered an injury to his right oblique during Saturday’s game against the Cubs. There is much question as to exactly how long he will be out, however. The Cardinals medical staff apparently told Pujols that he will only be out for the fifteen days that he is on the disabled list. However, another one of the team’s doctors said the injury could sideline him for six weeks, which would last until the All-Star break. Pujols will undergo an MRI exam today that will give a more accurate picture of how serious this injury is.

2. Another game, another near-no-hitter: Chris Young of the Padres is becoming one of the brightest young pitchers in the majors. After one-hitting the Rockies last Tuesday, he allowed two hits to the Pirates on Sunday. Young didn’t allow a hit until the sixth inning, becoming only the second pitcher since 2000 to begin consecutive starts with 5+ innings of no-hit ball. With his 16 straight shutout innings, Young has lowered his ERA by almost a point to 3.39. San Diego needed his outstanding performance, as they only scored one run of their own (a Brian Giles RBI single). At 30-26, the Padres are in third place in the NL West, while the Pirates are last as usual in the Central.

3. They’re beatable: Back when they were 31-15, nobody thought the White Sox could do anything wrong. But, after last night’s 10-2 loss to the Rangers, they have lost five of their last six games. Mark Teixeira performed well for Texas, going 4-5 with 4 runs batted in. Teixeira has vastly underperformed this year after last year’s spectacular 43 homers and 144 RBIs, with only 6 and 30 so far. For the White Sox, Mark Buehrle got lit up, allowing 6 runs in 7 innings. Jim Thome was out of the lineup for the third straight game with a groin injury, but he hopes to start today, when the Sox take on the Tigers in a pivotal series. The Rangers took two of three from the White Sox and lead the AL West at 30-26.

4. New powerplant built in Phoenix: The Arizona Diamondbacks are on fire offensively, scoring 28 runs in a four-game sweep of the Braves over the weekend. The D-Backs hit four homers on Saturday night, then hit four more on Sunday. Arizona’s 9-3 win on Sunday was powered by Damion Easley once again, who homered and drove in 3 the day after hitting 3 homers and 7 RBIs. Tony Clark hit two out, including a homer off Braves starter Jorge Sosa that gave him 4 blasts in 5 career at-bats against Sosa. The Braves actually had narrowed the gap 5-3 going into the ninth inning, but reliever Chris Reitsma was blasted for four runs in the final inning. Reitsma has been a major part of the Braves’ bullpen problems this year, with a horrendous 7.20 ERA. The D-Backs have sole control of the division lead with 34-22 record, while the Braves fell below .500 after the sweep.

5. The best thing going on in Washington: While the Nationals suck, they do have one player that is blowing up the National League. That would be Alfonso Soriano, who hit 2 homers and drove in 5 against the Brewers yesterday. The one-man show gave the Nats an 8-4 win, and lifted Soriano’s season totals even more. He now has 21 homeruns, 43 RBIs, and 13 steals on the year. His .312 batting average, .364 on-base percentage, and .628 slugging would all mark career highs if they hold. Most impressively, he has 11 homers and is hitting .319 at pitcher’s palace RFK Stadium. We bet the Rangers wish they hadn’t traded him now, or just imagine how dominant they would be in the AL West.