1. Beaver Time: The biggest news in baseball last night wasn’t anything that happened in the majors. It was the Game 3 of the College World Series finals, a winner-take-all battle between favorite North Carolina and unheralded Oregon State. And it was the Beavers who took the title, with a 3-2 victory in the final game of a very close series. OSU became one of the biggest underdogs ever to win the CWS, and the first northern-based team to win it all since 1996. They won in the most improbable of fashions, with 6 victories in elimination games. Pitcher Johan Nickerson was selected the tournament’s most outstanding player, with 4 runs allowed in three elimination game starts.
2. Master in the Clutch: David Ortiz won Sunday’s game with a walk-off homerun, and he lifted the Red Sox to another win on Monday. With the Sox trailing 7-6 in the 12th inning, Kevin Youkilis hit an RBI single, followed by a Mark Loretta walk. Then Ortiz came up and did it again, winning the game with an RBI single. He became the first player since Nomar Garciaparra in early May to end two straight games with RBIs. It was the 9th win in a row for Boston, and they remain the class of the AL East.
3. Continued success: Many thought the Tigers would fade after a tough schedule stretch earlier this month, but they still are outpacing every MLB team. With a 52-25 record, they are still the only team with 50+ wins, and they are 2 games ahead of an outstanding White Sox team. Yesterday they continued their dominance over the NL, defeating the Astros 10-4. Catcher Ivan Rodriguez homered and drove in three runs, and starter Zach Miner improved to 4-1. The entire top half of the AL Central is on fire: the Tigers, White Sox, and Twins have each won 9 of their last 10.
4. St. Louis struggles: The team that many consider the best in the NL, the St. Louis Cardinals, has performed terribly in Interleague play. Excluding a May sweep of the Royals, the Cards have lost all seven games they’ve played against the American League. Their struggles continued yesterday when the Indians romped them 10-3. St. Louis starter Jason Marquis performed horrendously for his second straight start, with 7 earned runs in 6 innings. In fact, in Marquis’ last two starts he has allowed a combined 20 earned runs, becoming only the third player since WWII to allow such an amount. Over that stretch his ERA has ballooned from 4.55 to 5.82, according to Elias Says. Travis Hafner hit two homeruns for the visiting Indians.
5. Justice is not served: Most people know by now of the laughably awful tirade thrown by single A manager Joe Mikulik yesterday. It will likely hold its place as one of the worst performances by a manager in baseball history. So that is why we are questioning the punishment given to him by the South Atlantic League. Mikulik was suspended a mere week and fined $1000. The fine might be appropriate considering that a single A manager doesn’t make much cash. But the suspension is a joke, and it sends a message that a manager can disgrace himself and his organization and only miss 7 games. Ozzie Guillen says one word and people are calling for him to step down, but this guy can act like a child and gets a minor suspension? If we were the upper management of this team, we would get rid of Mikulik.