by Andy Paschen
We’re going to try something new here at The Swing: Central Booking. I got into work early today, poured myself some coffee into a fancy red mug, sat down in my swivel chair and then … nothing. So I says to myself, I says, “Peter Nincompoop (that’s what I call myself sometimes), why don’t you check out what happened in every N.L. Central game and do a quick post on that for The Swing?”
So that’s what I’m going to do. Since the playoff race is heating up, I think daily updates will serve our four readers well (except for my mom, who probably doesn’t care what Garret Jones does on a daily basis). Oh, and one more thing. This daily segment will not run Thursday or Friday this week, because I’m on vacation.
Cubs 6 – 3 Reds: Tom Gorzelanny gets a free round or eight at Sluggers after his excellent debut in Cubbie blue. 7.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K and a win has got to feel good after only knowing the woes of playing for the Pirates. Derrek Lee and Kosuke Fukudome added dingers, Kosuke his first ever lead-off HR, but the Cubs continue to have serious problems with whoever pitches in the ninth. El Pobrecito, Angel Guzman, surrendered a 2-run home run to Wladimir Balentien — I don’t know who he is either — to continue the trend of awful 9th inning pitching. Could Gorzelanny go the route of Aramis Ramirez and see his production rise exponentially after a trade from the Buccos to the Cubs? Remember kiddies, Ramirez only batted .234 the year before he came to Chicago.
Cardinals 12 – 7 Mets: Albert Pujols. It really isn’t necessary to add anything more. The man hit 2 HRs (one with three men on base — a grand slam if you will) and drove in five as the Cardinals squeaked by the Mets in extras at Citi Field. With five grand slams this season, he’s tied Mr. Cub Ernie Banks for the N.L. record. I think I speak for every Cubs’ fan when I say that if you hit one more grand slam, I am going to be the saddest of sad pandas. The Cardinals capped a 2-run 9th inning rally with five runs in the 10th and lead the season series with the Mets 5-3.
Giants 8 – 1 Astros: Jonathan Sanchez, a man whose no-hitter became the most irrelevant feat in baseball history after Mark Buehrle threw his perfect game, shut the ‘Stros down, recording his first road win since last September. Ol’ dude tossed seven scoreless and the ‘Stros are starting to realize that they actually aren’t very good: they’ve won only three of their last ten games.
Dodgers 17 – 4 Brewers: Manny Ramirez hadn’t driven in a run in ten games, but he was facing Milwaukee pitching last night, so that streak ended. Also, the Brewers got blasted. Manny socked his 12th dinger and drove in three, but the real fireworks happened in the 9th inning, when Prince Fielder was drilled by Guillermo Mota in retaliation for the Crew plunking Manny earlier. So Prince did the only reasonable thing to do in a situation like that, he waited for the game to end and tried to storm the Dodgers’ clubhouse. Shockingly, he was stopped by teammates and security personnel before he was able to break down the clubhouse door, fight off a 25-man roster full of professional athletes and murder Mota.
Arizona 6 – 0 Pirates: Yusmeiro Petit chucks a no-hitter against the Pirates into the 8th until Ronny Cedeno (of all people) breaks it up with a single, which then ignites a 0 run, 0 hit rally as the Pirates fail to win a baseball game yet again. Zach Duke gave up five runs (via three dingers) in five innings for a robust (but well rounded) ERA of 9.00. This would be another devastating loss for Pittsburgh Pirate fans, but Steelers camp has already started so the loss only acts as an analogy for the “tree falling where nobody can hear it” riddle.