Schadenfreude is the German word to describe the happiness you feel when Alex Rodriguez fails to hit his 600th career homer.
• This is surprising: with his four-bagger today, Tyler Colvin now has 14 (yes, 14!) homers in 213 at-bats. He hit 14 in 307 AB at Double-A Tennessee last season.
• Starlin Castro's batting average on June 24th: .255. His batting average as recently as July 8th: .265. After play tonight: .300. The BABIP is on the high side (.340 coming into play), but not crazy. The playing time is super secure.
• Brian Duensing has replaces Nick Blackburn in the Twins rotation. The former threw an efficient 66 pitches tonight: 5.0 IP, 19 TBF, 3 K, 0 BB, 11 GB on 16 BIP (68.8|PERCENT|!). This could actually go pretty well.
• Chris Denorfia (.285/.343/.439) and Aaron Cunningham (.296/.325/.465, .345 BABIP) were San Diego's best hitters tonight, finishing with a combined .278 WPA (Win Probability Added). Can the Padres just put whomever out there and have it work out?
• Fausto Carmona is alive! Tonight's line, in a rain-shortened game versus Tampa: 5.0 IP, 17 TBF, 7 K, 1 BB, 6 GB on 9 BIP (67.7|PERCENT|), only 1 H. Note that the ERA (3.65 before play) is still kinda far lower than the xFIP (4.64).
• Gaby Sanchez is kinda bringing it recently. Tonight: 2-for-4 with a HR. Was batting .303/.367/.472 with a .341 BABIP before play.
• C.J. Wilson allowed zero runs. Line: 8.0 IP, 27 TBF, 3 K, 0 BB, 11 GB on 22 BIP, only 4 H. With his cut fastball, he profiles as a guy who could outperform his xFIP (as he's doing right now: 3.23 ERA, 4.63 xFIP).
• Mike Morse had 2 HRs for the Nats tonight. Don't go rushing to pick him, though, probably.
• Weird line from San Francisco's Jonathan Sanchez: 5.0 IP, 24 TBF, 10 K, 5 BB, 109 pitches. I mean, if anyone's gonna do it, it's probably him. Still, it's weird.
• I don't want to talk about how Aubrey Huff has another 2 HRs today.
• Josh Beckett was good, but not great, in his return today. Line: 5.2 IP, 25 TBF, 5 K, 3 BB, 8 GB on 17 BIP, 98 pitches.
• Atlanta Brave pitchers walked 12 Marlins. Florida Marlin pitchers walked 7 Braves. I didn't watch the game. Also, I'm happy I didn't watch the game.
• There was some kind of fracas in the Mariner dugout between Chone Figgins and coach Don Wakamatsu after the former made a lazy play in the field. Fight! Fight! Fight!
• Scott Podsednik (28), Ichiro Suzuki (23), Chris Young (21), Jose Reyes (20), Hunter Pence (12), Andruw Jones (9), Rickie Weeks (7), Jayson Werth (7), Jason Heyward (5), Carlos Pena (5), Chris Denorfia (4), Randy Winn (4), Carlos Quentin (2), Tyler Greene (2), Brent Lillibridge (2), Ryan Howard (1), A.J. Pierzynski (1).
• Alfredo Simon, converted (14). True Closer!
• Heath Bell, converted (28).
• Tony Sipp, converted (1). He ended up getting the save in rain-shortened, seven-inning game.
• Billy Wagner, blown (5). There was, like, a walk and then a flare single and then a passed ball and then another single. It happens.
• Francisco Cordero, converted (27). One of everything: K, BB, H.
• Neftali Feliz, converted (27). He finished off Wilson's shutout.
• John Axford, converted (14). I haven't seen him recently. Does he still have the sweet stache?
• Brian Wilson, converted (28). Finished off the 8th, stayed for the 9th.
• Jonathan Papelbon, converted (22). That doesn't seem like a lot of saves for a closer who's been healthy all season.
• Francisco Rodriguez pitched with the Mets up 6-1. Line: 1.0 IP, 2 K.
• It may not shock you to learn that, once again, the Padres seems to've produced a shutdown reliever. Ernesto Frieri's line tonight at Pittsburgh: 1.0 IP, 4 TBF, 3 K, 1 BB. He had 49 K in 37.2 IP at Triple-A Portland.
• Takashi Saito had 3 K in 1 IP. Total pitches: 17. Swinging strikes: 4. That's a good place to be.
• Per Brooks Baseball, Oakland's Henry Rodriguez threw his fastpiece at an average speed of 98.66 mph tonight. He only knows where SOME of them are going. (Last year in 37 Triple-A appearances: 43.2 IP, 71 K, 38 BB.)
• Brian Roberts made his first ML appearance since April 9th, batting leadoff and playing second base for Baltimore. He was 0-for-4 with a K, but I bet the O's will take it.
• Shin-Soo Choo played tonight for the first time since July 2nd. He was out with a sprained thumb that was originally projected to keep him out 6-8 weeks. Choo is like the anti-Nick Johnson.
• Alberto Callaspo played his first game – at third base, batting seventh – for the LA Angels of Anaheim. He'll be their starter from here on out, looks like.
• Corey Hart was removed from tonight's game against Washington with a right wrist injury after crashing into the right field wall in foul territory. Hart will undergo an MRI on Saturday. Consider him day-to-day for now. Also: Jim Edmonds replaced him. Also: Edmonds went 2-for-3 with a HR.
The Young and Potentially Restless
• Jon Jay started in right field tonight and went 1-for-2 with 2 BB. Also, he didn't strike out – and he hasn't since July 11th.
• Neil Walker's looking good. Nerd stats: .320/.355/.471, .356 wOBA, 122 wRC+, .380 BABIP. That last figure is high, but Walker's also learning 2B and has as yet to turn 25.
• Cincinnati's Travis Wood wasn't awesome-awesome tonight – he gave up 9 H in 6 IP – but he's got the goods, I'm thinking. No walks versus 4 K.