Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Clearing the bases: Powerful night
By David Schoenfield
First base: Pirates power. The magic continues in Pittsburgh -- eight more runs, 13 hits and Drew Sutton's dramatic walk-off home run to lift the Pirates to an 8-7 win over the Astros. Sutton was picked up off waivers from the Rays last week and had a terrific quote: "It's why we play the game," said Sutton, who began the year in the minors with the Braves. "Even guys like me, who bounce around from team to team, every once in a while, you get a moment. You'd better enjoy it." Oh, yes, Andrew McCutchen is good. Three more hits, and he's 13-for-18 in his past four games.
Second base: White Sox power. Maybe Roy Oswalt needed a couple more starts in the minors. Or maybe the heat and humidity in Chicago made for a rough night. Oswalt allowed a career-worst 11 runs, as the White Sox beat the Rangers 19-2 behind 21 hits -- 10 for extra bases. Oswalt had allowed 10 runs in a game once and nine runs twice. In his first three starts with the Rangers, he's allowed 35 hits in 17.1 innings. But he's 2-1! Maybe it was the heat (93 degrees at game time), but it didn't affect Chris Sale, who had another outstanding outing, pitching into the eighth inning. He kept his pitch count down, throwing just 95 pitches. He's 10-2 with a 2.19 ERA, although he is probably not a candidate to start the All-Star Game since he's scheduled to start on Sunday.
Third base: Chipper power. Not bad for a 40-year-old: Chipper Jones went 5-for-5 in Atlanta's 10-3 win over the Cubs, the third five-hit game of his career. "Tonight was just one of those dream games," Jones said. "I would be hard-pressed to find a game in which I played better." Jones hit a three-run double and also made a defensive gem on Darwin Barney in the eighth, throwing him out from foul territory. Jones is suddenly up to .313/.389/.485 on the season.
Home plate: Tweet of the day. After the Mets powered their way past the Phillies with an 11-1 rout, dropping the Phillies 10 games under .500, our SweetSpot colleague Christina Kahrl offered this: