You can stop pretending to work. It was a long, holiday weekend and we all know you are just not going to be into it today. Hide as you might, the boss knows that you are trolling the internet looking for something to read that will keep you from thinking about whatever it is that you are supposed to be thinking about today. Settle in for a few minutes and let me distract you from work and help you catch up on what you missed over the holiday weekend.
Meanwhile, while you were busy blowing stuff up, swimming, grilling, relaxing and doing everything you could to celebrate this great Nation's birthday, the boys of summer were still out there playing that kids game that we all love to watch. While you were out running around with the family, friends, and enjoying some adult drink, I kept an eye on our old friend Baseball for you. I know, it's a tough job...
Chris Carpenter Pitches His Shortest Outing Ever In St. Louis
Teams rely on their ace pitchers to produce. When fans lay out the games on paper and look ahead to what the future holds, they assume the team will at least have a solid chance to win when that go to guy takes the mound. This weekend further proved the old adage "That's why they play the game". The Cardinals took the field against the Brewers and would have Jaime Garcia, Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright schedule to throw in three of the four games. No one would anticipate that the team would find it hard to win with Chris Carpenter on the mound on Saturday. Add to the fact that the offense was able to scratch out five runs, and you would figure the Cardinals would win that game. But the Redbird ace imploded on the mound, giving up seven earned runs in three innings and turning the game over to a bullpen in much need of rest. The bullpen did not help matters and the Cards dropped the game 12-5.
Amid Trade Rumors, Cliff Lee Continues To Dominate
Cliff Lee has been the most discussed person in trade rumors around the internet as we approach the non-waiver trade deadline. In response to all the discussions, Lee took three consecutive complete games into the weekend as the Mariners faced the Tigers on Sunday. His streak would end as he would not throw a complete game, but not for lack of trying. He would strike out eleven, walk one and scatter nine hits over eight innings before handing the ball to Brandon League slam the door on yet another win. Lee now has eight wins over three loses and boasts a 2.34 earned run average. His value continues to climb and teams will have to meet a large price tag, but I have to believe he will be somewhere else come August.
27 Players On All Star Rosters For The First Time
When the All Star rosters were named this year, 27 of the 66 names were there for the first time. The 15 National Leaguers that will be in the mid summer classic for the first time are Ubaldo Jimenez (Colorado), Martin Prado (Atlanta), Arthur Rhodes (Cincinnati), Evan Meek (Pittsburgh), Matt Capps (Washington), Adam Wainwright (St. Louis), Yovani Gallardo (Milwaukee), Omar Infante (Atlanta), Brandon Phillips (Cincinnati), Troy Tulowitzki (Colorado), Michael Bourn (Houston), Marlon Byrd (Chicago), Chris Young (Arizona), and fan elected Jason Heyward (Atlanta) and Andre Ethier (Los Angeles). The American League will send 12 of their own to the game for the first time including David Price (Tampa Bay), Jose Bautista (Toronto), Clay Buckholz (Boston), Neftali Feliz (Texas), Phil Hughes (New York), Jon Lester (Boston), Trevor Cahill (Oakland), Fausto Carmona (Cleveland), Matt Thornton (Chicago), Elvis Andrus (Texas), Ty Wigginton (Baltimore), and John Buck (Toronto). As injuries and adjustments are made, more players will be named.The game in 2008 in St. Louis featured 30 first time All Stars.
Dontrelle Willis Released For The Second Time This Season
Willis was released earlier this year by the Detroit Tigers and caught a chance to regain form with the Arizona Diamondbacks. In the midst of adjustments at the management level, Willis was first assigned to the bullpen then Designated For Assignment. It should be interesting to see if another team will take the young lefty under their wings and try to "fix" the hurler.
Geoff Jenkins To Announce Retirement
Finally, news broke Monday that Geoff Jenkins had placed a call to Brewers management to express his desire to officially retire as a Brewer. Friday night, July 9th, the Brewers and Jenkins will hold a press conference to announce his official retirement from the game. Jenkins is set to throw out the first pitch at the game later that night.
Come back next week as we will take a look at some more baseball chatter, right here on More Hardball.
Bill Ivie writes for BaseballDigest.com, is the Executive Editor of i70baseball.com, and can be found on the United Cardinal Blogger Radio Hour and i70baseball Radio hosted on BlogTalkRadio.com. Follow him on Twitter @poisonwilliam