For a second consectutive game, Eric Gagne failed to hand-off an 8th inning lead to the Red Sox closer. While second-guessing whether or not Hideki Okajima should have continued to set-up Papelbon, Gagne's acquistion guaranteed that that wasn't going to continue. The second-guessing should be on whether the Red Sox should have acquired Gagne at all.
Jose Reyes hit his 9th homerun of the season. After failing to live-up to the Carl Crawford-like projections through the All-Star Game, Reyes has quietly hit five HRs post-ASG. If he hits another 5 or six over the remainder of the season, he will have recovered his Top 5 draft status.
Anyone doubt that the remaining 48 days will not be filled with luck the same way the first 48 days of the season are? If you don't, then you aren't in a competitive race against a team that had Brian Giles active going into the weekend. The former roto-stud (35/100/.300) had two HRs when the clock struck midnight on Thursday. Three games later, he has seven HRs. I will be interested in seeing if Giles has "rediscovered" his HR stroke after its being missing for three years. (ed: Has it really been five seasons since Giles was a 35+ HR hitter?)
Brad Lidge bounced back from Saturday's blown save to close out yesterday's 6-4 win over the running-out-of-steam(?) Brewers. But does a one-batter-one-out save eliminate the fears Lidge will crumble following Saturday's disaster?
The Cardinals placed free agent bust Adam Kennedy on the 15-day DL and recalled middle man Brendan Ryan. He proceeded to hit his 3rd major league HR. His previous minor league high was two. With David Eckstein's pending free agency and Kennedy's struggles, Ryan can play himself into a big 2008 role over the next seven weeks.
Speaking of possible 2008 sleepers, Nationals back-up catcher and Rule V pick, Jesus Flores hit his 3rd HR of the season. With David Ross leading NL catchers with 15 HRs, there is little reason to invest a lot in an NL catcher. Flores becomes a decent $1 end game catcher. With more PT, he becomes a legitimate 2008 sleeper. (FWIW, Victor Martinez leads all catchers with 18 HRs. KC's John Buck is second with 16.)
USA Today's Steve Gardner at 11AM.
FBB with Chris Harris at 11AM.
NFL with Scouts' Keith Kidd at noon.
MLB with Buster Olney at 1PM.
FBB with Pete Becker at 3PM.