What some were already calling the second straight "Year of the Pitcher" in baseball came to an abrupt end yesterday, as bats exploded into craziness around MLB.

•In Houston, the Cardinals put up nine runs in the sixth inning, spread across three different pitchers. Worst was poor Jeff Fulchino, who gave up four hits and two runs in the blink of an eye.

"I didn't throw that many pitches," said Fulchino, who threw 11. "It seemed like every time I threw a fastball, that was the one they ended up getting a hit on. There's not much I can say to that."

•In Minnesota, jack-of-all-trades Ben Zobrist racked up: eight RBI in a game; 10 RBI in a doubleheader; 13 RBI in the two-day series. The Zorilla doesn't want himself become a Chuck Norris-type meme on Twitter, but it might be too late.

•In Phoenix, Cubs opening day starter Ryan Dempster recorded an ERA of 94.50 for his outing. How? Double, walk, HBP, grand slam, groundout(!), walk, walk, walk, single, single, hit the showers. His season ERA rises, but not by much, to 9.58. While in New York, the White Sox completed the Chicago pitching meltdown. Carrying a no-hitter into the fifth, yet still losing 2-0, the Sox let the Yankees bat around for 6 runs, and even then only by getting out of a bases-loaded-no-one-out situation. A "debacle," says the Tribune headline.

Of course, the foolishness of labeling anything the Year of the Pitcher in April is matched only by declaring the idea dead after one Thursday evening.