What the fungus is going on here? About a month ago during spring training, The Dugout over at AOL asked Giants fans if they would rather have Rich Aurilia beat them senseless with construction site debris, or have Barry Bonds back for another season. I of course chose the former, and braced myself for the pummeling. But, could it be that the Giants are actually ... decent? Magic Eight Ball says: "Better Not Tell You Now". But a 5-1 win over the Cardinals on Thursday — their third win in a row — is a good sign, no?
Despite a rather comical semi-slide into third by Fred Lewis on a triple (the Giants had a triple!), all went well on Thursday for the home team. Kevin Correia became the latest starter to turn in a decent effort, going 7 2/3 innings and giving up five hits, taking a shutout into the eighth. Giants pitchers actually had a 19-inning scoreless streak going before Troy Glaus doubled home a run for the Cardinals in the ninth. Getting in on the fun have been Tim Lincecum (six innings, seven hits, seven strikeouts) and Jonathan "Dirty" Sanchez (six innings, three hits, 10 strikeouts). That's going to be the recipe for any kind of success the Giants are going to have, because it sure ain't going to come at the plate. Although, Lewis doubled, tripled and scored twice on Thursday. And before the game, he was fined $12 for wearing his black uniform belt with a blue suit a night earlier. That's the type of shenanigans which did not occur when Bonds occupied his leather clubhouse Barcalounger. Proving that as far as team chemistry goes, the Giants are no longer Breaking Bad.
• Oops, Tigers Lose Again. Perhaps rendered overconfident by their dazzling one-game winning streak, Detroit resumed sucking on Thursday, 12-6 to the Red Sox. For those of you keeping score in your mother's basement, the Tigers are now 1-8. Neo-third baseman Kevin Youkilis had two RBI and scored two runs and Sean Casey had two hits and two RBI for Boston. Hey, who's excited about the big Yankees-Red Sox series this weekend? Anyone? Um, anyone?
• Bringing His A Game. Travis Buck, whom I believe was played by Jon Voight in Midnight Cowboy, won it with a two-run double in the 12th as the Athletics beat the Blue Jays 3-2. Exciting! Buck had three hits and three RBI as Oakland swept the three-game series and won its seventh straight in Toronto. Buck had started the season 0-for-22.
• Marlin Lands Human. Your first-place Florida Marlins won on Thursday when left fielder Josh Willingham robbed the Nationals' Nick Johnson of a game-tying homer in the ninth by leaping above the fence and pulling the ball back onto the field. It popped out of his glove and went for a run-scoring double, but Florida held on to win.
• Who Ordered The Code Red? Ex-Brewer Francisco Cordero was booed lustily by the Milwaukee crowd when he came on in relief in the ninth, then proceeded to put his four-year, $46 million contract into action by retiring Prince Fielder (pop out), Ryan Braun (strikeout) and Bill Hall (groundout) to end the game. Reds win, 4-1.