Just when you thought your day was made complete by monkeys on dogs herding mountain goats at a baseball game, allow me to inform you that there are some equally compelling match ups tonight in the world of baseball.
Tampa Bay Rays (Jeremy “Raise A Little” Hellickson) at Boston Red Sox (Daisuke “10 Pitch K” Matsuzaka) 7:10 PM EDT
It’s difficult to think of two teams that got off to a more disappointing start, although the Houston Astros are up there or rather down there, than Boston and Tampa Bay. Tonight, look to see if Hellickson doubles in age while Matsuzaka pitches, or just watch so that you can continually refer to the game as the battle of the basement dwellers while it’s still an accurate description. If you’re a fan of pitching, it doesn’t get much more fun that following Hellickson’s pitch selection. He’ll mix his fastball, changeup and curve all into the game equally.
Oakland Athletics (Dallas “The Fairest” Braden “In All The Land”) at Chicago White Sox (Mark “My Favourite Character From Lost Was” Buehrle) 8:10 PM EDT
For only the 21st time in MLB history, two members of the no-hit club take the mound against each other tonight. Although, the teams that they’ll be pitching for are in entirely different places, and I don’t just mean geographically. With only the Indians ahead of them in the AL Central standings, the White Sox can feel pretty good about their 6-3 start, but they should probably feel even better about Paul Konerko’s three home runs in nine games coupled with Edwin Jackson finally looking as though he figured out how to put it all together. Despite being tied for second in the American League for least runs allowed, the Athletics can’t seem to get firing on all cylinders, as only the struggling Rays and surprisingly anemic Twins have scored less runs.
Cincinnati Reds (Edinson “The Inventor” Volquez) at San Diego Padres (Mat “See Ya” Latos) 10:05 PM EDT
Latos, in his season debut, will look to pick up where he left off last year, while Volquez hopes to pick up somewhere where he’s never been. The Blue Jays aren’t the only team sour on the apparent increase in runner interference calls going on in baseball right now. The Padres looked to keep their rally alive on Saturday night in the ninth inning against the Dodgers when Cameron Maybin hit a difficult chopper toward Casey Blake who took his time to get to the ball so that he’d run into Chase Headley and draw the call. The game ended there with the Dodgers winning 4-0.
Toronto Blue Jays (Jesse “Ginger Beard Man” Litsch) at Seattle Mariners (“King” Felix Hernandez) 10:10 PM EDT
Jays fans, if GBM pitches well tonight, let’s try to keep things in perspective. After all, he is facing the Seattle Mariners who are every bit as offensive as a grandmother walking to church on a Sunday while giving money to orphans along the way. Mariners fans, I’d like to remind you:
Los Angeles Dodgers (Clayton “The Giants Killer” Kershaw) at San Francisco Giants (Madison “Who Needs A Nickname” Bumgarner) 10:15 PM EDT
The best rivalry in baseball (excluding ones that take five hours to complete) has a return engagement after opening weekend in Los Angeles. Neither Dodgers nor Giants fans are likely to forget about Kershaw’s performance on Opening Day. After two starts, check out Kershaw’s numbers: 13.0 IP, 11.77 K/9, 1.38 BB/9, 8.50 K/BB, 37.9 GB%, 2.09 xFIP.