Stealing Signals: Apparently There Are Still Pennant Races Going On.

In the orgy of gridiron goodness this weekend, I am realizing more and more, as I grow older, that weekend baseball games after the month of August are an unforgivable incursion on both college and professional football. Despite this, the diamond soldiers on.

Yankees 6, Royals 3 – Notable solely for A-Rod going absolutely nuclear over the weekend by jacking his home-run total to #52 in the last five games. He added the latest in support of the 18th win for Chien-Ming Wang, for whom I have run out of convenient dick jokes. Wang thumped KC early and often, allowing only a three-run double to Alex Gordon.

Indians 6, Angels 2 – Possible playoff preview, and the weekend resulted in a split. The Halos may have to figure out how to deal with a line-up containing Grady Sizemore, Travis Hafner, Victor Martinez, and now Ryan Garko, as well – the 1B took a three-run shot off of Jered Weaver.

Mets 4, Astros 1 – Using the lowly Astros to run up a lead in the division is a good thing, and getting five solid innings out of Pedro Martinez is even better.  Carlos Beltran drove in two and Moises Alou added a two-run jack.

Nationals 7, Braves 4 – Remember when Atlanta dealt for Teixeira, and everyone pegged them as the favorite for the NL East? Boy, one month seems so long ago, and so many bad starts by pitchers not named Smoltz or Hudson.

Mariners 14, Tigers 7 – Too many injuries at the wrong times for Detroit; too many games back to the Angels, even with today’s win, to win the West for the Mariners, and they’d better hope the Yankees hit a skid soon.

Pirates 10, Cubs 5 – Yeah, this Steve Trachsel thing isn’t going to work for much longer.  They’re now behind Milwaukee again, after the Brewers beat Cincy.

Rockies 4, Padres 2 – No lie. There is something wrong with Chris Young. He has not been even close to the same since coming back from the disabled list.  If the Rockies can’t get back in the Wild Card or the West, then they want to play spoiler — bad. They’ve won seven of their last ten.

Red Sox 3, Orioles 2 – There are more convincing ways to take 3 out of 4 games. However, in September, you will take 3 of 4 no matter how you can get it, especially if it keeps you 5.5 ahead of the Yankees.

Giants 4, Dodgers 2 – Things you cannot do when trying to win a division: lose a series to the cellar dwellers. Jonathan Broxton gave up a three-run pinch hit homer to Ray Durham, throwing away a decent start by Brad Penny, who only got two Jeff Kent jacks for run support.

Photo: AP/Charlie Riedel

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