Stealing Signals: Mike Hampton Is Made Of Balsa Wood And Duct Tape

The fan above getting tackled by Turner Field security wasn’t so destroyed as much by the Braves losing to the Pirates 4-3 in extras (thanks to a Xavier Nady single in the top of the frame) as he was by pitcher Mike Hampton suffering a strain of his left pectoral muscle after just 23 warm-up pitches in what was to be his first start since 2005. At this point, we are unsure how Bobby Cox will put Humpty Dumpty back together again while the egg is on the 15-day DL.

That’s a lot of offensive firepower to start 0-3, but when the Detroit Tigers drive in only five runs in an entire series against the Kansas City Royals, getting swept is probably expected. Zack Greinke gave up only one run on a homer to Brandon Inge; Alex Gordon and Mark Teahen went deep.

Ah, the walk-off walk. The Phillies come back against the Nats from a 5-0 deficit to avoid a sweep once again to open the season. A walk to Jayson Werth with the bases loaded forced in Jimmy Rollins.

Eight runs in three games to take two out of three from the Jays? The Yankees will take it, getting the go-ahead run on a single from Bobby Abreu in the eighth inning.  Dustin MacGowen and Phil Hughes both gave up two runs in six innings.

The Angels show some power that they usually don’t have, with Mike Napoli, Gary Matthews Jr., and Torii Hunter all going yard on Twins pitching. Hunter’s homer was the go-ahead and game winner off Brian Bass, a memento to leave the Twins fans who had rooted for him for years.

This Johnny Cueto kid might be good. Throwing seven innings with 10 strikeouts and eight of those coming in the first 13 batters. His sole mistake was giving up a solo homer to Justin Upton in a 3-2 Reds victory.

Photo: AP/John Basemar


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