The Lineup: Carlos Gonzalez, Brewers make history
It was a limited slate of games on Thursday night, but that didn't stop a certain Colorado Rockie and every Milwaukee Brewer from making history. As for Friday, how will Mets fans welcome an old friend?
Thursday brought us Car-Go, and Friday brings us Strasburg.
The Brewers: Why the entire team? Because with Thursday's win they swept the Dodgers for the first time ever. As in, the history of ever.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Red Sox: Against the Tigers on Thursday, "Salty" slammed his 10th home run (to lead all catchers) and recorded his 10th multi-RBI game of the season. By going 2-for-4 he raised his 2012 batting line to .281/.316/.594. Needless to say, that's exceptional production for a catcher.
Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies: Car-Go on Thursday set a franchise record and tied a major-league record by homering in his fourth straight at-bat. His next time up? Intentional walk. In addition to that big pile of history, Gonzalez also added a double a single and a steal of third base. He's now slugging .653 on the year.
Bud Norris, Astros: Yes, Coors Field is a tough gig at times, but pitching at a mile above sea level doesn't excuse this line: 1.2 IP, 9 R, 7 H, 2 K, 3 BB. In a span of two starts, he's seen his ERA vault from 3.14 to 4.52.
Chad Billingsley, Dodgers: Against a Brewer lineup that was without Ryan Braun and a host of other depth-chart-toppers, Billingsley gave up four runs on six hits in 6.0 innings of work. His ERA now stands at 4.09. Given Billingsley's home park and league environment, that's not impressive.
MLB schedule-makers: A paltry total of three games on Thursday night? Not cool, schedule-crunchers. Not cool.
Stras. Burg: As we are fond of saying in this space, one should not pass up the opportunity to watch Stephen Strasburg pitch. On Friday night, Strasburg and the (barely) first-place Nats visit Mike Minor and the Braves, who are coming off a series win against the Cardinals. In his most recent start, Strasburg struggled against those same Braves. Minor, meanwhile, is fighting to keep his spot in the Atlanta rotation. 7:05 pm ET
Beltran's back: So long as his ailing knee allows him to play, Carlos Beltran, who presently leads the NL in homers, will on Friday face the Mets for the first time since being traded away last year. Beltran spent six-and-a-half mostly excellent seasons in Queens, but now he's thriving with the Cardinals. 7:10 pm ET
West test: Will the surging Angels keep chipping away at the Rangers' lead in the AL West? The Halos enter this big head-to-head series in Anaheim having won eight of nine, while Texas just lost two of three to the Mariners at home. Colby Lewis opposes Jerome Williams in the opener. 10:05 pm ET
• Mark your calendars: Enjoy throwback uniforms? Who of right mind doesn't enjoy throwback uniforms? Thankfully, Paul Lukas has done the Lord's work of compiling a "throwback-uniform schedule" for the 2012 season. The next can't-miss date is Friday night, when the Astros will disinter the old "rainbow" duds from the 1970s.
• Erasing history: Via Derrick Goold's tumblr comes a baseball-themed newspaper ad for tattoo removal. Before you click, guess which team is being mocked …
• Painful reminder: In case the Astros have forgotten, Business Week is here to remind them that 20 years ago they drafted Phil Nevin ahead of Derek Jeter, who, you may have heard and noticed, became a Yankee.
• Explaining the inexplicable: So how did a low-grade offense like Seattle's bust out for 21 runs on Wednesday night? SI.com's Jay Jaffe takes a whack at figuring it out.
• Color me impressed: This isn't particularly new, but it is particularly cool. It's colorized footage from the 1939 World Series. The past was awesome.
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