Jose Bautista and Corey Patterson of the Toronto Blue Jays celebrate a two-run home run by Bautista against the Minnesota Twins during the eleventh inning on May 14, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Blue Jays defeated the Twins 9-3 in eleven innings. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
First, some important scores you might have missed over the weekend: 5-3, 8-6, and 3-2.
The Jose Bautista Show
It's become Jose Bautista's world, and we're just lucky that he lets us live in it.
Well, we're lucky unless we're the Minnesota Twins. Bautista homered both Friday and Saturday before launching three round-trippers Sunday. He's now got 16 on the season -- easily the most in the majors -- and seven of them have come against the Twins ... who, by the way, don't have a player with more than four home runs.
Actually, that's not really a freak stat. There are plenty of teams who don't have a player with seven home runs. The freak stat is that Bautista has almost as many home runs this season as the Twins, in toto. The whole team's got 18 home runs, which goes some of the way toward explaining why they're 12-26 and rank last in the league in scoring.
A Bad Day For Jorge Posada
That headline's not meant flippantly. As the various reports and quotes streamed in, Saturday night and then Sunday afternoon, about Posada's refusal to play against the Red Sox in Saturday's game, it finally became apparent to me what had happened ... The guy just had a bad day. His back probably did hurt some, his batting average hurt more, and he'd just been dropped to ninth in the batting order for the first time since the last millenium.
Spare me the indignation. I beg you to spare me the indignation. Guy's been a fantastic player forever, just goes and plays and as near as I can remember he's never been in trouble with the law or the league or anyone else. I've been doing my thing for about as long as he's been doing his, and I've had a bunch of bad days. I've got Wikipedia page -- not completely accurate, but accurate enough -- to prove it. And that's just the stuff everyone knows about.
I will submit that anyone who can't grant Jorge Posada one lousy day, after all the good he's done, either has led an incredibly charmed life or is almost completely lacking in empathy.
When It Rains, It Pours (And Pours Some More)
There were four more rain-outs this weekend: one Saturday, three Sunday. That makes 25 (I think) already this season. According to Maury Brown, there were only eight rain-outs through the same date a year ago. Is 25 historically extraordinary? Not really. There were 28 through the 15th of May in 2007. But 25's a bunch, and lends credence to the argument that weather has played a role in this season's attendance decline. Many of the games that have been played have been played in inclement weather, or under the threat of inclement weather. And that will limit the walk-up crowd.
Mat Latos Begins New Streak
The San Diego Padres might be in last place, but if nothing else they can claim ownership of the streakiest pitcher in recent memory. Last summer, Mat Latos set a Major League Baseball record (of sorts) by making 15 straight starts of at least five innings with two or fewer runs allowed. During that stretch, he went 11-4 with a 1.59 ERA and was the single biggest reason for the Padres' long run atop the National League West standings.
After that skein, though? Latos closed last season 0-5 with an 8.18 ERA. And he opened this season 0-5 (with a 4.86 ERA); his stretch of 10 straight losing decisions left him just one short of the franchise record (set by Gary Ross in 1969, when the expansion Padres lost 110 games).
Sunday afternoon in Denver, though, Latos finally won. He wasn't great, getting knocked out in the sixth inning after giving up three walks and four hits, including Todd Helton's solo homer. But he won.
Cardinals Swept By Reds
This was kind of a big deal in Flyover Land. Entering the series in Cincinnati, the Cardinals owned a 1-1/2 game lead over the second-place Reds. Three games later, their spots were reversed, with the Reds 1-1/2 games up. Friday, the Reds tied the Cardinals with a run in the ninth and beat them with a run in the 10th. Saturday, the Reds pounded three home runs and dealt Kyle McClellan his first loss of the season. And Sunday, the Reds roughed up Chris Carpenter on their way to a 9-7 triumph that wasn't in doubt until the ninth.
Until next time, I'm Rob Neyer ... and you're not.
Please feel free to point out the weekend's other big stories in the comments. Sometimes we miss stuff.