…Either that, or a goddamn parade if he hits another ten HR’s to pass Roger Maris and become the single-season HR King Who Hopefully Isn’t Juiced. The Phillies’ first baseman hit 3 solo HR’s off Braves pitching today to bring his ’06 total to 52 in a wild, 8-7 win. Matt Diaz’ 3-run HR to right off Fabio Castro in the top of the 9th briefly gave Atlanta the advantage, but reliever Bob Wickman had a nightmarish stint, allowing a single to Chris Coste, walking Randall Simon, followed by successive singles by Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino.

(Atlanta has a 1-0 lead in the top of the 4th of the nightcap, Pete Orr’s RBI single off Brett Meyers accounting for the only run thus far.)

The Reds and Padres are tied at 1
at Petco today through 5 innings, with Eric Milton facing David Wells in the Sultan of Sloth’s first start for San Diego since being acquired from Boston earlier in the week. Wells just failed to score from 2nd on a Brian Giles single to right, and let’s just say that all of San Diego (and some portions of Mexico) should be pleased Boomer didn’t attempt to slide.

Barry Bonds has hit career HR number 729, a solo blast to center off the Cubs’ Les Walrond in the 8th inning in S.F., as the Giants are up, 6-4 in the top of the 9th. Bonds’ week : 4 HR, 7 RBI’s, 9 runs, 6 walks, .550 batting average. No better time for a salary drive, I guess.

Albert Pujols entered today’s game against Pittsburgh mired in an 8 for 38 drought, but the pitching of Ian Snell proved quite the tonic for the Cardinals’ slugger. Pujols hit 3 homers off Snell in St. Louis’ 6-3 win, while Anthony Reyes struck out 9 in 6 and a third innings of shutout ball. The Redbirds moved 5 1/2 games in front of Cincinnati, pending today’s result from San Diego.