Big League Stew

The Juice: Blue Jays overcome controversy, drop Boston to 2-10

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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Nine innings, nine items to get you going. Ladies and gentleman of the Stew, take a sip of morning Juice.

1. Pesky Pole mystery: Friday's action wasn't even ten minutes old when Toronto's Adam Lind lined what appeared to be a three-run home run around Fenway Park's Pesky Pole.

However, upon further review, which the umpires did at Terry Francona's request, the ball actually struck the yellow line on the wall before bouncing into the seats. Home run is always the proper call in that scenario, except in Boston, where the yellow line is oddly not lined up with the pole itself. Therefore Lind's ball was ruled foul, taking the three runs off the board.

Watch the controversial play

Despite that early setback, and an eventual 3-0 deficit, the Blue Jays would rally against Boston's Bobby Jenks to notch a 7-6 win. Their fifth come from behind victory of the early season.

2. Matt Harrison giveth, Matt Harrison taketh away: And he wastes no time doing so. The Rangers starter became the third pitcher of the live ball era to induce six double plays in a single start in a 5-3 triumph over the Yankees. That's six double plays, one each from the first six hitters in the Yankees lineup.

3. Overshifting gears: Overshifts are baseball's answer to the prevent defense. All they do is prevent you from winning. Just ask the Milwaukee Brewers, who dropped a tough 4-3 decision at Washington while employing an extremely unusual five infielder overshift against Adam LaRoche. {YSP:MORE}

That's right, manager Ron Roenicke brought Ryan Braun in from left field, but did not position any of the five infielders within thirty feet of third base, where Jayson Werth stood representing the winning run. With no one keeping Werth close to the bag, he was able to score the winner on a typically routine grounder to a drawn in Prince Fielder.

"We were going on contact the whole time," Werth said. "With him (McGehee) off the bag, I was able to get a bigger lead. The last thing you want to do is get picked off," Werth said.

What makes Roenicke's decision even more mind-boggling is Werth took advantage of a conventional overshift to steal third base, setting up the final sequence. That's basically 180 feet given away at the worst possible time.

4. First to four: Jered Weaver became baseball's first four game winner in the Angels 4-3 victory over the White Sox. Though he may not hold that distinction long with teammate Dan Haren aiming to join him Sunday afternoon. Weaver also added four strikeouts, bringing his Major League leading total to 31.

This game featured two separate rain delays. The second of which clocked in at a whopping three minutes.

5. Chacin the machine: Rockies starting pitchers improved to 9-0 after Jhoulys Chacin shut down the Cubs, 5-0. It was the first career shutout for Colorado's 23-year-old lieutenant ace, and the teams first shutout at home since Aaron Cook accomplished the feat on July 1st, 2008. Meanwhile, Troy Tulowitzki's search for career home run No. 100 will enter its second day on Saturday.

6. King Albert and Sir Lancelot: Albert Pujols and Lance Berkman have officially caught fire. The Cardinals royal duo combined for four home runs and five RBI in an 11-2 thrashing of Jon Garland and the Dodgers ... Speaking of Garland, the eleven year veteran committed his first career balk after 2,030 innings.

7. Sleep is overrated: One day after Asdrubal Cabrera and his wife welcomed a daughter into the world, the Cleveland Indians shortstop went 2-for-4 with four RBIs in a 8-2 win over the Orioles. The big night moved Cabrera into the American League lead with 14 driven in.

8. New time Charlie: Pittsburgh's Charlie Morton was one out way from his second career shutout when Jay Bruce launched a solo home run. The shutout would have been great, but I think Pirates fans will gladly accept the 6-1 victory while holding on to hope that Morton is finally living up to his potential.

9. Here's to you, Jackie Robinson: Finally, I tip my cap to Jackie Robinson, his legacy, and to Major League Baseball's continued recognition and celebration of one of professional sports most important and influential figures.

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