David Brown

Morning Juice: A's get a case of dropsy, change nickname to 'E's'

David Brown
Big League Stew

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This and every weekday a.m. during baseball season, let's rise and shine together to recap the most recent diamond doings. Roll Call starts back at Dodger Stadium, as happened yesterday. Only, we return not to praise good baseball but to bury the bad.

Game of the Day: Athletics 5, Dodgers 4

E-9: Jack Cust(notes) can swing a mean bat sometimes (he hit a two-run homer, his 12th of the season) but must he take it to the outfield with him? Cust the fielder treats fly balls like a picnicker greets insects — swatting the little buggers out of the way instead of catching them.

Cust dropped Orlando Hudson's(notes) "routine" fly ball for an error in the seventh, the first of two dropped pops in the inning for the E's, who still managed to win despite the defensive nadir. Oakland made three errors overall, giving the Dodgers three unearned runs, and sweated out what should have been a relatively easy cruise.

"We were very fortunate to win the game," manager Bob Geren said. "Almost all of their runs came from errors. There's been so many times this year when I've said we played good enough to win and fell short. Tonight, we really didn't play that well and won. Our defense let us down, but we'll take it."

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E-yow!: Adam Kennedy(notes) and two-time Gold Glove shortstop Orlando Cabrera(notes) (above) also added an error apiece. Cabrera also provided the other seventh-inning drop on James Loney's(notes) pop-up that wasn't called an error because of the infield fly rule. Rookie right-hander Trevor Cahill(notes) worked around the bad "D" and wildness to improve to 4-5.

The offensive defensive display made for prescient and hilarious commentary by Dodgers announcer Vin Scully (VIDEO), who calls it like he sees it when he says, "Oakland has a very young pitching staff and a very porous defense":

"Fastball, that's popped up — every pop fly an adventure. It will be the infield fly rule. ... That's dropped by Cabrera but, again, the batter is automatically out. And your first thought is, 'Are they kidding?' Well, it'll happen.

"And Cust says, 'Yeah, I'm not alone.' ... And a guy with two Gold Gloves drops a pop fly but the infield fly rule [cancels the error] and Loney is out. Cabrera gives the crowd a thrill. I mean, two hands and he dropped it. They're having some night."

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Feelin' rundown (the E's also dropped pop flies in these games):

Rangers 5, Astros 4 (10 inn.): Pudge II breaks Pudge I's MLB record for career games caught, but also makes two errors that set up two StRangers runs. ... Appropriately, the game-ending hit by David Murphy(notes) was set up by Jeff Keppinger's(notes) fielding error. There are people out there waiting to give you the ballgame. Are you gonna take it? Are you man enough to take it? Yes, apparently, the Rangers are.

Reds 4, Braves 3: Micah Owings(notes), a one-stop shop. Six innings pitched, two runs allowed, a three-run homer hit. Also drove the team bus and cooked the postgame lasagna. And wrote this paragraph.

White Sox 4, Cubs 1: John Danks(notes) (9 Ks, 0 BB) finally pitches like he did down the stretch last season for the South, which offensively played a so-called "National League" style of game. Running, bunting, jumping, swimming, fencing. OK, no swimming. As for the North, they've gone 9-17 to drop under .500.

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Cardinals 4, Tigers 3: Colby Rasmus(notes) (three hits, including a homer) might be the best player named after a kind of cheese since Vida Blue (right).

Angels 4, Giants 3: With a billion-dollar bench at his beck and call, all Mike Scioscia had to do was choose in what order he sent All-Star pinch hitters Torii Hunter(notes) and Vladimir Guerrero(notes) to the plate in the eighth. For the record: Hunter went first. Both guys singled to set up a three-run inning that turned the tide against Timmah! What a letdown for the G'ints.

Brewers 5, Indians 4 (11 inn.): Hugemungous blown save/sigh of relief for Old Man Hoffman. ... You think you're in a slump? (That's what you told me.) Well, Bill Hall(notes) came into this game in a 7-for-77 (.091) tizzy. J.J. Hardy(notes) came in 7-for-63 (.111). Both hit solo homers. And the Crew's somehow in first place with anchors like these? Is that impressive, or incredulous? You're the one in a slump, you tell me. You know who else is in a slump? That's right, the Indians bullpen. Since 2008.

Blue Jays 7, Phillies 1: Great, nice job, way to go, but Roy Halladay(notes) and Scott Downs(notes) both go on the disabled list. So, Moulson or Labatts?

Nationals 3, Yankees 2: Just to make sure: Nationals 3, Yankees 2. John Lannan(notes) goes home to NYC but thankfully avoids the Dakota and picks up the victory. And Mike MacDougal(notes) picks up a save. The Nats finally need a closer and he gets the job done. Frame this game. Laminate it, at least.

Chien-Ming pitches well enough to stick around for another start, Girardi says. Double happiness and congratulations to Wang and his wife — Chia-Ling Wu — who gave birth to a 7-pound, 12-ounce boy named ... ready? ... Justin Jesse. CMW might like it here in America.

Orioles 6, Mets 4: Welcome to the HR and RBI (2) columns, Matt Wieters(notes)! You make the Orioles Magic happen!

Red Sox 6, Marlins 1: In the 500th straight sellout at Fenway, Brad Penny(notes), who is barrel-chested like Curt Schilling(notes), takes one off the sweater meat but keeps on truckin' for his 100th career victory.

Pirates 8, Twins 1: First career homer for Andrew McCutchen(notes), and the LaRoches each go deep too, the first Bucs brothers to do so in the same game since Paul Waner and Lloyd Waner in 1938. Incidentally, that also was the previous winning season for the Pirates*. Go FDR.

*exaggeration.

D-backs 12, Royals 5: Three more strikeouts for Mark Reynolds(notes), bringing his season total to 93, but his 18th homer knocks Zaxxon Greinke out of the game. Four earned runs and nine 9 Ks for him, so nothing to be too alarmed about. Max Scherzer(notes), O.R. scrubs and all, is getting into a nice groove.

Rockies 5, Rays 3: Let's play "snap each other's winning streaks." Ready? Snap!

Mariners 4, Padres 3: Gaslamp Ball links to an interview with Kevin Towers, who is ready to play kids once the Padres fall out of the race for good. It's become an annual rite.

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