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Morning Juice: Classic Cole Hamels dominates Dodgers again

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 in Los Angeles, Calif. This is the city. And this is Cole Hamels(notes). Finally! Welcome back, buddy!

Game of the Day

Phillies 3, Dodgers 0

Whole Cole: After all of the off-season commitments, the false starts in spring training, the bad luck with the line drives and trippy ankles, Hamels evoked memories of the 2008 postseason with a five-hit, no-walk shutout of the Dodgers.

Hamels needed only 97 pitches and 2 1/2 hours to make work of L.A., which still is waiting on Manny, of course, but came in with the planet's best record. Well, it's one lower, isn't it?

"You don't have the type of time off to really gather your thoughts and get prepared for another season. I had a little bump in the road with the elbow soreness, and that kind of delayed some things. But I'm ready to go now."

Hollywood Hamels: On the way to racking up more pitches than anyone else, Hamels beat the Dodgers twice in the '08 NLCS, including the deciding game of the series, won the World Series MVP and became a big hit on the chat show circuit. And you might have seen Hamels on your TV, selling this or that. Well, the circus took its toll and Hamels struggled out of the gate this spring.

I suspect that everything got ironed out with one trip to the mound by the Phillies pitching coach.

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Orlando Hudson(notes) has a thought on how Hamels looks now.

"When he's on the mound, he ain't got time to be putting guys on base."

Sign of slippage: The Dodgers still lead the league on offense, but in their past four games, they've scored twice, and gotten 15 hits in 28 innings against the opponents' starting pitchers.

Juan Pierre(notes) has a thought about the D's O:

"You definitely don't want it to develop into a trend, but nobody’s panicking around here," Pierre said.

* * *

Feelin' Rundown (equal time for less-equal games):

Pirates 11, Mets 6: Excuse me, ladies and gentlemen, but Mike Pelfrey(notes) has an announcement. Pelf?

"I had the absolute worst outing of my entire career today," Pelfrey said.

Thank you.

Like George Costanza, I should leave this game on a high note, but I have to add something else. It's about the LaRoches. John Russell is hitting them consecutively in the lineup. Third (Adam, I think) and cleanup (Andy, I think). The LaRoche Hegemony is taking over. First, they sweep the Mets. Tomorrow, who knows?

Angels 6, Blue Jays 5: Howie Kendrick(notes) made what everyone, except Cito, seemed to think was a shrewd baserunning play in the ninth. Angels manager Mike Scioscia praised Kendrick, who had been benched after a baserunning gaffe earlier in the series.

Cito called Kendrick's play "bad baserunning," adding that "he made it look interesting because he didn't break right away."

Here's VIDEO from Canada (which is lovingly called "America's hat" in this T-shirt).

YOU decide.

It's funny how two guys can see the same play two different ways. Or maybe Cito's just being a curmudgeon. He is getting old for this stuff.

Giants 5, Natinals 1 (Game 1): Unit wins No. 300. Read all about it. VIDEO all about it, too.

Umpire Tim Timmons did help out the Big Mullet, a little, giving a generous swath of zone to Giants closer Brian Wilson(notes) on a 3-2 pitch after the Nats loaded the bases in the eighth. If it's called a ball, the score is tied and Johnson has to pack up his Unit and try again for 300 next time. Here's more VIDEO for you to squint at.

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Giants 4, Natinals 1 (Game 2, five inn.): Rain, mercifully, cut the doubleheader short well before the Metro stopped running for the night. Great subway, except that it closes.

Cubs at Braves, ppd. (rain): All we wonder is, did Zambrano catch the flight to Cincinnati? Makeup date: June 22. Be there, and take the CNN tour while in Atlanta. Demand to see Bernard Shaw. They'll tell you he's hiding under a table in Baghdad. Don't believe it.

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Marlins 4, Brewers 3: Josh "Big Socks" Johnson came in a .107 hitter with four doubles in 103 career at-bats. Not a likely home run candidate but — boom goes the dynamite! — for a three-run deep. JJ's pitching was dy-no-mite as usual and the Fish take three of four, which calls for big-time hugs. Squeeze!

Rockies 10, Astros 3: Garrett Atkins(notes), on a season-long diet of singles and pop outs, went to town at the Wandy Rodriguez(notes) buffet. Two home runs, three RBIs and a second helping of ice cream for dessert. Something might be wrong with Wandy. He's allowed 29 hits in his past 13 2/3 innings.

"I'm missing location, I'm getting behind in the count, I need to throw first strikes," Rodriguez said. "My arm is all right. Everything feels strong. I don't know what's happening."

Sounds like he's got it locked down.

You know, if you look at the WHIPs for the Rockies pitchers in this game and pretend they are ERAs — 1.60 for Jason Hammel(notes), 2.17 for Jason Grilli(notes) and 1.75 for Alan "Jason" Embree — they all seem much more appealing.

Cecil Cooper quietly has shuffled Hunter Pence(notes) into the third hole, with Lance Berkman(notes) moving to fifth. And he thought we wouldn't notice because it's the Astros! Ha! Dummkopf!

Cardinals 3, Reds 1: The free-swingin' Reds fell right into Chris Carpenter's(notes) trap.

"They showed it from the beginning of the game that they were going to be aggressive early in the count, they weren't going to let me get deep," Carpenter said. "I was able to make good quality pitches down in the strike zone. That's what happens when you get an aggressive team that wants to hit and you're able to make quality pitches, you're going to be able to get quick outs."


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Red Sox 6, Tigers 3: Dang, the D-Train ain't riding on the rails too well, after all. He's got a 6.84 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP. And he has some of the oddest-looking lines. This one: 2 1/3 IP, 0 H, 5 ER, 5 BB, 3 K, one ejection of Jim Leyland for arguing balls and strikes.

Tim Wakefield(notes), on the other hand, he just gits 'er done. At our right, Terry Francona asks: "Does this tickle?"

Yankees 8, Rangers 6: All David Robertson(notes) had to do was throw one stinkin' pitch, and wait for the Melk Man to hit a go-ahead homer in the bottom of the eighth, and he picks up the victory. This is the same dude hanging around the trash heap last year who somehow went 4-0 in 25 otherwise undistinguished short-relief appearances. Dumpster dine on your own time, dummkopf vulture!

Twins 11, Indians 3: A pair of three-run homers for Jason Kubel(notes). "Twin" three-run dingers, if you will. ... Now that Hayden Penn(notes) has been designated for assignment, Fausto Carmona(notes) has become the worst pitcher in the league. Congratulations, Fausto, please pay at the register. The Tribe should make a deal with the Devil Buffalo Columbus and send Fausto to Triple-A. Dummkopfs!

Athletics 7, White Sox 0: Eight, count 'em, shutouts against the White Sox so far. They are hitting .220 at home.

"That's a terrible stat," Paul Konerko(notes) said about the poor batting average. "Some statistics lie — that one doesn't. That's bad."

Hype that Gordon Beckham(notes), Ozzie!

"Really bad," Guillen said of the prized prospect, promoted prior to picking it at the hot corner. "He struck out — what am I going to say? He was good? That kid's going to be all right. ... He's just another player. He had a bad day, just like everyone else."

Here's a fun stat: the Sox are 1-7, and opposing starters have a 1.52 ERA in 10 appearances against them, the first time they face each other. These scouting reports ain't worth the paper the contract put out on the scout's life is printed on. Dummkopfs!

Brett Anderson(notes), in all seriousness, looks like a great young pitcher. But that's all hype the A's get today! Sorry! All out!

Rays 3, Royals 2: Look, you know Jamey Wright(notes) has no business protecting a short lead in the eighth inning. I know it, too. Trey Hillman, he doesn't know it. Please, send him a postcard or something. Dummkopf!

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