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David Brown

Morning Juice: Nationals play dead as Dodgers set home record

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 inside the home clubhouse at Chavez Ravine, where the Dodgers acted nonchalant, as the French say, about starting 13-0 at home to set a major league record. At first, it's like, what the heck? But then one realizes why L.A. acts so underwhelmed: It played the lowly Nationals.

Game of the Day
Dodgers 10, Nationals 3

Bakers dozen: To be fair to the Gnats, the Dodgers only led 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth. So D.C. was trying to win, and let's all get excited about that. In the fateful sixth, the Dodgers opened 'er up with a seven spot and that was that. The Dodgers are 13-0 at home, the best start in major league history, one better than the 1911 Tigers.

A win is a win times 13: Joe Torre has these guys all saying the politically correct thing. Left-hander Clayton Kershaw said: "I don't think anybody was focused on the streak to begin with. I think we're focused on getting wins, and it's more important to be building a lead in the division than it is to try and break a record." Wise, for a youngster. What Kersh didn't add was, they broke the record against the Nationals, the best Triple-A team in the majors. The Nationals, who had the league's worst record last season, are working on a repeat.

Unlucky 13: Some enlightening background about the record the Dodgers broke: The 1911 Tigers, led by Tyrus Raymond Cobb himself, went 51-25 at home but were 38-40 on the road and finished 13 1/2 games out of first place in the AL. Peachy. It would be pretty difficult for the Dodgers to finish that far out of first in the NL West, where the NAFTA agreement will prohibit more than one team finishing over .500 this season. The Dodgers would need to play without a center fielder every day for at least half the season to finish under .500 in that division. Torre probably won't take Matt Kemp(notes) out for that long.

Z-24: Bingo! Ryan Zimmerman(notes) up to 24 games in a row with at least a hit.

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Feelin' Rundown (none of these teams beat the Dodgers in L.A., either):

Brewers 15, Reds 3: Fans barely had time to reach their seats and start digesting their Skyline Chili and HEY, IT'S 9-0 BREWERS! Two words: Ryan BRAWN. More words: Bronson Arroyo(notes) hadn't taken a beating like that since he brawled with bare knuckles in "Hard Times." ... Dusty gets the Joe Girardi Award for putting shortstop Paul Janish(notes) in to pitch, but falls short of the Terry Francona Award because none of his pitchers played the field. ... Janish gets the as-yet-unnamed award for a player whose name sounds like a kind of pastry. To wit: "Hey, anybody feel like goin' to Dunkin Donuts and getting a dozen glazed raspberry janish?" Heck, let's call it the Janish Award. Mmm, Janish.

Cardinals 4, Pirates 2: For all the Bucs know, they're still playing the Brewers.

Mets 1, Phillies 0: He's so good, someday Johan Santana(notes) might find himself pitching as well as Zack Greinke(notes). "We've been spoiled," Carlos Delgado(notes) said.

Braves 8, Marlins 6: Chipper opens a fortune cookie and blurts out, "Winning streaks start under the most innocent of circumstances." OK, Larry-Wan Kenobi. ... Considering that Marlins fans are imaginary until proven otherwise, I encourage all of you, regardless of affiliation, to vote Jorge Cantu(notes) for the NL All-Star team. Sure, he won't beat out hometown hero Albert Pujols(notes), but it's the thought that counts.

Cubs 6, Astros 3: Aaron Boone(notes), recovering from heart surgery, stops for a visit and is greeted with shocking news: Doctors diagnosed ‘Stros hitting coach Sean Berry, 43, with cancer. He has a tumor on his kidney. No joke. Berry hopes to undergo laparoscopic surgery soon to remove the tumor. Here's to saving the kidney, and Berry's life.

Rockies 11, Giants 1: In the tall air of Denver, the Big Unit's a few Marines short of a full Corps. No strikeouts for the first time since '06. Hmm. Arm problem? Johnson says it's not the sign of a problem at all. ... The Gi'nts had nothing going against Jimenez but they average about two runs per game against anyone.

D-backs 3, Padres 1: Here comes Justin Upton(notes). Six homers in his past 13 games. Oh, there he goes. Too late. ... Not a winning line for Jake Peavy(notes), but at 2-4 and a 4.27 ERA, my preposterous hope that he leads the league in losses and ERA is to be scoffed at, but not summarily dismissed out of hand.

Rays 4, Yankees 3 (10 inn.): Home run No. 12 for Carlos Pena(notes) decides it. Pssst. Yankees are under .500, pass it on.

Orioles 4, Twins 1 (6 inn.): Did it rain everywhere in America yesterday? This game started late, then stopped and started a few more times because of the wetness. And then Ron Gardenhire went OFF.

"The game should have never started in the first place. Never had a window all night long," the Head Twinkie said. "All you have to do is look at the radar and you see that it's supposed to rain all night long. Once we stopped the first time, we should have never went back out there. There was never more than a 15-minute window to do anything."

Print it!

Indians 9, Red Sox 2: Carl Pavano(notes) is the best pitcher in baseball with a 6.61 ERA. Prediction: It will be under 4.00 by the All-Star break. Or his arm will be in a sling. Or both. Yes. Both.

Royals 9, Marinara 1: No, I didn't misspell Mariners. That's what you get when you lose 9-1 to Sidney Ponson(notes). ... No one under 17 is permitted to look at Carlos Silva's(notes) ERA. ... The Royals are 17-11 and I want to make an "end of the world" joke, but I feel fine.

Tigers at White Sox, ppd. (rain): Ozzie Guillen is benching Alexei Ramirez(notes) for the moment. I have very few substantive complaints about Guillen as a manager. But Ramirez has more hitting talent in his right pinkie than Guillen has from head to toe. There wasn't an 0-2 breaking ball Guillen wouldn't swing at. Maybe the same is true of Ramirez, but at least he'll probably hit 20-30 out of the park. Just leave him alone and let him figure it out, like he did last year.

Rangers 3, Athletics 2: Elvis (Andrus) leaves the building for the second time. Feldman, the Ninja Turtle, outpitches this Dan Giese(notes) guy, who finishes last. The Rangers have been Strangers to first place, but they're in it now. Half-game lead over Seattle.

Blue Jays 13, Angels 1: Halladay, M.D. now 6-1, like Greinke. Dr. Roy, Zack. Zack, Dr. Roy. ... Aaron Hill(notes) has 49 hits and is on an Ichiro(notes)-like pace of 265.

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