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Walkoff Walk

Morning Juice: Raul Ibanez tells Mets, Internets to allege this

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 at Shea Citi where Raul Ibanez(notes) ended a somewhat controversial week with a blast everyone but a Mets fan can agree on.

Please note: The role of the main Juice squeezer is being played today by Rob Iracane of Walkoff Walk. We praise him greatly for his efforts.

Game Of The Day: Phillies 6, Mets 3 (10 innings)

It's Okay, He's Legit: Raul Ibanez, who has perhaps the cleanest blood, urine and stool of any major leaguer, won the game with a 10 inning three-run blast off Ken Takahashi(notes). It's safe to say that Ibanez should be free of the slings and arrows, so maybe I should stop implying that Raul is really "juicing" the ball out of the park. Pity the poor Mets fan who wonders why their own team didn't snatch up a decent hitting corner outfielder in the offseason.

They Like Mints on Pillows: With the series win, the Phils improve to a MLB-best 23-9 on the road. Some folks just sleep better in a hotel bed, what with the fresh and bleachy-clean smelling sheets and the fun you get from figuring out what channel NBC is on in this strange and new town. Heck, the Phillies might be better off shipping the upcoming Red Sox series up to Boston instead of at Citizens Bank Park.

No Exit: Handed a tie game after Tim Redding(notes) went seven strong, the Mets bullpen allowed five baserunners in three innings, none more devastating than Ibanez. For the second night in a row Bobby Parnell(notes) took the loss. Recall that Parnell was supposed to be the new eighth inning 'guy' after J.J. Putz(notes) went on the disabled list.

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Feelin' Rundown (Thursday's other games):

White Sox 4, Tigers 3: Guitar hero and yesterday's zero Joel Zumaya(notes) came into a tied game in the ninth and promptly loaded the bases on a single, his own throwing error, and a walk. Unfortunately, the impatient Scott Podsednik(notes) ruined any chance for a walkoff walk and a video appearance by our shrimp friend; Scott merely singled in the winning run. Good for Scott, but not for me.

Cardinals 6, Marlins 5: With his team up by two late in the game, Cody Ross(notes) made the whoopsie-doodle of the day, letting a Ryan Ludwick(notes) ground ball single roll right under his glove out in center field. Two Cardinals runners scored on the play.

"I missed it, flat out," Ross said. "Trying to block it and it just went right through my legs. The game is on the line right there and I got to come up with that play. There's no excuse."

After Ross' mental blip, the Cards pushed the go-ahead across run and won. I guess you can say that the Marlins committed a Cody Red violation.

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Pirates 3, Braves 1: Manager Bobby Cox was ejected for the 144th time in his career after arguing a questionable out call in the bottom of the ninth inning. Old Bob was probably ticked off that his reliever Rafael Soriano(notes) had just given up the farm in the top half of the inning after a stellar eight-inning, one-run start by Javy Vazquez. Either that or he wanted to get out of the stadium before reporters asked him why he started a dead horse at cleanup.

Astros 2, Cubs 1 (13): Astros cornerman Geoff Blum(notes) collected his second walkoff hit in as many days. Hey Geoff, if you do it again today, someone'll make a clever "Mr. Walkoff" t-shirt with your caricature on it and the words "Geoff's In Blum!" on the back. Twenty years down the line, we'll all look back and laugh. Derrek Lee's(notes) game-tying tater tot in the ninth went for naught, except it made post-game traffic worse in Houston.

Rockies 5, Brewers 4: Something was cooking in Milwaukee and it wasn't the beer brats. Jim Tracy's Rockies swept the Brew Crew and have now won eight games in a row. Heck, they can actually smell the .500 mark now! Aaron Cook(notes) went six strong for his fifth win but nearly lost it when "reliever" Huston Street(notes) allowed a three-run ding-dong to Ryan Braun in the ninth.

Mariners 6, Orioles 3: Russell Branyan and Luke Scott(notes) both hit their 14th homers of the year for their respective teams last night. If anyone predicted that these two chaps would be well on their way to 35 homers at this point in the season, then you need to start using your prognosticational skills for good and not evil.

Diamondbacks 2, Giants 1: Woe is the Giants offense. They've scored just three more runs than the Giants league-leading pitching staff has given up. Being first in the NL in runs allowed and last in runs scored will produce a lot of results like this one, where Jonathan Sanchez(notes) allowed just one run but still took the loss.

"(Sanchez) did a good job," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He gave us a chance. We just couldn't get on the board."

Sounds like the only person that could improve Bochy's lot right now is ... well ...?

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Rangers 1, Blue Jays 0: Kevin Millwood(notes) may not be packing heat any more, but he can pick his spots, consarnit! Fella pitched seven and two thirds innings of shutout baseball over the worsening Blue Jays offense and got all the support he needed from a Marlon Byrd(notes) sac-fly in the second.

Nationals 3, Reds 2: Someone alert Troy from West Virginia. Troy Beimel notched his first save as a Nat.

Rays 11, Angels 1: After accumulating 105 pitches on six walks and six strikeouts, David Price(notes) didn't make it through the fifth inning and thus didn't get the pleasure of a win. But the rest of the Rays don't mind after teeing off on Ervin Santana(notes) and the stinkeroo Angels pen for the second day in a row.

Athletics 4, Twins 3: Dave Cameron had a point when he bemoaned the poor fielding trio of outfielders that Ron Gardenhire wheeled out behind Nick Blackburn(notes). Blackburn cruised through seven shutout innings before right fielder Michael Cuddyer(notes) misplayed a Jack Hannahan(notes) liner, diving right past the ball that rolled all the way to the wall and let Hannahan reach with a triple. Thus began the rally that killed the Twins lead and Blackburn's would-be win.

Indians 4, Royals 3: The Mexicutioner Joakim Soria(notes) blew his first save of the year on a Jhonny Peralta(notes) RBI double in the eighth and Kyle Farnsworth(notes) was his typical Farnsworthian self in the tenth, losing the game thanks to the help of a friendly seagull. The Royals are in their rightful place, aka last place in the division.

Red Sox 4, Yankees 3: Luckily Gordon Edes wrote about this one, because recapping this game would be dangerous to my health and sanity. HOW DO I LIVE LIKE THIS, YANKEE FAN?

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