This and every weekday a.m., let's rise and shine together for the In-Dusty-We-Trustiest major league happenings. Today's Roll Call starts in Fromage, U.S.A., — Milwaukee, Wisc., hello! — where the pasteurizing odor is the Brewers not getting their whey in the NL pennant race. The heretofore ineffective Cincinnati Kids are poking enough holes in the Breu Creu's wild-card lead to make Swiss Cheesesteaks in Philly. I'd rather have one wit provolone, thank you.
Game of the Day: Reds 5, Brewers 4
Everyone is equal in my eye: Like that scene in Blazing Saddles where an eye patch-wearing Igor runs the gallows, the Cincinnati Reds don't care about your team colors — be they Chicago blue or Milwaukee barley — they make applying for a playoff visa very difficult. Dusty's Redlegs, eliminated from contention this past spring training, took two of three from the Cubs over the weekend and on Sunday put a ninth-inning three-spot on the board against closer Salomon Torres and the MGD Lights (just like they did against Kerry Wood on Sunday).
Like thieves in the night: You know you're in trouble when Corey Patterson lines a RBI single off your leg during a rally. After Captain .200 brought the Reds within a run, Jeff Keppinger had the biggest of the big hits with a two-run double off the wall in left.
No crying in baseball. Yet: Seven blown saves in 33 opportunities for Torres, who sounds a lot more stabilizing than he pitched Monday. "If this was the last game of the season and prevented us from going to the playoffs then everybody would be crying," Torres points out. "But, now, we still have time. We can't let this bother us."
Door No. 2: The Brewers, not that they're reflecting on it much, blew an 8 1/2-game lead a season ago and missed the playoffs. Well, after a summer of safety, their WC lead is down to three games on the Phils, who suddenly have an "in" to the playoffs that doesn't involve beating out the Mets at the tape.
Feelin' Rundown (the rest of Monday Night Baseball):
Angels 12, Yankees 1: Torii and Pudge can't play nice and trigger a bench-clearing grazing after a seemingly innocuous rundown ends at home plate. Innocuous, until you see the Zapruder! The Halos can clinch today, so let's get out of school early. Can we, huh? Can we?
Red Sox 3, Rays 0: Sometimes the Rays forget to score runs. It can happen to anyone. Don't be embarrassed. The time has come for a stand. This Red Sox aggression will not stand. St. Petersburg needs to draw a line in the sand and say, " across this line, you DO NOT ..." Prediction: The Red Sox won't get any closer than they are now to first place. Yup, that ought to hold 'em.
Giants 6, D-backs 2: But it doesn't matter because the D-b's also play lowest common denominator baseball. Tim Lincecum and Brandon Webb are like chariots in Ben-Hur going for the Cy Young. Except no one is whipping the other. That we know about.
Phillies 8, Marlins 6: A three-run deep by Jayson Werth makes the difference. Huge since becoming a full-time player in July, Werth said he's starting to shed the "platoon against lefties only" stigma. I like to think the prejudice against him comes not from his splits, but the weird ways he spells "Jayson" and "Werth." It's just not natural. Did you know he is Dick Schofield's nephew? Good ol' No. 22 for the Angels back in the '80s, in the pre-Gary DiSarcina days. Gary DiSarcina wore No. 33 because he was from Boston and loved Larry Bird. Are we six degrees away from Jayson Werth yet? Feels like it.
Astros 3, Pirates 2: Kramer's friend Mark Saccomanno celebrates Festivus early by hitting the first pitch he sees in the big leagues for a home run that triggers a three-run inning for the 'Stros. This could be very big for his career, Jerry, very big!
Orioles 14, Indians 3: Revitalized after taking Sunday off so they could watch football, Aubrey Huff and the O's creamed the I's — who have to work for a living on Sundays and thus came in cranky, sleepy, stinky.
Blue Jays at White Sox, ppd (rain): They called it early so the guys could get home and watch Gossip Girl. Let's play two today, starting 1 p.m. Central. Checking my Dashboard Widget, the weather calls for 67 degrees and sunny in Chicago today. That ought to be good enough for the millionaire boy's club. Bunch of fancy lads.
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Photo of the Day: Varitek shows his feminine side to Tim Wakefield, Red Sox
"Hi, would you like to sign up for a Boston Red Sox Visa Card? Zero-percent interest! Free beach towel with every application!"
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Jon Lester (Bostinkers) 7 2/3 IP, 6 H, 3 BB, 9 K, Win
Sheff (Detroitians) 2-5, 2 HR, 5 RBI
Huff (Baltimoreos) 3-5, 3 R, HR, 4 RBI
Pac-Man Jones (Baltimeanies) 3-5, 2 R, HR, 4 RBI
Jon Garland (Anaheimdingers) 7 IP, 6 H, ER, 2 BB, 4 K, Win
Cha Seung Baek (San Diegoats) 7 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 2 K, Win
Tim Lincecum (San Fran frischillas) 8 1/3 IP, ER, 2 BB, 9 K, Win
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Gio (Oaklandish) 1 2/3 IP, 5 H, 8 ER, 2 BB, K, Loss, All the Blame
Zach Miner (Detroitazanians) 4 1/3 IP, 11 H, 8 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
Fausto (Cleavelandillybars) 5 1/3 IP, 6 H, 7 ER, 4 BB, 5 K, Loss
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Words of Mouth
"Last year was just one of those years where everything stunk. This is one of those years when everything's been pretty good." — Huff