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David Brown

Morning Juice: Stephen Drew, Adrian Beltre go all Huffy on us

David Brown
Big League Stew

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This and every weekday a.m., let's rise and shine together for the rarest pairest of cyclical feats the game we know and love called baseball can deliver. Twice! Today's Roll Call starts in Phoenix, where Stephen Drew came through with the first cycle in Chase Field history, and it helped the D-backs maintain a funky lead in the NL West. Then we move on to Arlington, Texas, where Adrian Beltre also cycled, helping the Mariners ignore, for three hours, how bad they are.

Game of the Day: D-backs 8, Cards 6

I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy: Drew seemed to never see a cycle coming. He just said he's been trying to put good ABs together, blah, blah, blah cliche, etc. "I'm kind of in shock right now," he said.

It's his party, I'll cry if I want to: Tony La Russa, always a good sport, lauded Drew's accomplishment which helped turn around what had been a 5-1 Cardinals lead. "Let Melvin talk about him," the grouch said.

The race: Drew had some help, with new man on campus David Eckstein singling in the go-ahead run and phone prankster Adam Dunn hitting another deep. The D-b's still hang 2 1/2 in front of the Dodgers, even after dropping two of three to the Blue Crew over the weekend.

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Feelin' Rundown (the division of Labor Day):

Mariners 12, Rangers 6: Way to go, Beltre, you Drew copycat. Bobby Veach of the Tigers and the Yankees' George "Oh, God!" Burns were the previous players to cycle on the same day, in 1920.

Indians 5, White Sox 0: If Cole Hamels is a beast, then Cliff Lee is a 50-foot-tall beast climbing the side of the Empire State Building with a hot blonde in his hand. Orlando Cabrera actually did this; it ain't CGI.

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Red Sox 7, Orioles 4: Dustin Pedroia is hearing some buzz for MVP, which, on a 1-10 scale of absurdity, is a 9.5. Buy him a beer. Award the guy a Silver Slugger. Throw him a "Great Season, Dustin" party. Hug him if you see him. These are the same people who think Red Sox Nation is an actual country. Or who use innocent little girls to spread their dirty , dirty propaganda. (See right.)

Mets 4, Brewers 2: Ned Yost calls Ben Sheets' groin discomfort "very, very slight." I'm not going down there to check, so let's take his word. Delgado since June 27 has 20 homers and 60 RBIs, tops in the NL. He should get some top-10 MVP votes. He will from me, in my own imaginary little MVP world.

Marlins 4, Braves 3: That's 20 games under .500 for the Braves, which is how bad they were playing at the dawn of Glavine's and Smoltz's careers. And, hey, 90210's back on the air, too! The circle of life, indeed, Sir Elton.

Nationals 7, Phillies 4: Seven in a row — actual victories — for the Gnats. Not that such success is unexpected, but the Vatican is stirring and might send a priest to check for a miracle.

Astros 3, Cubs 0: Oswalt makes the Cubs his patsies. He does not act alone, however, with Valverde coming in for the final two outs. No sweat for the Cubs, whose lead never seems to shrink.

Yankees 13, Tigers 9: "I'll make this easy for you," the AP quoted Tigers manager Jim Leyland as saying in a 9-second address to reporters. "We basically threw a lot of balls when we should've thrown strikes and we threw some strikes when we should've thrown balls. And, that's the end of the conversation. I'll see you later."

Rockies 4, Giants 0: The Rox were six games out at this time a season ago, and made it all the way to the World Series. But even the idea of this Rockies team making the playoffs makes me want to cancel the playoffs.

Dodgers 5, Padres 2: On his fourth try, Greg Maddux finally ties Roger Clemens with 354 career victories. "I think we pitch a lot alike," Maddux says. "He just did it a lot faster and at higher speeds." Wonder what else Clemens (allegedly) had that Maddux (apparently) didn't.

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Photo of the Day: Ticket, please

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With the Marlins slipping out of the pennant race, the team's one remaining fan — Phil, of Hialeah Gardens, Fla. — enjoys solitude against the Braves.

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Fantasy Freaks

A-Rod (Yanks) 3-6, 2 R, 4 RBI

Jorge De La Rosa (Rockies) 7 IP, 4 H, BB, 6 K, Win

Roy ('Stros) 8 1/3 4 H, 3 K, Win

Drew (D-backs) 5-5, 3 R, HR, 3B, 2B, 1B

Cliff (Cheers) 9 IP, 5 H, 4 K, Win (#20)

Adrian (Yo) 5-6, 5 R, HR, 3 RBI

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Fantasy Flakes

Justin Zoolander (Tigers) 1 2/3 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, Loss

Sidney Ponson (Yanks) 3 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, BB, K

Kyle Kendrick (Phils) 4 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, K, Loss

Aramis Ramirez (Cubs) 0-3

Carlos Silva (M's) 4 2/3 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 4 BB, 2 K

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Words of Mouth

"You've got to locate. You've got to work ahead. You've got mix and change speeds. That's the key to pitching." — Cliff Lee
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