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David Brown

Morning Juice: Talk Philly fans off the Lidge, Brad

Big League Stew

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This and every weekday a.m., let's rise and shine together with the most recent and decent major league happenings. Today's NL roll call starts in the City of Brotherly Love, where the Mets and Phillies threw down for what seemed like the 40th time already this season. The Phils thought they had the Mets' goat after last season's collapse, until the Mets up and won four in a row against 'em this season. Well, the goat is back in Philly's court after this one ...

Game of the Day: Phillies 5, Mets 4

Fretful, uneasy feeling: Brad Lidge comes in, walks the leadoff man and the next guy reaches on a squibber, and he must have been hearing some interesting remarks about his mother from the Philly crowd, what with the Phanatics hoping to avoid a sweep. After 2 outs, including David Wright, forever-backup Eric Bruntlett saves Lidge's bacon with a great stab up the middle and one-hop throw to first. Like a Larry Bowa bailing out a Tug McGraw back in the day. This after Bruntlett was booed like he was the one who jammed J-Roll's ankle after an E-6 earlier the game.

Ace in the hole: Chase Utley is going on one of his de-ricluous streaks; he has homered in four straight games.

Only $9.99: Buy StatTracker now to keep up to the moment on J-Rolls' various movements while on the DL.

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Feelin' Rundown (Sunday's other games)

Marlins 6, Nationals 1 — If Hanley Ramirez played on a coast, instead of the baseball desert... wait a minute, Miami's on a coast, and quite humid. At certain moments, he has to be the best player in the majors — certainly the best one a lot of people don't know about. Also, it might be the right time to take a flier on Scott Olsen. He still could flake out, but he's 3-0 with a 2.60 ERA, allowing just under a runner per inning. At 5-14, the gNats have the worst record in the majors. This isn't the only reason, but the 2-3-4 hitters in their lineup are batting .214, .215 and .212

Reds 4, Brewers 3 (10 inn.) — Maybe Edwin Encarnacion just toys with the National League, with a great moment often following a goof-up. Sacre bleu, Gagne! He's up to 3 blown saves now, after being quite effective for a week. He's getting strikeouts, not walking a ton, but he's also allowed 4 homers. But for $10 million, you keep him in the closer's spot, unless Pete Ladd comes out of retirement.

Braves 6, Dodgers 1Jair Jurrjens. Not something you can buy in the shampoo aisle, but the latest ballplayer out of Willemstad, Curacao, following Andruw Jones and Hensey "Bam Bam" Muelens. Everything to like so far, and if he can cut hair, too, the Braves are set for the next decade.

Astros 6, Rockies 4 — Kaz Matsui, somewhat like George Brett 3 decades before, gets off his butt and gets a big hit. Colorado is 9-9. Seems more like 7-11 or 6-12. So, the Rox are ahead, in a sense.

Giants 8, Cardinals 2Braden Looper: 3 IP, 10 H, 7 ER... Looper? "A looper, you know, a caddy, a looper, a jock. So, I tell them I'm a pro jock, and who do you think they give me? The Dalai Lama, himself. Twelfth son of the Lama. The flowing robes, the grace, bald... striking. So, I'm on the 1st tee with him. I give him the driver. He hauls off and whacks one — big hitter, the Lama — long, into a 10,000-foot crevasse, right at the base of this glacier. Do you know what the Lama says? Gunga galunga... gunga, gunga-galunga. So we finish the 18th and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, 'Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know?' And he says, 'Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.' So I got that goin' for me, which is nice."

Cubs 13, Pirates 6 — The Cubs are now in first place, which at this point in the season means about as much as a bacterium 3 billion years ago shaking its first and exclaiming, "I rule the planet!" Where are ya' in Earth's hierarchy here in the 9th inning, B. permians?

Padres 9, D-backs 4 — Australian Justin Huber drops his first big league dinger against 44-year-old Randy Johnson, but he won't be able to enjoy it so much with the folks back home, he said, "because nobody in Australia knows who Randy Johnson is." Is that so, mate? That got me wondering: WHO is the Randy Johnson of Australia's national sport — Aussie Rules Football? Perhaps he is Robert Harvey, a 21-year veteran of St. Kilda and three-time E.J. Whitten Medal winner. Gape upon the awful checking by the Adelaide Crows in this 2005 quarterfinal match — Harvey takes full advantage. Kind of like Johnson dissecting the Fish here.

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Photo of the Day: "I don't care if he reminds you of his grandfather, blue. I got him!"

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Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez holds up his glove, which is believed to contain the lost birth certificate of Houston's Miguel Tejada (left). Didn't matter, though. Old man was safe anyway.

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Big Talker

"That's our superstar." — Florida's Scott Olsen, on Ramirez, who is batting .366.

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Fantasy Freaks

Chase Utley (Phillies) 3-3, 2 HR, 4 RBI

Hanley Ramirez (Marlins) 2-5, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI

Scott Olsen (Marlins) 7 IP, 3 H, ER, 2 BB, 3 K, Win

J.J. Hardy (Brewers) 3-5, HR, 2 RBI

Edwin Encarnacion (Reds) 2-4, 2 HR

Yovani Gallardo (Brewers) 7 IP, 4 H, ER, 3 BB, 4 K

Aaron Harang (Reds) 8 IP, 4 H, ER, 8 K

Mark Teixeira (Braves) 3-4, HR, 3 RBI, .250 BA

Jair Jurgens (Braves) 7 IP, 3 H, ER, 3 BB, 8 K, Win

Bengie Molina (Giants) 3-5, R, 3 RBI

Ryan Doumit (Pirates) 2-5, 2 HR

Ryan Theriot (Cubs) 4-5, 3 R, 2 RBI, SB

Aramis Ramirez (Cubs) 4-5, HR, 4 RB

Justin Huber (Padres) 2-5, 2 R, HR, 3 RB

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Fantasy Flakes

Ryan Zimmerman (Nationals) 0-4, E (his first)

Eric Gagne (Brewers) 0 IP, 2 H, 2 HR, 3 ER, BB, 8.22 ERA

Andruw Jones (Dodgers) 0-4, 3 K, .169 BA

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