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 the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, homeliest ballpark in the majors, where falling behind by 10 ain't no thing if an NFL game is happening. But this is baseball. Isn't it?
Game of the Day
Just win, baby: Thanks to
four Jan Stenerud field goals a pair of homers, including a grand slam from Justin Morneau(notes), the Twinkies built a 12-2 lead in the third inning. Perfectly safe. What could possibly go wrong? Considering another team in a different game already came back from a 10-run deficit this season, what were the odds of such a comeback repeating in the majors for the first time since 1989?
One-hundred percent! By the time it was over, eight homers had been hit, 27 runs had scored and more than 3 1/2 hours had passed. The A's had completed the biggest comeback in Oakland history not involving Sleepy Floyd, and the Twins suffered their biggest implosion since 1984. Wha' happun'?
Circling the drain: The lady on the left looks like her husband made her do this. Anyway, after some dinking and dunking, Matt Holliday(notes) hit a tying grand slam (his second homer of the game) and — on the next pitch — Saucy Jack Cust(notes) lined a go-ahead homer to give Oakland a seven-run seventh and a 14-13 lead. Those missed extra points always come back to haunt you.
The comeback inning wasn't nearly as dramatic as the game's last play, in which nobody scored.
Break, like the wind: With two outs in the top of the ninth and his team down to perhaps its final breath, the Twins' Michael Cuddyer(notes) took a chance. Noticing A's catcher Kurt Suzuki(notes) lose track of the ball's location after a wacky wild pitch, Cuddyer tried to score from second base. If he ever slowed down rounding third, it wasn't noticeable, but it also wasn't noticeable to home plate umpire Mike Muchlinski that Cuddyer slid into home ahead of Michael Wuertz's(notes) tag. Cuddyer was called out anyway.
What do you think (VIDEO)?
This angle from the Twins broadcast is best, and it's not all that different from what Muchlinski saw. There are two ways of looking at this screen cap: One, Cuddyer's foot appears to be safely touching home long before Wuertz's glove appears in the shot. Two, the Twins wuz robbed!!!!!
Twins talker Dick Bremer said: "A terrible ending to a terrible game. Good luck trying to get to sleep after this one."
It seems like piling on, but check out how much Cuddyer has of the plate before Wuertz's glove even appears:
He's even safer. To his credit, lead Twinkie Ron Gardenhire said the Twins lost for at least half a dozen other reasons than a blown call. Most of it had to do with Nick Blackburn's(notes) worst outing of the season, plus leaky bullpenners.
"We also shot ourselves in the foot enough out there pitching-wise, so it's hard to say [the umpire] blew it because we did enough blowing it ourselves," Gardenhire said.
* * *
Feelin' Rundown (umpires were perfect in these games):
Yankees 2, Orioles 1: Pie (not Felix Pie(notes)) in the face after a game-ending home run for Hideki Matsui(notes). His second career game-ender, but his first thrown helmet (which all the kids are doing these days) as he entered the scrum by home plate.
"I've never done it before, so yeah, in that sense, yes, it's a little uncomfortable," Matsui said through a translator. "But I'd like to follow whatever the team's rules are."
The Yanks have won three straight 2-1 games. They're also tied with the Red Sox for first place (which allows the rest of the world to unite against both of them).
I nominate Jim Johnson(notes) for plainest name in the majors. Even plainer would be John Johnson (but everyone around here calls him "Vicky"). Could J.J. be in witness protection? Someone should look into it.
Phillies 10, Cubs 1: Hoping against hope the Nationals would follow them to Philly, the Cubs were crestfallen upon learning they would be playing the hottest team in the majors. Welfare's run out, boys!
Mets 6, Nationals 2: Results from the President's Race are late.
"The two-run homer was the backbreaker for me," Smoltz said of the middle blast by David Murphy(notes). "I'm frustrated. I'm pleased with the way I'm throwing the baseball, but the results have been awful. They haven’t matched the effort," Smoltz said. "I'll have a hard time sleeping tonight."
Pirates 8, Brewers 5: Seventeen in a row was enough for the Bucs, who put down their collective and figurative foot and broke what seemed to be an eternal losing streak. Oh, they're still well on pace to have a record 17th-straight losing season, but they beat the Brewers for the first time in nearly 14 months.
Braves 11, Giants 3: Record 11 strikeouts for Tommy Hanson(notes), impressive considering the rookies the Braves have rolled out through the years. Obviously, Jonathan Sanchez(notes) doesn't go Johnny Vander Meer on us, but he pitched OK. Matt Diaz(notes) hits a key triple after failing twice on sac bunt attempts. More proof that bunting is dumb.
Astros 3, Cardinals 2: Carlos Lee(notes) continues ownership of Kyle Lohse(notes) and Brian Moehler(notes) improves to 5-0 for his career against the Cardinals. The Astros wore caps with an Apollo 11 patch on them where the shooting star usually is. Want!
Rockies 10, D-backs 6: Rockies lead the wild-card race.
White Sox 4, Rays 3: Bobby Jenks'(notes) wildness and a pathetic read on a fly ball by Scott Podsednik(notes) gave the ninth inning a lot more tension than there should have been. The Rays hit three homers, including an inside-the-parker by Carl Crawford(notes). Fun (VIDEO)!