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David Brown

NL Tarp Tale: Pry this from the Brewers' cold, dead hands

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 Milwaukee, where the first-place Brewers say "Get your stinking paws off us, you damn, dirty Giants!" That, plus the defending NL champions fizzle, perhaps because they were mourning the death of simian activist/Moses impersonator, Charlton Heston.

Brewers 7, Giants 0

Ben-Hur: Ben Sheets took his time — seven years! — but followed-up his first major-league complete-game shutout (notched in 2001) with another, blanking the little Giants with eight strikeouts.

The Zen commandments: Barry Zito (he of the $126 million contract) might try Jedi mind tricks next; only three earned runs allowed, but also 8 hits and two homers in 5 innings.

Touch of evil: "I don’t know who Sheets wouldn’t have shut out today," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "That stuff shuts out anybody."

Soylent Green is people!: Gabe Kapler, welcome back. He went 2-for-4 with a homer, 2 RBIs and a base theft. He's batting .438.

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Rundown feelin' (Sunday's other games)

Diamondbacks 5, Rockies 2 (10 inn.) — Arizona to-do list: Ruin opening weekend for Colorado, which fell to 1-5 amid opening day, a raising of the pennant and a ring ceremony celebrating their World Series berth a season ago.

Pirates 9, Marlins 2 — Mach Snell, mach Snell! Righty Ian Ks 10 Fish in 6 innings.

Reds 8, Phillies 2Ken Griffey Jr. launched career homer No. 594, and right-hander Edinson Volquez showed he's not quite Johnny Cueto — but still is pretty good — in his debut.

Braves 3, Mets 1John Smoltz passed the knot-in-the-shoulder test. Also, Mets fans are not all that shocked to find out Johan Santana will not go 35-0.

Cardinals 3, Nationals 0 — It rubs the Kyle Lohse on its skin, pitches 7 shutout inningsl

Cubs 3, Astros 2 — He has the power, again. Derrek Lee turning back into He-Man with a 10-for-25 start with six extra base-hits.

Dodgers 3, Padres 2 — Trevor's travails: Hoffman has 526 career saves, but is 0-2 this season.

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Photo of the Day: Sheets of Happiness

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Here's Sheets, reacting to the final out of his complete-game masterpiece. Nothing too funny to say about this one ... just a solid, shadowed shot that tells us more than the standard baseball pic.

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Fantasy Freaks

Jeff Keppinger (Reds) 3-5, 3 R, HR, 3 RBI

Ryan Braun (Brewers) 3-5, HR, 3 RBI

Albert Pujols (St. Louis) 0-2, 2 BB, SB

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Fantasy Flakes

Ryan Howard (Phillies) 0-3, 2 K, .200 BA

Kosuke Fukudome (Cubs) 0-3 (How DARE he?)

Eric Byrnes (D'backs) 1-5, batting .154

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Big Talker: "The first thing on my mind was I had to do a good job my first time in Cincinnati. I think I did. I didn’t go seven innings or have 10 strikeouts like J.C., but I think it was pretty good." – Edinson Volquez, on comparing his first start to that of teammate Johnny Cueto.

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