Big League Stew - MLB

For the next-to-last weekday a.m. this baseball season, let's rise and shine together to recap the most recent diamond doings. Roll Call starts in St. Petersburg, Fla., a magical place in 2008 and again Thursday night, when the Orioles ended the longest losing streak in the majors this year.

Game of the Day: Orioles Magic 3, Rays 2

Pop that thang: With all of the clinching going on this past week, did anyone think to have champagne ready for the Orioles for when their losing streak ended? Did the authorities think it would go all of the way to 21? Whatever the excuse, 13 was unlucky enough for the O's, who rediscovered victory with time running out in 2009. The Orioles hadn't lost so many in a row dropping the first 21 games of the 1988 season.

"It was like time stood still for about 15 seconds. I had to let it just sink in for a while," Baltimore manager Dave Trembley said. "You'll remember this one more so than the other ones. It's been an experience I'd rather not have to duplicate again."

Trembley (right) would like to at least replicate being Orioles manager (which differs from Orioles Magic) by being retained. It's not assured.

If you want guarantees — guaranteed laughs — listen to Earl Weaver talk about Terry Crowley, one of his former players, along with a fan named Alice Sweet from Norfolk, Va.

Rays of hope dashed: Tampa Bay rallied in the ninth, putting runners at the corners, but Akinori Iwamura(notes) hit a comebacker to closer Jim Johnson(notes), who got the save.

"The ninth inning was a piece of cake," a smiling Trembley said. "I thought it was a pretty basic formula there in the ninth compared to what we've been going through."

2009 < 2008: The Rays season also is ending, before the playoffs start — not how they envisioned things after reaching the World Series this past year.

"I don't think anybody in here wants the season to end on Sunday," Ben Zobrist(notes) said. "It's just the way that it is."

The Yankees are coming to town, but only for a playoff tuneup. Joe Maddon's boys, including Longoria (right) and his amazing levitating bat, will be ready. And then it's time for the off-season.

"We're very excited about playing them, actually," Maddon said. "It's the last three games of the season."

* * *

Feelin' Rundown (none of the bats used in these games floated away by themselves):

Rockies 9, Brewers 2: How about that playoff-clinching champagne, Troy Tulowitzki(notes)?

"It stings," Tulo said, "but I've never forgotten '07 and it's great to experience it again. It never gets old."

Cardinals 13, Reds 0: Chris Carpenter(notes) had a hammer and he used it on Dusty.

Pirates at Cubs, canceled (rain): It only looks like a 3-0 Pirates lead in the bottom of the fourth because wet weather washed this one away forever and it's not coming back. This game never happened, nor will it. It was only a rumor. It's not even history.

• Two-run homer Lastings Milledge(notes)? Wiped clean by the wrath, or indifference, of God.

• RBI single by Garrett Jones(notes)? No recollection, sir.

• The Pirates' 62nd victory and second three-game sweep on the road of the season? Two innings short of official. Therefore, moot.

• Another pummeling of Jeff Samardzija(notes)? Just an anti-Domer myth.

• The fourth hit in the Cubs career of So Taguchi(notes)? So didn't happen.

Giants 7, D-backs 3: Emotional day next door to McCovey Cove, where Tim Lincecum(notes) made his last start of the season and, probably, Rich Aurilia(notes) made his final appearance in the majors. Randy Johnson(notes) might have thrown his last pitch, too. And Randy Winn's(notes) probably leaving S.F. in free agency. Fred Lewis(notes) is taking up acting. Hey, this is too much. I'm starting to tear up!

The computer algorithm "Cy Young Predictor" — which appears, as they say, on another network (it's ESPN) — lists Timmy fourth behind Cardinals duo Adam Wainwright(notes) and Chris Carpenter, along with Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton(notes). He's got six blown saves; I don't think so, sucka PC.

If ESPN had a Haircut Predictor, and it said Timmy wouldn't get a trim all season, it would win. I got worried when I saw the pic on the left, but was relieved when the pic on the right revealed The Hair was still there. It just kind of swung around and got eclipsed, like a moon. Now take a bath!

Astros 5, Phillies 3: Not sure why, but Cliff Lee(notes) is 2-4 with a 6.13 ERA in his past seven starts after going 5-0 with an 0.68 ERA in his first five starts with the Phillies. So, that's not good.

Also bad, J.C Romero is still hurting and apparently won't be able to pitch in the playoffs. Also-also bad, the news on Jamie Moyer being operated upon, so he's out. Moyer wasn't going to be in the rotation, but how many times did he step in for emergency starts or relieve in similar fashion? Just cross your fingers Pedro doesn't pop a hamstring or something. Or wish for it, if you're a Mets fan.

Nationals 2, Braves 1: The ATL was eliminated after the Rox won, but the Braves did put a couple of champagne bottles by Garret Anderson's(notes) locker because he collected career hit 2,500. Anderson, who'll never work in P.R., wasn't exactly tooting his own horn afterward.

"They're just accomplishments that you have a chance to reach when you play a lot of years," said Anderson, the 89th player to reach 2,500 hits, Elias reports. He's seventh among active players.

Will he get to 3,000? He's only 37.

"I don't know," Anderson said. "It was hard enough getting to where I am right now, so the next 500, it'll be tough."

He also had it out with Nats starter Garrett Mock(notes) on the proper way to spell "Garret(t)." No, he didn't. It never came up. There's always next year.

Tommy Hanson(notes) finishes 11-4 with a 2.89 ERA.

"It's going to be a pleasure to watch him get better," catcher Brian McCann(notes) said.

* * *

Twins 8, Tigers 3: They're really dragging this thing out. Delmon Young(notes), not really known for his temper, gets mad at his own teammate for the Tigers' Jeremy Bonderman(notes) hitting him in the calf. Bonderman supposedly was responding to Twins' left-hander Jose Mijares(notes) throwing behind another Tigers batter.

Is this the stuff we need to be worrying about with a division title (albeit the AL Central) on the line? Yahoo! Sports' own Jeff Passan says no!

Mariners 4, Athletics 2: Things nobody predicted for 2009: David Aardsma(notes) tying Kaz Sasaki for third on the M's single-season saves list.

Red Sox 3, Indians 0: The Red Sox will not take a 10-game losing streak into the playoffs. Jon Lester(notes) looks ready to go for Game 1 of the ALDS against the Angels next week. But what about games two, three, four and five (if necessary)? He can't pitch 'em all.

Rangers 11, Angels 3: The worst vacation to Disneyland ever for the Rangers ends on a high note. Kevin Millwood(notes), whose midseason slump didn't help the pennant race, says he'll work harder in the off-season and spring training to ensure it doesn't happen again. Damn straight, for $12 million.

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