Big League Stew - MLB

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 in Toronto, a city in a foreign land, where sometimes a traveler might have visa problems. Well, that's nothing when compared with trying to get the right jersey into Canada.

Game of the Day:
Blue Jays 8, Rangers 7 (11 inn.)

Not himself: The Texas infield huddled behind the pitcher's mound and watched with collective amusement as a man wearing Kason Gabbard's No. 30 jersey warmed up. They laughed because the pitcher wasn't Gabbard, but was instead Darren O'Day, who had been claimed on waivers from the Mets in the morning and arrived at Toronto's Rogers Centre an inning before he entered the game.


"The original plan," O'Day said, "was to go to the hotel. But [the traveling secretary] said, 'Go to the field, we might need you.' "

Shirt off his back: Gabbard's O'Day's transaction was processed so suddenly, and he arrived so late, that Texas didn't have a jersey ready for him to wear. So the equipment guy searched the trunks and found a No. 30 with Gabbard's name on the back. No matter. Gabbard, who's in the minor leagues right now, doesn't need it. Just as the slipper fit Cinderella, the jersey fit the ballplayer.

"He was excited, and the first thing that he said was, 'Let's rumble,' " Rangers manager Ron Washington said.

Who dat? Toronto's Kevin Millar joked that the Gabbard he saw warming up wasn't the same guy from the scouting report and memory.

"Gabbard, I thought, was a left-handed pitcher and he came in throwing sinkerballs, side-armed [and] right-handed, so I was a little confused at first," Millar said.

With runners at first and second, O'Day had little margin for error. On his fifth pitch, Millar drove the ball into the gap for a game-ending — and ordeal-completing — single.

* * *

Feelin' Rundown (Wednesday's other action):

Astros 6, Dodgers 5:  Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition and even fewer expect a wild pitch during an intentional walk, but that's what Dodgers' right-hander Ronald P. Belisario did with Geoff Blum batting with two outs in the deciding eighth. Hunter Pence moved to third base on the wild pitch and, after Blum took first, Pudge-Rod singled in the go-ahead run.

One question: Why did Torre walk Geoff Blum on purpose in the first place? I don't care what he's batting right now, he didn't turn into George Brett in the off-season.

Manny homered again, No. 4.

Reds 3, Cubs 0: Is he too young to call this performance "vintage Johnny Cueto"? Because that was vintage Johnny Cueto.

Answer Man Jay Bruce is starting to heat up with his second homer in as many days. Future Answer Man Joey Votto would have homered, too, but umpires blew a home-run call and then didn't check TV replays that showed the ball deflect, above the yellow homer line, off a reaching fan's glove in the bleachers. Dusty would have thrown his orange replay beanbag for the umps, but he couldn't find which pocket of his huge coat he put it in.

In what could have been the pitching matchup of the night, Ted Lilly was almost as good as J-Cue, but he made a double error after a bunt that gave the Reds all of the offense they would need.

D-backs 2, Rockies 0: How could I have not seen this coming? Dan Haren, not Jake Peavy, is going to be the first pitcher since Ed Walsh 100 years ago to lead the league in ERA and losses. Haren, who beat Jorge De La Rosa in what might have been the pitching matchup of the night on another night, so far is 1-3 with a 1.38 ERA — which is really hard to do.

Braves 1, Nationals 0: You can't call it a streak until you win three in a row, so we have to say the Braves stopped the Nats' two-game... thingy. Definite pitching matchup of the night, Jair Jurjjens against John Lannan, was scoreless until the top of the ninth when Kelly Johnson drew a bases-loaded walk against the pen.

Giants 1, Padres 0 (10 inn.): Sorry. THIS was the pitching matchup of the day; Chris Young against Barry Zito — who had no walks for the first time in 19 starts. Bengie Molina broke through the wall of nothing with a pinch-hit, ground-rule, game-ending double. Brian Wilson (dead) gets the victory. But check out these shenanigans at home plate; two baserunners, one catcher, an umpire and lots of wackiness. Roll film.

Pirates 7, Marlins 4:Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh, a sweep, mateys! That's Piratespeak for 9-6, the Bucs' best start since going 10-5 in 2002. If you're familiar with the Pirates, or even if not, you probably know that team finished with 89 losses.

As for the Fish, has anyone asked Mark Grace if he's actually Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez (right)? What about vice-versa?

Brewers 3, Phillies 1: This would have been the pitching matchup of the night, Joe Blanton against Braden Looper, were it not for several other games. Looper, former caddy for the Dalai Lama himself, got a little something for his six-inning, scoreless effort. J.J. Hardy went 2-for-3 with a homer to — raise or lower? — RAISE his batting average to .157. Boy, Hardy.

Cardinals 5, Mets 2: Great eight innings for Joel Pineiro, but you can tell Jerry Manuel wasn't all that impressed because he said he's going to shake up the lineup. Alex Cora, grab a glove, bat, whatever, you're going in. Big changes, Jerry! Big changes!

Red Sox 10, Twins 1 (8 inn.); Red Sox 7, Twins 3: Boston might be on a roll: they've outscored opponents 31-6 in their past four games. Happy 50th birthday, Mr. Terry Francona!

Yankees 9, Athletics 7 (14 inn.): With extra help from Melky Cabrera, Yankee Stadium broke a 54-year-old record held by KC's Municipal Stadium for most homers — 26 — in a new park's first six games. Cabrera said he'd play wherever and whenever the manager needed him. Yankee Stadium left without speaking to reporters.

Royals 2, Indians 0: This really would have been the pitching matchup of the night, except everyone's down on Cliff Lee and nobody really likes Brian Bannister's stuff. Shows you what everyone knows.

A CBS Sports report says the Tribe might be inclined to trade the reigning Cy Young winner if they fall out of the AL Central race. Well, to be accurate, the report should say they'd trade Lee "if the Indians get into and then fall back out of" the race. They're 5-10 and playing every bit as icky.

Joakim Soria, surfacing for the first time since his internationally lauded Answer Man interview, picked up the save. He's alive and doing fine.

White Sox 8, Orioles 2: This looked like it could be the top pitching matchup of the night but Jeremy Guthrie did not match John Danks, whose ERA dropped to 0.95. ... Rookie second baseman Chris Getz (3-for-4, 3 RS, 2 RBI, SB) looking good at the top of the order.

Tigers 12, Angels 10: Fantasy players who own Miguel Cabrera look at 12 runs and 18 hits from Detroit and get pretty excited. Then they check the box score to find he went 1-for-3 with a run scored and that’s it. I hate when that happens! It’s better, though, than looking at the box score and seeing what Justin Verlander and Scot Shields did. Ooh, not so good, Al.

Rays 9, Mariners 3: Longoria surpasses 100 RBIs in his 135th career game, a pace that only Ryan Braun (118 games) and AhPu (131) have beaten among active players. ... For a fun exercise, try saying "Chris Jakubauskas" to yourself in the dialect of Daffy Duck without getting saliva all over your monitor.

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