Big League Stew - MLB

This and every weekday a.m. let's rise and shine together with the most recent diamond doings. Roll Call starts for a second consecutive day in San Francisco (we like it there, OK?), where Joe Martinez is lucky to be so hard-headed.

Game of the Day: Giants 7, Brewers 1

Rebound: If you ever wondered why they don't use aluminum bats in the majors, or why they put up that screen in front of the mound during batting practice, what happened to Giants right-hander Joe Martinez on Thursday night sheds plenty of light.

Mike Cameron hit a line drive back to the mound so hard that Martinez barely had time to see it coming for his head. As the mini Screen Schottzie shows, Martinez's skull successfully deflected the projectile. 

Martinez, struck near the right temple, dropped to his knees for a moment and stood up quickly. But he was dazed, with a cut on his forehead and blood coming from his nose.

Cameron, who was beside himself with worry, was credited with a double.

UPDATE: Martinez has three hairline fractures to go along with a concussion, MLB.com reports, as continues to recover in the hospital, where he's expected to remain the next three to four days. The Giants placed him on the 15-day disabled list and recalled right-hander Justin Miller.

San Francisco's Chronicle reporter Henry Schulman checked on Martinez at the hospital in the hours after the injury.

From the Splash blog:

[Giants executive] Bobby Evans said Martinez did not appear to have any broken bones, and tests did not reveal any serious injuries. But they are keeping the 26-year-old right-hander in the hospital overnight for observation. You can't be too careful with head injuries.

Martinez spoke by phone with his parents in New Jersey, who unfortunately watched on TV as their son got hit. Evans said Martinez was up and talking and did not even seem to have a bad headache.

Lucky guy, and/or someone was watching out for him. Indians lefty Herb Score infamously had bones in his face shattered by a Gil McDougald line drive in 1957.

Score returned and played in parts of eight seasons, but it was (and still is) thought that the incident ruined his career.

Score, who won 36 games combined in 1955 and '56 and 19 thereafter, maintained that another injury — not fear of getting hit — led to a change in his delivery, more injuries and a general decline in the quality of his career.

Score died this past November after an illness at age 75.

* * *

Feelin' Rundown: 

Reds 8, Mets 6: You say tomato. I say Joey Votto. I win, because he went 3-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs and is 7-for-13 so far. All you got is a tomato.

Cardinals 2, Pirates 1: Yeearrr... oh, the Bucs lost. ... For those who took Chris Carpenter in the Cy Young/Comeback Player of the Year Pool, you are looking great after one start. ... If you have a lineup request for Tony La Russa, he'll probably play it.

Padres 4, Dodgers 3: Heath Bell might be the most fun player in the league to watch celebrate. Just as long as he doesn't put anyone on the DL with a violent postgame high-five. ... Adrian Gonzalez hit a home run and brother Edgar hit a triple in the same inning. More proof that both should be together in the lineup everyday. I think we've got Bud Black convinced on Adrian. Edgar will take more time.

Blue Jays 6, Tigers 2: Adam Lind is 7-for-16 with two homers and seven RBIs, but considering the Canadian exchange rate of 83 cents on the dollar, he's only 5.74-for-13.12 with 1.64 homers and 5.74 RBIs. Still works out to a .438 batting average, though.

The third time through the Jays lineup wasn't as kind as the first two trips, but Rick Porcello did OK in his first major league start. Ricky Romero did even better. As a tribute to his hometown of East Los Angeles, we present a clip from this masterwork of Cheech but not necessarily Chong.

Mariners 2, Twins 0: To Morrow, to Morrow, we'll need ya', Brendan Morrow. You're only a save a-way.

Yankees 11, Orioles 2: Bronx breathes a sigh after 0-162 is averted in Game 3. The best thing the Yanks can take from this game is 3 2/3 perfect innings of relief by the bullpen. That's a great sign.

If I can make a social statement, please. Joe Girardi called it "great" and "a big performance" for A.J. Burnett, who went 5 1/3 innings, allowing two runs and seven hits. It doesn't take much to be better than what CC and "It's A Parking Lot" Wang gave them in the first two games. But our standards — for someone who signed an $82 million contract — are pretty low for such effusive praise.

Rays 4, Red Sox 3: The AP story says the Red Sox lost an opening series for the first time since 1988. Since Ellis Burks and Mike Greenwell!

After a shaky ninth with closer Troy Percival, manager Joe Maddon said, "It doesn't always have to be an oil painting to be successful. He's probably amped up, man, and I don't blame him. It's a Fenway moment."

Did someone say oil painting?

Longoria — back, back, back, more back, gone!

Rangers 12, Indians 8:
Just a spectacular FAIL by Carl Pavano. ... Guess who went 3-for-5 in his first Texas appearance? Andruw Jones. As the DH. And cleanup hitter! His OPS was .505 last year and he barely made the Rangers out of spring training. Ron Washington cracks me up.

I saw that Jones got three hits and thought, "Well, that didn't happen last year." After checking the online baseball bible, it sure didn't.

Nobody, not even the Nationals, had a worse opening series than the Indians. I think we toss it out. The Rangers are going to be deadly, especially at home. The Tribe's gonna rebound soonly.

Royals 2, White Sox 1: Can the Royals bandwagon roll on three wheels? The Royals got great pitching from Gilgameche, Greinke and Kyle Davies, but shield your eyes for the next two starters: Sidney Ponson and Paul Splittorff Horacio Ramirez.

Words of Mouth:

"The NL West has to realize that the Padres, we might not be the biggest names, or you might not know who we are, but we came to play and we're going to battle you all nine innings, every single day." — Heath Bell

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