Big League Stew - MLB

This and every weekday a.m., let's rise and shine together with the most recent and decent major league happenings. Today's roll call starts at home plate in Arlington, Tex., where the Rangers are waiting to greet Josh Hamilton after he just hit a two-out deep against Francisco Rodriguez to carry Texas to dramatic a 5-4 victory. Who had the better call — TV or radio?

Game of the Day: Rangers 5, Angels 4

Josh as in mosh: Hamilton's story is well-known and oft-told, but it's also the neo-classic American tale. A guy has everything, blows it on drugs, is given a second chance and — for now -—is making good. Add this scene to the reel we'll get at the All-Star Game. If you're sick of Hamilton's canonization, that's just too bad for you, because we're only midway through the season and early in his career.

OtherJosh: Josh Lewin had the call on Fox Southwest. Like his approach. His enthusiasm is authentic, and then he does the Vin Scully thing where he get quiet and lets the pictures/ambient noise tell the story.

Radio gaga: The first time I listened, I wasn't all that enthralled with the call by Eric Nadel on KRLD 1080 AM — mostly because I don't really like his voice. But it grew on me after a couple of times. His description of Hamilton flipping off his helmet and the reaction of his teammates really sells the moment well.

Feelin' Rundown (Wednesday's other games):

Red Sox 18, Twins 5 — A memorial service for the Twins team ERA, conducted by the Very Reverend Pitching Coach Rick Anderson via satellite video phone, will be held at the 1st Covenant Church, 810 South 7th Street, starting at 10 a.m. ... The Red Sox broadcast did a terrible job of explaining it, but the Twins actually had turned a triple play before umpires conspired with ESPN, Bud Selig, Grady Little and Homeland Security to reverse the call. Just kidding, chowdaheads. No matter, the Twins were so incensed and befuddled that they brought in a clown pitcher and all heck broke loose from there.

Yankees 2, Rays 1 (10 inn.) — Abreu beats Balfour glove side in overtime. There actually is an American Mustache Institute and, hopefully, they'll get back to promoting free mustache rides after they're doing paying lip service to the Jason Giambi All-Star cause.

Mets 5, Giants 0 — Johan moves ahead of Carlos on the Santana Power Rankings with another strong start. He had been 0-4 with a 2.48 ERA in his previous six starts. If the Giants weren't a baseball team but instead were a pet Shih Tzu with an adorably silly nickname, they'd be called, "Mr. Tinkypants." Who's a Tinkypants? You, you're a Tinkypants, yes you are!

Phillies 4, Cardinals 2 — Mulder's just not the same without Scully. Charlie Manuel cracks me up. Said he was happy with the "big four-run outburst we had tonight." You old coot! Ryan Howard's late homer helps do the trick, but not soon enough to get a victory for J.A. "Rule" Happ.

Mariners 6, Athletics 4 — B. Morrow, B. Morrow — I love ya', B. Morrow — you're only a save uh-way.

White Sox 7, Royals 6 — Dye and Cabrera get into it in the dugout in the midst of a Carlos Quentin-powered rally. Very '73 A's of them. Umpire Bill Hohn, workin' a great Kurt Russell-as-Wyatt-Earp 'stache, almost had to break it up. No one would say why they argued but I speculate that "Where's Mine?" Cabrera was upset he didn't get a plane flying above Kauffman, like Dye did, advertising a "Vote for J.D." message to promote Dye's All-Star bid. 'Duk points out that, if it had happened an inning later and at home, the Sox would have won on a Balkoff Balk. Balkoff Balk ... Quick, to GoDaddy!

Blue Jays 9, Orioles 8A.J. Burnett made a late-night run to Taco Bell the dentist, had a Burrito Supreme root canal and then, after having the squirts a cavity filled in the morning, performed unevenly on the mound. He got the victory, but his ERA took a hit. No quarter asked — and none given — by the Tooth Fairy. I like the Holiday Inn commercial at the community college with Philip Baker Hall and Cal Ripken, who's looking very Lex Luthory these days.

Cubs 5, Reds 1 — Z's only mistake in eight innings: A solo homer to Adam Dunn. If that was Dunn. J.P. Ricciardi reports that it might have been a prank batter. Harden's going Saturday, in case one of youze gots tickets.

Rockies 8, Brewers 3Glendon Rusch outpitches Ben Sheets. Tomorrow, waterfalls flow up. Seriously, it was Rusch's first start in two years, so good for him. For every Mulder, there's a Rusch. Ready yourself for the apocalypse, nonetheless.

Dodgers 2, Braves 1 — Sean Connery's character has a quote in "The Hunt for Red October" that goes something like, "If you sit by the side of the river long enough, the body of your enemy will float by." That's the NL West race to a T.

Tigers 8, Indians 6 — Death, taxes, Indians lose. You have to give the Tigers credit. They saw on the schedule they were playing Cleveland, they showed up, waited for the Tribe to hand it over, and were rewarded.

Marlins 5, Padres 2 — Olie, Olie, 11-start winless-streak free! Chase Headley might have the most appropriate first name in the majors: He has 26 strikeouts and no walks so far.

Astros 6, Pirates 4 — Van Benschoten es kaput. Again. Well, at least he's no longer the worst pitcher in the majors.

Nationals 5, D-backs 0Micah Owings with the weirdest pitching line this season: one hit, three HBPs, five walks. He did get one of AZ's three hits. Why can't AZ play anymore?

* * *

Photo of the Day: Feds continue sting of Pettitte

"Yeah, I know Andy and Roger. So what?"

* * *

Fantasy Freaks

Scott Olsen (Marlins) 8 IP, 4 H, ER, 2 BB, 3 K, Win

Kevin Youkilis (Red Sox) 3-5, 3 R, HR, 4 RBI

Carlos Zambrano (Cubs) 8 IP, H, ER, 5 K, Win

Garrett Atkins (Rockies) 3-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI

Carlos Quentin (White Sox) 2-3, 3 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI

Octavio Dotel (White Sox) IP, 3 K (on 10 pitches), Save

Derek Lowe (Dodgers) 7 2/3 IP, 2 H, ER, BB, K, Win

* * *

Fantasy Flakes

Livan (Twins) 4 1/3 IP, 11 H, 6 ER, 2 K, Loss

John Van Benschoten (Indianapolis) 4 2/3 IP, 7 IP, 4 ER, 6 BB, 6 K, Bus Ticket

Javier Vazquez (White Sox) 5 2/3 IP, 11 H, 6 ER, BB, 3 K

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Words of Mouth

"This is no time to be in any state of emergency." — Rays RHP Edwin Jackson, on the club's three straight losses.

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