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 at Busch Stadium, where Cardinals cutup Joel Pineiro(notes), your host today, took matters into his own hands after his teammates just couldn't come through.

Game of the Day

Cardinals 2, D-backs 1

Welcome to the Joel Pineiro Show! Hi, this is Joel, welcome to my show! For the next two or three hours, I'm here to pitch, field and even hit, if I need to. All for your enjoyment-pleasure of a Major League Baseball game!

(Applause.)

Before I bring out my first guest, can everyone believe how cool it's been here in St. Louis this summer?

(How cool is it?)

It was in the 70s today, man. Red Schoendienst told me that, in St. Louis, in July, it hasn't been the 70s since the '20s. Hi-yohhhhh!

The cool weather sure makes it easier on us players if we need to exert ourselves or, let's say, go above and beyond what's usually expected. I'll tell you one guy, though, it doesn't matter how hot it gets, he's always hitting. He's our first guest today. It's "El Hombre," himself, Albert Pujols(notes)! Let's hear it for Albert!

(Applause.)

Albert, you went 1-for-4 today, but no home runs and no RBIs! A little tired out from Home Run Derby, Albert? Zing! But seriously, Albert didn't like that one. It's OK, Albert, thanks for coming out, you've been a great guest, but we're really no closer to winning this game. Albert Pujols, ladies and gentlemen, give him big applause. Use your hands, c'mon!

(Applause.)

Our next guest is rookie Colby Rasmus(notes). Colby's a little shy! C'mon out, Colby! OK, he's 0-for-3! Thanks for trying, Colby! OK, what a great kid, that Colby. Cheer with your lungs, audience!

Yadier Molina(notes), Mark DeRosa(notes) and Ryan Ludwig also were scheduled to be out there, but they're not able to help. Well, folks, it looks like I'm on my own here. All of my guests have failed. I'm pitching and pitching, but no one is hitting. It's up to me!

Pop! A two-run double! Hooray for me! Yay! We're leading! It's not so hard, fellas!

(Applause.)

I've got to continue pitching until the seventh. OK, I'm hitting and I'm pitching and I'm tired. I need some relief. Trever Miller(notes) and Ryan Franklin(notes) are going to take you the rest of the way, folks! And we win! You've been a kind audience!

(Applause.)

See you next time on the Joel Pineiro show! Be sure to consume Anheuser-Busch products!

* * *

Feelin' Rundown (without special guest host, Joan Rivers):

Angels 1, Athletics 0 (10 inn.): Bobby Abreu(notes): One-man party crasher. He broke up Brett Anderson's(notes) perfect game with a single in the seventh. Then he broke up a scoreless tie with a solo homer against Andrew Bailey(notes) in the 10th. John Lackey(notes) not only makes it past the first couple of pitches, but all the way through nine three-hit innings to pick up the victory.

Phillies 5, Marlins 0: As many of you know, J.A. Happ(notes) pronounces his first name like "Jay." As many of you remember, when CC Sabathia(notes) got traded, he famously lost the dots in "C.C." Happ, while not quite yet to Sabathia's pitching level, is at the point where he needs to do likewise, period. Every time you look up, the guy seems to be pitching a shutout. Who needs Doctor Halladay, anyhow?

The weekend would have been totally disastrous for the Fish except for two things. One, Saturday's game was rained out, so they stayed out of the loss column.

Two, they broke ground on the new stadium. Speaking of shoveling, a reported crowd of 5,000 appeared at the groundbreaking. Five-thousand! The Fish have drawn several crowds at ballgames that were only slightly bigger. Here's to no more rain delays in 2010.

Blue Jays 3, Red Sox 1: Every story written about this game was done sentimentally, as though it were Halladay, PhD's final game with the Blue Jays in Toronto before he gets traded.

They've even quoted Mrs. Doc.

From MLB.com:

"This very well could be our last homestand," Brandy Halladay said on The FAN590. "If something happens before the Trade Deadline, I won't be back. That's difficult. That's more than difficult. I just broke into tears four minutes ago. ... It's very difficult for everybody. ... You're making me cry now."

Jays' GM J.P. Ricciardi is making her cry! That brute.

Rod Barajas(notes) sounded like he was saying good-bye.

"He's the best pitcher I've ever had the chance to catch," said Barajas, who's also been behind the plate for the likes of Randy Johnson(notes) and Curt Schilling(notes). (Not to mention JA Happ.)

Reds 5, Brewers 3: Introductions are in order. Felipe Lopez(notes), everyone else on the Brewers. Everyone else on the Brewers, Felipe Lopez. He is tied for 10th in the NL in hits, but is not that good defensively at second base, so he fits snugly in Milwaukee, like Packers Zubaz pants.

Mariners 5, Indians 3: Half a biscuit more for breakfast and Victor Martinez(notes) ties the score with a two-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Instead, as the side-by-side photos show below, David Aardsma(notes) celebrates picking up the save after Ichiro(notes) takes extra bases away with a leaping catch at the fence (VIDEO).

I call it: Aardsma Aarms-up, Ichiro Reach-iro.

Rangers 5, Twins 3 (12 inn.): Nothing in between, but Ian Kinsler(notes) starts the bottom of the first with a solo homer, then ends the ballgame with a two-run shot much later (VIDEO). Each of his homers cleared the fence by a microbe (though he smoked the first one, sending it about 400 feet).

Humorously, the Rangers used a sacrifice bunt to get Jarrod Saltalamacchia(notes) into scoring position for Kinsler, who has been in a slump so long and deep it cost him the All-Star Game.

Also humorously, the winning homer came against the man with the funniest name in the league, R.A. Dickey(notes). I can't fully explain it, but it's not just "Dickey" that's funny, but the combination lying therein with "R.A."

Giants 4, Pirates 3: Striking out eight over seven innings, Matt Cain(notes) was obviously OK after taking the liner off his pitching arm.

The Giants said they were feeling the loss of Sue Burns, the team's longtime majority owner, who died from cancer complications early Sunday. She was diagnosed July 10, missed Jonathan Sanchez's(notes) no-hitter (she never missed games) and was gone just over a week later. She was 58.

Yankees 2, Tigers 1: Yanks get their broom on, thanks to a rejuvenated Joba Chamberlain(notes), who was back from Nebraska, where he did little over the All-Star break except play ball with his 3-year-old boy.

"Probably the best four days I've had in my life," Chamberlain said.

Teammate Mark Teixeira(notes) said rest does amazing things for the mind.

"Anytime you can get away and be a normal person for a few days you come back with fire in your eyes," Teixeira said. "Joba had it today."

The Tigers claimed to get 20 hits in the three-game series, but nobody could remember any of them.

Cubs 11, Nationals 4: Horrendous-looking error on a grounder by former attorney general/infielder Alberto Gonzalez(notes) touches off seven-run fourth inning for Cubs. It was bad, folks, like Lou Brown in "Major League" complaining to Roger Dorn about "Don't gimme none of this ole' [baloney]."

A home run in each of the past two games for Soriano. Cubs sweep. Whatever.

Maybe we should just be keeping track of Adam Dunn's(notes) home run count against the Nats' victory count, as Yahoo!'s own Jeff Passan suggests. Right now it's D.C. 26, A.D. 24. Could get interesting.

Then there's the President's Race.

Here are the current standings, through Sunday:

President ............... Victories
Lincoln: .................. 21
Jefferson: ..............  14
Washington: ..........  13
Roosevelt: ..............  0

Orioles 10, White Sox 2: Jeremy Guthrie(notes) gets off the schneid, if they have those in Baltimore.

Rays 4, Royals 3: There's a huge leak at Kauffman Stadium, and it ain't coming from the world-famous fountains beyond the outfield fence.

It's the Royals bullpen, which gets all weak-kneed come the eighth inning. The Rays scored a combined seven runs in the eighth innings of this series, enabling comeback victories in all three games.

Rockies 6, Padres 1: Another great outing by Jason Marquis(notes), but let's put it into perspective by posting his opponent's lineup:

ss — "Mount" Everth Cabrera(notes): 0 homers, 11 RBIs
cf — Tony Gwynn(notes): 1 homer, 9 RBIs
1B — Adrian Gonzalez(notes): 24 homers, 52 RBIs
3b — Chase Headley(notes): 9 homers, 34 RBIs
rf — Will Venable(notes): 1 homer, 5 RBIs
lf — Drew Macias(notes): 1 homer, 5 RBIs
2b — Luis Rodriguez(notes): 1 homer, 9 RBIs
c — Jose Lobaton(notes): 0, 0
p — Mat Latos(notes): ML debut

Will the Oscar Salazar trade work out better for the Padres than the Oscar Azocar trade of nearly 20 years ago? I predict "yes." ... The task for San Diego now is to help rookie Mat Latos find the missing "t" in Matt — something it failed to do in the case of Cla Meredith's(notes) forever-AWOL "y."

Braves 7, Mets 1: Same goes for Javier Vazquez(notes):

cf — Angel Pagan(notes): 0 homers, 4 RBIs
2b — Luis Castillo(notes) 0 homers, 19 RBIs
1b — Daniel Murphy(notes): 5 homers, 29 RBIs
3b — David Wright(notes): 5 homers, 44 RBIs
rf — Jeff Francoeur(notes): 5 homers, 39 RBIs
lf — Jeremy Reed(notes): 0 homers, 6 RBIs
ss — Alex Cora(notes): 0 homers, 12 RBIs
c — Brian Schneider(notes): 3 homers, 20 RBIs
p — Fernando Nieve(notes): 0 homers, 1 RBI

Eighteen homers? I know everybody's hurt, but 18?

Dodgers 4, Astros 3: Los Mannys salvage a split, though Russ Ortiz(notes) steps out of his time machine and gives them everything they can handle for six innings.

Geoff Blum's(notes) two-run homer gave the 'Stros a 3-0 lead. I wonder, if every time he rounds the bases on a home run, Blum thinks of the 14th inning of Game 3 of the 2005 World Series.

The Dodgers bullpen, if Torre doesn't kill them all first, is one of the best these pair of eyes have seen in a month of Sundays.

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