September 07, 2011
Nine innings and nine items to get you going. Ladies and gentleman of the Stew, take a sip of morning Juice.
1. Safe as downtown South Detroit: Only one of these pictured Cabreras ("Cabreri"?) is going to the playoffs. You'd be smart to pick the one on the right.
Not even the disappointing Detroit Tigers teams of recent seasons could blow it now. They lead the AL Central by eight games, and 8 1/2 over third-place Cleveland, after pounding the Indians 10-1 on Tuesday night. It would be their first division title since 1987. Victor Martinez(notes), who drove in three runs, concedes nothing.
"I feel great and the team feels great," Martinez said before cautioning: "It's not over yet. We've got 20 games and we have to keep going until we're in."
The magic number is 14.
2. Go, Gadget, Go!: SPOTTED! By Zoo with Roy spy Dan McQuade, none other than Inspector Gadget scouting the Philadelphia Phillies 6-3 victory against the Atlanta Braves. Which team does Gadget work for? The one most likely to send a guy in a trench coat to a baseball game, based on the weather from that team's home city, would have to be the Giants. Was he edified watching Vance Worley(notes) improving to 11-1 and the Phillies opening up a 9 1/2 game lead in the NL East? Who knows. He accidentally ejected himself from Citizens Bank Park before anyone could ask him. Doot-doot-doot-doot-doot-doot. Hoo-Hoo!
3. It's almost 3 a.m. — do you know where your Yankees are?: After a four-hour rain delay (and a three-hour tour), the New York Yankees beat the Orioles 5-3 in the wettest game of the season. Ointment fly Francisco Cervell hit a home run — or was it?! — that put New York ahead in the seventh. Say, is it too much to ask that Jorge Posada(notes) know how to run the bases after 15 years in the majors?
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4. Do they know it's Strasmas after all?: Washington's Stephen Strasburg(notes) succeeded in his first start since having Tommy John surgery a year ago, going five scoreless innings before the Dodgers pulled away to a 7-3 victory at D.C.
"He was outstanding. He looked totally relaxed, totally in control," manager Davey Johnson said. "He had all his pitches working. He made it look easy. Real low pitch count. Looked strong at the end. … It was just like he hadn't been out."
5. Marco?! Scutaro!: The Red Sox shortstop rapped out four hits from the No. 6 spot in the lineup, backing Jon Lester(notes) in Boston's 14-0 rout of the Blue Jays. Toronto couldn't even muster a rouge.
6. He's a real Pill, this guy: After clubbing 84 home runs in 2,800 minor league at-bats, 26-year-old Brett Pill(notes) of the San Francisco Giants hit a homer in his first major league at-bat, helping the defending World Series champs take down the San Diego Padres 6-4.
7. D-backtember: The Giants closed to within six games of first place because Arizona fell 8-3 at Colorado. The Diamondbacks could not withstand a Rockies rally in the eighth inning, which turned on a three-run homer by Troy Tulowitzki(notes).