This and every weekday a.m. during baseball season, let's rise and shine together to recap the most recent diamond doings. Roll Call meets in St. Louis, home of some of the nation's great laboratories — Monsanto, Purina, Anheuser-Busch — and its best baseball player, Albert Pujols.
Game of the Day: Cardinals 12, Mets 8
He's AhPu!: This is not in any way a steroids reference, but sometimes it really does seem like Albert Pujols was created in a lab; 3-for-4, including two homers, three RBIs, four runs scored and a stolen base to help the Cards sweep the Mets. Maybe AhPu was created in a "green" lab with recyclable, sustainable materials and with love, by Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker.
"Perfect player, in my opinion," manager Tony La Russa said.
Phat: AhPu is 29 years old but he's only two RBIs from 1000.
"I don't look at that number, man," Pujols said. "I'm going to have, hopefully, if I stay healthy, plenty of RBI."
He's got plenty more than most. Looking at the list of active players under 30 and checking their RBIs, it's pretty astonishing. Next in line are Mark Teixeira and Adam Dunn, both 29. Tex has 685 RBIs and Dunn has 684. Albert has 46 percent more RBIs (if the math is right) !!!
Under the rug: Can a team lose four out of three? Because it sure seemed worse than a sweep for the Mets. If, in some kind of crazy alternate universe, the Mets were to start a playoff series this week, it would be Santana in Game 1 and then, short of having him start again, they should have Dwight Gooden sign in and start Game 2.
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Feelin' Rundown: (Albert didn't play in these games):
Brewers 6, Phillies 1: Dave Bush, sporting a hockey playoff beard and pitching front of his family (he's from a nearby village), toyed with a no-hitter for 7 1/3 innings until Matt Stairs smoked a drive off the fair pole in right.
After being hit in the left shoulder with a line drive, Cole Hamels has what he called a "temporary tattoo of a baseball that will be going away."
I loved those! Used to get free ones in boxes of Honeycombs. Hamels, who lasted 3 1/3 and had six strikeouts before getting hit, promises he'll make his next scheduled start.
Reds 7, Cubs 1: Great road trip for Mr. Redlegs and wife, Rosie. Joey Votto definitely has a leg or three up on Geovany Soto for Sophomore of the Year. Votts is batting .373 with three homers and 15 RBIs. OPS is over 1.000. Still bowling about 165. Soto, conversely, went 2-for-23 on the homestand, dropping his batting average to .103. No idea about his bowling prowess. Yet.
The Cubs had two runs and four errors in the last two games which is, any sabrematrician would conclude, not good. Also, Milton Bradley's not talking to the media. Sort of. He'll talk to MLB.com, but is upset at the Los Angeles-like qualities of the Cubs reporters. Then there's his groin. It's talking, too, and obviously is affecting his play.
Mariners 1, Rays 0: Possible preview of Game 1 of an ALDS. Let me be WAY out in front of the curve on that one, especially with Our Rays dropping to 6-10. If this were football season, it would be over and the Buccaneers would be in last place with that record. But it's not football. We got 90 percent of the season to go.
Ichiro hit the second pitch of the game for a home run and that's it — no mas. King Felix and Big Game James went unscathed from there. It's only the 22nd time a 1-0 game has been decided by a leadoff homer.
Indians 5, Royals 2: Because his first name is the same as that of a supporting character played by Whitman Mayo, Grady Sizemore makes me think of "Sanford and Son," which makes me think of Fred calling Lamont — or Rollo, or Grady — a "Big Dummy." So, whenever Grady hits a home run, I say "You big dummy." ... Great performance by GilgaMeche but an error by Alberto Callaspo preceded the Royals' collapse-o.
Blue Jays 5, Rangers 2: The only thing going against the Jays right now is B.J. Ryan's injury. They've won all five series so far and have the rest of the AL East wildly flailing away. ... Darren O'Day/Kason Gabbard jersey update: A day after loaning Gabbard's jersey to O'Day for a day, the Rangers traded Gabbard to the Red Sox. The writing was on the jersey.
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Words of Mouth
"Even before the game started, we could all tell the type of game it was likely to be. I kept thinking, 'Do your best, Felix! Do your best, Felix!' " — Ichiro