This and every weekday a.m., let's rise and shine together with the most recent and decent major league happenings. Today's NL Roll Call starts where nobody's doing a darn thing about these gas prices, Washington, D.C. Also not happening there, the Braves. Another 1-run loss for them. Their classic 1991 season seems like yesterday in some ways, but 50 years ago in others. Bobby Cox has to be going on 99 right now ...
Game of the Day: Nationals 3, Braves 2 (12 inn.)
This doesn't happen with Alejandro Pena on the mound: Braves lead, 2-1, in the 12th. Nats catcher Wil Nieves — you'd think he'd know better — tries a sac bunt with 2 strikes and hits it right back to the mound. But Manny Acosta forgets to field it, and the ball goes right through his legs for an E-1. Then Acosta walks in the tying run. Somebody get me NASCAR, Buddy Carlyle! (His name sounds like it belongs to a stock car driver, doesn't it?)
Thanks, Buddy: RBI single Felipe Lopez. Nats win! Nats win! Braves drop to 0-9 in 1-run games. Oh-and-niner? As "Wedge" said of the "Star Wars" rebels planned attack on the Death Star, "That's impossible, even for a computer." Shut up, Wedge. You're not doing any good back there.
Comedian: I don't know what Manny Acta's voice sounds like, but imagine if it's like that of comedian George Lopez as Acta says of Nieves' bunt, "Destiny, baby! It was a mix-up with the signs. He bunted the ball real bad, too. But the pitcher couldn't field it."
Line of the year (so far): It goes to Nieves: "It was my fault. But it worked."
Feelin' Rundown (Wednesday's other games):
Cubs 19, Brewers 5 — It took three spins for Geovany Soto to kill Triple-A pitching, which dimmed his star a little for prospectors. But the guy can rake: A pair of 3-run homers and a .333 batting average. Mark Cuban, possible future Cubs owner (it'll never happen) had a front-row seat for the whole thing after firing Avery Johnson over the phone. The Cubs had 17 wins in April. This is the year. Unless it isn't.
Pirates 13, Mets 1 — Easy as 1-2-3 for the Buccos; 1 run, 2 hits, 3 errors for the Mets. Yeargh! Gorzo the Pirate, his back be hurtin', but he labors through 5 for the win. Yeargh! Nate McLouth and Xavier Nady — Pirate X! — combine for 5 runs, 6 hits and 6 RBI. Yeargh! Now, Oliver Perez, ye walk the plank after that performance against your former mateys! Yeargh!
Cardinals 5, Reds 2 — Someone out there might claim otherwise, but who thought the Cards would be 18-11 in April? Come on, you're full of beans. Rick Ankiel goes 3-for-3 and Braden Looper — a jock, a pro jock — bests Aaron Harang, who drops to 1-4 but with a 2.98 ERA. Odd or even your honor? Odd!
D-backs 8, Astros 7 — If Micah Owings' control ever goes Rick Ankiel on us, he won't have to be shuffled down to the minors for re-seasoning as an outfielder or DH. He's worth the price of admission now, just to see if he will hit — which he did, with a score-tying pinch-hit home run in the 6th. Is this a great country, or what? ... In other D'back news, Randy Johnson got walloped and Mitsubishi Montero went 3-for-4. Also, Max Scherzer starts Tuesday at Philly. Who wants to go?
Giants 3, Rockies 2 — The Giants started 1-6, but finished April 12-10. Some credit should probably go to Bruce Bochy, though the Sabrematrician in me doesn't want to give the manager any credit, for anything, ever. But I'm shouting down the Sabrematrician. Sit down and shut up! See? That'll show me. Brian Wilson: 9 saves. Don't worry, baby.
Padres 4, Phillies 2 — Chris Young ... (ding) ... Chris Young (ding) ... Every mornin' at the 'pen, you could see him arrive — he stood 6-foot-10 and weighed 275. Kind of broad at the shoulder and narrow at the hip. And everybody knew you wouldn't get many hits against Young. Chris Young. Chris You-ou-ou-ng. Big Chris Young. "He's 6-10," Ryan Howard said. "By the time he winds up and throws he's like, half way to the plate."
Dodgers 13, Marlins 1 — Extended BP for the Dodgers: Rafael Furcal 5-for-6 with 3 runs; Matt Kemp 3-for-5 with a HR, 3 RBI; James Loney 3 RBI; Russell Martin goes deep, ups his average to .292. Chad Billingsley's finally good and Scott Olsen's finally bad — though if this is as bad as he gets (4 ER in 5 IP) it's still a light year better than his usual bad.
Photo of the Day: Hey, would you get out of the way? I can't see the Reading score. Thanks.
Former Packers quarterback Brett Favre, now a ball boy for the Phillies, flies through the air in pursuit of a loose baseball from the home bullpen Wednesday night.
Gotta be Soto, but here's another: Blake DeWitt (Dodgers) 2-5, 4 RBIs
Jeff Suppan (Brewers) 3 2/3 IP, 11 H!, 8 ER, BB, K, Loss
Perez the plank-walker, only allowed 2 earned runs. But he walked 5, yeargh!
"I've been blessed to be able to swing it." — Micah Owings, owner of a .421 batting average (and possibly a lonely heart).