This and every weekday a.m. during baseball season, let's rise and shine together to recap the most recent diamond doings. Today's roll call starts in San Francisco, where the Giants play with balls of fire but sometimes get burned.
Game of the Day: Brewers 4, Giants 2
Power pitcher: Should have taped this one. Yovani Gallardo takes the Big Unit deep, deep, DEEP for a three-run homer to left. I'm talking, he hit the ball to San Luis Obispo. It would have been cooler had he hit it into the Cove beyond right field, but let's just appreciate it for what it was: the first homer by a pitcher ever allowed by Johnson, who will turn 46 this season.
Hey, Guy: The dinger was nice, but Gallardo is the Brewers 23-year-old ace, so him being healthy enough to make 30-plus starts is even more appealing for Milwaukee. This was his first win in 19 months. "There were a lot of things going into it, with my first start of the year after I wasn't able to start off with the team last year," Gallardo said. "There was a little bit of anxiousness there. The win, that's obviously the most important for me."
Funny face: Sure, his genes give him an advantage, but have you ever checked out the faces Randy Johnson sometimes makes when he delivers? Pretty darned funny.
Feelin' Rundown (what about my team?):
Rays 7, Red Sox 2: Seeing Joe Maddon and Dave Martinez wearing the wintry Rays caps with flaps, as much as watching Scott Kazmir and Jon Lester pitch in Fenway, brought back fond memories of the ALCS. Of course, Kazmir’s seventh-inning allergy prevented him from pitching past the sixth, but he was good for as long as usual. Kudos to Carlos Pena (left), who will not set a major league record by striking out in every at-bat this season. He hit a key two-run homer. And dropped his bat like a gangsta.
Marlins 6, Nationals 4: The Fish have to wait eight whole days before they again face the Nats, whom they outscored 26-13 in a three-game sweep. Let them wait. Imagine being the Nationals, who have to live with themselves every day without any break whatsoever.
Royals 2, White Sox 0: Saw this one in person. I'll have more in an upcoming Screen Schottzie (thank you MLBN highlights) but this game was all about Zack Greinke out-pitching Gavin Floyd (with some good purpose-pitch subtext) and Mark Teahen doing a great job adapting to second base. Nice pivot on the double play.
Phillies 12, Braves 11: In the case of booing Adam Eaton during the ring ceremony, you could talk about matters of class, propriety, or even risking bad karma. None of it matters. To expect Phillies fans to do any differently than they did is just illogical. Also, the needs of the one sometimes outweigh the needs of the many. May the Force be with you. ... Informative note in the ZoZone about how Eaton found himself at the ceremony in the first place. ... FanGraphs, which I appreciate if don’t fully understand, did a chart on the probability of the Phillies winning this game at different points. As math goes, it’s pretty funny.
Rockies 9, D-backs 2: Great job, Franklin Morales! Now pack your stuff for Triple-A, we got Jason Hammel coming in. You still here, Franklin? ... Uh-oh alert: The D-backs are worried about Brandon Webb's shoulder, Fox's Ken Rosenthal says. He'll miss his next scheduled start. Webb, I mean. Rosenthal probably won't be there, either.
Athletics 6, Angels 4: The A’s paid in singles — 15 of them — but Halos closer Brian Fuentes was the guy who bought it in the ninth. Chone Figgins (right) takes it out on the umpire. ... Matt Holliday, a la Kirk Gibson in the ’88 Series, came off the bench with a big hit. OK, it wasn’t anything like Gibby. Holliday’s just got the flu.
Mets 9, Reds 7: Jerry Manuel said he "aged about 12 years last year" because of the Mets’ unstable bullpen. K-Rod got the job done in this game, like on opening day, but it wasn’t so easy that Manuel is gonna go Benjamin Button on us. He might only age six years this season.
Cubs 11, Astros 6: And the Astros have already run out of starting pitchers. They’ll struggle to stay out of fifth place all season. ... Uh-oh alert: Geo Soto is coming back to Chicago for tests on his shoulder. The Cubs have such good luck with injuries these past few seasons, I just hope Soto's arm doesn't fall out of the socket before the weekend is up.
Pirates 7, Cardinals 4: Am I the only one who feels like letting out a "Yeeargh!" whenever the Pirates win? Really? Because, I could have sworn I felt a psychic swashbuckling thing. ... OK, a few things of note here: The Duke boy pitched great, and he got the moonshine to his granny ahead of Boss Hogg and Sheriff Roscoe. Finally: Boom-Boom Freddy "Stewcast" Sanchez went 4-for-5 and has three multi-hit games so far.
Dodgers 5, Padres 2: Manny hit a tie-breaking two-run double in the seventh, driving in three on the night, and came up with this Yogi-ism: "What we did today means nothing tomorrow."
Rangers 8, Indians 5: Elvis (right) leaves the building for the first time in his career. But c'mon, you know the King likes peanut butter 'n' 'nana pies; this Gillette stuff isn't edible. Now get back in the kitchen and TCB for Big E.
Tigers 5, Blue Jays 1: The Tigers will not go unfeated as feared. Good for them, as Bless You Boys in the hood points out. Today is the day, though. Rick Porcello makes his major league debut against Ricky Romero, who also makes his major league debut. MajorLeagueJerk has a good post about Romero, who's sort of a first-round orphan from the 2005 draft. I also would click on the Batman video if you like random and stupid.
Twins 6, Mariners 5: Carlos Silva (5 IP, 6 ER) will have it figured out by the time his four-year, $48-million contract is up after 2011. Swear. Wakamatsu’s quote is unintentionally chuckle-worthy: "He came out and competed. We have to be somewhat pleased."
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Words of Mouth:
"I ain't going through that anymore." — Jerry Manuel, on his 2008 bullpen ulcers