This and every weekday morning let's rise and shine together with the cheesiest and breeziest in the major league world of baseball. Today's Roll Call starts near the Schotz Brewery — where Laverne and Shirley are up to their usual shenanigans — and the Cubs get to pay for the first round after beating the CC Sabathia and the Brewers in a thrilling mid-summer contest oozing with early fall intensity. And cheese, delicious cheese!
Game of the Day: Cubs 6, Brewers 4
He's just a man: An overflow crowd at Miller Park — with many Chicagoans among the throngs of fans — watched the Cubs treat CC less like a god than his other NL opponents had so far. Sabathia was OK in his 6 2/3 innings, but not dominant like the guy who came in with three straight complete games. Alfonso Soriano hit a ball to Green Bay, and Sabathia also was hurt by a Rickie Weeks error — precipitated by Reed Johnson's hard slide into second — that let in a couple of runs in the seventh. The Cubs at least know that CC won't always B on his "A" game. I have no "D" pun, so let's just end there.
Beef: Ryan Braun (again) and Russell Branyan each hit a tying home run for the Brewers, whose confidence won't be shaken even by a tough loss. And how 'bout the dive and flip by Hamburger (Prince Fielder) and the cover by Hot Dog (Sabathia) at first base?
Ninety miles and 56 games to go: They say you can't win a pennant in April, but you can lose one. Neither ever has been said about this month, so why are we so excited about this series? Derrek Lee, you have any idea? "I gotta go look at the calendar and make sure it's still July," Lee told TV after doubling home the go-ahead run in the ninth inning.
Juicy note: I'll be away from my desk and going undercover for a while, but will return the morning of Aug. 11. In the meantime we'll have a few surprise substitute squeezers for you each morning. You can go here for pictures of Longoria if you need some. Answer Man continues uninterrupted, undaunted and undone (still working on it), so expect the usual stupidity there.
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Feelin' Rundown (Monday's other games):
Angels 7, Red Sox 5 — The Bostons still can't beat the Angels, even throwing Dice-K at 'em, and Manny's still leasing the inside of the Green Monster as a loft. At 44 Rolaids tablets, K-Rod is now taunting Bobby Thigpen's saves record like Clubber Lang in Rocky III.
Blue Jays 3, Rays 1 — J.P. Ricciardi says A.J. Burnett will not be traded before Thursday's non-waiver deadline, unless someone happens to "blow our socks off now" with an unexpected phone call from someone claiming to be a general manager and I'll probably believe him because I'm sharp as a tack. (I added that last part.)
Cardinals 12, Braves 3 — The Braves yesterday placed Tim Hudson, Chipper Jones, Dale Murphy,Ron Gant, Biff Pocoroba, Gene Garber, Brian R. Hunter, Francisco Cabrera, Steve Avery, Rick Camp, Mark Lemke, Zane Smith and Brian Jordan on the disabled list. Then they placed Hudson on it again, for emphasis. Then they took him off once, because it was mean.
Padres 8, D-backs 5 — Greg Maddux turned 40, 41, and 42 since his previous victory. Micah Owings season started with such promise, but he's got some kind of gluteus injury and you can't pitch well when your rear is in arrears.
Giants 7, Dodgers 6 — First team to the bottom of the NL West, wins.
Twins 7, White Sox 0 — Hanky spanky, K-Slow earns the complete game shutout.
Royals 4, Athletics 2 — Greinke strikes out 11 for his first win in July. It was a tough month for Greinke and girlfriend Emily Kuchar (she's on the right in the link), who was Miss Photogenic at the Miss Florida USA pageant, but was not among the top 15 finalists. Phooey.
Pirates 8, Rockies 4 — Ian Snell won for the second time in 18 starts. I'll cut him slack because he once found a notebook I dropped in the Pirates clubhouse and had it returned. As for the rest of you guys, hate away.
Astros 5, Reds 4 — Oswalt returned from the infirmary and allowed a grand slam to someone claiming to be Adam Dunn, but improved to 20-1 — wait, is that right? — yes, 20-1, against the Legs That Are Red. Oswalt did not act alone, however: Geoff Blum hit another home run.
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Photo of the Day: Holy cow, where's my net?
A young again Harry Caray (left) ignores a beer vendor (he wasn't a Budweiser guy) and interferes with a gallant attempt by Red Sox infielder Jed Lowie (middle) to scale 20 rows of stands at Fenway Park and catch a foul ball.
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Byrd (Indians) 7 2/3 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 4 K, Win
Jones (Orioles) 3-6, 3 R, HR, 5 RBI
Burnett (Jays) 7 IP, 6 H, 4 BB, 10 K, Win
Beltre (M's) 2-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI
Cy Slowey (Twins) 9 IP, 6 H, BB, 5 K, Win
Greinke (Royals) 7 1/3 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, BB, 11 K, Win
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Dice (Sawx) 5 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, Loss
Mussina (Orioles, err, Jankees) 5 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, BB, 4 K, Loss
Owings (D-bax) 3 IP, 6 H, 8 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, Loss
Hiroki Kuroda (Dodgers) 3 2/3 IP, 9 H, 7 ER, 2 K, Loss
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Words of Mouth
"I don't know what's going to happen. I really don't. I hope I stay. You'd rather stay if you're welcome. I like it here. The losing part stinks but the baseball is still baseball. It's still fun to come to the park every day." — Maddux, on possibly being traded this week.