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 in the Desert, where Arizona pitcher Doug Davis picks up a "W" two days before doctors remove a cancerous thyroid gland.
And you thought it was hard to concentrate with the radio playing so loud ...
Game of the Day
Task at hand: Rather than throwing on the side, or charting pitches, or goofing with teammates between starts, Davis on Thursday will have cancer surgery. Doctors are optimistic Davis will be among the 97 percent of patients who recover; Diagnosed in late March, he hopes to return in 4-6 weeks. His mom fully recovered from thyroid cancer, and Davis has been inundated with stories of survival, and thriving, from well-wishers.
But it's still surgery. And it's still cancer. Yet, “I’m going to try to pick up a ball three to four days afterward just to play catch,” Davis said. “I don’t know how much strength I’m going to have. We’ll see how I feel.”
Dig Doug: He was shelled in his first start, but Davis against the Dodgers had the kind of game any major leaguer would take. Pitching a shutout through five, he allowed 2 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, with 7 Ks over 6 innings. He also picked off a guy. Davis, usually an atrocious hitter, even singled twice with his seventh career RBI. “Pretty heroic really,” Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. "I think he was a little more emotional today going into that game. It looked like he was a little more focused today. He knew this was going to be the last one for him, and he wanted to win bad, pretty impressive."
Curtain call: Davis responded with a tip of the cap as the Chase Field crowd gave him a standing "O," which lasted through an encore. His next start is tentatively scheduled for a series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field in May.
Support staff: The Dodgers' Jeff Kent told Davis, "best of luck to you and God bless.” The D-backs were there for him in the traditional baseball sense. Mark Reynolds hit his third home run in two days and Conor Jackson drove in three.
More reading: Our own Tim Brown was on the scene.
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Rundown feelin' (Tuesday's other games)
Brewers 3, Reds 2 — Ooh, what did Johnny Cueto do? Hang on. First off, $10 million Eric Gagne blew another save for the Brewers, with Corey Patterson reaching the seats to tie the score with two outs and two strikes in the ninth. Nice, but what about Cueto? What was his line? After Gagne shook off ancient catcher Jason Kendall, who just might know what he's doing, he threw a fastball to a notoriously good fastball hitter. He sure is. And Cueto? Wait. Rickie Weeks unhooked Gagne with an RBI single in the 10th off David Weathers. Cueto! Now! OK, he followed up his wicked major league debut with 6 1/3 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB (again) and 8 Ks. Thanks. Gotta go. Jeff Suppan pitched well (7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, K) too, you know. Can't hear ya, sorry.
Phillies 5, Mets 2 — With the help of Carlos Delgado's throwing error, Philly won its ninth straight against the Mets. Maybe, in its final season on Earth, someone should nickname Shea Stadium "The Tank." The Phillies' Chase Utley was hit 3 times with pitches, one short of the major league record, but — like with Chuck Norris — the ball shattered into a billion pieces each time before Utley reformed them with his heat vision.
Rockies 4, Braves 3 — Ubaldo Jimenez survived a trip to the mound by manager Clint Hurdle (“When he came out, I was like, ‘Uh-oh,' " Jimenez said), but instead of a vicious chewing-out by the apparently intimidating skipper, Ubaldo (who'd be "Baldy" if he played hockey) heard constructive criticism and picked up his game. He allowed three runs and six hits and four walks over 6 innings for the win. Matt Holliday, perhaps realizing the season had indeed started, had three hits and a pair of RBIs.
Giants 3, Padres 2 (11 inn.) — Despite media complaints about Bengie Molina (career .411 SLG) batting fourth, the Giants press on with him at cleanup, and they got results against the Pads when he hit not one, but two homers — including the game-winner. Everyone's a manager.
Photo of the Day: Waxin' Apathetic
A wax dummy of Mets infielder David Wright rides the New York subway with typically unmoved passengers. Wax Wright celebrates Shea Stadium's last opening day and encourages fans to take public transportation to all home games. Below are possible conversations he had on the trip over to the game.
• 'Get the %$#! away from me until you and the other stiffs beat Philly'
• 'Hey, you know which stop I get off at? I'm late for BP!'
• 'Mr. Diesel, can I have your autograph? I loved you in Find Me Guilty!'
• 'I'm a Yankees fan, and lemme tell ya, A-Rod's about as inanimate as you during the playoffs'
• 'No, I don't have any change – I already pay your salary'
Mark Reynolds (D-backs) 2-5, 2 HR, 3 RBI (leads league with 12)
J.J. Hardy (Brewers) 3-4, R
Brian Giles (Padres) 4-5, RBI
Mark Teixeira (Braves) 0-3, BB, .156 BA
Andruw Jones (Dodgers) 0-3, BB, .103 BA
Chris Young (D-backs) 0-6, 3 K, 10 stranded runners
“If we’re in their head, we’re in their head. It’s not for me to say. We’re not going out there saying, 'We own the Mets.' " — Philles OF Shane Victorino