This and every weekday a.m., let's rise and shine together with the most recent and decent major league happenings. Today's Roll Call starts where the lactose intolerant fear to tread — America's Dairyland. The Blue Jays, who were so productive offensively they could afford to cut Frank Thomas and have their GM disparage the affable Adam Dunn on the radio, were afraid for their bats to make contact with pitches thrown by Milwaukee's Dave Bush. After the ex-Blue Jay Bush flirted with a no-hitter into the eighth inning, the Brewers flirted with having manager Ned Yost fired on the spot by frittering away most of an eight-run lead.
Game of the Day: Brewers 8, Blue Jays 7
These things happen: A near no-no for Bush, who started the day with a 5.73 ERA. An inside-the-park home run for a scampering Prince Fielder, who's built for the slow trot. A six-run rally in the ninth by a team that can't hit. Each baseball game is like a snowflake. In this case, a pork-filled snowflake covered in delicious cheddar cheese.
Solitary man: If Bush enjoys his job, he does so in his own little world. It is Bush's routine to leave the dugout when his teammates are batting (except, I suppose, when he has to hit) and retire to an equipment room so he can't see or hear the game that's going on. Hey, whatever gets you to 37-43 for your career.
Alone time: A.J. Burnett, conversely, sat facing his locker for nearly a half-hour before speaking to reporters. Apparently he had much better command then than he did during the game.
You ruined it!: Lyle Overbay — for whom Bush was traded before the '05 season — lined a triple to left, just out of Ryan Braun's reach to start the eighth. Bush left the game with an 8-1 lead. "Somebody was going to do it," Overbay said. "We were hitting it. He was doing a good job, but somebody was bound to get on base." French for: "This dude had a no-hitter going against us?"
He's big boned: A noted vegetarian, Fielder got his legs churning (butter, mmm) after outfielder Alex Rios stopped pursuing his hit to right that lodged under the padded fence. Rios put his arms up, doing the International Sign Language Thing for Ground-Rule Double, but the umpire didn't purchase Mr. Rios' wares. Fielder had an inside-the-parker in 2007, too, in case you think this one had to be made-up.
We will not go quietly, eh?: The Jays, summoning whatever bat speed they could muster, put the wood to the Bruw Cruw's bullpen in the ninth. Joe Inglett (good hockey name) hit a grand slam to get them as close as possible without touching.
He once borrowed a pen from me to write a check to a clubhouse guy: Russell Branyan, you are out of your mind. Three homers in three days and 10 homers — 19 hits overall — in 61 at-bats so far. Someone check the Bible for Armageddon tips.
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Feelin' Rundown (Thursday's other games):
Rays 8, Cubs 3 — Some baseball fans support the axiom that the game is "75 percent pitching." Hogwarts! Baseball is 50 percent pitching (and defense) and 50 percent hitting (and is also half mental). There are exceptions, like the bottom of the seventh inning of this game. This was 100 percent bad pitching (and totally mental). Carlos Marmol has been awesome. So good, the Russians ought to give him the Croix de Candlestick of the Eastern Bloc: the Order of Lenin. Not because he's a communist, but because it's a cool-sounding award name. But Carlos was bad Thursday. Very, very bad. Marmol needs to be screamed at by Kobe Bryant and Col. Frank Slade, he was so bad. And Scott Eyre, Harry, Jimmy, Trent, wherever you are out there... hoo-ahh you, too!
Dodgers 7, Reds 4 — Reporters are troubled to find an exact date, but sometime during spring training the Reds were sold to the Dodgers for a carton of smokes. And, if you think you're going to find an Eric Stults "Oh, I loved you in 'Mask' " reference because the left-hander's name almost is Eric Stoltz, well, pal, quit reading my mail. Stults was pretty fly, even some kind of wonderful, in fact, in replacing Brad Penny and leading the Dogs to a sweep. That cannot mask the Reds own issues, which include going 6-for-57 (.105) with RISP on their 2-7 homestand, which has to be killing Zoey 101 star Jamie Lynn Spears, who is a big Jay Bruce fan. No she's not. That's pure pulp fiction. Aaron Harang, I don't know who you are anymore. Are you Rob Bell?
Yankees 2, Padres 1 — Joba, please stay just a little bit longer. Please, please, please, please, tell Girardi that you're going to. Hank Steinbrenner don't mind, and maybe Ron Guidry don't mind, if you go another frame, we need to win the game. Saaaaaaaay you will.
Twins 9, Nationals 3 — For all of you youngsters out there, the Twins franchise used to play in Washington as the Senators, but do not confuse them with the newer Washington Senators who followed the old Senators but then fled, too, to Texas where they became the Rangers, leaving Washington without a team until the Montreal Expos, who also played some home games in Puerto Rico, moved to D.C and became the Nationals. To paraphrase Dark Helmet and Lone Star from "Spaceballs," that makes the Twins and Nats "absolutely nothing."
Rangers 5, Braves 4 — Everybody, quiet! I baked a cake for the Braves to celebrate their 22nd straight one-run loss on the road — a major league record — and they're almost home. Shhh! I can hear someone's cleats a-click-clackin' up the walk. Sniff-sniff. Is that Bobby Cox wearing Paco Robanne? No, it's Chanel 22! Everybody, quiet! ... SURPRISE! Chipper: 0-4, down to .394? Noooo!
White Sox 13, Pirates 8 — The Pirates not only failed to keep a 6-0 lead, they failed to do so for even an inning! If your lousy fantasy team had both Gavin Floyd and Phil Dumatrait going today, there's some good news and some bad. The good news: Floyd allowed one earned run in 5 2/3. The bad news: You have Phil Gosh Darn Dumatrait in your rotation, so you deserve your ERA. All hope abandon ye Pirates who enter Chicago. The Buccos are 1-8 there, counting six games at Wrigley against the Cubs.
Royals 4, Cardinals 1 — Did it occur to any Royals fans in town for the game to bring a broom for a potential sweep? Greinke's back on track after some misadventures. Hmm. "The Misadventures of Zack Greinke." Definitely Disney Channel-worthy, eh, comrades?
D-backs 2, Athletics 1 — After Justin Upton's home run broke a 1-1 tie in the eighth, umpires denied an A's petition to invoke a little-known section of the league bylaws called the "aggregate clause" that would allow them to carry over some of the 15 runs they scored in the first game of the series.
Orioles 7, Astros 5 — The O's won for the 17th time after trailing, at some point, by two runs. Don't know what it means, but it sounds great. The 'Stros have dropped eight in a row. Might be time to fire Coop and bring back Phil Garner. It's worked before, sorta. Or at least get Coop to grow Garner's Mustache.
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Photo of the Day: Not ... Gonna ... Make ... It
"I can't believe Bush has never seen one of Ryan Braun's home runs.""
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Jermaine Dye (White Sox) 3-4, 2 HR, 6 RBI
Bush (Brewers) 8 IP, 2 H, ER, BB, 2 K, Win
Greinke (Royals) 7 IP, 2 H, ER, BB, 7 K, Win
Carl Crawford (Rays) 3-5, HR, 4 RBI
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Harang (Reds) 5 IP, 10 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, Loss
Shawn Hill (Nats) 3 2/3 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, Loss
Dumatrait (Pirates) 5 IP, 11 H, 9 ER, 2 K, Loss
Chipper (Braves) 0-4, .394 BA (first time under .400 since April 12)
A.J. Burnett (Blue Jays) 5 IP, 8 H, 8 ER, 4 BB, 5 K, Loss
Shawn Chacon (Astros) 5 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 4 BB, Loss
Marmol (Cubs) 0 IP, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 HBP!, Loss
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Words of Mouth
“He threw strikes when he didn’t have to and threw balls when he didn’t have to." — Nationals manager Manny Acta, on the performance of Shawn Hill.