This and every weekday a.m., let's rise and shine together with the most recent and decent major league happenings. Today's AL roll call starts in Kansas City, the home of beef, where the Royals and their new scoreboard are making the Yanks think it's the 1980 ALCS with all the barbecuing going on. One more KC win and NY is going home with nuthin' but a plate of short end ribs.
Game of the Day
Officer Greinke: Two in a row for first-place KC over the Bronx. Sure, New York's offense couldn't move free hot dogs to starving street people right now, but Joe Girardi still is learning how to manage this team. He could take hints from Zack Greinke, all of 24 and not a manager. Yet, he might have out-managed Girardi, who used a bullpen-by-committee — instead of starting rookie Ian Kennedy — amid fears of rain delays that never came.
“I feel in pitching situations like that if you keep putting new guys out the next guy might have a problem with it. If you have someone who is consistent dealing with it, it’s probably easier than having five different guys trying to deal with bad situations," Greinke said.
Grip it: Despite occasional trouble with a wet ball, Greinke pitched 8 scoreless innings, allowing 6 hits and 2 walks with 2 strikeouts, and lowering his ERA to 0.60. Billy Traber and Brian Bruney combined for 4 shutout innings, but Kyle Farnsworth (2 ER) and an in-relief Kennedy (2 ER), were not as lucky.
Hindsight: Kennedy did what he was told, but did so with a frown. "Pitching in relief is just different,” Kennedy said. “I don’t like it. The weather looked good early. I played catch before the game, stretching, getting ready to start. I was told just before I took the mound in the bullpen I wasn’t starting. It’s hard going into the game in the middle. The batters are adjusted and you are not.”
Strangers: The Yanks think their offense — which put no one on third base and grounded into 3 double plays — will come around. “We believe in this offense. Eventually, they are going to hit. Our approach is not bad. We’re just not getting a lot of results right now.
Rundown feelin' (Wednesday's other games)
Tigers 7, Red Sox 2 — Had to end sometime, that Tigers winless streak. “It’s a little crazy to be too giddy if you’re 7-1 or 8-1 or too, too down if you’re 0-7,” manager Jim Leyland said. “Was I surprised? Yeah, absolutely. I can’t deny that. But it happened. There’s a lot of games left.”
Angels 9, Indians 5 — Halos hit 4 homers, including a granny by Mike "Naples, Fla." Napoli, a 3-run shot by Vladimir "The Soviet" Guerrero, plus a solo dinger by Garret "Where'd my other 'T' go?" Anderson and Casey "Reminds me of former Angels infielder Pete Coachman" Kotchman.
Photo of the Day: Vlad the Thinker
Vladimir Guerrero ponders one of baseball's true mysteries: How can he be such a deep and peaceful man while also being capable of such violence at the plate?
Edgar Renteria (Tigers) 3-4, 2 R, 2 RBI
Mark Ellis (Athletics) 4-5, R, RBI, 2 SB
Bobby Crosby (Athletics) 3-5, 3 RBI
David Ortiz (Red Sox), 0-4, K, .091 BA
Jim Thome (White Sox) 0-4, 2 K, 3 LOB
Travis Hafner (Indians) 0-4, 2 K, .235 BA
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"I love this place. I feel like I can pretty much go anywhere on this field.” — Twins hitter Jason Kubel, who drove in 6 runs Wednesday against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field, where he drove in 7 in a game a season ago.