This and every weekday a.m. (except for yesterday — sorry for the confusion), let's rise and shine together with the most recent and decent major league happenings. Today's Roll Call starts in the Motor City, where the Tigers took the rubber game against the Cardinals thanks to one of baseball's oldest axioms: four guys can't fit on three bases.
Game of the Day: Tigers 3, Cardinals 2 (10 inn.)
Too many balls: Wwwwalk... Wwwwalk... Wwwwalk... I can't say it, the phrase that some use when a game ends and the losing team supposedly wwwwalks off in shame. Can't do it. The Tigers won this game on a game-ending walk with the bases loaded by Clete Thomas and that's the end of it.
Prawn ... in game of life: Except it's not the end, because there are Intranets people out there who need the "walk" phrase to run their fine baseball blog. And, apparently, when a wwwwalk... game-ending walk happens, they unleash their pet shrimp (mmm, shrimp) and take it for a stroll on an underwater treadmill — all to the tune of Benny Hill. As Dave Barry says, I'm not making this up. These are the facts of the case, and they are not in dispute."
Oh, I've got a dispute: To review, the "w@lk-*ff" term should be humanely destroyed because it's misleading — sometimes you w@lk *ff the field, sometimes you run, sometimes you somersault, sometimes you hop like a bunny, sometimes you are airlifted, sometimes a bear gets you, sometimes you get the bear. Also, it refers to the losing team, and who gives a crap about them? Double also, ESPN popularized it — and studies show that 66 percent of what they do is evil.
Phat Albert: Pujols returned from a 13-day calf injury hiatus to go 4-for-4 with an intentional walk.
Good news, everyone!: Another baseball player named Clete is establishing himself at a time when America most needs it. Michael Clete Thomas is the first Baseball Clete since Cleatus Davidson back in '99 with the Twins. There also was Cletus Elwood "Boots" Poffenberger (mmm, Poffenberger) and the great (or very good) Clete Boyer of the Yankees.
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Feelin' Rundown (Thursday's other games):
Rays 6, Marlins 1 — Check the Chinese Calendar. It must be the Year of the Raisin — or possibly the Raysin. Big ups for Fresno, which grows the majority of the world's crop. First, Fresno St. wins the College World Series, then one of its sons, Tampa's Matt Garza, nearly pitches a no-hitter. His only smudge: a homer by HanRam.
Orioles 11, Cubs 4 — The Orioles become the first invading team to take a series at Wrigley in what seems like forever. For the Cubs, they do just a little exhaling between series against White Sox. Or is it something more sinister? The healthiest everyday outfielder is Jim Edmonds — who happens to be hitting .298 with a .607 slugging percentage since coming out of his coma with the Padz. And then, they throw Ted Lilly and Jason Marquis out there 40 percent of the time. Makes ya' queasy, fa' sheezy. Mark Shapiro, your cell phone is ringing.
Athletics 5, Phillies 0 — With Rich Harden's luck, he will pitch a no-hitter someday and immediately explode into a billion pieces in some freak cosmic accident. Interesting way to go, now that I think about it.
Indians 4, Giants 1 — Take that, Willie Mays! Cliff Lee makes sure the Indians show they can beat the Giants in Cleveland, settling one of the world's previously unanswered questions. The others would be: Is man alone in the universe? How did the dinosaurs die? Did Lee Harvey Oswald act alone? Should I stay or should I go? Is there another word for "thesaurus"? How old is Mary Hart?
Blue Jays 7, Reds 1 — Edinson Volquez has a bad game? It's kind of like the first time you saw Superman injured in a comic. You figured it was coming someday, and he'll go get 'em next time, but it still stuns. Former Rays bat boy Jesse Litsch now 8-4.
Astros 7, Rangers 2 — Ed Wade has gone one day without someone in the workplace slamming him down by the neck. An avid skydiver apparently, Wade's next soul-shattering thrill includes riding the Devastator, a roller coaster that dives under water for 2 whole minutes! ... Josh Hamilton is OK after being hit in the hand by Magic Wandy.
Twins 4, Padres 3 — The Twins have won nine straight and are 12-3 against the NL. Not to take too much away — probably about 60 percent — but they better (neck snap) have gone 12-3 against the clodhoppers they faced. They played the Padz, the Gnats and the D-backs — who've been stinky. Now come the Brewers, and hell's comin' to breakfast!
White Sox 2, Dodgers 0 — Not that MLB.com has video of it, but Alexei Ramirez made a stunning glove flip to start a double play that was as good of a glove flip as you'll ever see in your life. Not that you'll ever see it, because of the suppressing of the video. Is this because he's a Cuban expatriate? To hold you over, MLB.com does have some nice video of Jim Thome sitting out the Dodgers series which I won't link to, out of protest. See how it works, MLB.com?
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Photo of the Day: "Please Hunter, Dont Hurt 'Em"
Chacon is so lucky. If Abercrombie hadn't pulled him off me, I would have torn Shawn's ears off." *
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Garza (Rays) 9 IP, H, ER, BB, 10 K, Win
Curtis Granderson (Tigers) 4-5, 2 R
Albert (Cards) 4-4, RBI
Aubrey Huff (O's) 4-5, 3 R, 2 RBI
John Danks (White Sox) 6 IP, 4 H, 4 BB, 3 K, Win
Justin Morneau (Twins) 3-4, HR, 3 RBI
Harden (A's) 8 IP, 2 H, BB, 11 K, Win
Lee (Tribe) 8 IP, 4 H, ER, BB, 11 K, Win
Joe Borowski (Tribe) IP, Save
Scott Rolen (Jays) 2-4, HR, 3 RBI
Litsch (Jays) 8 IP, 3 H, ER, BB, 6 K, Win
Wandy Rodriguez (Astros) 8 IP, 5 H, ER, BB, 9 K, Win
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Marquis (Cubs) 4 IP, 7 H, 7 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, Loss
Jimmy Rollins (Phillies) 0-4, 3 K
Volquez (Reds) 4 1/3 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, Loss
Kevin Millwood (Rangers) 5 IP, 12 H, 7 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, Loss
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Words of Mouth
"I threw too many strikes in the bullpen. I don't like that. When I was in the minor leagues, every time I threw too many strikes in the bullpen, in the game it didn't work." — Volquez