This and every weekday morning, let's rise and shine together with the — boom! — strongest — boom! — longest — boom! — King Kongest — boom! — home run barrage in the majors. Today's Roll Call starts at U.S. Cellular Field on Chicago's South Side, where the White Sox made four long distance calls in a row, emptying the exploding scoreboard of fireworks and piling up some nasty incidental hotel charges that hopefully Ozzie's credit card will pick up.
(On a Stew-related note, 'Duk ducked out early for the weekend — family function up in CC Sabathia Land — so all of you have to make like you're at IHOP and ensure this super-sized Juice lasts for the entire day. Sip it, folks!)
Game of the Day: White Sox 9, Royals 2
That's deep: His team ahead 3-2 with two outs in the sixth, Jim Thome starts the conga line — and they say he's too old to boogie down — launching a three-run homer against Billy Joel Peralta. Fine, OK, whatever. Clouds make it rain, Jim Thome hits homers. Then the Sox's next DH, Paulie Walnuts Konkero, goes deep to left. Good to get him going, sure. Then Alexei Ramirez, all 60 kilograms of him, goes wall. "The third one is the one you start feeling it — three in a row," Peralta said.
New belly itcher! Robinson Tejeda (perhaps you say Tejada) tells Juan Uribe, "You can't hit my cheese" and then Uribe — who had gone 107 at-bats without a homer — makes Swiss Family Robinson out of Tejeda's cheese.
Spray it, say it: "We kind of exploded," Thome said. "It was kind of cool to sit back there and watch all that happen."
Faildog: Toby Hall can't set a record by hitting No. 5. He strikes out, making little children everywhere cry. "That was the first time that I tried doing it. I was all in," Hall said.
They say the neon lights are bright: Lance Broadway, who always wanted to be a dancer but instead is a top pitching prospect (which still could mean he's the new Scott Ruffcorn), picked up the victory.
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Feelin' Rundown (Thursday's other action):
D-backs 6, Rockies 2: The Rox, with a good homestand, would have made themselves part of the NL West race. Thankfully, they were horrible and spared their fans any more false hope that their amazing 2007 finish could be duplicated. Sorry to be Johnny Wetblanket, but sometimes a dose of reality is the best thing. Hey, it's time for the Broncos!
Reds 3, Pirates 1: Welcome The New Adam Dunn, Mr. Chris Dickerson. He's batting a Jay Bruce-like .444 so far. We expect big, bloated, unrealistic things, Chris. Speaking of which, hey, Johnny Cueto picked up a win. He's actually been pitching not horrendously. I still believe.
Cubs 11, Braves 7: Not since Sherman's March to the Sea was Atlanta ridden so hard and put away so wet. The Cubbies might be coming to your town next, so watch it! Cycle for Mark Kotsay. I'll take "Great Accomplishments That Only Mark Kotsay's Mother Cares About Because The Braves Are a Free-Fallin'" for $500, Alex.
Astros 7, Giants 4: Rowand has a lower back injury. If he's out for an extended period, or ineffective (i.e., unable to run face-first into a fence), the Giants should just call up all of Fresno and demote the big league roster to Triple-A. It seems like Berkman hits a home run (he's "only" got 25) and drives in three (he's "only" got 87 RBIs) every day. LaTroy pitching well for Houston away from the madness of New Jack City.
Going completely off tangent:The Giants signed their third-round pick, Roger Kieschnick, a cousin of Brooks. I really thought Brooks' conversion to pitcher/pinch-hitter was going to work. Actually, it did work. (I sounded like Rob Neyer just then.) In Brooks last season, '04 with the Brewers, he had a 3.77 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP with 28-13 K/BB ratio in 43 innings. Conversely, Brooks hit .270/.324/.365. In '03, he .300 with a .614 slugging (seven homers!) in 70 ABs. That's a pretty valuable 25th man. He was released in '05 spring training — don't know why — signed a minor-league deal with the Astros (who ne ver brought him up, didn't need to on the way to the World Series) and then he retired. Not sure what the whole story is. Anyway, Roger will be of interest, if for no other reason than he was photographed smiling like this for Texas Tech. He's an outfielder only, at least of this moment. His bio also reports that he likes playing Super Nintendo Chalmers.
Padres 3, Brewers 2: In an AP story, Jake Peavy says he "accidentally" tunes to a local radio show while driving home Wednesday night and hears criticism that he was avoiding tough pitching matchups. He was not opposing CC Sabathia, but instead Ben Sheets, therefore he ain't no ace.
"The people were saying ‘Why didn't he pitch against Sabathia?' " Peavy said. "Sheets is every bit of what Sabathia is. This guy started the All-Star game. A matchup like that is what a competitor loves to do.' "
I'm not sure what Peavy heard, or thought he heard, or who was saying it, or even the validity of such an argument. It is funny that Peavy claims he "accidentally" heard all of it before switching to Delilah on Lite FM. Usually, when that Kelly Clarkson comes on my radio, I can pretty much re-tune it to Def Leppard in .01 seconds. But Peavy accidentally tunes to sports talk radio when they happen to be discussing him, and does so just long enough to get riled up. These ballplayers, for the most part, claim to never see the papers (or the blogs) and radio/TV, just so they won't get riled up at any little thing they find. They're all liars, and I mean that in a playful way. They pay attention to us. To you, the people! OK, gotta go pour some sugar on myself.
Mets 9, Nationals 3: Jerry has the Mets in first place by themselves. Maybe it's because we're in the moment, but has a pennant race ever had two teams that were more frustrating and flawed than the Mets and Phillies? Before anyone says "Dodgers and D-backs," I disagree. They're just bad.
Dodgers 3, Phillies 1: Not a victory — too much to ask right now from the Phightins — but a fourth consecutive strong start by Brett Myers. Nomah apparently making great plays at shortstop, his old stomping grounds. Don't stomp too haahd, Nomah, you'll blow something out.
Rays 7, Athletics 6 (12 inn.): After 39 virginal innings to start his career, Brad Ziegler (0.22 ERA) is no longer impregnable. He can be impregnated. Not contra-conceptive. His valley is fertile. His uterus is open for business. He can go forth, be fruitful, and multiply. He's ready to be with child. Him practically a baby mama. ... The Rays made a big mistake, not adding another strong reliever (stronger than Chad Bradford) before the deadline. Percival was pitching on time he borrowed from, like, three different guys anyway. Now, he's hobbling around in a knee brace, on crutches. Even if Balfour does the job, who does Balfour's old job? Wheeler's? So on?
Red Sox 10, Rangers 0: Thirty-seven runs for the BoTox in a three-game sweep. Now all Jon Daniels has to do is find the Josh Hamilton and Milton Bradley of pitchers, plus six or seven of the Frank Catalanattoes of pitchers, and we're in business Deep in the Heart. I call him "Jon" Daniels, kid, because when you've known him as long as I have, you can call him "Jon."
Orioles 11, Indians 6: The lyrics of the Elton John song "Daniel" suggest that the title character is blind. I suggest that Daniel Cabrera also is blind. He leads the AL in walks (73), wild pitches (14) and hit batters (17). Cabrera hit Grady Sizemore and Jhonny Pheraltha on Thursday, killing both instantly sending Jhonny to the hhospital for X-rhays — which were nhegative — and also, hopefully, for a lollipop.
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Photo of the Day: First!
America's simpletons take their act from the Stew's blog comments to the Progressive Field wall.
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Armando Galarraga (Tigers) 8 IP, 6 H, ER, 2 BB, 6 K, Win
Dan Haren (D-backs) 8 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, Win
Cliff Floyd (Rays) 1-2, 4 R, 4 BB
Peavy (Pads) 7 IP, 4 H, ER, 3 BB, 8 K, Win
Dice-K (Red Sox) 7 IP, 6 H, 5 BB, 5 K, Win
Ryan Ludwick (Cards) 2-4, HR, 3 RBI
Wellemeyer (Cards) 7 2/3 IP, 3 H, 4 BB, 3 K, Win
Hiroki Kuroda (Dodgers) 7 IP, 2 H, ER, 7 K, Win
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Jason Frasor (Blue Jays) 1/3 IP, 2 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, Loss, Blown Save
Tommy Hunter (Rangers) 1 2/3, 7 H, 9 ER, BB, K, Loss (Bus Ticket?)
Tommy Glavine (Braves) 4 IP, 7 H, 7 ER, 4 BB, 3 K (Rocking Chair?)
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Words of Mouth
"I'd like to give you a medical opinion. But I have no idea. ... I don't even like to give [prognoses] any more, because my opinion is [that] I'll be back out there in two days. And most of the time, it doesn't work out that way." — Troy Percival