April 14, 2008
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 at Shea, or was it Brooklyn, where an old dude is welcomed back and teaches the young punks from New York a little something called Brewerball.
Game of the Day
Sweat hog: In case anyone doesn't remember "Welcome Back, Kotter" it's the TV show that starred Gabe Kaplan and launched John Travolta to "Saturday Night Fever," "Grease" and, later, "Battlefield Earth." In case anyone doesn't remember Gabe Kapler, he's a former 57th-round pick of the Tigers who carved a 10-year major league career as a part-timer before, apparently, retiring in 2007 to become a manager in the Red Sox organization. Well, he said "up ya' nose with a rubbah hose" to that life.
Surreal and spectacular: Kapler on Sunday hit a home run (his fourth of the year) with two doubles to help power the Brewers to their 2nd win in 3 games at Shea. A career .272 hitter, Kapler is batting .423 with 11 RBIs and a .962 slugging percentage. He made the opening-day roster with Mike Cameron sitting out a suspension for testing positive for banned stimulants. “I wouldn’t try to label it — surreal, spectacular. I’m just playing baseball, enjoying being at the ballpark, enjoying being in the clubhouse, enjoying winning games, enjoying being with my teammates,” Kapler said.
He's not done, either: Eric Gagne had his second save in as many games after opening the season with 2 BS's in his first 3 appearances.
Not-so-Amazins': The Mets, minus Jose Reyes and his strained hammy for a 2nd straight game, had 14 hits and 8 walks, but also hit into 5 double plays. Oliver Perez was rocked. David Wright has 100 career home runs already. They ought to make a wax statue of that guy. (Oh.)
Rundown feelin' (Sunday's other games)
Cubs 6, Phillies 5 (10 inn.) — Call Carlos Zambrano "the Disruptor." As a pinch-hitter, he hustled to first on Chase Utley's game-deciding throwing error, Philly's 15th of the season. Utley just missed tying the score in the bottom of the 10th, so expect him to be disciplined by the court underneath the site of the Vet (oh, don't let them tell you it's gone).
Padres 1, Dodgers 0 — Greg Maddux tops Chad Billingsley for career win No. 349, but it's a little deceiving because both guys only went 5 innings. Trevor Hoffman picked up the save; his ERA is now below 10.00.
Nationals 5, Braves 4 — Tom Glavine sprains his left ankle and matches the shortest start of his 22-season career — no outs. “I don’t recall Tommy coming out of a game for anything,” manager Bobby Cox said, sounding a little like Ronald Reagan during Iran-Contra.
Rockies 13, D-backs 5 — Clint Barmes (what is this, 2005?) leads 3-homer, 15-hit barrage. Rox bust Snakes' 8-game winning streak and 5-game winning streak against Colorado — which had been outscored, 38-10, by 'Zona coming in.
Astros 5, Marlins 1 — Wandy Rodriguez does not exist away from the Juice Box. Blake Bad Hop started for Florida. Oh, that's Badenhop. How much of a baseball name is that? Might as well call him Blake Sacrificebunt.
Photo of the Day: He looks a little like Shawn Green when he makes his "Sliding Face"
The Dodgers' Blake DeWitt can't locate the missing contact lens of Padres infielder Adrian Gonzalez (legs) in the ninth inning of San Diego's 1-0 win.
Clint Barmes (Rockies) 3-6, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI
Matt Holliday (Rockies) 3-5, HR , 2 R, 3 RBI, SB
Garrett Atkins (Rockies) 3-6, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI
Corey Hart (Brewers) 4-5, R, RBI
Brian Schneider (Mets) 3-5, 3 RBI
Jayson Werth (Phillies) 2-4, HR, 2 RBI, 2 SB
Jason Bay (Pirates) 2-4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI
Jeff Suppan (Brewers) 4 IP, 9 H 6 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
Joel Pineiro (Cardinals) 3 2/3 IP, 10 H, 6 ER
Russell Martin (Dodgers) 0-4, .146 BA
“I’m not so sure when he wakes up in the morning if it’s not all been a dream. He’s just done so well. It’s been unbelievable what he’s been able to do.” — Brewers manager Ned Yost on Kapler.