Big League Stew - MLB

This and every weekday morning let's rise and shine together with the latest happenings in the major league world of baseball. Today's Roll Call starts in Kanye's Chi City, where Nick Swisher snatched victory from the proverbial jaws of defeat in the 14th inning, reinstalling the Pale Hose atop the AL Central standings.

As they did on Monday and Tuesday ( and will through Thursday), substitute squeezers Rob Iracane and Camp Tiger Claw of Walkoff Walk fame have the call.  

Game Of The Day: White Sox 10, Tigers 8 (14 inn.)

Guitar Zero: Knotted at six after the nine regulation innings, Detroit and Chicago threw up zeroes for the 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th. After being handed a tidy two-run lead when Placido Polanco's ding-dong drove in Edgar Renteria, reliever Joel Zumaya simply crumbled in the bottom of the 14th. Kids, those video games will kill ya'.

Edgar's Extending Error: Still, Zumaya gave up just one earned run; it was shortstop Renteria's misplay of a Jermaine Dye grounder that allowed Orlando Cabrera to score. Earlier, former Yankee Kyle Farnsworth blew the game for the Tigers in the eighth when he gave up a solo shot to Alexei Ramirez.

I'm Not Even Supposed to Be Here Today: Renteria's error (and to a lesser extent, Jim Thome's strikeout) set up Nick Swisher to come on in and hit the game-winning three run moon shot. Swisher came into the game as a defensive replacement in the 11th. The slumping slugger has been splitting time with fellow slumping slugger Paul Konerko (who also homered in this game) since Ken Griffey Jr. ambled into town to play center field. Said Swisher, "I didn't even really anticipate playing." Hope he still brought his cup to the ballpark!

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Feelin' Rundown (Tuesday's other games):

Cubs 11, Astros 7: High drama in Wrigleyville. The Cubs brought a 6-1 lead into the fifth inning but the Astros finally got to Rich Harden and subsequently Bob Howry, scoring 2 runs in each the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. Trailing by one going into the bottom of the seventh, the Cubs scored 5 times including a 3-run tie breaking funny bone off the bat of Alfonso Soriano. Kerry Wood pitched the 8th after missing THREE WEEKS with a blister. Shoulda put some Neosporin on it, duder. 2007 NL Rookie Of The Year, 3rd-Place Finisher, Hunter Pence was a non-factor.

Blue Jays 4, A's 3: You think the A's are ever gonna win again? As bad as they've been as a team, it's been a reeeaally bad second half for Huston Street. Last week he lost the confidence of his manager. Tonight, he attempted to get it back trying to close out a 3-2 A's lead, but was terribly unsuccessful. Rod Barajas had the tying double, Kevin Mench had the walkoff single, and Street was left standing in the rubble of his sixth blown save.

Marlins 8, Phillies 2: Getting a healthy Josh Johnson back may have been the best deadline move the Fish could have made. Kid went 6 scoreless against one of the bashingest lineups in baseball. Jeremy Hermida knocked in 4 and Florida has moved to within 1.5 games of these Phils. Tomorrow night Anibal Sanchez makes his second start of 2008, and it will be one to watch.

Rays 8, Indians 4: Evan Longoria, Dioner Navarro and Cliff Floyd all homered in a 4-run seventh inning. Evan! (Is that how you do it?) Fausto Carmona is not pitching so hot.

Braves 11, Giants 4: Well, it took three years and an abnormal 11-run outburst from the Atlanta offense, but Mike Hampton got himself a win! To put this into perspective: the last time Hampton won, there was no Deadspin.

Mets 6, Padres 5: What's gotten into Fernando Tatis? No I mean it, how the hell is he resurrecting his career? Dude had 2 homers and 4 ribbies. The Billy Wagner-less bullpen nearly blew the whole dadgum thing before closing things out. METS FANS, HOW DO YOU LIVE LIKE THIS?

Brewers 8, Reds 1: Prince Fielder made amends for Monday's ugly bout of tofu rage by hitting a 2-run blast to help the Brew Crew blowout the Reds. Dave Bush went 7 strong. All well and good, but they still need a significant run to fix this ugly mug.

Red Sox 8, Royals 2: There's no finer cure for a struggling pitcher than facing Kansas City. Josh Beckett had his best start in a month and Jason Bay had 4 hits. One of them was unlike anything I've ever seen. CF Mitch Maier jumped in left center to catch Bay's drive, the ball glanced off his glove and rolled along the top of the wall for about 5 feet until LF Ross Gload jumped up and knocked it back into play. Crazy stuff. Here's the footage.

Rangers 8, Yankees 6: Another team, another bullpen making people sweat. Texas had an 8-2 lead going into the eighth and Ron Washington felt comfortable enough to bring in C.J. Wilson to "work out some mechanical problems." Uh... oops. He gave up a grand slam to Richie Sexson. Jamey Wright then took the ball and said, and I quote*, "Give me the ball you no talent hack," and he and Eddie Guardado finished the game without further incident. The Yankees are now 6 games out.

*not an actual quote

Cardinals 6, Dodgers 4 (11): Ryan Ludwick's walkoff came off reliever Jason Johnson, who must have been seriously confused since he's a starting pitcher. Why must Joe Torre mess with people's emotions so? James Loney, who got one vote for the 2007 NL Rookie of the Year award, went 1-for-5.

Rockies 8, Nationals 2: Staked to a 2-0 lead after six-and-a-half innings, Washington starter John Lannan was feeling like the prettiest girl at the cotillion. But pinch hitter Ian Stewart's two-run homer tore Lannan's dress and the Nats bullpen's six runs allowed poured punch all over Lannan's up-do.

Diamondbacks 3, Pirates 1: It's sweet win No. 16 for Brandon Webb who shut down the Bucs in under two hours. The game was 35 minutes shorter than the time it will take you to read this entire Morning Juice column and then think up a witty retort to post in the comments.

Orioles 3, Angels 0: Remember this name: Chris Waters. Kid threw eight innings of one-hit ball against the division-leading Angels in his ML debut. Okay, now immediately forget his name. He's an Oriole.

Mariners 8, Twins 7: Raul Ibanez followed up his Monday night six RBI game with a Tuesday night five RBI game. One less RBI? What's eating Raul Ibanez these days?

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Photo of the Day: The Big Reveal

Local yokels stare at a pretty picture, entire stadium thrilled.

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Fantasy Freaks

Raul Ibanez (Mariners) 3-for-5, 2 R, 1 HR, 5 RBI

Placido Polanco (Tigers) 3-for-6, 3 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI

Fernando Tatis (Mets) 2-for-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI

Brandon Webb (Diamondbacks) 9 IP, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K

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Fantasy Flakes

C.J. Wilson (Rangers) 0.1 IP, 4 ER

Jason Isringhausen (Cardinals) 0.1 IP, 3 ER

Aaron Heilman (Mets) 0.1 IP, 3 ER

Miguel Cabrera (Tigers) 0-for-6, 2 K

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Words of Mouth

"There's always been some doubt with all the things I've been through, all the health issues. I just kept pushing to get to this point I'm at today. One thing I've learned through this whole process is don't take anything for granted, cherish every single one of them." — Mike Hampton on coming back from the dead and eating the Giants' brains.

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