Big League Stew - MLB

Gather 'round, because it's time to recap the most recent diamond doings. Roll Call starts at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, where major league home run leader Jose Bautista(notes) doesn't like baseballs much — so he takes his bat and hits them a long way to punish them.

Game of the Day: Blue Jays 3, Yankees 2

Great view from here: It was about time Jose Bautista stopped to admire some of his own work. Even before he hit home runs Nos. 39 and 40 on Monday night, Bautista was putting together one of the better seasons in Toronto Blue Jays history. After hitting his second blast of the game to put the Jays ahead of the New York Yankees in the eighth inning, Bautista took nearly 30 seconds to round the bases — partly because he stopped to burn a hole into right-hander David Robertson(notes) with his eyes.

Watch Bautista, watch it go

"Given what transpired earlier," Bautista said, "I enjoyed it pretty good."

Here sure did. In an earlier at-bat, Bautista hit the deck after facing a high, hard one from Yankees rookie Ivan Nova(notes). It led to an umpire's warning and the benches clearing.

Bring that stuff to me, man! Bautista, who already had hit a two-run J-Baumb in the third, pulled a long foul ball into the upper deck on Nova's first pitch of the sixth. Nova's second pitch was high and a little inside — but close enough to Bautista handsome face that it caused a negative reaction. Ump Jerry Meals warned Nova and Bautista walked toward him with a full-on glare.

"Instinctively, I was kind of upset," Bautista said. "I was just trying to see what kind of reaction I was going to get from him. I was surprised to see he was pretty defiant. He was walking up towards me and flashing his hands up and started yelling. That's when I felt that the pitch was intentional."

Nova said it wasn't on purpose, and Yankees manager Joe Girardi added, "I don't think our guy is trying to hit him, but we're not going to let him be comfortable."

It's way too late for that; Bautista might hit 50. He had 10 this past September.

Makes ya' go "hmm": Bautista's power surge — his career high coming into this season was 16 homers — has led some to wonder if he's, well, on something. A Toronto columnist came out and asked the question Monday (but not actually to Bautista himself) in a blog post.

Via the National Post:

"Well, ask it," Bautista said. "Don't [only] write about it.

"I don't really know why he wrote what he wrote, but I'm sure he had a reason. He didn't feel like he needed to talk to me. That's fine with me. I don't know what was said. But it doesn't bother me. It doesn't change anything about me or who I am or what I've accomplished."

One of us now: This is a big moment for Bautista. Jays fans haven't been sure how to react to his success. But what happened Monday night — defying the Yankees, and a PED insinuation — will endear him to Toronto.

Almost forgot: Brandon Morrow(notes), he of the near no-hitter against the Rays, had 12 strikeouts over six innings.

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They Also Played...

Rangers 4, Twins 0: The biggest mistake Ron Washington made was not having Nolan Ryan finish the no-hitter. I mean, the guy's sitting right there. 

Astros 3, Phillies 2: A disputed call involving Michael Bourn(notes) running beyond (or not) the baseline keyed the Astros' comeback in the eighth. Hopefully, the umpires will explain the call after the game, right?

"Per MLB, we're not allowed to talk," crew chief Sam Holbrook told a pool reporter.

That's right, Sam. We NEVER hear from umpires after games about disputed calls. What were we thinking?!

Tigers 12, Royals 3: How could Johnny Damon(notes) even think of leaving all this?!

Red Sox 6, Mariners 3: The pennant race is calling you, Johnny Damon, you hairy caveman Idiot.

Rockies 5, Braves 4: Todd Helton's(notes) not supposed to be able to go 4-for-4 anymore, it was believed. But then he fried up some baloney, went to work and got a tie-breaking single off Las Vegas Jonny Venters(notes) in the eighth.

"I don't know if it's satisfaction or surprise," Helton said of his first four-hit night since July 16, 2009, against San Diego.

Cubs 9, Nationals 1: Washington manager Jim Riggleman noted the Nats "allowed the game situation to have an aura hanging over us." He should know, also having managed in Chicago, that the "aura" is just the funk accompanying the Cubs wherever they go.

Cardinals 10, Pirates 2: Sean Gallagher(notes), Albert Pujols(notes). Albert, Sean.

Rays 4: Angels 3: Were the Rays experiencing psychic reactions as the Rangers were no-hitting the Twins? Read the book!

Giants 11, Reds 2: It's up to the outfielders if the Giants want to make the playoffs. Because that's all they got: Outfielders.

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