Big League Stew - MLB

Gather 'round, because it's time to recap the most recent diamond doings. Roll Call starts in Hollywood, Calif. (hello!) where the Los Angels Dodgers went to their closer, Jonathan Broxton(notes). And when that didn't work out, they went to their other closer, Andre Ethier(notes).

Game of the Day: Dodgers 7, Brewers 3

The Milwaukee Brewers were as good as doomed as soon as Ethier stepped into the batter's box.

After Broxton blew a save and the Brewers tied the score in the top of the ninth, the Dodgers loaded the bases with one out against right-hander LaTroy Hawkins(notes). With everyone playing in and nowhere to put Andre the Large, Hawkins gave him a pitch to hit.

There she goes.

Ethier hit it square, just clearing the fence in center for a game-ending grand salami (sending Tommy LaSorda into a double ecstasy coma). Further, it was Ethier's 11th game-ending hit since 2008, the most in the majors in that time.

How does he do it, seemingly, every time? Ethier started to get philosophical before pulling back a bit.

"It was important to bounce right back and not dwell on it and say 'Oh, why us?' in that situation," Ethier said.

"I don't know what it is, but for some reason, I just keep getting up in that situation with an opportunity to do it. I can't figure it out. It definitely makes things a lot easier when there's a guy standing at third and one out."

It would have been less drama for Broxton to close out the Crew in the ninth, but he failed to collect what would have been just his second save. He also blew a decision for John Ely(notes) in his second career start. Hey, at least the Broxtosaurus still has a phat 16-to-1 K/BB ratio, If you're into that. (And I am.)

* * *

They Also Played

Phillies 7, Cardinals 2: There is something serendipitous about the passing of Robin Roberts coming the same day as a Roy Halladay(notes) start.  

Rangers 13, Royals 12: Good, old-fashioned American League slugfest, just as God intended. The Rangers even blew an eight-run lead, just like in the times when they didn't have a pitching staff (approx. 1994-2008). Vladimir Guerrero(notes) went deep twice and Justin Smoak(notes) hit No. 3, for those with certain interests. 

Nationals 3, Braves 2: Willie Harris(notes) spoke of being motivated by the Braves not offering him a contract after 2007. He got some mini revenge with a pinch-hit, game-ending RBI single. Well, just wait until Scott Olsen(notes) processes what the Braves said about him taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning. Total haters. Someday, he too will get a chance for revenge.

Rays 8, Mariners 0: (Checking watch for playoff start time for MLB.) Here's a tidbit via Lonestar Ball: "Since 1961, no team has had a better run differential after 28 games than the 2010 Tampa Rays (+83). The '84 Tigers also were at +83." Evan Longoria(notes) = Barbaro Garbey.

Giants 6, Marlins 3: If this were the 1980s, the Giants and Sports Illustrated would produce a poster of Matt Cain(notes) that was a shot of him looking huge along with the graphic "Cain ... and able." I'd buy it.

Blue Jays 2, White Sox 0: Make that Fred Lewis(notes) 2 RBIs, White Sox 0.

Pirates 11, Cubs 1: This will put a dent into that run differential. Was someone saying to suspend the Pirates for the season? The Cubs, they meant the Cubs.

D-backs 6, Astros 3: CG for Dan Haren(notes) and homer No. 10 for Kelly Johnson(notes). Should we stop asking why?

Red Sox 11, Angels 6: A four-game sweep of the Angels, as they are presently constituted, proves not much.

Orioles 2, Twins 0: Brad Bergesen(notes), after a messed-up commercial shoot led to a slow start, has picked it up. Both times the Twinkies got shut out this season, just GUESS who their starting pitcher was. Yep. Carl Pavano(notes), the luckiest man on the face of the Earth.

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