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 in the City of Brotherly Love, where Rocky loved Adrian, they don't like Santa Claus, Allen Iverson said we're talkin' 'bout practice and the Phillies' Phanatics might be asking about their new hero, "What's Brett Fahv-ruh doing here?"
Game of the Day: Phillies 4, Astros 3
Is that "booooo!" or "Cooooop!"?: Cecil Cooper might have opened up himself to second-guessing after pulling Shawn Chacon with a 3-0 lead heading to the 9th. Hmm, what do they have to say from the Crawfish Boxes? (The "fire him now...trade him now...whatever...I don't care" part really captures the spirit of a loss such as this one.)
Cheeseheads: Geoff Jenkins, it has been noted before, looks more like Brett Favre than Brett Favre does. This was especially vexing when both played in Wisconsin. But now that Brett Favre's retired (or is punking us all) and Jenkins is in Philly, well, it's no less vexing. Actually, Jenkins on Tuesday looked more like Steve Young famously running through the Vikings as he hustled to first on a passed ball and later charged home, on Pedro Feliz's double, after coach Steve Smith gave him the stop sign 'round third base. Yeah, screw the coach! It's kind of Jenkins' own "Aaron Rowand crashing his face into the fence" moment that now makes him an official Phillie.
And a Feliz Navidad to you: It was Valverde's second blown save. His ERA sounds like an airplane one might board for Triple-A: 11.37.
Strong, like Bull: Which nickname is better? Pat "the Bat" Burrell or Greg "the Bull" Luzinski? Well, they're equal with career home runs (224) for the Phillies. Burrell's hitting .349 and leading the NL in deeps so far.
Feelin' Rundown (Tuesday's other games)
Dodgers 11, Pirates 2 — In case you didn't get to the bottom of the AP story, here's the last graf plus the first note: "The Dodgers and Pirates were among nine big league teams that dressed all uniformed personnel in No. 42 jerseys to commemorate the 61st anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s first game in the majors. Robinson’s longtime Brooklyn Dodgers teammate, Don Newcombe, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. He was accompanied by Kathy Robinson Young, Jackie’s niece ... Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully recalled a game in 1951 at Cincinnati’s Crosley Field, where Robinson received pregame death threats. Teammate Gene Hermanski suggested during a pregame clubhouse meeting that all the players wear No. 42, thinking it would confuse any potential assassin."
Diamondbacks 8, Giants 2 — If you play APBA, Micah Owings would seem a cool guy to get. Not only can he hit for a pitcher, but his pitching appears to be seriously improved: 3-0, 2.29 ERA, 19 Ks, 5 BB in 19 2/3 IP so far. That projects to like an "18 x z" or something. He's only hitting .222 so far; he'll have to get that average up. ... Giants rookie freakazoid John Bowker can move on; he's already mastered the big leagues. Over 162 games, he projects to go 324/540 with 108 HR and 378 RBIs. Is he using Mark Sweeney's old locker, wink-wink, nudge-nudge? Anyway, he's OK for a guy not on Baseball Prospectus' top 100 prospect list.
Mets 6, Nationals 0 — What happens when David Wright has a career year? Some kind of Mike Schmidt-meets-George Brett monstrosity, that's what. He's like Rob Schneider against those jerk kids in "Benchwarmers," this guy.
Marlins 4, Braves 0 — Sniff, sniff. I think the Braves are gone and they're never coming back. Oh, for the catching platoon of Greg Olson and Damon Berryhill, the "No, you're not good enough for our rotation, Pete Smith," the middle relief of Greg McMichael, and the occasional rotisserie confusion of Brian R. Hunter and Brian L. Hunter (Astros).
Cubs 9, Reds 5 — Soriano's hurt again and the Cubs will miss him, but they also should appreciate having Mark DeRosa to fill in. Not sure they do. Derrek Lee seems to be in his 2005 form. Dusty and Corey Patterson return to Wrigley. Both are booed, Baker loses and Patterson goes 0-for-4 with a strikeout, to pretty much pick up where they left off.
Cardinals 6, Brewers 1 — Both pitchers batted 8th in the starting lineup. Worth noting, right? Tony La Russa's take: “The game wasn’t won because the pitcher hit eighth." OK, jeez, does someone pee in his Cheerios every morning? The Brewers apparently batted the pitcher 8th, 7th, 6th, 5th, etc. No Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder walked 4 times. Rather go on a Miller brewery tour than watch the Brewers when they're like that.
Padres 6, Rockies 0 — Umpire Jim Wolf's brother takes no-hitter bid into 7th to help the Pads avenge the wild-card playoff loss. Rockies can't hit.
Photo of the Day: Not that there's anything wrong with this.
"Hey, LoDuca, been named in any reports lately?" — "Hey, Wright, pimped yourself on TV lately?
"He ain't a name in the Mitchell Report, he's my brother."
Conor Jackson (D-backs) 2-4, HR, 3 RB
Jose Reyes (Mets) 4-5, R
David Wright (Mets) 3-4, HR, 2 R, 5 RBI
Chipper Jones (Braves) 2-4, .415 BA
Scott Olsen (Marlins) 7 IP, 5 H, 3 K, Win
Nate McLouth (Pirates) 2-4, .391 BA, 14-game hitting streak
Jeff Kent (Dodgers) 2-4, HR, 3 RBI
Derrek Lee (Cubs) 3-5, HR, 3 R, 3 RBI
Mark DeRosa (Cubs) 2-4, HR, 3 RBI
Randy Wolf (Padres) 7 IP, 1 H, 4 BB, 9 K, Win
Shawn Chacon (Astros) 8 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 5 K, ND
Mark Teixeira (Braves) 0-4, .196 BA
Prince Fielder (Brewers) 0-0, 4 BB
Troy Tulowitzki (Rockies) 0-3, BB, .149 BA
Ryan Howard (Phillies) 0-3, BB, ,180
Jose Valverde (Astros) 1/3 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 2 K, 2 HR, Loss
“I felt like I could score. The crowd was going berserk and once I got home, it was a tremendous feeling when you’re safe.” — Philadelphia's Geoff Jenkins on scoring the winning run from first base, after blowing past a stop sign, on Pedro Feliz's double.