Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Juice: Brett Lawrie jumps off top rope, elbows Red Sox in 11

Nine innings and nine items (although sometimes it's more!) to get you going. Ladies and gentleman of the Stew, take a sip of morning Juice.

1. Kid can play, eh?: What a great Labour Day for the Toronto Blue Jays. They got manager John Farrell back after he was out 10 games because of pneumonia and they beat the Boston Red Sox 1-0 in 11 innings on another home run by British Columbia's Brett Lawrie.

Watch Lawrie break some hearts in Boston

He circled the bases with his tongue out, like a puppy who couldn't wait to get pet at home plate. Then he did a big Kendrys Morales jump off the top turnbuckle ? but survived the leap of faith after touching down.

Lawrie's first month in the majors was hysterical: Eight homers, 19 extra-base hits, .318/.381/.682./even five stolen bases. It's as if he's great at hitting.

2. Ankle charmer: The Red Sox have "concern" about the right ankle of pitcher Josh Beckett, which buckled in the fourth inning. There might be ligament damage. That wouldn't be something Uncle Stan's Rodeo Cream could cure. Beckett's like, meh.

"I could wake up tomorrow and feel like playing basketball," Beckett told reporters. "We'll just see."

Is that a Zack Greinke joke? Because it's pretty damn funny if it is.

3. Zach's on: Speaking of Zach pitchers, what an awesome performance by Zach Stewart of the White Sox, who missed a perfect game by precisely one Danny Valencia dinky single in the eighth inning. In all, that was the only baserunner he allowed in a 4-0 victory at Minnesota that helped the Sox sweep a doubleheader. It's true, the Twins played a lineup that might have been better suited for a game in Rochester, N.Y., where they have their Class AAA team.

Also awesome: Zach Stewart's hair. My god! It's full of curls!

4. Jesus, this guy's pretty good: Hey, everybody. The New York Yankees appear to have another great-looking young player. Isn't that neat? Rookie catcher Jesus Montero, whose stance is like Hunter Pence and whose uniform number ? 63 ? is terrible and must be all the Yankees have available, hit two home runs in an 11-10 victory against Baltimore. Two curtain calls at the Stadium, because they're so starved for something to cheer for in New York. I'm not being sarcastic in the least.

5. He can last all night: And that makes 11 complete games for James Shields, who pitched a four-hitter to help beat the Texas Rangers 5-1. Rays manager Joe Maddon actually kept� Shields out there from his previous start. Why bother taking him out? Shields is the first pitcher to have double-digit complete games and 200-plus strikeouts in the same season since Randy Johnson in 1993. Ninety-three!

6. Anaheim l'chaim! Dan Haren, Mark Trumbo and Vernon Wells all made contributions to a 7-3 victory for the Angels against the Mariners. Read about them here. The Angels are 2 1/2 out in the AL West. But do they really mean it?

7. Whatcha doin' on your back? You should be dancin'!: I don't know what Ryan Howard is doing down there, but Phillies fans seem to like it. They also like Cliff Lee, who was a red panda ninja again in a 9-0 thumping of the Braves. He's got six shutouts after tossing a five-hitter on 100 pitches.

8. Brew coup: There will be no annoying sweep for the Cardinals against the Brewers this time. Milwaukee won 4-1 at St. Louis to get 10 1/2 games ahead in the NL Central. Tony La Russa emptied the tank at Miller Park this past week; Cards got nothin' left. Have you noticed how the pennant races mostly stink?

9. Speaking of races that are over: Geoff Blum came off the bench and out of nowhere to hit a home run in Arizona's 10-7 victory against Colorado. Watch out for this guy in the playoffs. He helped the White Sox win a World Series this one time.

10. Everyone's getting Fister'd: Has Doug Fister been the best midseason acquisition? He's got a 2.64 ERA with the Tigers in seven starts, and a 36-3 strikeout/walk ratio since coming over from Seattle. Detroit beat the Indians 4-2 as the AL Central gap only widens.

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Larry Fitzgerald London Fletcher Long snapper Matt Cassel

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