The top two teams in the NL West played each other today in Arizona. No, they really did! But neither the Padres or Diamondbacks televised the game. So I've had to rely on what people wrote about the game.
The game drew just a little over 30,000 (30,531 exactly) people to Chase Field to see the Padres hit five home runs, four of them off of Micah Owins, two of them by Brian Giles, as San Diego easily won, 10-2. Greg Maddux extended his walkless innings streak to 49 1/3.
Tall Chris Young faces Doug Davis tomorrow. And the dulcet tones of Matt Vasgersian and Daron Sutton should be available to entertain and enlighten fans throughout San Diego and Greater Phoenix. Arizona is 26-29 against NL West clubs. San Diego is 33-22 in intradivisional games.
When the Padres and DBacks played last week in San Diego for four games the largest was just 29,021. So if there's a pennant race going on in the NL West please alert the people of San Diego and Phoenix.
NL Central (Ted Savage Division):
The top three teams in the division lost and all of the games were pretty ugly.
All three teams will try it again tomorrow with the Cubs leading the Brewers by 1 1/2 and the Cardinals by 2 games.
NL East (Rico Brogna Division):
Four days after being swept in a four-game series by the Phillies, the first place Mets have won four straight and got Pedro Martinez back. After a shaky first inning, Martinez settled down and the Mets beat the Reds and Aaron Harang 10-4.
The Phillies could not generate any attack against Lance Cormier of the Braves, who came into the game with an ERA over 7.50 and lost 5-1.
But in the biggest game in the division, the Nationals moved out of last place with a dominating 6-3 win over the Marlins at RFK. The attendance was reported at 27,952, not all that far off from the total in Phoenix.
NL Wild Card (No Name Division):
The wild card race tightened up. The DBacks lead the Phillies and Dodgers by 3 games and the Rockies by 4.
The Phillies will send Kyle Lohse out to pitch against Tim Hudson. The Dodgers will start Brad Penny against Steve Trachsel (pull up a chair and make yourself comfortable for that one), and the Rockies will start rookie Franklin Morales against rookie Tim Lincecum of the Giants. Aaron Cook was ruled out for the year.
AL East (Pee-Wee Wanninger Division):
The Red Sox almost blew a 10-1 lead at home against Toronto, but held on for a 13-10 win. Daisuke Matsuzaka got the win despite giving up 10 hits and 7 runs. He was the fourth pitcher to win a game this year despite surrendering 7 runs. The Red Sox magic number dropped to 18.
The Yankees lost a game to the Red Sox in the division and likely lost Roger Clemens for one start with an elbow problem as Seattle ended a nine-game losing streak with a 7-1 win at Yankee Stadium.
But the big game in the division was at Tropicana Field where the Devil Rays continued their winning ways (9 out of 11) with a 9-7 win over the rapidly fading Orioles, losers of 11 of their last 12. Carlos Pena set a franchise record for home runs when he hit his 35th in the seventh inning, a shot that bounced off a catwalk and actually never cleared the rightfield fence.
AL Central (Vito Valentinetti Division):
Cleveland wasn't bothered by a loss Sunday and beat Minnesota today 5-0. What stood out most about this win was that the losing pitcher was Johan Santana. The Indians have beaten Santana five times this year. No Twins pitcher has lost five games to one team in a season since Joe Decker did so against Oakland in 1974.
The Royals won. The Tigers and White Sox negotiated a day off under their union contract and spent the day marching in parades with members of the Teamsters. The White Sox will be in Detroit Tuesday night. The Tigers are six games back and the Indians can start working on their magic number, which has reached 20.