1. Join the Club: The day after A-Rod’s 500th homer and Barry Bonds’ 755th, Tom Glavine reached yet another milestone. Glavine became the 23rd pitcher to reach the 300 win club, and only the 5th lefty. He joins Roger Clemens and Greg Maddux as the only players this decade to reach the mark. Glavine won his 300th like he won his first 299–by mixing pitches, being efficient, and using off-speed pitches effectively. Glavine has won ten or more games 18 of the last 19 seasons. He has 58 wins in five seasons with the Mets, with all his other wins coming in 16 years in Atlanta. The Hall of Fame lock went 6 and 1/3 innings against the Cubs, with two runs allowed and only one strikeout in an 8-3 win. Glavine even drove in a run for New York, which has the best record in the National League at 63-48. Contrary to widespread belief, Glavine will not be the last pitcher to reach 300 wins. However, it will likely be 10-15 years before another pitcher gets to 300.
2. The New Western Power: For most of this season, the Dodgers and Padres have dominated the NL West. But now, the balance of power in the division has changed tremendously with the Diamondbacks’ claiming of first place. They took the lead last week, then reinforced their position by taking 5 of 6 games from San Diego and Los Angeles in back-to-back series. The Dodgers were the victims over the weekend, with a sweep at the hands of Arizona. On Sunday Brandon Webb outdeuled Brad Penny in a 3-0 win for the D-backs. Webb tossed a complete-game shutout, giving him 23 straight scoreless innings. The defending Cy Young winner has suddenly become a candidate for the award this season as well, especially is he keeps up his post-All Star break pace. Penny lost his second start in a row after a 13-1 start. He allowed three runs in seven innings, and still has an excellent 2.66 ERA. The Dodgers, once the standard in the division, are now four games back. San Diego swept the Giants over the weekend and is just a half-game back.
3. Detroit’s Downfall: Not so long ago, the Tigers had the best record in the majors. But after a 2-11 stretch, they no longer even lead their division. The slump is mainly due to offense–they’ve averaged only 3.6 runs per game their last ten. The Yankees have passed them as the major league run leaders, and other teams aren’t far behind what was once the league’s dominant lineup. They were swept by the lowly White Sox this weekend, though thanks to poor play by the Indians, the Tigers are just a half-game back in their division. The Twins, at 4.5 games back, have played better than any team in the division recently.
Player of the Day: Scott Baker, Twins: 8 innings, 0 runs, 4 hits, 4 K’s in a 1-0 win over Cleveland.