1. Time for extras: It was the longest game of the season when the Mets and the Phillies faced off at Shea Stadium. The game went to extras and then just kept going as it lasted 5:22. While the contest had been high-scoring in regulation as it was tied 8-8, no one could score in extras until the 16th inning. That was when Carlos Beltran hit a solo homer to finally win this game for the Mets. David Wright, Jose Reyes, and Cliff Floyd went yard earlier in the game for New York, who improved to 27-17 on the season. The Phillies, in a hugely disappointing loss, fell to four games back of the Mets. This was the longest major league game since the Houston-Atlanta 18 inning showdown in last year’s playoffs.
2. The Empire Strikes Back: Coming into Tuesday’s game at Fenway, the Yankees had lost four of five to the Red Sox on the season. But they weren’t going to let the Red Sox take a 4 game lead in the division, so the Yankees defeated their hated rival 7-5. New York won off of homers from Johnny Damon and Alex Rodriguez, as well as five scoreless innings from Jaret Wright. Though the Yanks were up 7-1 in after 7, Manny Ramirez did all he could to bring the Red Sox back, driving in four runs over a two-inning span. But it wasn’t enough, as Mariano Rivera decided not to pitch as terribly as he has been lately. The victory puts New York within two of the Sox as they look to win the division yet another time.
3. Everyone else is doing it: Apparently the homerun leaders in both leagues decided to distance themselves from the rest of the pack on Tuesday night. Almost every significant player homered, including league-leader Albert Pujols. Pujols hit his 23rd big fly of the season and continues to keep a record pace. In the AL, leader Jim Thome of the White Sox went yard for the 18th time this season. The hitting rubbed off on his teammates too, as Paul Konerko and Jermaine Dye each hit their 12th homer. In the Nats victory over the Astros, both Alfonso Soriano (16) and Morgan Ensberg (15) hit shots. And Vladimir Guerrero rounded the bases, giving him 12 blasts of his own on the year. The homerun race in both leagues this season will definitely be a fun one.
4. Calling all Angels: Where have the LA Angels been so far this season? If you said last place in the MLB’s weakest division, then you’d be correct! For some unknown reason, the Angels have not been able to duplicate their success from the past few years despite no significant personnel changes. However, last night brought only good news to the Angels, as they defeated division leader Texas while Seattle and Oakland both lost. John Lackey pitched well to lower his ERA to a respectable 3.50, and struggling Felix Rodriguez picked up his 11th save of the season. The Angels are still five back of the Rangers in the West.
5. At least he didn’t get hurt: Kerry Wood has frustrated just about every baseball fan with his incredible talent marred by nearly constant injury problems. Last night, in his second start of the year, he was unable to defeat the pitiful Marlins. Wood allowed 3 runs in only 5 innings pitched, though he left the game with a 4-3 lead. It was Ryan Dempster who denied Wood’s quest for his first win in 10 months, as he blew a save chance in the 9th inning. The Cubs’ record against the Marlins has fallen to 2-3 on the season, which is rather pitiful considering the Fish are 13-31.