1. Still waiting: After reports that Roger Clemens was once again going to become an Astro, the deal is not officially done yet. Clemens’ agent, Randy Hendricks, denied even speaking with the Astros but said Clemens is “very close with a final decision.” Of course, this means that he probably has spoken with them and they’re likely very close to a deal. But nothing is official yet. The Astros do need the powerhouse pitcher as soon as they can get him–they’re 27-26. St. Louis, who they beat last year in the NLCS, leads the NL Central by 6.5 over them. Clemens won the Cy Young in 2004 and came very close in 2005.
2. Power surge: The Red Sox’s Josh Beckett had been excellent so far this season, but he was no match for the Blue Jays offense on Tuesday. Both of Toronto’s big power hitters, Troy Glaus and Vernon Wells, had huge games. Wells highlighted the effort with 3 homeruns, two of them coming off Beckett. Glaus added two of his own, increasing his total to a team-high 17. Wells (15) became the third player this year to have a three-homer game, joining Albert Pujols and Alfonso Soriano. Beckett gave his worst effort of the year, allowing 7 runs and 4 homers in less than five innings. Toronto starter Gustavo Chacin allowed no runs in five innings, upping his record to 6-1. Closer BJ Ryan picked up his 12th save, and his ERA stands at an incredible .69.
3. An 11-inning blowout: It’s not often a game goes into extras and still results in a one-sided victory. But that happened in the Yankees-Tigers game yesterday, with the game tied at 6 going into extras but the Yankees emerging 11-6 victors. New York scored five runs in the 11th, including Jason Giambi’s first homer since May 10. Giambi started the scoring with a solo shot, his 13th of the year, and three singles scored the other runs. Mariano Rivera pitched a season-high three innings, allowing no runs in the process. For the Tigers, Ivan Rodriguez drove in three runs and fell a homer short of the cycle. The Yankees win combined with the Red Sox loss results in a tie for the AL East lead.
4. Reversal of fortune: The Rockies shut out the Padres 5-0 on Monday, but on Tuesday it went the other way. Padres starter Chris Young, in his best effort of the season, allowed no runs in 8 innings and took a no-hitter into the eighth. Young’s effort for the first no-no in Padres history was ended when Brad Hawpe hit a leadoff double, but the Padres still won 2-0. Trevor Hoffman came on for the save, his 10th in 10 tries. Both teams now have identical 27-25 records.
5. At last: After a 5-0 April, Greg Maddux had been waiting all of May for another win. Though he wasn’t perfect last night, allowing three runs in 5.1, he was able to get the W as the Cubs topped the Reds 8-3. Jacque Jones hit his eighth homerun of the year and drove in 4 Cubs runners. Maddux (6-4, 1-4 in May) is now tied with Nolan Ryan and Don Sutton on the career wins list with 324. Cincinnati is still in second in the NL Central division.