1. Offensive fireworks: The Yankees-Rangers series just seemed poised to be a great hitting series, and Tuesday’s game didn’t disappoint. The Rangers crushed Yankee pitching early, with 9 runs in the first two innings. The Yanks were scoreless at that point, but they never gave up. With a 6-run sixth inning on top of 5 previous runs, the Yankees came back from the 9-run deficit. The epic comeback matched the biggest in Yankees franchise history. With the game tied at 12 entering the ninth, the Rangers scored a run in the top of the inning off Mariano Rivera. But Jorge Posada hit a walkoff, 2-run shot to end this incredible game. Derek Jeter and Posada were the Yankees’ best offensive performers on the night, with a combined 6 hits, 5 runs, and 9 RBIs. For the Rangers, Hank Blalock homered and drove in 4, and Mark Teixeria went 4-5 with two doubles. The Rangers are hit with the loss despite 17 hits, which has to feel pretty bad. They are still leading the AL West at 20-18.
2. Upside down: The White Sox and Devil Rays are at opposite ends of the league, that’s for sure. The Sox have the best record in the majors and are defending world champs, while the Devil Rays are in last as always and their minor league teams are making news for the wrong reasons. With all of this, you would think that the White Sox could easily sweep the team. Wrong. Despite a 6-run 8th inning, the Sox lost to the D’Rays 10-7 in a game that wasn’t as close as the score suggests. Thome and Konerko both homered for Chicago, but the big news was Tampa Bay’s offense. They blasted Sox pitching for 12 hits and 2 homers, knocking out starter Brandon McCarthy in the 4th inning. Carl Crawford and Johnny Gomes each hit 3 ribbies, and Scott Kazmir pitched another fine start. Kazmir allowed one and stuck out 8 to improve to 6-2 on the season. He is on pace for a 25 win season, about the entire team’s win total the past few years.
3. They missed the D-Train: Let’s face it–Marlins ace Dontrelle Willis has been very disappointing this year. But when the Marlins finally got a good game out of him, they lost. Willis pitched 9 innings and allowed only 2 runs, but Braves starter Tim Hudson allowed the same. In extra innings, the Marlins scored a run in the top of the 11th. But the Brave answered back, with an Andruw Jones RBI double and later run, giving them a narrow 4-3 victory. The game wouldn’t have gone to extras if Jeff Francoeur hadn’t hit a game-tying homerun in the 9th. Francoeur is past his slow start–his hitting streak is now at 14 games. Atlanta is now a game away from .500 for the first time since April.
4. News flash!: There were huge, HUGE surprises at Jacobs Field on Tuesday night. The Cleveland Indians came into the game with five straight losses against their opponent, the powerful Kansas City Royals. In fact, wins against the Indians have made up half the Royals’ win total. But last night, the Indians rallied to win the game. Coming into the 9th down 4-3, a Grady Sizemore homer tied the game up. With a runner on and slugger Travis Hafner up, the Royals wouldn’t give him anything to hit, right? Well, no, Hafner actually went yard to win the game. Cleveland was finally able to end an embarrassing streak, though they are still well out of the lead in the suddenly tough AL Central division.
5. It’s almost Lima Time: Anybody who thinks Jose Lima is a good pitcher is nuts. The guy hasn’t been effective this millennium. His career ERA is 5.24. He even has a losing career record. So that’s why we’re glad that he’s getting one last start for the Mets. Plus, it’s just fun to say “It’s Lima Time” whenever he starts. Lima will be filling in for injured rookie Brian Bannister, and filling in poorly. Mets manager Willie said it would be a sign of “panic” to put in Bannister, though we think he will be more panicked watching Lima get knocked out of the third inning.