July 15, 2005 [LINK]

Yanks close in on Red Sox

Here we go again! One of the greatest rivalries in the sports world is on display this weekend at Fenway Park in Boston, and tomorrow's Game of the Week will surely draw huge ratings to FOX. The Yankees have been gradually closing the gap for the past two weeks, as the Orioles finally rebounded after their recent skid, clinging to second place. The Red Sox came out roaring with four runs in the first inning last night, but the Yankees gradually climbed back and spoiled Curt Schilling's debut as a Bosox reliever, scoring two runs in the top of the ninth inning. Tonight's game is starting out the same way, and the vengeance-minded Red Sox are now on top 12-1 after four innings. Some guy named Jason Anderson just replaced some guy named Darrell May as the Yankees' pitcher...

UPDATE: David Ortiz hit a grand slam in the sixth inning, and the final score was Red Sox 17, Yanks 1. Ouch! It reminds me of Game 3 of the ALCS last October, but with the roles reversed.

Nats try to regroup

The Nationals also came out roaring tonight, with four hits and two runs in the first inning, possibly angry that they let yesterday's game slip from their grasp so easily. Managerial Motivation may have been a factor in their improved performance as well. The Nats were darned lucky that the Braves matched them loss for loss in the last three game days, thereby maintaining their two and a half game lead. The NL East is still up for grabs, and any of its teams could make a go of it in the postseason. ball Mike Piazza may not have been the best choice for the All Star game, and his usefulness to the Mets as a catcher is quickly fading, but he sure made the home crowd happy with that three-run homer in the eighth inning last night. Beating the Braves made some Nats fans happy, too!

UPDATE: Milwaukee responded with two runs of their own in the bottom of the first. The Nats took a one-run lead in the fifth, but a homer by Carlos Lee tied it in the eighth. In his debut as a pitcher for the Nationals in the tenth inning, Mike Stanton balked (!!?), allowing the winning run to score from third. Having lost four straight games, the Nats have a serious problem on their hands. The Braves are only one and a half games behind.

Favorite sporting venues

This item is not strictly about baseball, but it is definitely about stadiums. A group of sports writers was asked to pick their favorite venues, from football to baseball to basketball to hockey. Brian Baldinger of FOX Sports ranked RFK Stadium as #3 in his list. There are a number of fascinating descriptions and anecdotes about the Polo Grounds, Yankee Stadium, Wrigley Field, and so on. You can see and judge for yourself at themirl.com.