This Day In Baseball: 23 July 2005

Saturday, July 23 2005 @ 11:00 AM EDT

Contributed by: Magpie

Throw strikes. Home plate don't move.
- Satchel Paige

The top four teams in the AL East all lost yesterday. So that didn't accomplish much, did it?

The Twins lost as well, which means that Oakland has now closed to within 1.5 games of the Wild Card.

Trailing 5-1 heading to the ninth, the Braves rallied to send their game with Arizona into extra innings, only to lose in ten. Washington, however, got stomped and abused by Houston. The Braves and Nats remain in a dead heat.

Roger Clemens (6 shutout innings, 10 Ks) - he can't do this much longer, can he? Or even if he can, he probably won't. So pay attention! Because he is utterly incredible and we are unlikely to ever see anything like him again. The man is one of the four or five greatest pitchers who ever lived, a titan, a colossus, a legend, a wizard... I realize nobody likes him very much. But nobody could stand Ted Williams either, at least until he stopped playing.

And those of you who remember the remarkable and unforgettable Nolan Ryan... Nolan Ryan is to Roger Clemens what Joe Carter is to Ted Williams. There is no comparison.

Houston, by the way, is now second in the race for the NL Wild Card, 3.5 behind the Atlanta/Washington tag team (one of whom is a division leader, eventually.) Clemens' brilliance was all that team had going for them for the first two months of the season, but here they come. And while Chris Carpenter will almost certainly win the NL Cy Young at this rate, the old guy in Houston has pitched better than anybody else in baseball this year. Even Doc.

Today's games:

Minnesota (Baker 0-1, 3.00) at Detroit (Verlander 0-1, 6.75) 1:05
Seattle (Meche 10-6, 4.72) at Cleveland (Lee 10-4, 3.88) 3:15
Baltimore (Ponson 7-8, 6.04) at Tampa Bay (Kazmir 4-7, 4.33) 6:15
Boston (Miller 2-4, 5.01) at Chicago (Hernandez 7-2, 4.98) 7:05
Toronto (Bush 0-5, 4.89) at Kansas City (Snyder 0-0, 4.15) 7:10
Oakland (Saarloos 5-6, 4.12) at Texas (Rodriguez 2-1, 4.91) 8:05
New York (Brown 4-6, 5.91) at Los Angeles (Santana 4-4, 5.66) 10:05

Los Angeles (Houlton 4-3, 5.64) at New York (Martinez 11-3, 2.60) 3:05
San Diego (Astacio 2-8, 6.08) at Philadelphia (Tejeda 1-2, 3.30) 3:05
Chicago (Williams 2-3, 4.96) at St.Louis (Morris 11-2, 3.12) 3:05
Houston (Backe 8-6, 4.87) at Washington (Armas 4-4, 4.96) 7:05
Colorado (Kim 2-7, 5.25) at Pittsburgh (Williams 7-7, 4.53) 7:05
Milwaukee (Santos 2-10, 3.82) at Cincinnati (Claussen 4-7, 4.22) 7:10
Atlanta (Sosa 5-1, 2.76) at Arizona (Halsey 6-7, 4.11) 9:40
Florida (Beckett 8-6, 3.35) at San Francisco (Hennessey 3-2, 4.54) 10:15