24. Marianne Moore loved Christy Mathewson. No woman of quality has ever preferred football to baseball.
-- Thomas Boswell, "99 Reasons Why Baseball is So Much Better Than Football"
The top four teams in the AL East all won their games, but not without incident. It was truly frightening scene in Tampa as Carl Crawford's third inning line drive up the middle caught Matt Clement square on the back of the head and ricocheted into left field where Manny Ramirez tracked it down. Fortunately, the early reports on Clement are encouraging: he never actually lost consciousness and the results of a CAT scan was negative. Which is a good thing. He'll be re-evaluated today.
Meanwhile, it was a wild game. The Red Sox coughed up an early 5-0 lead, and went to the 9th trailing 8-6. But Jason Varitek homered, Kevin Millar and John Olerud hit singles, and Bill Mueller cashed in the tying run with a double. Olerud was thrown out at home plate trying to score the go-ahead run. Then Johnny Damon took over, making a game-saving catch in the bottom half, and hitting the go-ahead homer in the tenth.
In the Bronx, Yankees fans saw something they've been waiting all year to see - vintage Randy Johnson. The Big Unit took a no-hitter into the sixth, and worked 8 shutout innings, striking out 11 and allowing just two hits overall.
Game One of the NL East showdown went down in Atlanta, and Livan Hernandez, who hasn't defeated the Braves in five years, outduelled John Smoltz for the first eight innings. He turned a 2-1 lead over to the bullpen, and they coughed it up. The Braves tied it in the ninth against Chad Cordero and won it in the tenth on a bases loaded walk. The Braves take a one-game lead.
It was pouring in Chicago, the good Dr Zarco told us last night, but they eventually got some baseball played. And in the third inning, Greg Maddux struck out Omar Vizquel to become the 13th man in major league history to strike out 3000 batters.
Chicago (Garland 15-4, 3.19) at Kansas City (Hernandez 8-9, 4.34) 2:10
Cleveland (Elarton 6-5, 4.66) at Oakland (Haren 8-7, 4.26) 3:35
Boston (Wakefield 8-9, 4.42) at Tampa Bay (McClung 1-5, 7.07) 4:15
Texas (Young 8-6, 4.30) at Baltimore (Chen 7-6, 4.09) 7:05
Minnesota (Santana 9-5, 3.89) at New York (Leiter 4-8, 6.43) 7:05
Los Angeles (Colon 12-6, 3.78) at Toronto (Towers 7-8, 4.79) 7:07
Detroit (Maroth 8-10, 4.42) at Seattle (Moyer 8-3, 4.47) 10:05
Arizona (Vargas 3-5, 5.81) at Milwaukee (Ohka 6-5, 4.05) 2:05
San Francisco (Tomko 7-10, 5.03) at Chicago (Zambrano 7-4, 3.42) 2:20
Washington (Loaiza 6-6, 3.56) at Atlanta (Hudson 7-5, 3.59) 7:05
Pittsburgh (Duke 3-0, 0.93) at Florida (Valdez 0-0, 4.50) 7:05
Philadelphia (Padilla 5-8, 5.52) at Houston (Clemens 8-4, 1.40) 8:05
New York (Zambrano 4-9, 3.86) at Colorado (Wright 5-10, 5.30) 9:05
St.Louis (Marquis 9-7, 3.88) at San Diego (Peavy 8-4, 3.42) 10:05
Cincinnati (Ortiz 6-6, 6.12) at Los Angeles (Weaver 8-8, 4.41) 10:10