In addition to the sad news regarding pitcher Josh Hancock’s demise in a vehicular accident, there were a number of classic baseball news items.
MLB.com’s Owen Perkins reports the scene;
In the top of the seventh inning of a tied game, with runners on first and second, nobody out, and the count full, Chipper Jones hit a line drive at Tulowitzki, who snared the ball in flight, stepped on second to double up Kelly Johnson, and tagged Edgar Renteria between first and second for an unassisted triple play.
Just to be safe, Tulowitzki fired the ball to Todd Helton at first, but three outs was sufficient on the play.
A second was about half the time it took for Tulowitzki to retire the side, taking advantage of aggressive baserunning on a 3-2 count.
“It’s amazing,” Tulowitzki said once he’d had time to put the play in perspective. “It kind of just fell into my lap, but I’ll take it.”
It was just the 13th unassisted triple play in Major League history, and all those who witnessed it shared the heart-stopping moment of inescapable wonder the play produced.
Yahoo sports’ AP recap sets the game-ending scene;
Julian Tavarez (1-2) and four relievers held New York to seven hits, with Papelbon pitching the ninth for his eighth save in eight chances.
Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon stepped on first base for the final out, arm raised high. Boston, which got home runs from David Ortiz, Alex Cora and Manny Ramirez, is 5-1 against New York this season. The Red Sox have a four-game division lead and are 6 1/2 ahead of the Yankees, baseball’s $195 million bust.
Finally, I guess that, based on John Maine’s stellar performances in the otherwise shakey New York Mets starting rotation, I will have to revise my previously spoken, but unblogged analogy of the Mets pitching staff. It now seems that lifting that old Boston Braves analogy of the late 40’s, early 50’s would be more appropriate; “Glavine, Maine and 2 days of rain.” Tom Glavine is 3-1, John Maine is 4-0 with his most recent masterpiece being a a 7 inning, 3 hit shutout, with help from the bullpen who closed down the Washington Nationals on 3 hits over the final 2 innings in registering a 1-0 win.
Yahoo Sports’ AP recap summarizes the game;
The Mets managed only three hits, but one was Beltran’s solo shot, and that was enough to back John Maine’s latest impressive outing for a 1-0 victory over the Nationals.
Maine (4-0) struck out a career-high eight and allowed three hits in lowering his ERA to 1.35.
“He showed me again he’s getting better and better,” Mets manager Willie Randolph said. “Each time out, he’s stronger and stronger.”
Beltran’s fifth homer came with one out in the sixth off starter Jason Bergmann (0-2), who allowed two hits over seven innings and trimmed his ERA to 2.79.
Mark Hale of the New York Post adds this observation;
Maine’s season has been surprising. He was a good pitcher for the Mets last year and his postseason outings were impressive. This season, though, Maine has been exceptional. He’s given up 18 hits in 33.1 innings - a fantastic ratio - and the Mets are 5-0 in games he starts.
Stay tuned for a piece of Phillies baseball trivia; the only 2 Phillies pitchers to toss no-hitters at Veteran Stadium and for a report on the new Israel Baseball League which, on Saturday night drafted, among others, 71 year old Sandy Koufax to join the league.