Extra Bases

Posted: September 02, 2007

Trivia question: Name the only pitcher in the majors who has a save and a shutout this season. . . .

The Phillies weren't the only team to pull off a big sweep in recent days. The Yankees swept the first-place Red Sox to tighten up the AL East race. The sweep of the Mets gave the Phillies a 45-35 record since June 1, while the Mets were 39-42. The Yankees' sweep of the Red Sox gave them a 53-30 record since June 1, while the Red Sox were 44-38. . . .

Mike Mussina wasn't happy about having his start taken away by the Yankees yesterday, as if he has a leg to stand on after posting a 17.69 ERA in his last three starts. . . .

Asked about the key to the Phillies' resilience (they have survived 18 players going onto the disabled list), pitcher Brett Myers nodded toward manager Charlie Manuel and said, "That's the man. Look at all the injuries we've had. He puts guys in the right place all the time. People think because he has a Southern accent, he might not be the sharpest guy. I'm telling you, he's a smart man. He's people smart. He's got great baseball knowledge. He's a great guy to play for." . . .

A sadist couldn't have predicted how badly things have gone for the Orioles since taking the "interim" tag off manager Dave Trembley. On the day it was announced that Trembley would be back next season, the Orioles were swept in a doubleheader, losing one of the games by 30-3. Before breaking through Friday at Boston, they hadn't won since the announcement, going 0-9. It could be a tough final month for the Orioles with 13 games against the Red Sox and Yankees and three against the AL West-leading Angels. . . .

Speaking of the Angels, they took a giant step toward putting away the AL West by completing a three-game sweep at second-place Seattle on Wednesday. The Angels have the best home record in baseball (44-20 entering Friday) and are in the midst of 10 straight at home. The Mariners, who entered Friday 51/2 back, are in the midst of nine straight on the road, including series against the Tigers and Yankees. The Mariners began their trip Friday with a .500 record on the road. . . .

How ridiculous does Major League Baseball look, conducting an in-game inspection of Red Sox manager Terry Francona on Wednesday night to see whether he was wearing a team uniform jersey under his sweatshirt? MLB allows players to wear their uniform pants like pajamas (a promised crackdown several years ago never happened), then checks to see what a manager is wearing under his team-issued sweatshirt. During a game! In a pennant race! MLB looks silly for being so misguidedly vigilant on such a trivial matter at a time when it is criticized for sleeping through the sport's steroid era. . . .

Trivia answer: The Phillies' J.D. Durbin shut out the Padres on July 22 and had a save against the Marlins on Aug. 7.

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