The Yankees and Tigers played a game that felt like it was staged by Mack Sennett last night at the Stadium. There were eight errors, three each by first basemen Nick Johnson and Carlos Pena. But if the state of affairs was ugly, it was also amusing for Yankee fans, as they bombed Detroit 15-5.
Johnson made up for his fielding nightmare by scoring four runs. Godzilla hit a homer, and had three RBI; he now leads the team with 99 (Giambi, who was hit by a full-count pitch with the bases loaded, has 96). Aaron Boone hit his first homer at the Stadium and Jorge Posada had seven RBI (89), including a salt-in-the-wounds grand slam in the eighth inning.
The Tigers followed Jorge's 28th homer with three more errors. Oy.
The Yankees lead remains at 3 1/2 over Boston, who shut out the Orioles yesterday, 5-0. Prince Pedro Martinez pitched eight commanding innings, allowed three hits, walked two, and whiffed nine. Both Oakland and Seattle won too, so there was no change in the playoff standings.
"If I had to pick one team, I'd pick them," says one GM. "And the only reason is, I think Pedro (Martinez), (Derek) Lowe and (Tim) Wakefield give them a chance to get the game to the seventh inning. Which is what they need, because their bullpen scares the hell out of me. But they've got the best offense in baseball, which makes them the least likely team to get shut down by good pitching."
We're going to pick the best story: Cubs vs. Red Sox. Why the Cubs? Because Prior and Zambrano are a combined 14-1, 1.40 since the break, and if Kerry Wood is your third-best starter, nobody can top that. Why the Red Sox? Because this is baseball's best lineup since the '95 Indians -- and they can run Pedro out there twice in a short series.
Now if those two teams really played in a World Series, it would be reasonable to wonder if anybody would win. But our first prediction is: Somebody would. Our second prediction is: That team would be the Red Sox, because they're better-balanced. And our third prediction is: The party in New England wouldn't end till Opening Day.