Mets 5, Phillies 4

We’ve all heard time and time again that whoever holds first place on July 4 is more than likely to win their respective pennant. Full credit to the New York Mets then, for their valiant attempt to clinch the NL East crown by Independence Day, an effort bolstered by today’s defeat of Philadelphia. The Phillies now trail the Mets by a staggering 9 1/2 games, but I wouldn’t say the margin is insurmountable. For instance, the Mets could lose two of their 3 opening day outfielders.

David Wright hit his 14th HR of the year, a 3 run shot off Corey Lidle, and Steve Trachsel collected his 4th win, despite allowing a pair of homers to Pat Burrell. Endy Chavez made a terrific catch on an Aaron Rowland line drive with two outs and two on in the bottom of the third, the sort of play that made Xavier Nady’s appendix hurt just a little more. Aaron Heilman, Duaner Sanchez and Billy Wagner combined to pitch a perfect final 3 innings in relief, and Lastings Milledge was benched in favor of Eli Marrero, thus denying the baseball media further opportunities to portray the rookie as the Worst Human Being Of All Time.

The Journal News’ Peter Abraham reports that Randy Johnson has been suspended for 5 games and Joe Torre for one following last night’s drilling of Eduardo Perez. “I’ll update this later when we talk to the Unit, assuming he will talk,” writes Abraham. He really makes the job sound like fun, sometimes.

Not only has the Dodgers’ Chad Billingsley held the Padres scoreless through 5 innings in his major league debut, he’s also collected his first two RBI’s in his 2nd big league at bat. It isn’t my decision to make, but I do think his parents oughta finally give in and get him that BB gun for Xmas.

Oakland, currently leading the Mariners, 6-5 through 5 innings, will try to complete today’s game amidst the slight distraction of Esteban Loaiza’s DUI arrest earlier this morning. Not to poke fun at the serious nature of drunk driving, but police reports are funny. “officers detected what the CHP statement called ‘a distinct odor of alcohol … on the driver’s breath.'” That’s probably exactly the place where they should be checking for such an odor, though if Loaiza’s cock stank of booze, I think we’d have a right to know about it.