You can Fox Sports’ Ted Robinson for being overzealous in crediting Mike Piazza with an 8th inning grand slam for what was actually a 3 run HR. Given Metal Mike’s recent flirtations with the Mendoza Line, the Mets catcher needs all the help he can get, even on an afternoon when his 4-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI output paced New York to a 7-5 win over Philadelphia.

Kris Benson (above), yanked after 4 and two thirds (88 pitches), was mostly effective, striking out 6, walking two and allowing two runs. Aaron Heilman, presumably out of the starting rotation, was even better, whiffing 5 and giving up just one hit and one walk in 3 and 1/3 innings of long relief.

Also making his 2005 debut (in addition to Benson) was RF Mike Cameron, with two doubles and two runs scored in 4 at bats, along with his first error of the current campaign.

Mike DeJean, doing his finest Braden Looper impersonation, allowed a 3 run HR to Jimmy Rollins in the top of the 9th to keep things interesting. Looper earned a small measure of redemption for recent gaffes, catching Met-killer Pat Burrell looking with the tying run on first in the person of Bobby Abreu.

Congratuations to Cubs manager Dusty Baker, who today found a way to ensure that Latroy Hawkins wouldn’t blow a save against the Brewers. The crafty Baker knew that by putting Hawkins into the 9th inning of a tied game with the Brewers, the absolute worst thing that could happen would be his on-again/off-again closer losing the game. And he did just that, Brady Clark scoring on Carlos Lee’s walk off single (though in all fairness, Lee was running to first base). The Brew Crew have now won 7 in a row, a remarkable achievement for a club making due without ace Ben Sheets, not to mention a team that allows Jeff Cirillo to occasionally play.

The Austin American-Statesman reported yesterday that recovering Cubs SS Nomar Garciaparra and his lovely wife The Soccer Lady were spotted brunching at ATX’s Magnolia Cafe earlier this week, just a poorly aimed Jerry Hairston toss from CSTB’s HQ. There is no truth to the rumor that anyone representing this blog has shipped a sample of the Garciaparra urine (culled from the Magnolia toilet) to Bob Ryan’s cubicle

After watching his Royals lose yet another close one to the ridiculously hot White Sox today, I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess that “Groundhog Day” is no longer Tony Pena’s favorite movie. I’ll go even further on a limb and wager that “The Rocketeer” isn’t amongst his favorites, either. Not for any solid reasons, either, I’ve just never heard anyone admit to liking it.