Notes from a day in baseball:
• 1. Josh Beckett, Yankee Killer. Funniest inscription we've ever seen on a gravestone: "I told you I was sick." Such could be used as a metaphor for Randy Johnson's career right now. On Tuesday, Boston's Josh Beckett was everything Johnson was not; mainly, effective in the strike zone. The Red Sox won 14-3 over the Yankees, as Beckett (4-1) gave up three runs on six hits in seven innings, struck out seven and walked none. Johnson (5-3) lasted just 3 2/3 innings, giving up five hits and seven runs, and uncorking two wild pitches. Yankees fans booed him like crazy when he left. Oh, and Alex Rodriguez made two errors as the Red Sox moved ahead of the Yankees into first place.
• 2. Barry Wuz Robbed. Imagine this scenario: Barry Bonds is robbed of home run No. 714 on a leaping catch by the Cubs' Juan Pierre. Then, the following day, Barry is taking batting practice when a flock of ducks fly into his enormous head. He is knocked cold, never able to play baseball again (something about the Bird Flu. Look, just play along, OK?). Second place on the all-time homer list denied. The first part of this came true on Tuesday, as Pierre's theft in center put San Francisco's dreams on hold for at least one more day, the Giants winning 6-1.
• 3. The Phillies Cannot Be Stopped. Nothing more exciting in all of baseball than the triple, unless it's a wild throw by Mets' pitcher Aaron Heilman. It was David Delucci's three-bagger, and then an overthrow on Bobby Abreu's weak grounder that allowed Delucci to score the winning run in the Phils' 5-4 triumph — their ninth straight win.
• 4. ... And You Don't Mess Around With Jim. Are the Los Angeles Angels the new Kansas City Royals? One thing we know: The Chicago White Sox are their same old selves, as Freddy Garcia (retired the final 16 batters he faced) and Jim Thome (three-run homer) led the Sox over the Angels 9-1. Chicago won for the ninth time in 11 games, and California (sorry, old habit) lost its 10th in the past 12.
• 5. He's Due, As They Say. We don't mean to be Grumpy Guses here, but we are witnessing something pretty extrordinary in the personage of Josh Towers. The Toronto hurler suffered his major league-leading seventh loss as the Oakland Athletics beat the Blue Jays 6-5. Despite giving up three runs over four innings, Towers' ERA actually dropped, to 10.09. He has lost all seven of his decisions so far this season.