Notes from a day in baseball:
• 1. New York, New York. Forget the Da Vinci Code. More fantastically, it turns out that the New York Mets may be for real. The knock on the Mets was that they had fashioned the NL's second-best record primarily through mulitple beatings of Washington, Florida and Pittsburgh; kind of like waiting for the sickly kid before school every day to take his lunch money. But now, let the record show that the Mets were one Billy Wagner meltdown from sweeping the Yankees in the just-concluded Subway Series. Home runs from Carlos Delgado and David Wright led Mr. Met over the top hats, 4-3, on Sunday. And all of a sudden, the series nobody thought was important has taken on heaps of meaning. "You know the importance of winning the intercity series. There's nothing like it," said Tom Glavine, who won his fifth straight. "It's hard not to get amped-up for the Yankees. They're a measuring stick."
• 2. Are You Ready For Some Baseball? We know its called the Daily Closer, but it's somewhat impossible not to look ahead when the Giants and Barry Bonds are set to welcome the Cardinals and Albert Pujols. The aged big head in search of career No. 715, vs. the heir apparent. Pujols homered for the third straight game on Sunday as the Cards beat the Royals 10-3. Pujols reached 22 homers in only 44 games, the second-quickest to that mark in baseball history. Bonds did it in 43 games in 2001, when he hit 73 homers to break Mark McGwire's single-season record of 70. Remember that?
• 3. LA Story. Hey, are the Dodgers quietly becoming good? Why were we not informed of this earlier? To prove just how out of hand things have become in Chavez Ravine, even Derek Lowe is winning. Lowe tossed a three-hitter over seven innings for his first win since April 13 as the Dodgers beat the Angels 7-0, completing a three-game sweep of the Freeway Series. The Trolley Dodgers outscored the Mickey Mouse Club 31-7 in the three games.
• 4. Swamp Thing. Meanwhile, there's an interesting rivalry going on in Florida. Of course we're referring to humans vs. alligators; an ancient struggle that the reptiles currently appear to be winning. How can one tell an alligator from a crocodile? Well, if you reside in Florida, and a big green lizard has bitten into your trousers and won't let go, it's probably an alligator. Another deadly Florida species is Scott Kazmir, who gave up four hits and matched a career high with 11 strikeouts over eight innings as the Devil Rays beat Dontrelle Willis and the Marlins 3-0.
• 5. Bo-ring! No huge brawl, no punches thrown. Cubs win, 7-4. But there was the potential for violence on Sunday, as the White Sox's A.J. Pierzynski hit a two-out homer in the fourth off of Carlos Zambrano to tie it 2-all. As he crossed home plate, Pierzynski thumped his chest twice, put his fist to his mouth and pointed toward the sky, apparently mocking Zambrano's trademark pitching gestures. Zambrano, seeing this, immediately started yelling ... at the Sox third-base coach. In Spanish. The players were all too confused to fight.