Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

The Daily Closer: Lost April

Illustration for article titled The Daily Closer: Lost April

Notes from a day in baseball:

Yankees Descending, Red Sox Rising. Despite a stirring plea by Derek Jeter on Sunday — "You need Joe Torre on that wall!" — Torre's days as Yankees manager may be near an end. Why are some people's days numbered and not, say, lettered, as Woody Allen once asked? The answer is unclear. All we know is that New York lost to Boston 7-4 on Sunday, dropping the series 2-1, to make the Yankees 9-14 this season. They've lost eight of nine and are in last place in the AL East. And since it's rumored that George Steinbrenner was considering ousting Torre after last season's first-round exit from the playoffs — and Steinbrenner is being silent on him now — well, it doesn't bode well. "It's unfair,'' Jeter said. "There's no way he's responsible for us performing. He's not hitting for us. He's not pitching for us. He puts the best players out there on the field, gives us an opportunity to win. We're just not doing the job. That's unfair, and it should stop. ... He's doing a great job this year. We just haven't done the job on the field. That's the bottom line.'' Boston got home runs from David Ortiz, Alex Cora and Manny Ramirez. The Red Sox have beaten New York in five of their past six meetings.


The Longest Day. Pete Laforest; hero or goat? Many, many sleepy people would say the former, as the Padres' third-string catcher — who was playing first base — made an error that allowed the eventual winning run to reach base in the 17th inning; the Dodgers beating the Padres 5-4 in the longest game in the majors this season. Wilson Valdez scored on Brady Clark's double with two outs in the top of the 17th. The game took 4:55, beating Wednesday's Pirates-Astros game that went 4:48, which Pittsburgh won 4-3 in 16 innings.

Uh Huh, That's Right. If you've got your Brandon Inge bobblehead doll, like we do, you could re-enact his dramatic leadoff homer in the ninth inning on Sunday that gave the Tigers a 4-3 win over the Twins. Inge, hitting .122 entering the game, had three hits. Johan Santana gave up three runs and eight hits in six innings for Minnesota.

The Phillies Are Better Than You Thought. Jamie Moyer is 44 years old, but in Florida, that'll still get you carded at the liquor store. He took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and combined with two relievers for a four-hitter as the Phillies beat the Marlins 6-1. Moyer (3-1) struck out five and walked two in 7 1/3 shutout innings.