Puig & Pirates, Homer & Harper, plus minor leaguers Manny & A-Rod spice up MLB's first half

  • Article by: BEN WALKER , AP Baseball Writer
  • Updated: July 14, 2013 - 12:30 AM

NEW YORK — Just for fun, let's turn back the baseball clock a few months.

A well-rested Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals are destined to face Josh Hamilton and the Los Angeles Angels in the World Series. The Houston Astros have the best record in baseball. Manny Ramirez is playing in Taiwan. And no one is quite sure how to pronounce the name of this Puig guy.

Well, a few things are still the same: Homer Bailey is pitching no-hitters, Miguel Cabrera swings the most devastating bat in the majors and, well, the drug cloud isn't going away anytime soon.

As the All-Star game approaches next week at Citi Field, a look at the first half of the season:

___

EXTRA! EXTRA!

By the time Matt Harvey and the New York Mets let the hovering seagulls take over AT&T Park well past midnight, they were wiped out. This week's win at San Francisco took 16 innings — the Mets already had lost a 20-inning game and a pair of 15-inning contests.

"I've never heard of anything like this. It's unbelievable," manager Terry Collins said. "At least we're used to it."

All over, fans are getting way more than their money's worth. Going into this weekend, 19 games had lasted at least 14 innings; there were a total of 20 last year, according to STATS.

"Is a lunar eclipse coming?" Oakland outfielder Josh Reddick wondered. "I have no idea. Probably more of a coincidence than anything. That's how the game goes sometimes."

___

WACKY WEATHER

Even in ski country, this was a bit extreme: When the Atlanta Braves and Colorado Rockies started up at Coors Field in late April, it was 23 degrees. That made it the coldest game-time temperature in STATS' records, dating back more than two decades.

Braves pitcher Mike Minor threw six innings and won — in short sleeves, no less. He figured long sleeves wouldn't help much. He also got a trainer to rub his arms, back and thighs with a heating ointment.

"I was burning up there," he said, smiling.

Snow at Target Field, hail at Yankee Stadium and buckets of rain from coast to coast. More than 30 games postponed so far, going in the weekend. Last year? Just 21, the whole season.

The crummy conditions have wreaked havoc with the schedule. With interleague games most every day, there's not a lot of wiggle room for makeups. So there's been a push to get the games in — Tampa Bay waited out almost five hours of rain delays in Cleveland to win a game that started on a Friday night in May and finished on an early Saturday in June. The Mets, meanwhile, played in three different time zones in three days.

In St. Louis, there was a 4½-hour rain delay in the ninth inning before Kansas City outlasted the Cardinals. The game ended at 3:14 a.m. at Busch Stadium, and created travel trouble for the umpires, too — they worked at Wrigley Field in Chicago the next afternoon.

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Minnesota200201   590
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Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Arrieta 2 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: D. Axelrod 7
NY Yankees - LP: S. Kelley 2 FINAL
Detroit - WP: P. Coke 3
Colorado - LP: J. Lyles 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: Y. Petit 4
Tampa Bay 4 Bottom 8th Inning
Baltimore 5
Atlanta - WP: M. Minor 6 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 1
Cleveland 2 Top 7th Inning
Chicago WSox 1
Minnesota 5 Bottom 6th Inning
Kansas City 4
Texas 2 Bottom 6th Inning
Houston 4
Oakland 0 Bottom 1st Inning
LA Angels 0
Atlanta 24 FINAL
Jacksonville 14
Detroit 23 FINAL
Buffalo 0
Indianapolis 7 FINAL
Cincinnati 35
Kansas City 14 FINAL
Green Bay 34
NY Jets 7 FINAL
Philadelphia 37
St. Louis 13 FINAL
Miami 14
Carolina 10 4th Qtr 1:49
Pittsburgh 0
New England 13 4th Qtr 4:46
NY Giants 13
Washington 24 FINAL
Tampa Bay 10
Baltimore 19 4th Qtr 12:56
New Orleans 13
Chicago 13 3rd Qtr 3:57
Cleveland 23
Denver 24 4th Qtr 15:00
Dallas 3
Minnesota 19 4th Qtr 11:58
Tennessee 0
San Francisco 24 3rd Qtr 0:42
Houston 13
Arizona 3 1st Qtr 8:28
San Diego 0
Seattle 7 1st Qtr 10:16
Oakland 0
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 3 3rd Qtr 4:20
(18) Ole Miss 7
Tulane 21 3rd Qtr 10:50
Tulsa 14
Rutgers 7 1st Qtr 10:20
Washington St 0
Weber State 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
Temple 9:50 PM
Vanderbilt
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
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