Boston (trounced) and Oakland (complete game shutout by opposing pitcher Vargas) lost, so Boston remains a game ahead in the AL record chase (Boston will not be winning 100 games this year) and their magic # for the 1-seed is 4. Boston gets a Peavy-Chacin matchup while Oakland’s Straily gets to face ace Jered Weaver in each team’s respective series finale before their last off-day (and the A’s tangle with King Felix in Seattle on the Friday following, though they are throwing the in-more-ways-than-one formidable Colon to oppose, quite the matchup). Detroit guaranteed themselves October action with a win yesterday, but still has a magic # of 1 for the division title, what with Cleveland getting a SPECTACULAR WALK-OFF BLAST by Jason Giambi last night. With the Indians down to their last out and trailing by 1 with a man on, Giambi delivered for the umpteenth time in his career, and oh my, he hit that thing a long way to right. Baltimore was eliminated after Cleveland won and the O’s lost in extras to the Jays, while New York (tragic number: 1) and KC (2) were put on the brink with losses to TB and SEA last night coupled with Cleveland’s victory. Texas scraped a win in its game with Houston to stay 1 behind the Indians, who are 1 behind the Rays (the Rays win the tiebreaker with the Indians for home-field in the wild card, so the Injuns are effectively 2 back of TB as far as homefield for the wild card game goes). Cleveland has one more game at home with the White Sox today before going to Target Field for a 4-game season-closing set with the Twins; the Rays have two more with the Yanks, then three in Toronto; the Rangers have one more at home with the Astros and then 4 at home with the Angels (the Rangers will miss Weaver, presumably).
St. Louis (last night’s pitcher Wacha got 26 outs without giving up a hit, but lost it on a chopper by Zimmerman that barely eluded Wacha’s glove and generated a rushed throw by the shortstop) and Pittsburgh won (vs. the Nats and Cubs), while the Reds lost (to the Mets, ouch), so St. Louis’s division magic # is 3 (Cincy’s tragic # for the division is 2), and the Pirates look to keep homefield for the wild card game if St. Louis doesn’t let them tie (or somehow win) the division race. Atlanta won to stay half a game ahead (in the all-important loss column) of the Cards for NL best record…Atlanta has the tiebreaker advantage with St. Louis, so their magic # for the 1-seed is 4. The Dodgers won 2-1 over the Giants and are still in the best record chase, theoretically, though both Atlanta and St. Louis would have to tank pretty hard in the final days to earn the Dodgers the honor.
Games that matter today (which is still 80% of them):
Mets (Matsuzaka) @ Reds (Latos) 12:35 ET
Nats (Zimmermann, going for win # 20) @ Cards (Miller) 1:45 ET
Pirates (Liriano) @ Cubs (Arrieta) 2:20 ET
A’s (Straily) @ Angels (Weaver) 3:35 ET
White Sox (Axelrod) @ Indians (Salazar) 7:05 ET
Rays (Price) @ Yankees (Hughes) 7:05 ET
Brewers (Lohse) @ Braves (Maholm) 7:05 ET
Astros (Keuchel) @ Rangers (Perez) 8:05 ET
Tigers (Scherzer) @ Twins (Correia) 8:10 ET
Red Sox (Peavy) @ Rockies (Chacin) 8:40 ET
Royals (Santana) @ Mariners (Iwakuma) 10:10 ET
Dodgers (Nolasco) @ Giants (Zito) 10:15 ET
by General Baseball · 7 comments
at 12:29 pm in
We all hate the f*ckin’ Rays. LET’S GO YANKEES!
by General Baseball · 2 comments
at 6:39 pm in
John Lackey vs. Tyler Chatwood (who?). Will the Red Sox’ offensive abilities be challenged by the elevation or will that elevation just mean it’s launchball time, humidor be damned? Chatwood has struggled since returning from an entire August’s injury hiatus (in his 4 starts this month, he has one good one, against the Padres). Lackey is coming off probably the best start of his Red Sox career (CG 1-run 3-hitter with 2 BB and 8 K vs. Baltimore).
If the dream of 100 wins is to stay alive, they must win (the pitching matchup is substantially more favorable tomorrow, for what it’s worth, before the visit to Kryptonite Kamden). The AL top seed magic # is 5. Comment away.
by General Baseball · 3 comments
at 4:00 pm in
Roger Angell in the New Yorker.
All these, seen once again, have been as familiar to us as our dad’s light cough from the next room, or the dimples on the back of our once-three-year-old daughter’s hands, but, like those, must now only be recalled.
by General Baseball,General Yankees · 0 comments
at 2:28 pm in
The Reds and Pirates both got win #90 in hard-fought games yesterday (against the Mets and Cubs respectively), securing their place in at least the wild card playoff, while the Cardinals maintained their 2-game lead, winning against the Nats (and guaranteeing the Reds’/Pirates’ spots) and are sneaking up on Atlanta for best NL record (Braves: 92-64, Cardinals: 92-65). The Pirates and Reds actually face each other in Cincy in the last series of the regular, which I’m sure the Cardinals are happy about. The Cardinals are facing the Nats (who were eliminated yesterday from postseason contention) the next two days in St. Louis and then stay at home to finish the season against the Cubs…yeah, the Pirates and Reds get a couple bottom-feeders the next two days, but the Cardinals are sitting pretty in the overall scheme.
Oakland beat the Angels yesterday and are now 1.0 GB the Red Sox for best AL record. Oakland is fairly likely to hold the advantage in tiebreakers (that remains to be seen, as intradivisional play is one of the tiebreakers and OAK and BOS are close in that regard, and Oakland has 5 games left against LAA and SEA, while the Red Sox have 3 left against BAL), so the Red Sox need to win to secure their place. Detroit has still not wrapped up the division crown, though their magic # is only 2 (they play the Twins at. The Rays play the Yankees, Cleveland plays the White Sox, and Texas plays Houston today. KC (@Mariners), NYY (vs Rays), and BAL (vs Jays) look to keep hope alive, with their tragic numbers at 4, 3, and 2, respectively. Really hoping today is Oriole Elimination Day myself (with a Cleveland win, Baltimore loss).
by General Baseball · 8 comments
at 12:23 pm in
Obviously SFs are rooting for homefield (unless maybe you believe that the Tigers are a better matchup for the Sox than TB or something…me, I’ll stick with “play as many games at home as possible and hope the sh*ttier team wins the WC”) and YFs are hoping for a miraculous play-in (which is not impossible, they do play the Rays 3 more times head-to-head, at least). But beyond that, is there a team you favor or a situation you would prefer to see?
I’m holding my nose and rooting for the O’s in their early game @ St. Pete today (it increases the rather small chance that Baltimore or the Yanks sneak in, but oh well). The Rays are a fairly scary matchup for the Sox with their tremendous lefty starters, so I want them buried. Would much rather face Cleveland or Texas, especially Cleveland. AL East opponents being killed off is good. For similar reasons, I’ll be rooting for the Rangers against the Astros (who got 4-game swept by CLE, who are playing the dregs like they’re supposed to) in the Texas matchup today. TEX vs. CLE is an ideal wild-card play-in game for this SF.
I want Pittsburgh to win the NL Central; they are 2 GB St. Louis now and tied with Cincinnati. The Cardinals have won it all a couple times recently and the Reds have had their chances and are run by Dusty Baker (who sort of sucks, IMO). Pirates fans have been waiting for this year for ages, and it would be too cruel if it ended with a wild card play-in loss.
Also any wacky multi-play-in scenario with a bunch of tied WC teams would be amazing.
So that’s my take. What are your baseball-related wishes beyond the obvious?
by General Baseball · 6 comments
at 3:10 pm in
A hamstring injury has ended Sabathia’s season, and the injury has no bearing on the Yankees’ playoff chances whatsoever this year. However, I sincerely hope that the big man’s rather ample and thoroughly over-employed hamstring recovers fully in the down-time for next year, because right now this is another check mark in the “reasons why 2014 will suck more” column as the Yankees’ supposed ace has shown that his legendary durability is now moving into the realm of nostalgia, as has so much Yankee legend in the last couple of days.
by General Yankees · 0 comments
at 2:41 pm in
This will be Pettitte’s final game at Yankee Stadium, and Mariano’s big ceremony is today too (though I still hope he pitches later this week when IH is in attendance). Godspeed, ya old goats, the thought of facing you was daunting all the way through your careers, which is truly impressive. Well-played. Meanwhile, the Sox look to rebound from a 2-run loss to the Jays after throwing the JV lineup out there (though really, that mostly meant the loss of Pedroia until he got into the game later anyway, along with Salty and Napoli getting a blow), and get back on track for the best AL record (up 1 in the loss column over Oakland, magic # still 6).
It’s alliterative paradise as Pettitte faces Petit (hee hee!) and Dickey takes on Doubront. Happy Sunday!
by General Baseball · 26 comments
at 10:31 am in
Sure, I want homefield and to somehow scrounge 100 wins (they have 1 loss to give and 7 to play, so not likely). But mostly, I just don’t give a s***. Absolute victory has been achieved in the face of all the doubters. What the f*** more do I want? This game is a tuneup for Buchholz and that is glorious.
The other pitcher is Buehuhehuerle, if you care, which I believe I’ve made clear I don’t. Mostly.
by General Baseball · 0 comments
at 6:53 pm in
I’ve been really remiss in getting these threads up. Hey, did you hear A-Rod hit a granny last night to pass Gehrig for the all-time slams record. I’m sure no one feels ambivalent about that!
Anyway, it’s an early one on Fox. Vogelsong and Nova make the ball go really fast and/or bend real funny as the Yanks valiantly pursue statistical unlikelihoods.
by General Baseball · 2 comments
at 1:40 am in
For the first time since ’07, the Red Sox are kings of the toughest division in baseball.
Here’s what I said back in February this year:
“I’m typically on the optimistic side of the scale, and have come around to that same optimism RE: this season. The signings are solid, not splashy, but the worst gaps are essentially filled (we’ll see how long Napoli’s hip takes to explode, but that’s pretty much the same position the Yanks are in with Youk), and I think seeing this thing through and waiting for youth to take over in coming years is better than being financially frozen the way they were before the Punto et al trade (I felt good about that trade the day it was made, no waiting for optimism there). I have trouble really imagining the Sox getting above 86/87 wins, but if Farrell can steer Lester back to excellence and Lackey’s surgery gets him anywhere (goodness knows all the excuses haven’t), then maybe, maybe, maybe they can be in the hunt for the second wild card come September. These are the bounds of my optimism at the moment.”
My optimism’s bounds were obviously far short of reality. Thanks, reality! But the phrase that stands out here for me is “solid, not splashy”. Who had a career year this season? Nava. Carp (in 200 AB). Maybe Salty. Is that it? And yet here the Red Sox are, an MLB powerhouse with a stacked rotation and a steady, consistent lineup that chews into opposing pitchers’ pitch counts like Tito Francona chews whatever that wad of junk in his mouth is. Props to Farrell and Cherington, by the way (not necessarily in that order) for taking a decomposing corpse and breathing tremendous life into it.
I’m just over the moon that after the devastating heartbreak of 2011 and the death spiral of 2012, this is where the Sox get to be this year. I’m going to go ahead and say it: I’ve never had a more fun regular season. I don’t really expect to have such a one anytime soon, so I am savoring every moment now, and still dreaming big. Of best record in MLB, of 100 wins, of a deep postseason run. Planning a Top 10 games of the season post soon. Go Sox.
by General Baseball · 2 comments
at 11:07 pm in
Andy Pettitte announced he’s done after this season, and this time we won’t be seeing him again. His next start is Sunday at the Stadium against the Giants, which also happens to be Mo’s ceremonial day as well. At least there’s a good reason to watch.
by General Yankees · 0 comments
at 12:53 pm in
The magic # is 1. There’s no waiting for Tampa Bay to lose (and anyway, it’s Hammel vs. Price, that’s probably going to swing TB’s way); there is only winning tonight’s game and celebrating what is rightfully theirs/ours. It is crazy to be here.
Rogers vs. Lester. The odds are decent the corks pop tonight, though Rogers has held the Sox down in his two starts against them this season. Won’t you comment for what is hopefully a supremely triumphant evening?
by General Baseball · 46 comments
at 11:15 am in
Lost a series against this stupid orange team again despite multiple opportunities to put them away yesterday. Rays were an out away from losing and ended up winning. Magic # hovers at 3. At least Oakland and Detroit lost (best AL record magic # now 8).
Tillman (done well against the Sox all year) vs. Lackey (2 very good starts, one bad one against BAL). Comment away.
by General Baseball · 10 comments
at 12:08 pm in
The loss yesterday came when Uehara gave up a baserunner (a leadoff triple, no less) and a run for the first time in weeks. But Dempster did fairly well and the Sox were in it to the final out. And the Rays lost, so the magic number went down to 3 anyway.
Two years ago, the Orioles celebrated like they won the Series when they played their part in banishing the Sox from the postseason in Game 162. If the Rays will lose today OR tomorrow and the Sox win today AND tomorrow…then the Sox can celebrate an actual achievement in front of those f*cking pr*cks (many of whom are sill on the team, wacko Luke Scott notwithstanding).
It begins with Chen (who the Sox pounded last time and who is trending badly in the second half) and Peavy (who has been a super-solid pickup). Comment away.
by General Baseball · 0 comments
at 1:06 pm in
Andy Pettitte faces Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey at Rogers Centre, needing to keep the Yankees in the hunt with a victory. Fortunately, the Jays are tanking as of late, and with a little help from the Red Sox, the Bombers can pass Baltimore while either KC or Cleveland, and Texas or Tampa are guaranteed a loss. Comment away.
by Yanks Gamers/Postmortems · 3 comments
at 6:52 pm in