There are 17 games scheduled today in the majors as there are a pair of doubleheaders on the agenda.
And one of the doubleheaders could see the yellow jersey change hands in the AL East. The Yankees and Red Sox will play a day-night doubleheader at Fenway to start a five-game series. The first game is at 10:05 am PT and Chien-Ming Wang will face Jason Johnson. The second game will be at 5:05 pm PT and Sidney Ponson will face Jon Lester. I have a slight suspicion that Cliff and Alex will have some info on these games at Bronx Banter. I think the Red Sox are going to be suiting up Junior Seau.
Elsewhere in the AL, another rivalry, albeit a relatively new one, gets underway with a three-game series in Minneapolis between the wild card leader, the White Sox, and the Twins, who are two games behind. They play at 5:10 pm PT with Freddy Garcia facing Boof Bonser.
Oakland leads Los Angeles by six games in the AL West. Oakland will be playing a doubleheader (an old-fashioned two games for the price of one!) in Kansas City starting at 2:10 pm PT. Game 1 is scheduled to match Joe Blanton and Luke (11 runs given up in 1/3 IP last time out) Hudson. Game 2 will match Esteban Loiaza and Jorge de la Rosa. The Angels will be at home against the free-falling Mariners at 7:10 pm PT (Felix Hernandez vs. Jered Weaver, in a battle of pheeeeeeeenoms. The game deserves extra vowels.)
In the NL, the Mets avoided a four-game sweep at the hands of the Phillies Thursday and have a 13-game lead. The Mets host the Rockies for three games starting at 4:10 pm PT (Byung-Hyun Kim vs. Steve Trachsel).
In the Central, the Cardinals beat the Reds 2-1 Thursday to run their lead back to 2 1/2 games over Cincinnati. The Cardinals will be at Wrigley to face the Cubs at 11:20 am PT (Jason Marquis vs. Carlos Marmol). The Cubs have beaten their archrivals, 10 of 13 times this season. The Reds will host the Pirates at 4:10 pm PT (Ian Snell vs. Chris Michalak).
In the West, the Dodgers lead Arizona by three games. The Dodgers, in yet another rivalry matchup this weekend, are in San Francisco. They will play at 7:15 pm (Brad Penny vs. Jason Schmidt).
Arizona, who can catch the Reds in the wild card with a win over the slumping Padres in San Diego (7:10 pm PT Enrique Gonzalez vs. Woody Williams) and a Reds loss. The Padres have lost four straight, all at home to the last place Giants, and have fallen under .500 (60-61) and are 28-35 in the unfriendly confines of PETCO Park.
Don't forget this weekend's "Playing out the string" special: Cleveland at Tampa Bay. They meet at Tropicana Field at 4:15 pm (C.C. Sabathia vs. Casey Fossum).