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Monday's mashups (September 18)
2006-09-18 04:00
by Bob Timmermann

Just 12 games scheduled tonight with the big game being the last one of the night, the NL West/wild card showdown. At the end of the evening, there could be another change in division leaders or possibly a tie in the NL wild card. And the Mets still wait to clinch.

The Mets needed just one win in Pittsburgh this weekend or one Philadelphia loss in Houston to clinch the NL East, but neither of those things happened. So now, it's likely that the Mets will get to celebrate at home. They host the Marlins at 4:10 pm (Brian Moehler vs. Steve Trachsel). The Phillies, 13 1/2 games back of the Mets and much more interested in the wild card where they trail by one game, are home to play the Cubs at 4:05 pm PT (Sean Marshall vs. Jon Lieber). The Mets magic number to clinch best record in the NL is 5 over the Cardinals.

The team the Phillies trail in the wild by one game is the Dodgers and they are home to the new NL West leaders, San Diego, for the last time this season. That game starts at 7:10 pm PT (Jake Peavy vs. Brad Penny). Penny is 3-6 with a 5.94 ERA in his career against San Diego. Peavy is 6-1 with a 2.09 ERA in his career against the Dodgers. If the Dodgers win, they go back into first and San Diego goes back in to the wild card spot. If the Padres win, their lead goes up to 1 1/2 games and the Dodgers could potentially fall into a tie for the wild card if the Phillies beat the Cubs. Strangely, MLB did not pick a site for a potential tiebreaker for the wildcard between the Dodgers and Phillies.

Meanwhile in the Central, the Cardinals plug along with a seven-game lead over Cincinnati and a magic number of 8. The Cardinals will play in Milwaukee at 5:05 pm PT (Anthony Reyes vs. Chris Capuano). The Brewers will be eliminated from playoff contention with a loss.

The other contender for the NL wild card race, aka the Dennis Cook Division, San Francisco, is playing at Colorado at 5:35 pm PT (Noah Lowry vs. Justin Hampson).

The Yankees had a chance to clinch the AL East with two wins over Boston in a doubleheader two game thingee and a loss by Toronto to Tampa Bay. As it turned out, none of those three events transpired. The Yankees lead the Red Sox by 9 1/2 games and have a magic number of 4 and they will try to clinch the division in Toronto, although no earlier than Wednesday. The game starts at 4:07 pm PT (Darrell Rasner vs A.J. Burnett).

Out in the Central, the Tigers, who once led by 10 games, now lead Minnesota by just one game. The White Sox trail the Tigers by five games and the Twins by four games. The White Sox make what could be their last stand in an attempt to make the playoffs when they host Detroit for a three-game series starting at 5:05 pm PT (Kenny Rogers vs. Mark Buehrle). The Twins are off before heading to Boston Tuesday. The Yankees are one game better than Detroit for best record in the AL and hold the season series tiebreaker over Detroit as well as Minnesota. The only teams in the AL to win the season series against the Yankees are Oakland and Los Angeles.

Oakland is close to making its seven remaining games against second place Los Angeles irrelevant as the Athletics have a seven game lead over the Angels and a magic number of seven. Oakland hosts Cleveland at 7:05 pm PT (Jake Westbrook vs. Dan Haren). The Angels are off before starting a 2-game series at Kansas City Tuesday.

They will also play (weather permitting):
Atlanta at Washington - Nats executive wants his team to be like the Braves. Just not like this version of the Braves though.
Baltimore at Tampa Bay - The Devil Rays have a winning record at home at least.
Cincinnati at Houston - Last year's NL champs are facing an ignominious end.
Seattle at Texas - The Rangers could affect the pennant race. But that would require them to be better.

2006-09-18 06:57:21
1.   Sam DC
Bob is sharpening his rapier as the season winds down, and today he bloodies Texas.

Be careful you don't end up with a Daisy Cutter in your backyard.


My Dead to Me list has long had people who say "We should be just like the Braves" as if there was some magic thing they doing except patient, conservative management and some good talent evaluation and some good luck. And I would love a run of Atlanta futility now to bring home that teams can do this and lose.

Joining them on the list is people who now want to do just what the Marlins did. "Play the kids" "Trade the old guys" -- vast hordes here in DC seem to think we can trade Ramon Ortiz and Jose Vidro for the next Anibal Sanchez and Hanley Ramirez. Sheesh.

2006-09-18 06:58:09
2.   Sam DC
The Elias Sports Bureau phoned. They object to your use of the word "thingee" to describe the situation in which two games happen to be played on the same day, as that word suggets some sort of single event or relationship between the two games that happen to be played on the same day.

You may use "thingees that happen to occur on the same day" if you wish.

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