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Friday's flounderings (September 29)
2006-09-29 04:00
by Bob Timmermann

There are maybe three, four, or five days left in the regular season. This is the last Friday of the regular season. There is a tie atop one division, another division has its leaders separated by just 1/2 game, and one is separated by one game.

Although the AL Central is in a dead-even tie, it's the NL Central where tensions are highest. The Cardinals lead over the Astros has dwindled to just 1/2 game. The Astros have won nine straight while the Cardinals have lost eight of nine. Houston gets a jump on the action at 4:05 pm PT in Atlanta (Roger Clemens vs. Chuck James). St. Louis hosts Milwaukee at 5:10 pm PT (Chris Capuano vs. Jeff Weaver). As long as the Astros stay within 1/2 game of the Cardinals on either the plus or minus side, the Cardinals will be forced to make up a rained out game on Monday at home against the Giants.

In the NL West, San Diego leads Los Angeles by one game. San Diego plays at Arizona at 6:40 pm PT (Clay Hensley vs. Livan Hernandez). The Dodgers play their final weekend at San Francisco starting at 7:15 pm PT (Hong-Chih Kuo aka 郭泓志 aka Gūo Hóngzhì faces Noah Lowry). The Padres magic number to clinch the division is 3 and they can wrap up a playoff spot with a win or a loss by the Phillies. The Dodgers will clinch a playoff spot with a win AND a Phillies loss. The Phillies fell two games behind the Dodgers in the wild card race and play at Florida at 4:05 pm PT (Jamie Moyer vs. Brian Moehler).

The Reds, who are still alive with a record of 79-80, play at Pittsburgh at 4:05 pm PT (Aaron Harang vs. Zach Duke). The Reds would be eliminated with a loss and a win by either Houston or St. Louis.

The AL Central has Detroit and Minnesota in a 95-64 tie. Both teams trail the Yankees by one game for best record in the AL. The winner of the division would get homefield advantage over Oakland in the Division Series, the loser would be the wild card and start the division series in New York. Detroit holds the tiebreaker edge as they won the season series 11-8.

Detroit has the edge as they get to host the 100-loss Royals for the final weekend. They play at 4:05 pm PT (Runelvys Hernandez vs. Wil Ledezma). The Twins finish up at home against the White Sox. That game starts at 5:10 pm PT (Freddy Garcia vs. Boof Bonser).

They will also play:
Colorado at Cubs - The first time the Cubs fans get a chance to see Ubaldo Jimenez.
Baltimore at Boston - The Red Sox hope to move back into second place against a team they've beaten 13 of 15 times this season.
Mets at Washington - "Break up the Nats!" or is it "Wake up the Nats!"
Tampa Bay at Cleveland - Devil Rays need to win 2 of the last 3 to avoid 100 losses.
Toronto at Yankees - Presumably, the Yankees will get more than one hit tonight.
Oakland at Los Angeles of Anaheim - Athletics get practice against a pitcher named Santana.
Texas at Seattle - The last weekend behind the mike for Mariners broadcaster Ron Fairly.

2006-09-29 06:06:18
1.   Los Longhorns
I work with mostly Astros fans. Last Friday we were looking at the remaining schedules and determined that the Astros were officialy out of the playoffs. At that point, two of my friends decided they would stop watching the Astros this year. Now, they want to watch, but are afraid to reverse the streak!
2006-09-29 09:20:36
2.   Gagne55
1 I doubt that them watching will have any effect on the outcome of any of the game.
2006-09-29 09:57:45
3.   Sam DC
Athletics get practice against a pitcher named Santana.

Pretty good.

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