Pennant Watch: Tuesday, September 26
The Twinkies beat up on Kansas City, and thanks to that effort and the White Sox's collapse in Cleveland, they have clinched a playoff spot. There is still a lot to play for, as they could still take the AL Central, and even home field for the American League playoffs.
Detroit Loses Ground...By Doing Nothing
The Tigers were idle Monday, and two foes made up ground by winning their games. The Yankees pulled into a tie for first overall in the league, while Minnesota cut it's deficit in the AL Central to one game.
Stuck on Two
The Oakland A's magic number didn't change, as the Angels won to keep the heat on, while Oakland blew a 3-run lead in the 9th to Seattle, and dropped the game in 10. Rich Harden makes his second start tonight since returning from injuries in the hopes of getting the A's one step closer to the playoffs.
A Preview of the NLDS...Or Not
In a matchup of division leaders, the Padres went into St. Louis and beat the Cardinals, extending their lead in the west to 2 games over the idle Dodgers. The Cardinals, meanwhile, continue to feel the heat from the red hot Houston Astros, who beat Philadelphia to climb to within 2 1/2 games of the St. Lunatics.
Philadelphia's loss drops them into a tie with the Dodgers for the wild card lead. Both teams have 6 games to go, all on the road. The Phillies open up in Washington tonight, then play in Florida over the weekend. The Dodgers are at Colorado, then San Francisco to finish up.
Game of the Day
I could pick any one of the games with playoff implications, but the biggest one from my perspective is San Diego at St. Louis. The Cards need a win in the worst way, and if they can't get one from their ace, Chris Carpenter, they're going to be in real trouble down the stretch. The Padres counter with veteran Woody Williams, who has surprisingly good numbers this season (10-5 record, 3.53 ERA, 1.28 WHIP). While the Cards need to reverse their slide, the Padres are looking to close in on the West crown, and home field advantage in their NLDS matchup. Another win or two over the Cards will get them closer to where they can rest their players over the final weekend, and have their rotation in order for next week.