A month from now, the playoffs should be decided. It is almost the weekend, and a long weekend it will be with Labor day awaiting. The Cleveland Browns play tonight, which should provide for some minor channel surfing between innings. We haven’t thrown it around in a few days, so there should be some good links out there to fish for. Here’s what we came up with:
A beer brawl in the Philadelphia stands. Weird. (Deadspin)
The Yankees were giddy after their big win over Josh Beckett last night. They won their second game in a row over the Boston Red Sox in the Bronx and pounded 13 hits off of Josh Beckett in his 6 and 2/3 innings.
Roger Clemens picked up his 6th win of the season, going 6 innings allowing only 2 hits and 1 run (a homerun by Kevin Youkilis). Another usual suspect was involved in the win as Alex Rodriguez hit his 44th homerun of the season off Josh Beckett to give the Yankees a 4-1 lead.
Mariano Rivera picked up save #22 and Melky Cabrera had 3 hits and an RBI. Every Yankees starter with the exception of Robinson Cano hit safely. The Yankees are now 6 games back of Boston in the AL East race.
Asdrubal Cabrera hit a two run homerun and Victor Martinez added a solo shot in the first inning off Johann Santana in the first inning to give the Indians a lead they would not relinquish. The Indians became the first team ever to pin 4 losses on Johann Santana in a season as C.C. Sabathia won his 15th game of the season and Joe Borowski picked up his 39th save.
It was the Indians 5th win in a row and compounded with another Detroit loss it put them up 4 1/2 games in the AL Central standings.
The thing I noticed about this game was the amount of defense that was played. It was absolutely unbelievable. There was one unbelievable play after another for both teams, something that hasn’t been typical for the Indians this season. Good pitching, good defense, and big, timely hits got the job done for the Tribe in this one. They take on Seattle today in a game that was originally meant to be played back on April 8.
After yesterday’s beautiful twin bill sweep in the doubleheader, the sobering thought of the day is that the Reds (now 8 games out of first place), are just another loss to the Pirates from being tied with them in the division. I knew they weren’t for real and I sure as hell knew they couldn’t beat a bad team.
I didn’t watch this game but I must recap it since it propelled the Indians to a 3 and 1/2 game lead in the AL Central over the Detroit Tigers. Another strong starting pitching performance as the Indians have had for much of the month of August.
If you want a much better full recap, you should check out the Tribe Source for this game and any game played in the regular season this year. Jake Westbrook picked up the victory, Joe Borowski walked a tightrope again to pick up his 38th save of the season. Grady Sizemore and Travis Hafner homered to pad the lead early.
Yesterday the Indians had their team photo taken. It reminded me of the oddballs in the team photo at home plate in the movie Major League. This team has some real odds and ends that make up the sum of the parts. That said, they’re still here and hanging tough entering the final month of the season. This is a team that has some kind of amazing resiliancy and character. This is going to be a fun team to watch in October.
Oh yeah and tonight they take on Johann Santana at Jacobs Field. Have fun with that.
Obviously I want the Reds to keep up with their winning ways. If they are within 5 games of 1st by the end of August, a very solid month of September could push them into the forefront of the division and into the playoffs…but we all know that this Reds squad is not a championship contender. Does the FO know this?
My questions are, do the Reds make the same mistakes as last year and over value the talent on this team? They do play in by far the worst division in baseball and have a shot at the post season without having a winning record (Just like last year).
Hearing predictions that Mackanin is already going to named the manager for 2008 scares me. We all know the track record of interim turned to permanent managers with this organization. As knowledgable fans we all know that some major changes need to occur this off-season and I hope the FO doesn’t think the problem’s have been solved.
That’s what scares me about the Reds contending for the NL Central. Will long-term goals be compromised?
Still watching a ton of baseball, but football is just around the corner. It’s hard to keep a blog like this going basically as a one man show, but I’ll do my best when the playoffs roll around. I’ve been hard at work perfecting my newer and final blog project. If you haven’t checked it out already, I strongly suggest you get your ass over there.
Meanwhile in baseball, Mike Mussina’s carrer is over. The Reds are making a run with smoke and mirrors and just as I said, Dunner is ending up with MVP type numbers. The Cardinals aren’t dead yet and the NL Central is looking to be one of the best division races out there. The Yankees need to sweep the Red Sox, or they’re dead. The Indians are hanging tough over those pesky Tigers–who like their manager, they just won’t die. Marlboro’s can’t kill Jim Leyland, and nothing can seemingly kill the Tigers. The Angels and Mariners are locked up in a duel for the AL West and the Wildcard. The DiamondBacks look to make the playoffs on the strength of their power hitting rookie and newest addition to my fantasy team, Chris B. Young. Also as I predicted, the Mets are in line to win the NL East. The Phillies are still alive. Stay tuned.
I swear I knew it was coming. Adam Dunn at the plate in the bottom of the 13th inning, tied 7-7 and facing Bob Wickman, a man who just over a year ago Dunn had homered off of with a walkoff grandslam to win the game in Cincinnati.
Then it happened. Dunn hit his 6th walkoff homerun of his career and his 35th of the season to give the Cincinnati Reds their 3rd win in a row over the Atlanta Braves. The tape measure shot landed over top the last tunnel out in right center field, where baseballs usually don’t land except for in video games.
This game was a true classic and a lot of fun to watch. Josh Hamilton proved that he has power to any field, in any stadium, as he hit a beautiful 3-run homerun off Buddy Carlisle to left center field. He’s as much of a pure power hitter as anyone I watch in the big leagues. This guy is developing into a guy who over a full season of work, could easily surpass 40 homeruns.
Lost in the shuffle was the fact that the bullpen actually did it’s job until the Reds could get a big blast from their star hitter. If this is Dunn’s last stretch as a Cincinnati Red, he’s certainly showcasing some of the skills that have made him loved here by many.
It might have taken the Indians 10 innings, and the grittiest pitching performance of the season by the Tribe, but they went out and beat the Detroit Tigers this afternoon 3-1 in 10 innings. The prevail in this 3 game series on the road to push their lead in the AL Central to 2 1/2 games. Cleveland starter Jake Westbrook, who allowed five hits and two walks in eight innings, has won three of his previous five outings after starting 1-6.
Down 3-0, the Tigers still had a chance to win a series for the first time since mid-July. Marcus Thames hit an RBI double with two outs in the 10th off Joe Borowski, putting a pair of runners in scoring position, but Ivan Rodriguez popped out to end it.
With Seattle and New York playing well in the wild-card race, the Indians and Tigers might be competing for only one spot in the postseason. They’re scheduled to play only one more series, a three-game set Sept. 17-19 in Cleveland.
Grady Sizemore, back in the leadoff spot, had two hits on the day in 5 at-bats.
Last night the Cincinnati Reds continued to play the spoiler role with a 4-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves. The big moments of the night occurred when leadoff hitter Josh Hamilton got busted inside with a fastball by Braves starting pitcher Lance Cormier. Hamilton took mostly a defensive swat at the inside pitch, and it landed in the centerfield fake turf for a homerun. The following batter, Jeff Keppinger hit his 3rd big league homerun with a drive to left field.
Bronson Arroyo was solid as can be in this outing. He went 5 1/3 innings allowing 2 earned runs on 6 hits, striking out 5. He also added a single that scored a pivotal run in the 5th inning that would hold up the lead for good for the Reds.
David Weathers picked up his 27th save of the season in style. Featured on baseball tonight, Weathers was shown painting the outside corner to Braves slugger Mark Teixera with the tying run on 2nd base and 2 out, 3 times to strikeout ‘Tex’. The final pitch came with a full count and Teixera had words with homeplate umpire Brian Gorman.
It’s not every morning that I can lead off with something that hasn’t happened in 110 years. They couldn’t believe what they saw over at Lone Star Ball. Jared Saltalmacchia as well as Ramon Vazquez each drove in 7 runs. There were two Rangers grand slams hit in the game.
The classic part? The Orioles led 3-0 after a few innings of play. Texas then scored 30 unanswered runs, 4 touchdowns and a safety before regulation expired.
Four Texas hitters had 4 RBI or more, and the point that made Tim Kurkjian orgasm live on Baseball Tonight? The 7,8, and 9 hitters went 13 for 19 and drove in 16 runs. According to Timmy: “That has NEVER happened!”. Kurkjian went on oogling, and cooing and cawing for the entire 3 minute call that was shown. I’m pretty sure he jerked off immediately after hanging up.
It’s pretty amazing when you consider this was done by a last place team that the two nights prior had been owned by Johann Santana and Erik Bedard.