Wednesday’s required viewing

In the National League, the Washington Nationals can clinch the senior circuit’s number one seed with a victory over the Phillies at 1:05, but to do so they’ll need to get through Cliff Lee. Hey, remember when Lee said he picked the Phillies over the Yankees because it was where he had the best chance to win multiple rings? Yeah, how’s that working out for ya? If the Nats falter, Cincinnati can swoop in to take the top spot with a victory over St. Louis. That game gets underway at 8:15 P.M. Want real craziness? With a Cardinals’ loss and a win over the Giants, a team that’s already set in the third seed and is focused on getting ready for the ALDS, the Dodgers can force a one game playoff for the N.L.’s second wild card spot tomorrow, with the winner merely getting the right to play in Friday’s official wild card game in Atlanta. I’m not exactly sure where that game would be played, but how would you like to have to play for your life in Los Angeles on Thursday, then turn around and do the same thing in Atlanta the very next night?

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Rangers’ collapse outdoes Yankees’

When I came back from my week long trip to the hug-tent hiatus from blogging, one of the things that really stood out to me upon stepping back to take in what everyone else was doing around the league was that there really wasn’t any particular team outside of the A.L. East who seemed drastically better than the Yankees, or any other World Series contender. When I said that, it was Texas specifically that I had in mind. I hadn’t taken much time to watch West Coast baseball for much of the second half, so I still thought of the Rangers as the A.L. favorites and someone I couldn’t see the Yankees beating in their August-September form. During the time I spent watching the rest of MLB more than the A.L. East, however, Texas went 3-3, including dropping two out of three games in Seattle, and didn’t really look much better than anyone else east of the Mississippi.

I don’t know if there’s a profound point here, but what I’m trying to get across is that Yankee fans shouldn’t think that the Bombers coming back to the pack is unique to them, nor sell short what the A’s and O’s accomplished this year.…

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Stacking up the final day

As far as the division goes, the Yankees cannot lose tonight. In the event that they lose and Baltimore beats Tampa Bay, they’ll merely force a 163rd game in Baltimore for the division tomorrow night, which the Yankees would have Andy Pettitte lined up to pitch. The top seed situation is a bit murkier n that, if the Yankees lose, the top seed will be determined by the outcome of the Texas-Oakland finale this afternoon, as well as the finish of the A.L. East race. If Texas wins, the Yankees would own the tie-breaker wit them, provided they win the East, on the basis of besting them in their season series. But because the Yankees split 5-5 with Oakland, and have a worse winning percentage against their own division, the A’s would top the Yankees in the event that they finished tied atop the junior circuit.

Finally, there’s one last bit of strategic intrigue looming in the divisional fight. The Orioles have their best pitcher, Chris Tillman, scheduled to start tonight’s game against the Rays, and as of last night they remained committed to that.…

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Who To Root For On Day 162

Bud Selig wanted this. He wanted everyone glued to their TV’s, he wanted stadiums filled with fans, but most of all, he wanted to increase revenue. When Bud Selig wants something, he gets it.

I can’t say I’m a fan of the new playoff system. I expect it to dilute the competition with teams unworthy. Then...

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Yanks Win, Maintain Lead In The East And Now Control Their Destiny

This game was so many different things: frustrating, annoying, nerve racking, exhilarating, deflating, frustrating again and finally, the best thing ever.

Let’s start with the frustrating aspects:

  • The Yankees scored four runs on 16 hits.
  • They were 4-11 with runners in scoring position
  • They left 14 men on base.

Those same things were annoying but so was their ineptitude against...

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Ibanez’s heroics cut magic number to one

The good:

  • Obviously Ibanez is the story of this game. He might not have continued the hot pace he was on early in the season, and indeed he might have really tailed off down the stretch, but Ibanez is always going to have his own chapter in True Yankee lore tonight. That ninth inning home run not only tied the game, it rejuvenated the spirits of everyone in Yankeedom after what had been an absolutely awful game to that point, and his 12th inning walkoff single to score Cervelli, of all people, seemed almost pre-ordained by the baseball gods.
  • How about David Phelps? A rookie who’s been in and out of the rotation all year long, called on to make a spot start during a pennant race with just a day’s notice, and he gives his team 5.1 innings of two run ball? He wasn’t dominant or anything, but he certainly kept the Yankees in the game for 5= innings, especially considering that both of the runs he allowed came in the first inning.
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Game 161: Win.

Boston Red Sox New York Yankees
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF Derek Jeter, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B Nick Swisher, RF
Daniel Nava, LF Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Cody Ross, RF Mark Teixeira, 1B
James Loney, 1B Robinson Cano, 2B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C Russell Martin, C
Ryan Lavarnway, DH Curtis Granderson, CF
Pedro Ciriaco, 3B Eduardo Nunez, DH
Jose Iglesias, SS Ichiro Suzuki, LF
Jon Lester, SP David Phelps, SP

The first pitch is scheduled for...

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