Monday, September 1, 2008

The Pennant Race - 9/1

Labor Day is here, which means there's a month of baseball season left and Jerry Lewis is on the tube. With the exception of the AL West, and maybe the NL Central, all the divisional and wildcard races are up for grabs.

AL East

The Rays pounded the Orioles 10-4 on Sunday, to finish off a three game sweep in which they scored 34 runs. The victory moved them 5.5 games ahead of the Red Sox, who lost the finale of their three game series with the White Sox, 4-2.

AL Central

The White Sox win kept them a half-game ahead of the Twins in the central standings. Gavin Floyd picked up his 15th win and Jim Thome hit career home run number 536 to tie him with Mickey Mantle for 14th place on the all-time list.

In addition to being within striking distance of Chicago, the Twins moved to 2.5 back of the Red Sox in the wildcard race, with a 12-4 thumping of the A's. Justin Morneau homered and knocked in four runs, giving him 108 RBI entering September.

NL East

The Mets maintained their one game lead on the Phillies, by beating the Marlins 6-2 on Sunday. Carlos Beltran, who hit the game winning grand slam on Friday, David Wright, and Nick Evans each homered to help Pedro Martinez to pick up career win number 214.

The Phillies beat the Cubs 5-3 to gain a split of the four game series, after losing the first two. Jayson Werth homered for the third time in two games and Jamie Moyer won his 12th game. It was the 242nd win of Moyer's 22-year career. Remarkably, he only won 72 games in his first nine seasons.

NL Central

The Cubs lead in the division was reduced to 4.5 games due to the continuing heroics of the Brewers' CC Sabathia. The big man tossed a controversial 1-hit complete game shutout over the Pittsburgh Pirates. The play in question was the lone hit of the game. The Pirates' Andy LaRoche hit a tapper to the side of the mound that Sabathia bare handed and dropped. Had he picked the ball cleanly, he would have gotten LaRoche easily at first. But the official scorer ruled it an error. It would turn out to be the lone Pittsburgh hit. After the game, manager Ned Yost and Sabathia's teammates were clearly upset, and there was a plan (naive at best) to appeal to the league to have the call overruled.

The Brewers maintained a 4.5 game lead over the Phillies in the wildcard, while the Cardinals dropped to 6.5 back with a 3-0 loss to the Astros.

NL West

The Dodgers took two of three from the Diamondbacks to get back within 2.5 of Arizona in the west. LA dominated both wins, 6-2 on Saturday, and 8-1 on Sunday, with plenty of hitting and pitching. Derek Lowe threw six scoreless innings on Sunday night baseball, to beat Brandon Webb, who was walloped for the second straight time out in his attempt to win his 20th game.

Other News

The Indians, feel good about themselves, 10-game winning streak came to an abrupt end as they were swept by the Mariners in three straight.

The Padres Jake Peavy tossed a gem on Sunday (8 IP 5 H 0 R 13 K) only to see Trevor Hoffman blow the lead in the ninth. Hoffman then got the win when Luis Rodriguez drove in the game winner in the bottom of the ninth.

The Dodgers' Jeff Kent could be done for the season after it was announced he will undergo knee surgery to repair torn cartilage.

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