Well, we asked for it.. and we got it. Drama to the last day. Minnesota solved the Greinke puzzle and pulled into a tie with Detroit for the AL Central. Delmon Young showed up big again on Saturday, knocking in 3 RBIs for the second straight day. Yet, it took Minnesota Magic to eek out the win in the bottom of
the 8th on Abra Cuddyer‘s Game winning Solo shot. You can call him Michael, but ya doesn’t have to call him Magic. The Dome lives! : )
And how about the kids in Washington winning their 6th straight. Two players we’ve highlighted here in the last week were right in the middle of it. In the 11th inning, tied at 4, Pete Orr led off with a single and one out later Justin Maxwell launched an opposite field bomb to win it for the Nats. Add a pitcher or two and there may be some chemistry in that clubhouse.
Chemistry might be what you call the connection between Ryan Braun and
Craig Counsell. Out of their fog from Colorado these two have been on a rampage. The Brewers handed the Cards a road ticket when the dynamic duo had a 4 for 8 day with 3 runs and 2 RBIs. With the Dodgers win, St. Louis is packing for LA.
What? The Dodgers won!? Indeed they did, clinching the NL West and the Homefield Advantage as well. Juan Pierre was the catalyst that LA needed and responded with a 2 for 4 day and an important RBI. The game was a Zip tie contest into the bottom of the 7th before LA broke through. Talk about pulling teeth.
They also woke up in Boston. Victor Martinez, who had 103 Home Runs as an Indian without
a Grand Slam, hit the 1st Grand Slam of his career against… you guessed it… those Indians. Brian Anderson had a perfect day at the plate. He was 3 for 3 with 3 RBIs, he Walked once and scored twice in the Red Sox win.
In Cincinnati, the pesky Pirates were finally beaten by somebody. Joey Votto tipped his cap and whacked a Home Run in his 2 for 3 day that included a walk and 3 RBIs. Nice game Joey and nice season as well, 25 HR’s for Votto in ’09.
All good, but the day came down to a couple of Duck Snorts in Detroit. Both produced from the bat of Alex Rios. Alex had a magnificent line of 4 for 5 in the marquee matchup of the day games. He picked up 3 huge RBIs and led the offensive attack against a flock of Tiger pitchers. Call ’em Texas Leaguers if ya like.. but they’re line drives in the Box Score! Alex was timely and productive and helped the Twins lock up the Tigers at the top of the AL Central. The final playoff spot will be determined today … game #162! Cool huh?
The sun is setting on the 2009 season and what a difference a few hours makes. Less than 48 hours since my last post (sorry, suffering Dodgeritis) no longer is the AL Central the hottest race. No longer is Hotlanta Hot (In fact, you can probably stick a fork in ’em). No longer is Colorado the “Chasee”. And.. no longer does Cleveland have a Wedge in their bag. No, no, no and no.
Colorado has returned to it’s customary “Chaser” role and continues to be in the most heated post season contest in baseball. Only, it’s no longer the Wild Card… It’s the Division title! It seems the hapless (punchless? gloveless?) Dodgers have squandered their way through the weakest road trip of the year and are now … well, in a rather customary position of their own.
Yes, the Dodgers have made an annual event of bringing drama to the NL West crown. Why should 2009 be any diff. So, with the Magic number at One for …. ever. They’ll take this one all the way to Sunday. Strap in, here we go.
The bats have been silent while I was gone, with few exceptions. That trend continued in Wednesday’s games. ..
In Philly, the Phillie Phollowers can find some relief as their Phightin’s Phinally clinched the NL East Crown. Though they put up 10 runs, it was spread throughout as no hitter had much to crow about. Raul Ibanez being a mild exception; He posted a 1-2 day with a Walk, a HR, 3 RBIs and a couple of runs scored. Congrats Philadelphia now you’ve got a chance to Repeat.
In “no longer Hotlanta” the Florida Marlins were too
much for the Braves, pulling them both down out of the crow’s nest. Jorge Cantu put up a decent day with 3 hits in 5 trips, knocked in a run and scored twice. Colorado can thank these two for locking horns so late in the season. They’re back and forth battle has killed each other’s chance at catching them.
Because.. Colorado continues to be red Hot Rocks. They had several players break out with the bats including Helton and Gonzo. It was Troy Tulowitzki that had the best line though. Troy’s 2-3 day included a HR, a run scored and 2 RBIs. The Rockies pounded Milwaukee for the 5th straight time and now trail LA by 2 /12 in the West. They play today with all of LA’s eyes upon them. At the end of the day LA will either back into the title… or right into a hornets nest.
In what was the hottest race of them all, Detroit doused the hopes of Minnesota fans everywhere by winning their 2nd straight vs the Twins.
After having their lead shaved to One in the Central, Detroit fought back and gained control with only 4 games to play. Magglio Ordonez caused the damage with his big time double in the gap that capped a 2-4, 3 RBI day in the Tigers win. Way to go Mags.
Another exact line came out of Tampa. The only difference was the game didn’t mean as much down there. Ben Zobrist put up the 2-4 day. His 3 RBIs included a Home Run and a run scored. Is it me or do these teams look like they’re already on vacation?
How about this line? 1-1, a run, 4 RBIs! Ha! Could it be our Fave Pinch Hit Home Run? In this case a Grand Slam! Ah shucks, not to be. Justin Maxwell put up that line with his only at
bat in the game. Justin came in just in time, Pinch Running in the 8th and then performed 2 out, bottom of the 9th magic with his Grand Slam to win the game over the hapless Mets. It was the only time all year the Nationals have won after trailing through 8 innings. Good job Mets. Geez, take a vacation.
One team that did not take a vacation on either side of the ball, the Blue Jays. They are giving the Red Sox fits in Boston. Roy Halladay tossed his 2nd straight shutout and the Jays bats (full of super hitters like Hill, Lind and even Travis Snider) racked up 17 hits on Boston pitching. It was Randy Ruiz carrying the heavy lumber. Randy belted 2 Home Runs and collected 2 RBIs while scoring 4 times in the rout. He was 4 for 6 on the day. Great game Randy, you’re making YH proud.
But, two guys were actually perfect at the plate yesterday. Eli
Whiteside (he’s been hot) took the SF Giants crowd for a ride with his 3 for 3 day at the plate. Eli Homered, he scored once and cracked the RBI stat 3 times in the Giants win over Arizona. In the last 10 games, the only team worse than the Dodgers in the West is the cellar dwelling Arizona D-Backs. Well, the agony can only last 4 more games guys and then you get that wonderful thing called Hope. Hope that next year brings some joy and contention in Arizona.
There is definite Hope starting to percolate in Pittsburgh. Yeah, that Pittsburgh. The same team that is 35 games UNDER .500 on the road! What? The worst in Major League Baseball. And yet… there is Hope in Pittsburgh as they posted their first DoubleHeader sweep in Wrigley Field in 26
years! Holy Cow! In the night cap game Ryan Doumit put up the perfecto. Doumit was 4 for 4 with 4 RBIs and 3 runs scored (dammit Ryan, couldn’t ya jus score one more time! : ) He’s a good looking catcher. With Ryan, Andy LaRoche, McCutcheon and that great looking swing of Garret Jones… there’s some Hope for the Bucs.
Ryan also blasted a Home Run in his perfect Yesterday’s Hitter performance. Way to go Ryan Doumit.