Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Baseball races tighten up even more

As for the game on the field....the A's lost again last night and the Angels won, putting them into a tie for first in the AL West (Texas lost to the Angels, putting them further back and more or less needing a miracle). Bad news for A's fans...the team is in a tailspin right now and I just don't know if they can pull out. The Angels haven't played that great either down the stretch, but they've won the games they've needed to win. The only good thing for A's fans to hold on to right now is that if they remain tied with the Angels going into the three-game weekend series, they avoid a one-game playoff and basically get a three-game playoff...with all three games at home. There are worse things. I still think they'll pull it out, but it seems clear that they're going to have to start their playoffs early.

Boston won while the Skanks were idle (same hurricane rain we got here - they'll play two today), pulling the Sox within 2.5 - still alive (though barely) for the division. Problem is that they probably need another week of the season to pull even. Even if NY loses all three against the Twins, Boston will go into the weekend needing major help from Toronto and big wins in Baltimore. It could happen...I just wouldn't bet on it.

Meanwhile, while LA won with five runs in the bottom of the 9th (putting them up three over the Giants in the NL West with five to play), cutting their magic number to 3...the Giants (more or less eliminating the Padres) and Astros both won, while the Cubs dropped a game to the Reds, creating a virtual three-way tie for the wildcard (Chicago and SF are tied, with Houston a half game back). The Cubs have no excuses - they should have wrapped this thing up by now and instead, have dropped games to a lifeless Mets squad and now the Reds, while both Houston and LA have been beating quality opponents (though in Houston's case...the Cardinals are clearly prepping for the playoffs). Houston's wins might be most impressive of all, with them still behind in the race and basically a two-man rotation right now. I haven't a clue how this thing will finish out. But...if this stand this way going into the weekend...its anybody's shot. I could see any one of those three finish out, or...worse...a three-team playoff.

And what about our new Senators? 5,000 fans were present to see the team's next-to-last game in Montreal, a loss to Florida. Later this week, I'll start having an in-depth look at what exactly we're getting with that team - its current parts, what's left in the farm system we're inheriting, and the direction I feel they should take here in DC. Hey! It's better than focusing on my lowly Royals...


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