Friday, September 21, 2007

The Hunt for (Red) October

With only ten more days to go in baseball's regular season, not a single team has actually clinched a playoff spot. Yes, that's the way of the world in Major League Baseball these days, and quite frankly it's a lot more exciting that way!!!

In the American League, it's pretty clear which four teams are likely going to be playing in October. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim clinched a tie for the playoffs last night with a convincing 9-5 home win over the Seattle Mariners. Vladimir Guerrero paced the Angel attack with three hits including his 26th home run of the year in the fourth inning after Mariner reliever Jorge Campillo knocked him down with a pitch. The frustrated Mariners then had Campillo intentionally throw at Guerrero his next time up, knocking him down with a fastball which whizzed by his head, causing both benches to clear. Campillo and manager John McLaren were then immediately tossed. At one point in August, the Mariners were only 1 1/2 games behind the Angels for the A.L. East Lead, but they then proceeded to lose 15 of 17 games to fall out of the divisional race. With the loss, they are now 9 1/2 games behind the Angels and seven games behind the New York Yankeees for the wild card.

As for the other likely A.L. playoff teams, the Boston Red Sox maintain a narrow 1 1/2 game lead over the Yankees, while the Cleveland Indians have reduced their magic number down to three. The Detroit Tigers have VERY slim playoff hopes still as they are 7 1/2 games back of the Indians and 5 1/2 games back of the Yankees for the Wild Card.


Things are much different in the National League... as NOTHING has been decided, or is anything close to being decided other than you can stick a fork in Los Angeles Dodgers! :(. The Blue Crew lost their FIFTH straight game yesteday afternoon to the resurgent Colorado Rockies. Derek Lowe got pounded for six runs in only three innings, while Matt Holliday homered for the 11th time in his past 12 days to pace the Rockies to an easy 9-4 win. For the Rockies, the win was their fifth straight and kept them 4 1/2 games behind the San Diego Padres for the Wild Card spot.

As for the rest of the contending teams, the Padres trail the Arizona Diamondbacks by only 1/2 game in the Western division... Things are almost as tight in the other two divisions. The Chicago Cubs hold a 1 1/2 game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers in the Central division, while the New York Mets hold a 1 1/2 game lead over the Philadelphia Phillies and a 4 1/2 game lead over the resurgent Atlanta Braves in the Eastern divison. The Braves looked all but out of it a week ago, but the recent slump by the Mets, along with a five game winning streak have put them back into things...

Ten more days to go (at least) and so much left to decide... yes, the hunt for October is getting VERY exciting!!!


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