Yikes. Suddenly these last three with Chicago really do mean something, if not in the way he had anticipated.
If you hadn’t heard, the Twins won last night (http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/wrap.jsp?ymd=20060928&content_id=1688734&vkey=wrapup2005&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb). The Chairman tied the game at one with a solo homer in the bottom of the ninth, and Jason Bartlett knocked in the winning run in the tenth. This game was significant for a few reasons.
First of all, Brad Radke pitched well. Of course, it’s the Royals, but 57 pitches in 5 innings is a good outing regardless. I mostly saw his velocity around 87-88 MPH, which is enough for him. If the Twins could squeeze five innings out of him in the playoffs, and avoid using Carlos Silva, that will be big.
And secondly, the Tigers lost last night (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=260928106). Kenny Rogers got smoked. And suddenly, the Twins and Tigers are both 95-64. The Tigers hold the tiebreak (season series), so the Twins are still a de facto one game back. But it’s been a long way to the top, and this is something to savor, no doubt.
- There was quite a bit of baseball news yesterday. The Mets clinched long ago, but will play the postseason without their ace (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2606427). The NL is wide open, kids.
- It’s so wide open, in fact, that the NL central gap between the Cards and Astros is down to a half-game (http://sports-ak.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=260928123). Everyone expected the Tigers to cave, and they didn’t. But St. Louis sure did.
- Daniel Cabrera nearly no-hit the Yankees on Thursday (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=260928110). This would remain in the realm of “that’s neat,” except for the fact that the Yankees now sit at 96-63, just one game ahead of the Twins and Tigers for homefield in the AL (and, thanks to the All-Star Game, the World Series).
- The NL wildcard is plenty close as well. The Dodgers (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=260928127&date=20060928) and Padres (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=260928129) both won, with the Pads keeping their one-game NL West lead. The Phillies lost, (http://sports-ak.espn.go.com/mlb/boxscore?gameId=260928120), leaving them on the brink of elimination.
So now you’re up to speed. Enjoy the final weekend, and see you in the playoffs.