September 30, 2008
Just a few weeks after Ken Griffey, Jr. was traded away from Cincinnati, tonight he stands at the precipice of the post season. If the White Sox can beat the Twins tonight, it’ll be his first trip to October ball since 1997.
And since I don’t have the good luck of following a decent team, tonight I’m saying a little prayer for Griff:
Oh baseball gods, who art in Cooperstown,
Hear my significantly less sarcastic than usual plea.
Bless Junior Griffey and the titanium screws that hold him together,
And deliver him this day into the ALDS.
September 29, 2008
W: Sabathia (17-10)
L: Howry (7-5)
Did the Cubs have Angel Guzman start just to allow the Brewers to win the wild card? Or was it simply a matter of giving the team’s best starters and relievers another day of rest to prepare for the playoffs?
It was probably the latter, but it’s fun to speculate. Especially if the 2 teams meet in the NLCS. It would be even more ironic if the Brewers were to beat the Cubs then, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
The Brewers scratched their way into the playoffs for the first time in 26 years thanks to, you guessed it, C. C. Sabathia. Sabathia turned in his usual line: 9 innings, 0 earned runs, and 7 strikeouts. Too bad he gets to pitch only once in the first round of the playoffs, unless Milwaukee manager opts for starting him on two days of rest. Nah, that would be crazy, and unnecessarily endanger his future with a team other than the Brewers.
Milwaukee tried to give their season away, but failed and won the wild card, thanks to the Mets repeating their historic collapse from last year. Milwaukee finished in 2nd place, 7.5 games back of the Cubs.
Chicago won their division for the 2nd straight year and hope for better luck in the playoffs than last year. We’ll see how the pressure of that 100-pound albatross feels in their first round against the Dodgers.
September 29, 2008
W: Thompson (6-3)
L: Pettyjohn (0-1)
The Reds ended the season doing what they spent most of it doing: losing. Oh, and also playing manager Dusty Baker’s favorite crappy players.
The Cardinals ended the year in 4th place, 11.5 games out of first, somehow winning with players that I didn’t think had the combined abilities to compete. Yet there St. Louis was competing for a playoff berth until about a month ago. Not bad. And since they haven’t made any expensive acquisitions, either in terms of monetary commitments or by giving up prospects, they should be in a good place to jump up a few spots in the standings next year.
Cincinnati finished the season in 5th place, 23 games out of 1st place and 7 games ahead of the Pirates. The Reds have tons of great young talent, yet I have no optimism about them competing next year. Their starting rotation has two extremely talented young kids, with more competing for spots. If only the team had someone in charge who knew how to deal with them. Sigh. No, I expect 2009 to be more of the same.
Wow, nothing I wrote there was funny at all. I tried this year, I really did. But there are only so many jokes you can make about the clueless moves Dusty Baker repeats before the well is dry. All I can hope is that the Reds start next year losing 30-40 in a row so Baker will finally be gone, otherwise the misery of Cincinnati will not end until sometime after 2010.
September 29, 2008
W: Rodriguez (9-7)
L: Hampton (3-4)
S: Valverde (44)
Brad Ausmus played his final game as an Astro yesterday in the final game of the 2008 season. Ausmus provided his team with all the runs they’d need, knocking his 3rd ball out of the park for the year, a 2-run dinger.
Wandy Rodriguez pitched 7 innings and allowed 0 runs to pick up his 9th win. Jose Valverde saved his 44th game.
Houston finished the season in 3rd place, a half game in from of the Cardinals. Their late charge for the wild card was derailed by probability and a hurricane, but the team played better than I guessed. We’ll see how they attempt to rebuild for next year. There are some expensive free agent pitchers that’ll be available, and given the depleted nature of the Astros farm system, I expect Houston to be actively signing players.