As August turns to September, this will be one of three plantings on my favorite topics–baseball, fruits, and votes.
I don’t think there has been a better end to August around baseball in many years. We had several series to end the month with big implications for the races that are about to enter their final month.
Was that a statement the Angels made, or what? This is not over by any means, but when you interrupt a tough run of road games for three at home against the team ahead of you, could take the division lead with a sweep–and then get swept–it’s some setback. The Angels just out-classed the Mariners in every aspect of the game for three straight and now lead the division by five games.
Earlier today I tuned in just in time to see (ex-Phillie) Billy Wagner blow a chance for his first two-inning save of the millennium, capping off a wild 11-10 game. The Phillies completed a four-game sweep at home of the division-leading Mets, and are now only two games out.
Tonight the Padres go for a four-game sweep of Arizona, and if they pull it off, they will claim a one-game lead in their division.
The Brewers can’t reclaim their lead over the Cubs in tonight’s game, but they can win the series and thereby get back within 1/2 game–and move over .500. For the second year in a row, the NL Central “race” is pathetic.
Let’s see, did I leave anything out? Not really. Well, there was the Yankees completing a three-game sweep of the Red Sox. Yaaaaawwwwn. The Red Sox lead of five games still looks safe. However, with their sweep and the Mariners’ sinking, the Yankees did pass the Mariners for the wild card lead.
More great games among the contenders later in the day on 30 August!
The Diamondbacks escaped San Diego with their division lead intact, almost blowing an 8-0 lead in the seventh. Instead, it was just another one-run lead, keeping their Snake Highs season going. Look out, San Diego, here come the Dodgers and Boomer!
The Mariners slipped into second place in the AL Wild Card race with their sixth straight loss. This was one of their many would-be off days given up to making up that snow-out from the first week of the season. The Indians beat them on a walk-off walk. The Mariners are reeling, but they have an early September wild-card showdown with the now-leading Yankees starting Monday.
And the Brewers slipped back below .500, losing the final game of their series with the Cubs, who now have a 2.5 game lead for the race to be the least mediocre team in the NL Central.
Now, please raise your hand if you thought the Angels would go into the final game of August with the largest lead of any of the six divisions.1 And now please raise your hand if you thought the Indians would enter September leading their division.
September is going to be fun!
- And only 1/2 game off the pace for league’s best record. [↩]