Pennant Race Fever: September 16
Andre Ethier hit his fourth walkoff homer of the 2009 season as the Dodgers defeated the Pirates in 13 innings. He also has two other walkoff hits this season. The win moved the Dodgers to five games ahead of the Rockies.
The home run was his 30th of the season and he only needs two runs batted in for his first 100 RBI season.
The Giants won their third game in a row behind the pitching of Barry Zito (10-12) and the hitting of Juan Uribe who drove in three runs in their 10-2 victory over the Rockies.
After scoring a total of nine runs in their previous five games the Giants have scored 26 runs in their last three games. The win moved them to within two and-a-half games of the Rockies in the NL wild card race.
The Cubs closed the gap between them and the NL leading Cardinals by a game after defeating the Brewers 13-7. Geovany Soto hit his 11th homer and drove in three runs. Derrek Lee also drove in three runs and ended the game with 101 runs batted in. Lee and Ryan Theriot each drew four walks in the contest.
The win moved the Cubs to within eight and-a-half games of the Cardinals and they moved to within five games of the NL wild card leading Rockies. Their problem is that the Rockies, Giants, Marlins and Braves are all ahead of them so they will need some help from other teams even if they keep winning.
The AL Central tightened up with the Tigers losing to the Royals 11-1 while the Twins and White Sox both won. The Twins defeated the Indians 5-4 while the White Sox took a 6-3 win over the Mariners.
The Twins are now four and-a-half games behind the Tigers and the White Sox are five and-a-half games back. The Twins had to overcome a 3-1 deficit to take the win over the Indians.
After three innings the White Sox were trailing the Mariners 3-0 but scored two runs in the top of the fourth to get back in the game. They tallied three more runs in the seventh and a single run in the eighth to complete the scoring.
Freddy Garcia (2-2) pitched his fifth straight game in which he pitched six innings and allowed three or less runs. He is 2-0 and has a 3.00 ERA for the month of September.
A.J. Pierzynski and Mark Kotsay each drove in two runs while Pierzynski and Alexei Ramirez each collected three hits in the contest.
The Red Sox won their sixth in a row and moved to within six and-a-half games of the AL East leading Yankees. They extended their AL wild card lead to five and-a-half games with the Rangers losing their game.
In the AL West the Angels held onto their six game lead with both the Angels and Rangers losing yesterday.
The NL East race remained the same after the Phillies, Marlins and Braves all won their games leaving the Marlins seven games back of the Phillies and the Braves seven and-a-half games behind them.
Diamond Notes: Roy Halladay (15-9) allowed only two runs and scattered 11 hits in his six innings as the Blue Jays defeated the Yankees 10-4.
Rookie Travis Snyder homered twice off of Sergio Mitre who gave up four homers in the game. Both of Mitre’s September starts have been against the Blue Jays. In the two games he has allowed 18 runs and 19 hits in nine innings. That is tantamount to pitching a 19 hitter.
There was an ugly brawl in the eighth inning after Jorge Posada bumped reliever Mark Carlson who had pitched behind him earlier in the inning. I will be surprised if disciplinary action isn’t taken against players on both teams which would hurt the Yankees a lot more than the Blue Jays since Yankees are almost certainly playoff bound.
Pat Burrell has hit all 14 of his homers against righthanded pitchers which is unusual considering most righthanded batters hit better against lefthanders….Daisuke Matsuzaka (2-5) pitched his first game since June 19 and pitched six scoreless innings while allowing three hits in the 4-1 win over the Angels.
The A’s have won seven of their last nine games and have outscored the Rangers 15-1 in their last two games. Rajai Davis is hitting .411 for the month of September and is setting himself up for more playing time in 2010 since he is currently hitting .314.
Jack Cust may have worn out his welcome in Oakland after his numbers continue to drop from his first season two years ago. He is a one tool player that only hits with power and has none of the other four tools.
He is signed to a one year contract for $2.8 million and the A’s may decide to let him go since they will have to save money after a decline in attendance.
The Phillies picking up Cliff Lee was one of the best trading deadline moves made. When he was obtained he had a three game winning streak in the AL and then proceeded to win five more in a row with the Philles. After losing the next two games he has come back to defeat the Nationals in his last two starts for a 7-2 record with the Phillies.
Tommy Hanson bolstered his chances of winning the NL Rookie of the Year Award with a seven inning outing in which he allowed no runs and three hits. The win improved his record to 10-3 and he also struck out eight. He has a 0.45 ERA in September and has only lost once since July 31.
Adam Wainwright pitched well but failed to win his 19th game for the Cardinals and may have three starts left this season….Mark Reynolds hit his 42nd homer and needs four runs batted in for his first 100 RBI season.
He missed it by three RBI’s in 2008. He also needs four strikeouts to reach 200 strikeouts and needs nine to break his own record of 204 strikeouts. He has 16 games left this season.
Josh Johnson and Joel Pineiro will try to win their 15th game as they face each other in the Marlins-Cardinals game this afternoon….Derek Lowe will attempt to win his 15th game tonight against the Mets.
The Rockies-Giants game tonight has an excellent matchup with Jorge De La Rosa trying for his 15th win for the Rockies while Matt Cain attempts his 14th win….Joe Saunders will vy for his 14th win tonight against the Red Sox in his start for the Angels.