Pennant Race Fever: September 21
Jake Fox hit a two run homer in the 11th inning giving the Cubs a 5-3 lead and eventually a 6-3 win after a base running mistake by Matt Holliday in the ninth inning. He was trying to break up a double play but never came close to touching second base and the double play was called even though the runner was originally called safe at first.
Instead of winning the game when the apparent winning run scored the Cardinals had to take the field again in the tenth inning.
The magic number for the Cubs to be eliminated remained at four games but their chances are not very good of winning the NL Central title. In addition they are eight games behind the Rockies in the NL wild card race.
The Cubs have 14 games remaining with a ten game deficit. They travel to Milwaukee to play three games at Wrigley North and then fly out to the west coast to play a four game series in San Francisco.
The AL East race tightened up even more yesterday as the Red Sox won their third in a row while the Yankees are holding on to a five game lead. The Red Sox are 9-1 in their last ten games while the Yankees are 5-5 in that span.
The magic number for the Red Sox to be eliminated now stands at nine with the Yankees havingtwelve games remaining. The schedule for the first of this week favors the Red Sox who travel to Kansas City to play the Royals while the Yankees travel to play the Angels.
The two teams then face each other at Yankee Stadium giving both teams the chance to control their own destiny. The Red Sox then entertain the Blue Jays and Indians to finish the season.
The first game of the Red Sox-Yankees series on Friday should be a pitcher’s battle with C.C. Sabathia trying for his 19th win and Jon Lester attempting to win his 15th game.
The AL Central is the only division in which a division leader has a magic number in double figures to eliminate the second place team. Their magic number is now 11 with a three game lead over the Twins and a six-and-a-half game lead over the third place White Sox.
The AL West and NL East races are almost over with large leads in both divisions.
The second closest division is the NL West with the Dodgers holding a five game lead over the Rockies with a magic number of eight. Both teams play losing teams to start the week on Tuesday with the Dodgers traveling to Washington to play the worst team in the major leagues. The Rockies entertain the San Diego Padres starting Tuesday.
Roy Halladay failed to win his 16th game of the 2009 season and has lost five of his last seven starts….The White Sox have 12 games remaining and nine of those games will be against the Tigers (6 games) and Twins (3 games)
Today they send rookie Daniel Hudson to the mound against the Twins. The White Sox then play the Tigers three games before playing the Indians for three games. Then they finish the season in Detroit against the Tigers.
The redhot Athletics won their seventh game in a row and are 9-1 in their last ten games after trouncing the Indians 11-4. They have been 14-5 since August 29 and have scored at least four runs in 14 of their last 15 wins.
Prince Fielder hit his 40th homer of the season yesterday and has hit 124 homers over the last three seasons while driving in 349 runs with two weeks left in the 2009 season. He has 154 career homers at the age of 25 and won’t be 26 until May 9 of the 2010 season so is in line to have 300 or more homers by the age of 30.
Tim Lincecum has only won twice since August 1 and had a 10-2 record before the All Star break and a 4-4 record after the break. His chances of winning the Cy Young Award are all but gone since he only has 14 wins.
Adam Wainwright is first in wins with 18 and third in ERA with a 2.59 mark. Meanwhile Chris Carpenter has posted 16 wins which is second in the NL and his 2.34 ERA leads the NL.