Rockies Clinch Playoff Spot, Braves Out
The Rockies clinched a playoff spot yesterday at Coors Field by defeating the Brewers 9-2. Their win eliminated the playoff hopes of the Braves.
If the Rockies sweep the Dodgers in Los Angeles they would become the NL West champion. A Rockies sweep would cause the Dodgers to settle for the NL Wild Card spot.
The Rockies were 18-28 when longtime manager Clint Hurdle was fired in late May. With new manager Jim Tracy at the helm the Rockies won their first two games then lost in four in a row. That was the low point of the season with the Rockies 20-32 and twelve games under .500.
On June 3 they were 15 and-a-half games behind the Dodgers and they were the closest to being eliminated on that date with a magic number of 94.
Then the Rockies started rolling and won 17 of their next 18 games and were four games over .500. Tracy has guided the Rockies to a 73-40 record since taking over the reins of the Rockies.
Tonight the Rockies will send Ubaldo Jiminez (14-12) to the mound with the Dodgers starting the veteran Randy Wolf (11-6).
Meanwhile the Braves were eliminated with the Rockies winning their game. Even with their improved pitching the Braves were not close to winning the NL East. At least the Braves were in the wild card race until the last four days of the season.
Twins Stay Alive With Win
The Twins staved off elimination yesterday with a 8-3 victory over the Tigers. Scott Baker won his 15th game of the season while Nate Robertson took the loss.
Orlando Cabrera and Joe Mauer led the Twins offense by driving in three runs and two runs respectively. The Twins uncharacteristically committed four errors in the contest.
There were 20 hits in the game but only two of them were for extra bases. Denard Span and Orlando Cabrera both doubled for the Twins.
Three Tigers were ejected during the game which saw two Twins and a Tiger hit by pitches. Home plate umpire tossed Jim Leyland, pitcher Jeremy Bonderman and catcher Gerald Laird out of the game.
It is hard to believe Bonderman would hit Delmon Young intentionally to start the ninth inning considering the importance of the game.
The Twins and Tigers finish their season at home with the Twins hosting the Royals and the Tigers entertaining the White Sox.
Edwin Jackson (13-8) will face Jake Peavy (8-6) in the opener of the Tigers three game series with the White Sox.
Ron Gardenhire in a surprise move is starting Jeff Manship (0-1) who has a 5.81 ERA. He is replacing Francisco Liriano who was knocked out of his last game in the second inning. The Royals are starting Lenny DiNardo (0-2) with an even worse ERA of 7.52.
The Tigers-White Sox game could be a low scoring game with Jackson and Peavy on the mound but the Twins-Royals game could be a higher scoring game since both starters have high ERA’s.
Chris Carpenter had no homer and one RBI in 60 at bats before yesterday’s game with the Reds. It only took him three at bats to hit a grand slam and drive in six runs in the 13-0 shellacking of the Reds.
There were five extra base hits in the game and Carpenter had two of them with his grand slam and double while Micah Owings had a double and ex-pitcher Rick Ankiel also doubling. Troy Glaus was the only hitter who has not pitched in a major league game to get an extra base hit in the game when he doubled.
Matt Pagnozzi the nephew of former Cardinal Tom Pagnozzi appeared in the game. His uncle had played his entire 12 year career with the Cardinals.
Albert Pujols hasn’t hit a home run since September 9, a span of 67 at bats….The Cubs-Pirates game that was postponed because of rain yesterday probably will not be made up. Neither team would jeopardize their place in the standings or affect any other teams place in the standings by not playing the game.
C.C. Sabathia will attempt to win his 20th game tonight against the Rays. He is only pitcher in the AL with a chance to win 20 games. Adam Wainwright will also try for his 20th win tonight against the Brewers.
The Royals and Indians may not be contenders for the AL Central title this season but they are tied for last place. Having a bad season is bad enough but finishing last is a dubious distinction no team wants.
The Mariners could move into a second place tie with the Rangers if they can sweep the Rangers in a head to head series to end the season. The Orioles need two losses to lose 100 games.
It would be the third time an Orioles team had lost 100 games with the Orioles losing 100 in their first season in Baltimore in 1954 and losing 107 in 1988.
The Pirates need three losses to lose 100 games for the first time since 1985 when they lost 104 games. Their .386 winning percentage is their 118th worst winning percentage in their history.
Ryan Braun is three hits short of 200 hits while Miguel Cabrera, Miguel Tejada and Hanley Ramirez need four hits to reach 200 hits.
Adrian Gonzalez is two runs batted in short of a 100 RBI season while Nick Markakis, David Ortiz and Jayson Werth need three more to reach the century mark.
Braden Looper who will be pitching tonight against the Cardinals has given up 39 homers which is seven more than second place Jeremy Guthrie who has allowed 32 homers.
Doug Davis is the only pitcher this season so far to issue over a 100 walks with 101. Roy Halladay with four and Zack Greinke with three are the only pitchers to post more than two shutouts in 2009.