My wife had a baby on Friday, so I've been otherwise disposed of late. However, here's a rundown of what I missed:
- The Red Sox outscored the Yanks 22-6 in the Bronx but ended up only taking two of three in the series, thanks to a nicely pitched game by David Wells today. It couldn't have come at a better time for New York: the Sox were just 1.5 back and Wells hadn't won since July 19. The Yankees now have 17 games against the D Rays, O's, and Tigers in their twenty remaining. The Red Sox have nearly an identical schedule except they draw the Indians instead of Detroit (and the Yankees have a makeup game with Toronto). It's going to be hard for Boston to make up ground with that competition.
- Mike Maroth lost 20 games on the season. Stock in Brian Kingman Inc. plummeted worse than Enron post shedding. Maybe this will put an end to the 23-year-old stigma associated with the loss feat. Maroth has been far from a revelation but he is basically a representative pitcher on the awful Tiger staff.
- Drew Henson was no longer a baseball player-- to quote Mel Brooks in The History of the World, Part I when told "The peasants are revolting," he responded, "You're telling me--they stink on ice." Henson's Triple-A career was in retrograde, but suddenly the rumors were quelled by his appearance on the Yankees' September roster. Maybe he just needed to feel loved.
- The Cubs took over in the Central. I think that I may have predicted this. Either that or Joe Morganed (i.e., punted) and picked all three teams to win. Either way, I was right. The Cubs face flailing Montreal and a bunch of stiffs the rest of the way. Houston and St. Louis have two more series and six games together. The Astros draw the Giants at home, and the Cards the D-Backs. The Cubs should have a clear path if they can tread it.
- A radio prankster in Montreal got Bud Selig to admit on the air what basically everyone knew he thought of the Expos chances of staying in Montreal. The funniest part was that MLB could possibly call someone else's actions "reprehensible".
- Speaking of Montreal the once-hot Expos have all but faded from the wild card. The Marlins and Phils quickly showed that there is some difference between them and Montreal in the East by taking 6 of 7 from Les Expos.
- The White Sox and Twins are locked in an steel cage match in the AL Central. Minnesota and Chicago have seven games remaining, starting with a game at the erstwhile Comiskey tomorrow. Minnesota also plays Cleveland and Detroit. Chicago has only playoff contenders the rest of the way: 7 with the Twins, 7 with the Royals (if they count), 3 with Boston and 3 with New York. Kansas City has just the Chicago series and Cleveland and Detroit series remaining. I bet no one from the South Side drew up that schedule.
- The Mariners wnet from a game and one-half up on the Red Sox to 1.5 behind them in a week. That week saw the M's play Tampa Bay and Baltimore and saw Boston play Philadelphia, the White Sox and the Yankees on the road. Is Ichiro still the MVP leader in the AL? The man is batting .248 with a .661 OPS and only 5 stolen bases in the second half of the season. Ouch!