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« Baseball The Way It Used To Be | Main | False Autumn »

September 15, 2005

Limping Home/Hitting the Road

What a staggeringly abysmal three days. The Angels getting swept by the Seattle Mariners, the final two games in the last at bat, is torture enough. Then to witness the Dodgers blowing a 5-0 lead to the Colorado Rockies on their way to a 8-7 loss that drops them six games behind the San Diego Padres in the They Shoot Horses Don't They division. I live for this?

But other than the St. Louis Cardinals, who are a week away from setting up their playoff rotation and giving their regulars as much rest as they want while not letting the rust set in, the other seven playoff spots are still up for grabs. The next ten games on the schedule for all of the contending teams could clarify a lot of things before the final week of the season arrives. Today, I'll focus on the American League.

Remember when the Chicago White Sox looked to be running away with the AL Central? The Cleveland Indians now sit five games behind Chicago, and they are the hottest team in baseball. In the next ten games, the Tribe will play Kansas City seven times around a three-game series at Chicago. Meanwhile, the ChiSox will be meeting their old friends the Minnesota Twins in seven of the next ten, with Johan Santana scheduled to get a start in two of those seven contests. In between their home-and-home battles against the Twins, Chicago will be hoping to continue their season-long (10-3) dominance over the Indians in order to avoid a do-or-die final series of the season at Cleveland.

The Yankees also are looking to benefit from a schedule that has them playing Toronto and Baltimore six and seven times respectively after a final game against Tampa Bay on Thursday. New York's final three games of the season at Boston could be played with the AL East pennant on the line as well as home field advantage throughout the playoffs and World Series, so prepare yourself to hear even more about the "greatest rivalry in baseball."

As for the Angels and A's, with Detroit coming to Anaheim for four games while Oakland travels to Boston to start a four-game set, this weekend presents itself as an opportunity for Los Angeles. The Angels split six contest against the Tigers earlier in the season, but Detroit has been awful of late-- just 3 and 11 in September, which means they'll make life tough for the Angels. Bartolo Colon shoots for win number 20 on Thursday, with John Lackey taking the mound on Friday sporting a 6-1 mark and a 1.92 ERA in 11 starts since the All-Star break. In the meantime, Oakland draws Curt Schilling on Thursday, followed by Tim Wakefield, coming off of impressive outings versus the Angels and Yankees, on Friday.

Posted by Andrew Torres at 8:30 AM

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