The Yankees will get a week to rest a player or two, organize the playoff rotation, and work off a little Champaign Hangover… After sweeping the Red Sox, the Yankees won the AL East and won their 100th game of the season this weekend.
And, in the NL Central, the Cardinals disposed of the Rockies to clinch the NL Central. With a solid rotation and revamped lineup, the Cardinals are my choice to represent the NL in the World Series right now.
You have two head-to-head series opening today that will decide playoff chases. In the AL Central, the Tigers host the twins in a four game series to determine the division crown. A month ago, it looked like the Twins might not have enough in the tank, but the Tigers struggled to play .500 ball the last three weeks and then got swept by Chicago, while the Twins got hot enough to make it interesting. If the Twins can take three of four, it’ll make for a very exciting week.
In the AL West, the Angels can finish off a game Texas Rangers squad that is limping in on its last legs. Yesterday, Texas collapsed, giving up seven runs in the last two innings to lose to Tampa, a crushing late season loss.
Meanwhile, how about this late run by Atlanta, closing to just 2.5 games behind Colorado in the NL Wild Card chase? They haven’t had the huge winning streak the Rockies had just two years ago, but they have been solid for most of September and have a complete pitching staff and healthy lineup right now.
Boston’s Jon Lester was struck by a liner above the knee in Friday’s start, forcing him to leave the game, but x-rays were negative. Look for Lester to be ready for the playoffs once the swelling around the bruise goes away.
Jarrod Washburn has begun a rehab plan hoping to rejoin the Tigers later in the postseason. Washburn’s troublesome knee keeps him out of the lineup.
It’s Not Over! Omar Vizquel wants to play one more year, and Texas is interested in bringing back the veteran. Vizquel may be 42, but he was solid as a backup infielder and he still contributes at three positions and a little with the bat. [FoxSports]
Is it Over? Cito Gaston said that B.J. Ryan’s stuff didn’t excite him, said Ryan barely got by in 2008, and isn’t surprised that Ryan’s career seems to be done. Ryan was released by Toronto this year, signed a minor league deal with the Cubs, but asked for his release with declining velocity. [SI]
Hurry Back! Roy Oswalt is officially on the DL with a strained back.
Welcome Back! Aaron Cook rejoined the Rockies.