With a pounding of the Astros, the Philadelphia Phillies clinched a third straight NL East title. And, while the champaign was freely flowing, one player won’t get to participate in the post season, and that’s Jamie Moyer, who needs surgery to repair tendon tears in his abdomen and left groin. [ESPN/SI]
Detroit got the magic number down to two with a 7 – 2 win over the Twins and Carl Pavano. The Twins needed to take three of four to have a legitimate shot – and now the Tigers can win tonight and end the race without any additional help.
Meanwhile, the Atlanta Braves were handled by Ricky Nolasco and the Florida Marlins, 5 – 4, pretty much ending Atlanta’s shot at a post season bid. Nolasco fanned nine in a row at one point, finishing with a league high 16 strikeouts. The Rockies keep winning – and with the Dodgers unable to win a game in San Diego, the Rockies still have a shot at catching the Dodgers for the NL West crown.
Speaking of the Marlins, the Miami Herald discussed a number of potential roster changes for Florida based on the usual need to dump salary (which makes it hard to be a Marlins fan). Among those who could be tossed or traded: Jeremy Hermida, Dan Uggla, Jorge Cantu, Nick Johnson, and Brendan Donnelly. Hermida, a former first round draft pick, has been sidelined with a strained oblique and rarely plays anymore – plus he’s never lived up to the hype. (Heck, his first ever plate appearance, he hit a grand slam, so there was no room to go up…)
It’s Over! Cleveland Manager Eric Wedge was fired effective at the end of the season. When a season is disappointing, and the best players are traded to other contenders at the trading deadline, and THEN you lose 20 of 25 – your fate is pretty obvious. [SI]
Is it over? Anybody see how poorly John Smoltz pitched (again) last night? And he blamed it on the baseballs, saying he could never get a grip or feel comfortable throwing.
Is it over? I know that Ken Griffey’s not saying “retirement”, but hitting .218 isn’t what he probably had in mind for 2009.
Is it over, too? Joba Chamberlain’s poor August and September may end his days as a starter for the Yankees (I was touting him as a starter a few months ago, but he’s be lousy lately), and may keep him from the post season roster altogether. I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure this is all Joba’s fault. He was ROLLING in July – and when he has a couple of tough outings in early August, the next thing you know, the Yankees management starts limiting his pitch count, which couldn’t have been good for his head. Now, he’s probably pressing – trying to get back his rotation slot as the Yankees have decided to go back to letting him throw 100 pitch outings again. I compared Pitch FX data (not too closely, but looked at stuff) and it doesn’t look like he’s lost velocity – but he has lost the strike zone. He was throwing strikes 61.5% of the time in July, but less than 59.5% of the time in September. The Yankee’s lack of commitment to Chamberlain in a given role is, to me, as problematic as it gets.
Hurry Back! Freddy Sanchez had successful surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee, but should be back for spring training.
Welcome Back! Chris Dickerson (Reds) and Russell Branyan (Mariners) came off the DL.