Friday, September 24, 2004

TGIF, Johan Pitches Tonight!

We apologize for the lack of a new post today. We have an updated Playoff Perspectives as well as a preview of series to watch this weekend. JD Durbin lost his first major league start last night as the Twins really begin to give their younger players a chance. Durbin allowed 5 runs in 3 innings walking 4. Hopefully he can build on this start for next year and not worry about being nervous. Luis Rivas and Cristian Guzman turned in a nice double play last night as Rivas continues to make his case to be the second baseman come playoff time. The Twins battled back all game but in the end it was too much for them to overcome their third straight loss since clinching the division.

That losing streak should turn around tonight with Johan Santana on the mound going for his 20th win. Every statistic on Johan going into this game is phenomenal. He is going for the team record for consecutive wins and he has pitched 30 scoreless innings. It would not be surprising if he gives up a few runs tomorrow night as a result but still gets the win. This streak is unbelievable especially if he carries it into the playoffs. Winning 20 will also cement the Cy Young Award for him as well.

Make sure and read Aaron Gleeman’s new article at the Hardball times. He compares the Yankees and Red Sox to determine which would be the better first round opponent for the Twins. He really does a good job of laying out the argument for both teams. Other then that, we hope you all have a great Friday and good weekend. There is a lot of good baseball yet to be played and the best time of year for fans is just around the corner. We are really starting to get spoiled around here with 3 straight years of postseason baseball.

Playoff Perspectives

New York won 7-3 over Tampa Bay to go 96-57, 4.5 GA in the East.
Notes – Jon Lieber pitched 7.1 innings giving up 3 runs in his bid for a playoff start.

Boston lost 9-7 to Baltimore leaving their record at 91-61, 4.5 GB

Oakland lost 5-4 to Texas, they are 87-65 2 GA in the West
Notes – Tim Hudson went 7 strong innings giving up 2 runs, Octavio Dotel blew the save giving up 3 runs in the bottom of the 9th.

Texas won 5-4 over Oakland going 85-67 2 GB in the West

Anaheim DNP 85-67 2 GB

National League

St. Louis won 4-2 over Milwaukee to go 100-52.

Chicago won 6-3 over Pittsburgh to go 86-66, .5 GA for the Wild Card.

Atlanta lost 3-2 to Cincinnati to go 89-64.

Los Angeles won 9-6 over San Diego to go 87-65, 1.5 GA in the West

San Francisco lost 7-3 to Houston 86-67, 1.5 GB in the West and .5 GB in the Wild Card.
Notes – Jason Schmidt pitched 7.1 innings giving up 2 runs. Dustan Hermanson gave up 4 runs in a third of an inning to take the loss; Carlos Beltran had 3 hits for the Astros.

Houston won 7-3 over San Francisco to go 84-69, 2.5 GB in the Wild Card.

Weekend Preview :
NY Yankees At Boston
Friday – Mussina v. Martinez
Saturday – Vasquez v. Wakefield
Sunday – Loaiza v. Schilling
Chicago Cubs At NY Mets
Florida At Atlanta
Houston At Milwaukee
Seattle At Texas
Oakland At Anaheim
Friday – Harden v. Escobar
Saturday – TBA v. Washburn
Sunday – Mulder v. Lackey
Los Angeles at San Francisco
Friday – Perez v. Rueter
Saturday – Lima v. Hennessey
Sunday – Weaver v. Tomko

As you can see there are 3 very good series being played this weekend that could drastically change the playoff picture. Boston needs to sweep to keep their hopes of passing the Yankees. Oakland and Anaheim will spend the weekend beating up on each other while Texas hopes to take advantage and pass the both of them. San Francisco could catch Los Angeles in the West or end up falling behind in the Wild Card.