The month of August ended with an ear-splitting bang as the picks went 25-5 in the final two days of the month. Yesterday concluded with only three bad picks for the entire day. One, as Mr. Netherton pointed out, featured the Cardinals who won behind Jake Westbrook. Westbrook not only pitched well, but did this. Another bad pick was the White Sox whose Jake Peavy gave up six runs in the first inning. The Twins held on (barely) to win 7-6. The last bad pick of the night owes an apology to J.A. Happ of the Astros. He limited the Pirates to four lonely base runners and killed that pick. The Astros scored two runs, one on an error and one on a bunt. Scintillating.
But that was it. There were lots of great picks. The Indians pick was a lucky one as it took sixteen innings for them to bring that pick home. But this picker did say that game would be a squeaker and sixteen innings would certainly qualify for that in spades. One unfortunate correct pick featured the Reds and Dontrelle Willis. The guy is pitching great for the Reds and can't buy a win. The Reds could play a thousand games against the Phillies and never win a game.
September is a beautiful month here in northern Maine. By the end of the month, the colors will be amazing. But it's bittersweet because we don't get a very long summer here and by the end of this month, it will be long past time to put the shorts away. Oh well, at least there will be lots of baseball. As the month begins, let's consider the picks on the first day of September:
- The Indians over the Athletics: Gio Gonzalez normally would silence an offense like Cleveland's. But he's not been himself this season and has struggled more often than not. Fausto Carmona is no lock as a pick either.
- The Phillies over the Reds: This game at least offers the Reds a chance as Vance Worley hasn't pitched well in day games and the Phillies will probably rest a regular or two after a night game. But the Phillies will still win. Mike Leake goes for the Reds.
- The Blue Jays over the Orioles: Tommy Hunter is pitching okay for the Orioles and at least goes deep into games for them. But the Blue Jays' bats have come alive a little bit and Luis Perez is pitching well since he got in the rotation.
- The Tigers over the Royals: The Tigers' top prospect, Jacob Turner, gets the call in this game and he's a good one. He'll pitch well and the Tigers will score enough off Danny Duffy to win.
- The Pirates over the Dodgers: Brad Lincoln made this picker look foolish in his last outing hence this pick. The Pirates are also helped by the Dodgers featuring Dana Eveland on the mound. Eveland has just a so-so minor league career.
- The Brewers over the Cardinals: Take that, Mr. Netherton! Brandon Dickson (another Brandon!) goes for the Cardinals. The young Dickson has looked good in a couple of relief outings but starting against the Brewers is a whole other kettle of fish. Yovani Gallardo has turned in on in the last month or so and starts today for the Brewers.
- The Marlins over the Mets: The Mets are starting Miguel Buatista. Miguel Bautista!? This guy has had more major league lives than a cat. The Mets will be his eleventh MLB team. Bautista may or may not be forty years old. Meanwhile, the Marlins will counter with Clay Hensley.
- The Red Sox over the Yankees: How irresponsible is it for the Yankees to keep putting A.J. Burnett on the mound? Will Jesus Montero be behind the plate? Won't matter. Jon Lester with the easy win as Burnett will implode at some point.
- The Nationals over the Braves: Tim Hudson doesn't seem to finish seasons well. He struggled mightily in his last start. On the Nationals' side, Chien-Ming Wang gets better and better with each start.
- The Rangers over the Bay Rays: Two good pitchers in this one with C.J. Wilson versus Jeff Niemann. The Rangers will prevail at home behind Wilson.
And the Game of the Day!
- The Angels over the Mariners: Charlie Furbush is better at home, but the Angels should win behind Ervin Santana who hopefully wasn't ruined by pitching on three days rest his last outing.
August Final Tally: 250-169 (59.7 percent)
Season: 1124-910 (55.3 percent)
Games of the Day: 94-55 (63 percent)