Today is the penultimate day of the season. The Nationals and Tigers clinched last night. Congrats to both teams and their fan bases. The Cardinals clinched at least a tie for the wild card. And the Yankees are within one win and one more Orioles' loss to clinching their division. Meanwhile, the Oakland Athletics are now within a single game of the Texas Rangers. Holy smokes!
Through all that celebratory happenings and nail-biting times for other teams, the picks were navigated with a 10-5 record. But alas, the Game of the Day feature should not have been bragged upon yesterday as the Giants lost to the Dodgers, who are still mathematically alive for one more day. Lucas Harrell of the Astros finished his season with a .500 record, quite an accomplishment for the rookie. Wade Miley had a great last start with ten strikeouts but he team could not pick up the win for him. And it was not predicted that Jeff Locke would win his first major league ballgame. Good on him, though.
- The Braves over the Pirates: Kevin Correia likely throws his last pitch in a Pirates uniform. Tommy Hanson trying to get consideration for a post season berth. Both pitchers have something to prove in this meaningless game. That is the only means of interesting in this one.
- The Yankees over the Red Sox: Sure, Jacoby Ellsbury will play tonight though Dustin Pedroia is done for the season. The rest of the Red Sox lineup is from Triple A. Jon Lester will try to maintain some pride but the Yankees need this win badly despite David Phelps getting the start. The entire Yankees' bullpen is on alert tonight.
- The White Sox over the Indians: It was a nice run for the White Sox, but they could not hold on. That renders tonight's game against the Indians as meaningless. They should, however, still jump on Justin Masterson and Jake Peavy will have one more start to try to even his record.
- The Nationals over the Phillies: All but (hopefully) Bryce Harper will be hung over for the Nationals. Will Gio Gonzalez actually start this game? And if so, why? The Nats should skip him. And they just might. The Phillies will give the start to B.J. Rosenberg, a fact that does not look promising. ***UPDATE*** Tom Gorzelanny is starting in place of Gio Gonzalez.
- The Blue Jays over the Twins: Anthony Swarzak gets the start for the Twins. He is not a bad reliever, but his ERA as a starter career-wise is over eight. Not good. Chad Jenkins tries again to get his first win.
- The Rays over the Orioles: Those Rays know better than anyone else how to spoil a party. They don't care that they have been eliminated. They will play hard and try to win this thing. James Shields needs to keep the Orioles in the yard. Miguel Gonzalez has been terrific for the Orioles though.
- The Cubs over the Astros: This is the first time in fifty years that two teams with 100 or more losses have played each other. The Cubs lost their 100th to the Astros last night, which is sort of fitting. Bud Norris goes for the Astros and pitched really well against the Cardinals last time out. Chris Volstad has been better of late for the Cubbies.
- The Royals over the Tigers: A game that no longer matters. The Tigers may sit some people and it is still a wonder they are starting Doug Fister. But that's what the line says. Anyway, they should be a big hungover and not care very much and Jeremy Guthrie has been very good for the Royals.
- The Brewers over the Padres: Yeesh. This game is awful to pick. Tyler Thornburg, who has pitched twice in all of September goes for the Brewers against Anthony Bass. Guess the home team is the way to go here for lack of any better reason.
- The Cardinals over the Reds: The Cards clinch tonight and how fitting is it that they will do so behind Chris Carpenter? The Reds won't care very much and Mat Latos, if he does start, will just get a five inning tuneup or something.
- The Diamondbacks over the Rockies: Another meaningless game, which are the hardest darn things to pick. Patrick Corbin has been awful of late and makes his last start of the season. Jhoulys Chacin has had some nice moments and some that were not so nice since returning from the DL. Regardless, he'll only get 75 pitches.
- The Rangers over the Athletics: This is the game that wins the Rangers the division. Their best pitcher, Matt Harrison (though Darvish has been better of late), goes against the A's weakest link, Travis Blackley. Harrison will have to be at his best though but he has big game experience in spades.
- The Angels over the Mariners: Very, very tempted to pick Hisashi Iwakuma in this one. He has had the Angels' number all season. But the Angels are still grinding to the end and Dan Haren has been great in the last month.
- The Dodgers over the Giants: Chris Capuano and Barry Zito are very evenly matched. The Dodgers have something to play for, even though it won't matter in the end. The Dodgers are also at home, so there is that.
And the Game of the Day!
- The Mets over the Marlins: R.A. Dickey wins his 21st game and forces more Cy Young Award consideration. Jacob Turner is still trying to prove he is a major league pitcher. It has not been easy for him to do so.
Games of the Day: 105-67