Tuesday was a long and exhausting day of baseball. The Cardinals backed into the wild card spot (a bad pick) as the Dodgers lost (a bad pick). Adam Greenberg got his one at bat and struck out against R.A. Dickey, but the Mets lost (a bad pick). The Athletics had their fifth best starter on the mound and beat the Rangers' best starter, Matt Harrison, to tie for the division lead (a bad pick). The Yankees won a game they did everything to lose thanks to the timely hitting of Raul Ibanez (finally, a good pick). The Orioles beat the eliminated Bay Rays on yet another homer by Chris Davis to stay one back (another bad pick). It was Major League Baseball at its best. But the picks were terrible.
This should be the last day of the season, unless the Yankees lose and the Orioles win. If the Yankees win and the Rangers win, then the Yankees will have home field advantage. If the A's win and the Yankees lose, then the A's would have home field advantage. If the Yankees lose and the Orioles win, then there will be a playoff game (number 163) between the two to decide the division champ. As you can see, the AL is coming down to the last day in two of the three divisions.
All the dust is settled in the National League except the best record. Both the Nationals and Reds are tied for that and that should be decided today too. It will be interesting if the teams go all out to get that record with nothing else at stake. And that does play into the picks, of course.
Speaking of those picks, we better get to them. Perhaps the delay is the sadness in knowing that today, for the last time this season, there are fifteen games to pick. That won't happen again until the spring of 2013. [sigh] The picks will keep going throughout the post season even though on many days, there will be only one or two games to pick per day. Wednesday's picks:
- The Pirates over the Braves: Ben Sheets will start for the Braves, but will only pitch two innings. Then Randall Delgado and Julio Teheran will get two innings each. A.J. Burnett will make his last start of the season and since he will pitch longer, the pick goes his way.
- The Nationals over the Phillies: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Edwin Jackson will be on the mound for the Nats as they attempt to get the best record in the NL. His worst side came out in his last start and it's been that kind of season and career. If he pitches well for the Nats, they should win despite facing Cliff Lee since Lee rarely gets any run support.
- The Astros over the Cubs: The Astros have won the first two games of this series by the exact same score of, 3-0. So let's make it a clean sweep as the fascinating story of Edgar Gonzalez continues for one last game. Travis Wood will be glad when the season ends.
- The Rangers over the Athletics: Everything points to an A's win. That's what is too scary here. It seems too much like a Hollywood script. Ryan Dempster is not going to go down without giving his best. He simply has more experience for stuff like this than A.J. Griffin. All that said, Griffin is dynamic in his home ballpark. This will be fun to watch.
- The Mets over the Marlins: Who knows what to make of this game. Tom Koehler gets his first big league start for the Marlins while Jeremy Hefner goes for the Mets. Hefner was awful two starts ago and wonderful his last start. So who knows.
- The Angels over the Mariners: Jered Weaver is going to win his 21st game and make the CYA mighty interesting. Blake Beavan goes for the Mariners, who have had a decent second half because of the pitching by guys like Beavan.
- The Indians over the White Sox: The White Sox collapse will be complete with one more loss. David Huff or David Hassle-Huff as he is called here, has not been beaten as a starter and his lefty tosses should take care of half of the White Sox' lineup. Gavin Floyd has somewhat rescued his season.
- The Blue Jays over the Twins: It is being called right here, right now: Next season, Brandon Morrow is going to win the Cy Young Award in 2013. Book it. He will shut down the Twins and beat Scott Diamond in a low scoring game.
- The Bay Rays over the Orioles: Jeremy Hellickson will shut down the Orioles. Chris Davis will not hit a homer. Fernando Rodney will cap his amazing season and the Rays will score four runs off of Chris Tillman. That's the call.
- The Diamondbacks over the Rockies: Ian Kennedy's season will look a lot better with sixteen wins than it did with fifteen. This is a root for a man-crush kind of pick. So readers take notice. Jeff Francis will go for the Rockies.
- The Giants over the Dodgers: It is hard to believe that the Dodgers will start Clayton Kershaw (who is scheduled to start) now that they are eliminated. If they allowed that to happen, some heads should roll. Ryan Vogelsong can make one more strong case for post season consideration.
- The Royals over the Tigers: Will Miguel Cabrera play? If he doesn't, this offense will stink. Luis Mendoza can even up his record and gets the start against Luis Marte, making his first major league start.
- The Brewers over the Padres: Ryan Braun will try to pad his stats. Josh Stinson will throw four good innings. Andrew Werner has gone downhill after a good start to his big league career.
- The Reds over the Cardinals: The Cards have clinched the wild card and have nothing to play for. But it will be interesting to see how their best prospect, Shelby Miller, does in his first big league start. Homer Bailey will try to get the Reds the best record in the NL.
And the Game of the Day (last one of the season for this feature)!
- The Yankees over the Red Sox: In a battle of Japanese pitchers, Hiroki Kuroda gets the start for the Yankees against Daisuke Matsuzaka. Matsuzaka is probably making his last ever start for the Red Sox and Boston fans won't have him to kick around any more. It is kind of fitting that he is ending this abysmal season for the Sox. Meanwhile, this game means everything for the Yankees. Win and they're in.
Yesterday: 6-9 Boooo
Games of the Day: 105-68