Saturday, March 03, 2007

Creeping along...

A set of big series! Not that it should have taken a month, of course.

AL Classic: Baltimore took 2 of 3 from the Yankees (including a 1-0 thriller decided on a Don Buford HR) to keep it a race-- they're now 2.5 back with ~14 games to play. Boston failed to make up any ground, dropping a series to Detroit. They're 3.5 back and need to make a move soon. There's something of a battle for 5th place/.5oo between Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Washington. I'd put a single quatloo on the Athletics, but no more. The Yanks head to Sportsman's Park where the Browns hope to play spoilers, with a pretty good chance of doing just that-- they've won 7 of 9 against the mighty Yankees this year. Baltimore and Boston, meanwhile, face each other at Fenway to see who gets to try and take advantage.

AL Modern: Seattle kept the pressure on the Indians by taking 2 of 3 and closing the gap to 1.5 games with ~12 to play. Interestingly, the Mariners have played much better in-division than cross-division (.628 vs. .500), while the Indians have nearly the reverse split-- .523 against the AL Modern division but .667 against the likes of the Yankees, Orioles, Red Sox... With only in-division games the rest of the way, could that swing things toward the Mariners? Cleveland heads to Kansas City, the Mariners are off to Bloomington, MN.

NL East: The Beaneaters are making the best of the reset and have crept out to a 1.5 game lead by sweeping the Mets, even getting a shutout from Ted Lewis. The Pirates are hanging tough, but dropped a game at the Polo Grounds. Atlanta dropped a game further behind Boston as well, and Brooklyn dropped their series to Philadelphia, likely dooming their hopes. The Phillies travel to Exposition Park in Pittsburgh next, while Boston hosts Atlanta and Brooklyn looks from some help from the now last-place Mets.

NL West: The Cubs first-place lead is still larger than any other teams, but in the past 10 games it's been whittled down by Milwaukee from 7 games to 3. Chicago had been hoping to use the last couple of weeks to get their pitching rotation ready for the postseason, but a race seems to have broken out instead. Meanwhile, the Cards swept the Reds! A happy day for manager Rivkin. St. Louis becomes involved in the pennant race for the first time in months as they host the surging Braves, while Chicago hosts the not surging San Diego Padres.