September 25, 2005

THANK YOU, INDIANS:

It's All Tied Up Approaching the Wire (JOE LAPOINTE, 9/25/05, NY Times)

At the beginning of yesterday's game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium, Jaret Wright gave up a single to right field, a single to left field, a single to center field and a single in the infield to fall behind by a run.

What else could go wrong? Oh, plenty of things, and they added up to a 7-4 Toronto victory that ended the Yankees' winning streak at five games and left them tied with the Boston Red Sox in the American League East. [...]

The Yankees, who have won 11 of their last 13 games, will finish their home schedule today against Toronto before ending their season with a four-game trip to Baltimore and a three-game visit to Boston.


Have two teams ever played each other so often in so short a time in games that mean so much to both?


MORE:
Down the stretch they come (KEVIN BAXTER, 9/25/05, Miami Herald)

[T]he three division races and the wild-card competition in the American League are almost certain to go down to the final weekend, perhaps to the final pitch. And thanks to either a stroke of genius or a stroke of good luck -- or maybe a little of both -- all four playoff teams will have to beat their nearest rivals face-to-face before they can advance.

The Chicago White Sox, who went into the weekend leading the Indians in the Central by 1 ½ games, will finish the season with three games in Cleveland. And the Yankees, who were leading the Red Sox by a game in the East on Friday, will be in Boston next weekend.

The race in the West could be over by then because Los Angeles, which started Friday three games up on the reeling Athletics, start a make-or-break four-game series in Oakland on Monday.

This is the way the final week should be -- but rarely is, even with the additional suspense of the wild card. In fact, this could mark the first time since the advent of three-division play that the American League has entered the final weekend with more than one championship truly undecided. So after six months, it has come down to this:

RED SOX-YANKEES

These two teams have finished 1-2 in the East every year since 1997, and they're certain to do so again this fall. But whichever one finishes second this year -- and in each of the past seven seasons, that has been the Red Sox -- is almost certain to get an early start on winter....

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 25, 2005 12:31 PM
Comments

Mount Steinbrenner -- dormant for the past decade except for some minor rumblings and ash emmissions -- will unleash it's full fury on Torre and Cashman if the Yanks miss the playoffs because Wright was kept in the rotation over Aaron Small, who pitched scoreless relief on Saturday.

Small's most recent starts haven't lived up to his 9-0 mark, and he still might melt down in Fenway next weekend. But the owner has never been one to pass up second-guessing, so if Jared does stay in the rotation, he better get a win this week at Camden Yards, or at least keep the team in the game, or the explosion that follows will fell trees for miles in all directions and block out sunlight for days.

Posted by: John at September 25, 2005 12:46 PM

Indeed, Small is their MVP this year.

Posted by: oj at September 25, 2005 12:50 PM

Seen on a Yankee fan blog, referrring to Small and the Yanks other pitching savior this year, Wang:

2005 Yankees, where having Small Wang is good thing.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at September 25, 2005 1:06 PM

Well, in football, the Steelers and Raiders played each other 10 times in 6 years, with 5 of those games being consecutive playoff games (72-76). For teams not in the same division, that was unusual. Each team won 5 times. They hated each other so much there were lawsuits stemming from comments about 'dirty' play, and Jack Tatum was so loathed in Pittsburgh that in 1980, when he was with Houston, a Steeler lineman (who wasn't with the team in those rivalry years) knocked him out on the sidelines after he shoved a Steeler out of bounds.

Of course, the game that made this rivalry was the Franco Harris 'Immaculate Reception' game, which was a tight defensive struggle until the last 2 minutes.

Posted by: jim hamlen at September 25, 2005 1:58 PM

We evil Yankee fans think it should be: "Thank you, Dan Shaughnessy."

Posted by: Matt Murphy at September 25, 2005 2:04 PM

We're all behind our baseball team; go get 'em Tigers! Wait 'till next year; Hay, we can dream; go get 'em, Detroit Tigers, go get 'em Tigers!

Posted by: Dave W. at September 25, 2005 6:00 PM

Dave:

The Tigers have given us an awful lot of reason to hope for next year, no?

The only thing I don't get is why they didn't move Rondell and Dmitri for young pitching early in the year when both were healthy.

Posted by: oj at September 25, 2005 6:35 PM

Indian's payroll at something like 46 mil, amazing.

Posted by: Perry at September 25, 2005 6:45 PM

WRT the Yankees' 200 million dollar payroll, Laura Ingraham called the me the 'FEMA of the American league'. Ouch.

Posted by: Bruce Cleaver at September 26, 2005 7:05 AM

The above should read, "Laura Ingraham called them the FEMA of the American League."

Posted by: Bruce Cleaver at September 26, 2005 7:20 AM

Too bad the Tigers are behind the Tribe. The Indians have almost as good young pitching and a young 1 to 5 that is far better than anything Detroit has.

Posted by: Bob at September 26, 2005 9:31 AM

The best pitching matchup of the year occurred in a Yankees-Blue Jays game: Wang vs. Bush.

The team with the Wang got the win.

Posted by: Casey Abell at September 26, 2005 1:16 PM
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