Sunday, September 30, 2007

NL Decision Day: 4 teams, 2 playoff spots

National League This is the way it ought to be. With one game left for the contenders - Philadelphia, New York, San Diego and Colorado - only two will reach the playoffs. With the Mets winning (finally) and Philly losing on Saturday, the two teams are locked in a dead-even tie for first place in the NL East. Out in the West, Arizona clinched the division and home field throughout the playoffs by virtue of the Padres' 4-3 loss at Milwaukee. As for the possible scenarios involving the NL East and the wild card, the scenarios are so convoluted that I'll defer to, which has a complete breakdown of all possibilities, HERE. One simple scenario: If the Padres win, they are the wild card, the Rockies are out no matter what they do, and San Diego would play the winner of the NL East in the first round of the playoffs. The Cubs would travel to Arizona for the start of their first round playoff series. If the Padres lose, all hell breaks loose in the scenarios. Florida 0 NY Mets 13 - The Mets ended their 5 game losing streak just in time to possibly salvage their season. A win guarantees them no worse than a playoff on Monday with the Phillies - if they win. On Saturday, John Maine (right) flirted with a no-hitter, finally giving up an infield single to Paul Hoover with 2 outs in the 7th. Maine (15-10) struck out a career high 14 batters as the Mets scored repeatedly against some sore-armed Marlin pitchers. Tom Glavine will take the mound against Florida's Dontrelle Willis in Sunday's season finale. Washington 4 Philadelphia 2 - Ryan Howard cracked his 46th home run, but his solo shot (and Aaron Rowand's in the sixth) wasn't enough to overcome the pitching of Washington's Matt Chico and a trio of relievers.
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Chico grounded the Phillies on four hits over 6 1/3 innings, allowing just Rowand's solo shot. On Sunday, Jamie Moyer will head to the hill to face Washington's Jason Bergmann. San Diego 3 Milwaukee 4, 11 innings - Irony, your name is Gwynne. Tony Gwynne Jr., son of the Padres' hall of famer, tripled home the tying run for the Brewers with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, sending the game into extra innings, where the Brewers eventually won it in 11. The Padres' loss kept them from clinching a playoff spot and leaves open a myriad of possibilities heading into the season's final day. Brett Tomko gets the start against Milwaukee's Jeff Suppan Arizona 1 Colorado 11 - Once the Rockies knew they were still alive in the wild card race, they went out and pounded the Diamondbacks, scoring 4 runs in the first inning, keyed by Matt Holliday's 50th double, which drove in a pair. The Rockies continued the onslaught in the 5th inning with six more runs, including Troy Tulowitzki's grand slam. Still a game behind the Padres in the wild card, the Rockies will send rookie Ubaldo Jimenez to the mound against Arizona's Yusmeiro Petit, who got the start when Doug Davis was scratched, manager Bob Melvin preferring to save him for game two of the playoffs next week. Other NL Scores Chi Cubs 4 Cincinnati 0 St. Louis 7 Pittsburgh 3 Atlanta 2 Houston 3 San Francisco 5 LA Dodgers 6, 10 innings American League Minnesota 4 Boston 6 - The Red Sox clinched home field throughout the playoffs with the best record in the AL, at 96-65. Cleveland's loss to Kansas City, combined with the Red Sox winning the season series between the two clubs, gave the right to Boston by virtue of the potential tie-breaker. Cleveland is 95-66 Other AL Scores Tampa Bay 3 Toronto 5 LA Angels 3 Oakland 2 Detroit 2 Chi White Sox 3 NY Yankees 11 Baltimore 10 Cleveland 3 Kansas City 4 Texas 1 Seattle 5

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