Thursday, October 1, 2009

Baseball In The Daytime: 1 October 2009

Buckle your chin straps and fasten your safety belts, because this is the penultimate Baseball In The Daytime of the whole year and it's a humdinger. That was about the most nonsensical sentence imaginable, as you don't wear helmets or seatbelts while watching day baseball. Unless you're mentally retarded, in which case I apologize for my gross insensitivity to your condition.

Also, I believe that at least a few of next week's Division Series games will be played during daylight hours, so I was wrong there as well. WHO'S THE RETARD NOW?

Juvenile insults aside, we truly do have some killer games on the sked this afternoon. We've got a Cy Young race to decide, a possible playoff spot to clinch, and home field issues on the Senior Circuit to untangle. Some teams are rising, some stumbling, some playing out the string, and some trying to build a little momentum for the offseason. Let's get right into the fray, after the jump...

St. Louis @ Cincinnati, 10:35 Mountain The popular scuttlebutt holds that the NL Cy Young battle is a three-man race. Those men are Tim Lincecum of the Giants (who won in '08) and Cardinals teammates Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright. For my money Wainwright's the guy--he's been the most consistently unhittable from start to finish, even though Carpenter and Lincecum have slightly better stuff. It's not wrapped up, however, and a memorable start by Carpenter today could sway some of the spineless chin-strappers that inhabit the Baseball Writers of America. Carpenter's foil today is Cincinnati's Kip Wells.

Of more import than individual awards is the seeding in the NL playoffs. The Dodgers are still on top of the league with 93 wins, but they've dropped four straight to the putrid Pirates and Padres by a combined score 0f 25-7. Philadelphia sits a game behind with 92 wins, while the Rockies and Cardinals are currently at 90. All four of these teams are still in the mix for the top spot, and so every game they play over the next four days is impactful for playoff positioning.

Minnesota @ Detroit, 11:05 Over in the American League, we've got but one spot in the October tournament up for grabs. Someone has to win the Central division, and that someone will be one of the two teams wrasslin' at Comerica today. The Tigers, thanks to last night's 7-2 TKO of the Twins, hold a commanding three-game lead with four to play. A Detroit win behind lefty Nate Robertson means the race is over, good night, please hand in your keys. Should Scott Baker and Minnesota prevail, however, we keep this slugfest alive for at least one more day.

Milwaukee @ Colorado, 1:10 The brooms are out at Coors today, along with whatever symbolic trinketry you smuggle in when you're about to clinch. A boxing glove? A roll of toilet paper? An octopus? I don't know the protocol here. Aaron Cook starts for the home Rockies, who with a win lock down their second playoff berth in three seasons. Manny Parra tries to prevent any celebration on his watch, and you know what? Fuck Manny Parra and fuck the Brewers. We're taking a stand today, and it is decidedly homeriffic in the Centennial State.

With a victory, Colorado can also stay alive for a super-unlikely division crown, which would be their first. Tomorrow the Rox start a season-ending three-gamer at Chavez Ravine versus the free-falling Dodgers.

Arizona @ San Francisco, 1:45 The last of our BitD four-spot features the day's finest pitching matchup, Dan Haren against Lincecum. Haren has gone into his traditional second-half swoon, transforming from onetime Cy candidate to a guy who gives up five a game. Not that I'm bitter, not that I need Dan Haren to show up today to salvage my fading hopes in a fantasy baseball final. Let's throw a few strikes today, fellas, and Play Ball!