September 2007 - Baseball Wiretap
Rockies Will Host Padres With Playoff Spot On The Line
The Colorado Rockies' late-season surge set up one wild finish. The Rockies will face San Diego in a one-game tiebreaker for the NL wild-card spot Monday night, forcing the playoff with a 4-3 win Sunday over the NL West champion Arizona Diamondbacks. San Diego and Colorado will play at Coors Field for the final playoff spot in the majors. This will be baseball's first one-game playoff since 1999, when the New York Mets beat Cincinnati 5-0 for the NL wild card.
Arizona Saves Davis For Playoffs, Sets Rotation
The Arizona Diamondbacks skipped left-hander Doug Davis' scheduled start Sunday to save him for the playoffs. Davis (13-12) was slated for what manager Bob Melvin termed "an aggressive side session" Sunday to stay sharp. Ace Brandon Webb (18-10) will pitch the opener of Arizona's first-round series, followed by Davis in Game 2 and Livan Hernandez (11-11) in Game 3. Micah Owings (8-8) would pitch a fourth game.
Soriano Sets Cubs Sept. HR Mark
Alfonso Soriano set a team record when he led off Sunday's game against the Reds with a homer -- his 14th in September, the most by a Cubs player in the month. Soriano has led the Cubs' surge to their first NL Central title since 2003. He missed most of August with a strained thigh, but has been their most dependable hitter when it has mattered most. It was his 44th career leadoff homer and his 12th this season, extending his club record. His seven leadoff homers in September are the most by any major league player in any month.
Ordonez Wins AL Batting Title
Magglio Ordonez won his first AL batting title, getting three more hits Sunday and leading the Detroit Tigers over the Chicago White Sox 13-3 in a season finale between two disappointing teams. Ordonez raised his average three points to .363 and easily beat out Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki. Ordonez became the first Tigers player to win the batting crown since Norm Cash batted .361 in 1961. Ordonez also finished with 139 RBIs.
Phillies Capture NL East Title
Believe it, Philly. The Fightin' Phils are going to the playoffs. Considered all-but-out of contention just 2 1/2 weeks ago, the Philadelphia Phillies overcame a huge deficit in the standings, caught the Mets and won their first NL East title since 1993 on the final day. Ryan Howard hit his 47th homer, 44-year-old Jamie Moyer pitched 5 1-3 gutsy innings and the Phillies, backed by a crowd going crazy, beat Washington 6-1 Sunday to end a 14-year playoff drought. They needed help up I-95, and got it from Florida. The Marlins beat the Mets 8-1 to ensure there wouldn't be a tiebreaker playoff game on Monday.
Tejada Tells MacPhail: I Want To Win
Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada met with Andy MacPhail for 45 minutes yesterday, telling Baltimore's president of baseball operations that it's his preference to remain a shortstop but that being on a winning team remains his biggest priority. On the eve of what could be his last game in an Orioles uniform, Tejada said he didn't ask MacPhail for a trade, but he made it clear he's not interested in being with a team that's rebuilding. "I want to win," Tejada said. "It's not about changing positions. My point isn't about changing positions. My point is winning. I don't want to play every day just for money. I'm not that kind of person. I play for pride. I don't care about changing positions if we're going to be a winner, and I want to be on a team that is going to compete to win."
Matsui's Knee Needs To Be Drained
Joe Torre insisted Hideki Matsui being sent to New York last night to have his balky right knee drained today isn't that big of a deal. However, the procedure likely will limit Matsui to DH duty against the Indians when the ALDS opens in Cleveland on Thursday night. "It's nothing serious," Torre said of Matsui having fluid removed from the hinge that has been a problem for most of the season. "It won't affect his status."
Wagner: Willie, Rick 'Not A Lot Of Help'
The Mets' bullpen has been a mess for most of the season, and Billy Wagner evidently is tired of the pitchers involved shouldering the blame. In a New York magazine article that hits newsstands tomorrow, Wagner points a finger at Willie Randolph and pitching coach Rick Peterson as part of the problem. "We've been throwing four innings a night - for months!" Wagner told the magazine. "Our pitching coach has no experience talking to a bullpen. He can help you mechanically, but he can't tell you emotions. He has no idea what it feels like. And neither does Willie. They're not a lot of help, put it that way."
White Sox Give Pierzynski Two-Year Extension
Catcher A.J. Pierzynski is being signed to a two-year extension, the White Sox announced before Saturday's game with the Detroit Tigers. Under the terms of the deal, Pierzynski, 30, still will receive a salary of $5.85 million in 2008, as called for in the final season of his current three-year deal, and he'll be paid $6.25 million in the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
Arizona Loses, Still Wins NL West Title
From the Diamondbacks perspective, their stake in Saturday night's game against the Rockies diminished considerably a little more than an hour and a half before first pitch. One time zone away the Padres lost to the Brewers, giving the Diamondbacks the National League West title, and rendering moot the outcome of Saturday's game. No one seemed to mind that the Diamondbacks lost 11-1 to the Rockies, certainly not as they were commemorating their division title with a champagne toast in the visiting clubhouse at Coors Field after the game. With 90 wins, the Diamondbacks are assured of the division title - San Diego could reach 90 today but the Diamondbacks possess the tiebreaker with a 10-8 head-to-head record - and of home-field advantage through the first two rounds of the playoffs.
Phillies Lose, Fall Into Tie With Mets
The race for the NL East remains undecided as the Mets and Phillies are tied with one game left.
Padres Will Have To Wait To Clinch Playoff Spot
The Padres are assured of at least a tie for the NL wild-card spot, but they can wrap it up with a win Sunday.
Cubs Clinch NL Central Title
The Chicago Cubs clinched the National League Central Division title Friday night with a 6-0 victory over Cincinnati
Mets Stumble Out Of First Place, Need Help To Make Playoffs
The Mets' meltdown continued Friday night as the club lost to the last-place Marlins, 7-4.
Leyland To Move Guillen To First Next Year
The Tigers' Carlos Guillen will move from shortstop to first base next season.
Twins To Consider Signing Bonds?
The chances of Barry Bonds signing a contract in Minnesota seem remote.