Game of the Day: Indians 12, Twins 9 (11 inn.)
Another blog on the fire: The Tribe jumped all over Francisco Liriano (literally ... he had bruises) and led 8-1 in the third. The Twinkies appeared to be missing another chance to keep in lock step with the equally sleepy first-place White Sox. Then, somewhere on a clubhouse computer, the Twins read 'Duk's blog post about how there's a pennant race on, and how these games are important. It was the spark they needed, scoring eight unanswered (for a while) runs to take a 9-8 lead in the eighth.
To the Victor goes the ...: It took 67 games, but Victor Martinez cranks his second homer of the season with two aboard against Joe Nathan, who has a blown save or loss or both in four of his past seven appearances. The Twinkies trail the Socks by 2.5 games and have 11 games to catch them. "I guess you can call it heartbreaking," says Ron Gardenhire, whose team isn't going to get any breaks in the near future. It faces Cliff Lee today before heading down to Tampa Bay for a four-set.
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Feelin' Rundown (other teams, other games):
White Sox 6, Yankees 2: Gavin Floyd wins his 16th, with the outcome turning on a strikeout of Jason Giambi's Mustache with two aboard in the fifth. Five fouls came after the count reached 2-2. Great at-bat by pitcher and hitter alike. Ozzie Guillen said it was the moment Floyd became a man. LeChaim!
Rays 2, Red Sox 1: First place belongs to the Rays. That's it. The Red Sox can't have it. No. Stop trying. No. ... How about Andy Sonnanstine his past two games against the Bostons? A clutch pitching performance is hereby renamed "Sonnanstinian."
Phillies 8, Braves 7: Ryan Howard was hitting .227, with an OPS of .794, as late as Aug. 26. Even with his homer and triple on Tuesday, there is no earthly reason for him to be considered in the MVP race. It's like considering Roy Oswalt for Cy Young. You can't play like that for 4 1/2 months and get my vote. Yes, it's an imaginary vote, but you still can't have it.
Nationals 1, Mets 0: You technically can't call it a collapse just yet; the season's not over. The really bad news about Tuesday is that Fernando Tatis separates his shoulder and is out for the season. Someone, page Timo Perez.Cubs 5, Brewers 4: Magic number's down to four. This is going to be the easiest, least anxious Cubs clinch ever. Where's the melodrama? ... Suggestion for Doug Melvin: might as well keep firing managers until you get the right one. Ned Yost is free.
Marlins 5, Astros 1: The Fish are 5 1/2 games out of first and have six total games left against the Phillies and Mets. They think they're still in it. This is reality. ... The 'Stros now trail Hurricane Ike, 3-0.
Dodgers 6, Pirates 2 ;: There's no such saying as "Casey being Casey" but there should be, because it's just as true for Casey Blake as "Manny being Manny" is for Manny Ramirez. Five days before the Dogs got Manny, they got Casey, and he's got 10 homers and one error at third base in 48 games. Good general managing there, Ned Colletti.
Athletics 8, Angels 1: With a playoff spot and K-Rod's saves record secure, the Angels venture into that "nobody else get hurt" portion of the season. For Sept. 16, 2008, good job, fellas.
Reds 7, Cardinals 2: Tom Browning bobblehead night, celebrated in the only fitting way: a Redlegs victory.
Rockies 10, Padres 3: U. of Baldo pitches to Adrian Gonzalez in the first inning (home run, of course) and lives to tell about it. Next spring, I'm drafting Chris Iannetta to catch for my fantasy team. Try and stop me, world.
Rangers 5, Tigers 4: Only a few more games to go and Leyland can quit. Ned Yost is free.
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Photo of the Day: "Ned, have you lost weight?"
A sad orphan boy looks on as Premier Sveum of Milwaukeestan (left) and Governor-General Piniella of Chicagoslovakia begin the Helsinki peace talks at the Reykjavik Accords in the Hague.
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Floyd (WSox) 7 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 4 K, Win
Derek Lowe (Dodgers) 7 IP, 5 H, ER, 3 K, Win
Howard (Philly) 4-5, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI
Chris Waters (O's) 9 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 3 K, Win
Josh Beckett (Red Sox) 8 IP, 3 H, ER, BB, 7 K
Sonnanstine (Rays) 6 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 5 K
Odalis Perez (Nats) 7 1/3 IP, 4 H, 6 K, Win
Bronson (Reds) 7 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 4 K, Win
Chris Volstad (Fish) 8 IP, 4 H, ER, 4 K, Win
Prince (Sveum) 3-5, 2 HR, 3 RBI
Jimenez (Rockies) 7 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 9 K, Win
Haren (AZ) 9 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 12 K, Win
Sean Gallagher (A's) 7 IP, 4 H, ER, 6 K, Win
Jamie Moyer (Philly) 5 2/3 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 4 BB, 6 K
Morrow (M's) 4 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, Loss
Shawn Estes (Padres) 4 2/3 IP, 13 H, 6 ER, BB, K, Loss
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Words of Mouth
"We're snakebit." — Gardenhire