Wednesday at the races (cont.)
Posted: Wednesday September 26, 2007 11:13AM; Updated: Wednesday September 26, 2007 3:18PM
Please relieve me
The Yankees had a chance to clinch a postseason spot but blew an early lead and lost 7-6 in 10 innings to the Devil Rays. Jeff Karstens -- the seventh reliever Joe Torre used to back starter Kei Igawa, who went five innings -- gave up a walkoff homer to Dioner Navarro, the first hitter he faced.
As good as the Yanks have been in the second half, Tuesday's loss underlined what could be their fatal flaw -- that bullpen. The Yankees badly need another reliable relief arm to go with Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera, and Torre auditioned a bunch of them in this game. Strangely, the most effective was Kyle Farnsworth, who was throwing 96 mph and struck out two in a perfect eighth inning.
If Torre could count on a trio of Farnsworth, Chamberlain and Rivera, the Yankees would be in great shape. But Farnsworth, as Yankees fans well know, has been notoriously unreliable. It was just Saturday, against the Jays, that he gave up three hits and three runs in the eighth inning to blow a save.
The moral: Keep looking, Joe.
The hate mail from Milwaukee keeps on coming. It won't die. Much like the Brewers. The Crew trimmed the Cubs' lead in the NL Central to two games with their 9-1 spanking of the Cardinals, with the Cubs falling to Dontrelle Willis and the Marlins 4-2.
To quote one hate-mailer: "To answer your pathetic question in your latest 'Brewers Are Frauds' column (following the ridiculous 'obituary' column that preceded it) -- you are not an idiot. You are, however, a jerk. A joke of a 'journalist.' An embarrassment who, with a laser focus, made it his mission to denigrate a franchise that frankly did nothing wrong except give its fans hope that for once, autumn would be meaningful and joyful." -- Zach G.
Honestly, I haven't hated on the Brewers all season, despite Zach's contention. They'd be great to see in the postseason. But I have been reluctant to give them the credit Zach thinks they deserve. After that 25-11 start, they just haven't shown enough. That's all. I do think they'll be better next season. And I think that Ned Yost should be the guy who gets them through it.
On a related note: What can you say about Prince Fielder, who crushed a couple more homers on Tuesday to become the youngest player ever to crank 50 in a season? He'll be fun to watch for years, and postseasons, to come.
Just not this postseason.
The bottom lines
It's sayonara to Barry Bonds in San Francisco on Wednesday night, his last game in front of the most loyal fans anyone could ever hope to have. Man, does Bonds owe those guys a decent effort against the Padres. For the record, he has three homers against Peavy in 46 plate appearances... The Yankees' loss to the Rays kept the Tigers alive for another night. They beat the Twins 8-0... The Yanks' Igawa started because of Roger Clemens' latest injury, a sore hamstring. That goes with the achy elbow and the foot blisters. Clemens won't pitch for the rest of the regular season, and his status for the postseason is iffy. It's as if the guy is 45 years old or something... Good to see Manny Ramirez back in the lineup for the Red Sox. They were 12-12 since he last played, on Aug. 28... How hot is the Phillies' Utley? (Glad you asked.) Well, as it turns out, about as hot as he was. During his current 19-game hitting streak he's hitting .333. And he has the same batting average today (.336) as when he started the streak on Sept. 5... Is this any way to win a division? The Diamondbacks' loss to the Pirates didn't kill them. They still have a two-game cushion over the Padres. But now the Rockies are just three back... As good as Arizona has been all year long, it's now just a .500 team on the road. And that's where it plays its final five games... I have absolutely no faith in the Mets, who lost to the Nationals 10-9. You don't have to be rolling into the postseason, as the Cardinals proved last season. But for Pete's sake, show us something! ... Moises Alou stretched his hitting streak to 29 games... In some places, this week means nothing. In Cincinnati on Tuesday night the Reds drew 13,261 for a game against the Astros.
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