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The Official Wild Card/Pennant Chase Thread  
User currently offlineFalcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1354 times:

We're three weeks from the end of the baseball season, and the races for playoff spots are really heating up.

In the A.L., two of the three division races-the East and the West-are definitely up for grabs, with the A's chasing the Angels, and in the East, the Yankees trying to run down the Red Sox. The Indians are still not out of the race in the Central, as they're 5.5 back of the ChiSox, and still play Chicago 6 times down the stretch. As of now, the Indians lead the Yankees by 1 and Oakland by 2 1/2 games for the Wild Card slot.

In the N.L. the divisions aren't as tight: the Cardinals are in-hell, they were in in April almost.  Smile The Braves are up by 5 games (what else is news), and the Padres are up by 5 games as well. The real race in the N.L. is the Wild Card, where the Marlins lead the Phillies by 1, Houston by 1 1/2, and the Nationals by 4.

Give us your take as the baseball season heads down the stretch.

GO TRIBE!!  bigthumbsup 

19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineKROC From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 1342 times:

My take is that the NY Mets choked more than Jcs17 in a sausage factory when it counted most. That being said, I hope the Indians at a minimum can hold onto the Wild Card spot (something I thought they could not do!) or take over the Central lead and drop the White Sox from getting to the playoffs at all. That would amuse me. I would also like to see the Yanks left out, but I am being realistic. Boston is in toruble especially if Damon's shoulder is not 100%. And the NL West is am absolute debacle. Their playoff slot should be given to a team with a winning record.

User currently offlineHomer71 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 2254 posts, RR: 14
Reply 2, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 1338 times:

I hate to say the Astros are toast, but they just lost 2 in a row to Florida (with 2 more to play), Oswalt and Clemens are not themselves (I think Clemens is pitching with an injured hammie) and their offense is crap (the whole season save July). I guess it's remarkable they are even in the hunt with the way they're playing.

Florida's pitching alone will get them in...



"On spaceship earth there are no passengers...only crew."
User currently offlineIADBGO From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 206 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 1335 times:

I've been a Cleveland fan since birth...even when they were the joke of baseball. So I'll be pulling for them.

IADBGO


User currently offlineFalcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 1327 times:

Quoting KROC (Reply 1):

As far as the Indians taking over the Central, it's tough to make up 6 games when you have like 18 left. But on Aug 1, the Indians were like 14 games behnd the ChiSox, and they're only down 6 now. They have a 3-game series in Chicago next week. Before that, they have 3 at home against KC, which they need to sweep. If they can win 2 of 3 in ChiTown, and stay within 2 to 3 games, they have the Sox in Cleveland last weekend of the season.

As for the Wild Card, and do so objectively, you see the following about the contenders (Angels and Red Sox included)

-Yankees. Can't count them out because of the Yankee mystique.. But their pitching is not what the Bombers are used to, and if you're relying on Chacone and Wright, you're in trouble. But they can mash the ball, and they have, again, that mystique that is the New York Yankees.

-Oakland. Good pitching. Good hitting. Very good defense But very streaky all year. Right now, they're in the midst of a downward streak. They have the pitching to stay close.

-Boston. Again, like New York, their pitching staff is a mess, but they can hammer the baseball into submission. And, like the Yanks, they've been here before, so they can't be counted out.

-Angels. Excellent pitching, led by the probable Cy Young Winner, Bartolo Colon. Good, clutch hitters. Should win the West. Again, like the Yanks and Sox, a veteran club who has been there before.

-Indians. Of those 5, easily has the best pitching. Has a potent, but sometimes very streaky offense that has relied on the HR ball a lot lately. Really haven't been in the midst of a race since '01, but so far have handled the pressure. If their pitching holds up, they should hold the Wild Card spot. Just lost a key bullpen piece, as Arthur Rhodes has left the team for the rest of the season, as one of his family members (I think it's one of his children), is battling a serious illness.


User currently offlineFalcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1309 times:

Indians get another late homer by Ronnie Belliard to beat Barry Zito and the A's.

The Royals come from behind with 3 in the 9th to beat the ChiSox.


Tribe within 5 of the reeling White Sox.

There's gotta be more baseball fans on here!

 scratchchin 


User currently offlineTPASXM787 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1730 posts, RR: 19
Reply 6, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1307 times:

GO Indians!

I hate the Yanks with a passion...

The Sox better start winning or the Tribe will catch them

Apparently my Rays suddenly forgot everything that they were doing to beat NY all year...



This is the Last Stop.
User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1304 times:

Quoting Falcon84 (Thread starter):
where the Marlins lead the Phillies by 1,

The Marlins have enough time to fu¢k this up.. they will do it  Sad

Quoting TPASXM787 (Reply 6):
GO Indians!

Don't you mean The Devil loosers, I mean Rays?


User currently offlinePendrilsaint From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 685 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1303 times:

Well, I hope the Braves will stop the choking long enough to take the division for the 14th time in a row. I love my braves...but they have to stop choking in the late season/postseason some year!!!!

I'm off to the series at Shea this weekend complete with my Atl cap and foam tomahawk....I'll be the dead guy in the parking lot after the game if any of y'all are there.

That being said, GO INDIANS!!! (my favourite AL team) I want to see a rematch of the 1995 world series a decade later!


User currently offlineFalcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1302 times:

Quoting Pendrilsaint (Reply 8):
That being said, GO INDIANS!!! (my favourite AL team) I want to see a rematch of the 1995 world series a decade later!

A 10-year reunion, with a different outcome this time-would be nice.  

Seriously, right now, I'd still say the winds are favorable for an I-55 Series between the ChiSox and Cardinals.

[Edited 2005-09-15 06:06:57]

User currently offlineCLEfan From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 299 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 1281 times:

Indians are still a half game up for the Wild Card and 3 and a half behind the White Sox. The Sox are in big trouble. I think the Tribe will catch them and pass them.

I wonder when post-season tickets go on sale. I know I want to be at the Jake!


User currently offlineFalcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 1281 times:

Quoting CLEfan (Reply 10):
Indians are still a half game up for the Wild Card and 3 and a half behind the White Sox. The Sox are in big trouble. I think the Tribe will catch them and pass them.

If the Indians can sweep the Royals on Sunday, then we'll find out by Wednesday night if the Indians will be in the hunt for the Central come the last week of the season-they play 3 in Chicago Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. If they can take 2 of 3 there, then the division title will come down to the final weekend in Cleveland between the ChiSox and the Tribe.

Hey, talk about collapse, where is Marlin Fan? Marlins are up 2-0 in the 9th with Dontrell Willis on the mound-and they give up a 10-spot to the Phillies int he 9th? WTF?

Talk about a big-time choke!


User currently offlineHalls120 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 1276 times:

While they are a real long shot, I continue to pull for the Nats.

It would be a most appropriate outcome for the first new season of Washington baseball for the Nats, who are currently outdrawing the Orioles by a little over 2000 people per game (a curious outcome, since the Orioles owner remarked once that there were no real baseball fans in DC), ended up in the playoffs.

I wonder what that ass*(*( Peter Angelos of the Orioles will say then.


User currently onlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21865 posts, RR: 55
Reply 13, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 1272 times:

As of the time of this post, the Yanks are 1.5 behind the Red Sox in the East, and .5 behind the Indians for the Wild Card. Oakland is 5 back, which I think basically rules them out of the Wild Card - they need to win the division (which they certainly can do, only 1.5 game behind the Angels).

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 4):
But their pitching is not what the Bombers are used to, and if you're relying on Chacone and Wright, you're in trouble.

I know what you mean. But those guys have been amazing - Chacon pitched 8 shoutout innings today, which is no mean feat against anyone, Small hasn't lost a game yet, and Wright is turning out to be what the Yankees thought they would get - a decent third starter. Obviously, a lead in the division or wild card would be nice (perhaps a win or two in Kansas City or Tampa Bay would have helped that), but I feel pretty good about where the team is. As long as we keep the deficit below three, there's always the ending series in Boston (though I don't want it to come down to that).

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineFalcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 1271 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 13):
Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 4):
But their pitching is not what the Bombers are used to, and if you're relying on Chacone and Wright, you're in trouble.

I know what you mean. But those guys have been amazing

Can't argue with you, Mir, but compare that to the Indians staff:

Cliff Lee is 17-4 with a 3.75ERA. He's won 8 striaght decisions.

C.C. Sabathia (KROC's personal devil  Smile ) is 13-10, with a 4.25ERA. He's won 7 of his last 8, and has been dominant since July.

Jake Westbrook is 15-14 with a 4.56ERA. His ERA is a bit high, due to 3 bad early starts. He also has lost like 5 1-run games. If the Indians had hit for him early on, he'd be a Cy Young Candidate, near 20 wins.

Scott Elarton, the #5 guy, is 10-7, with a 4.57ERA. AS THE #5 STARTER. He's been a rock the 2nd half of the season.

Kevin Millwood is 8-11, but has an A.L. low 3.02ERA. The Indians have been shut out 4 times when he's pitched, and he's also lost like 3 other 1-run, low-scoring games. Dude should have at least 15 wins.

So you have 4 guys with 10 wins, one, in Lee, who should be a legitimate Cy Young candidate, and a guy who has the lowest ERA in the league.

Add on top of that a dominant bullpen, which includes the A.L's top save guy in Bob Wickman with 42, and that's why the Indians are where they are, despite very hot-and-cold hitting all year.


User currently offlineFLAIRPORT From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 1270 times:

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 11):
where is Marlin Fan?

I'm right here...we're in a slump...but I said this on my schools sports talk show on TV today...the Marlins will pull out of this and win the wild card...they have what it takes.


User currently offlineFalcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 1268 times:

Quoting FLAIRPORT (Reply 15):
the Marlins will pull out of this and win the wild card...they have what it takes.

Maybe it is, but today is the kind of games that can completely sink a team.

A correlation would be the Cavs last April, tied for the last Playoff spot in the East, and blowing an 8-point, 4th quarter to the pathetic Knicks on the last weekend of the season. They couldn't recover.

The Marlins have a good team, no doubt, but a choke like that can simply sink them. If they can rise above it, then perhaps they deserve to be in the playoffs.


User currently onlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21865 posts, RR: 55
Reply 17, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 1261 times:

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 14):
compare that to the Indians staff:

The Indians staff is better than the Yankees staff, no question about it. Just like the Yankees offense is better than the Indians. But if Chacon and Small keep pitching like they have been, it won't be hard to win games, particularly with that offense. And while the middle of the Yankees bullpen has been very shaky (Gordon allowed hits to the first two hitters in the ninth today before getting around to earning his paycheck), I take Rivera over Wickman any day.

It would be an interesting series if the Yankees were to play the Indians in the playoffs. I think it would be much like the Yankees vs. Angels series. And I think that the Yankees would have an advantage in that series, but of course that's what I thought about the Angels too, and we all know how that ended up.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineIAH777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 0 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week ago) and read 1254 times:

I predict the Astros will pull the perennial so-close-yet-so-far nose dive in the 9th inning of an elimination game.  Sad

User currently offlineCOEWR777 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 428 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week ago) and read 1249 times:

YANKEES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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