THT Daily: Crunchtimeby Matthew Carruth
September 28, 2008
Major League News for September 28
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Player NewsPlayer Headlines are courtesy of Rotoworld
Hanley Ramirez will not play in the Marlins' season finale Sunday after aggravating his sore left shoulder while diving for grounders during Saturday's game.
Hanley will wrap up the season with a .301 batting average, a .940 OPS, 33 HR, 67 RBI, 125 runs scored, and 35 stolen bases. He'll be near, or at the top of draft boards in 2009.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland said Saturday that he intends to use Brandon Inge at third base and Carlos Guillen in left field in 2009.
Frankly, that's outstanding news for the rest of the AL Central. Inge is an excellent defensive third baseman, but he's had OPSs of 688 and 666 the last two years. If he keeps hitting like that, he'll find himself back in a utility role come May. Guillen's seen his OPS go from 920 in 2006 to 859 last year and 811 this season. He was a tremendous player as an average to somewhat below average shortstop. As a left fielder, he's going to have to bounce back to become more than just an average regular. Considering that there's very little catching available in free agency outside of Ivan Rodriguez and Jason Varitek, the Tigers could be downgrading throughout their lineup.
Greg Maddux earned career win No. 355 by limiting the Giants to one run in six innings on Saturday.
In what could have been his final ever appearance on a major league mound, Maddux passed Roger Clemens and moved into eighth place on the all-time wins list. He's second to Warren Spahn (363) amongst post-WWII pitchers. Maddux is slated to be the Dodgers' fourth starter in the postseason, but there's no guarantee the Dodgers will use one in the NLDS or even that they'll get to a Game 4. His plans for 2009 are up in the air at the moment.
Glen Perkins allowed one earned run over five innings but the bullpen blew a lead in the seventh inning as the Twins dropped a crucial game to the Royals.
The Twinkies opened things up for the White Sox, who will finish up later tonight and are now tied for first place in the AL Central. Perkins didn't walk a batter and struck out four, but the Royals got to him for a run in the fifth and manager Ron Gardenhire didn't want to take any chances. He kept Perkins in the dugout for the start of the sixth and ran Boof Bonser out there. Bonser gave up another run and Minnesota's lead was gone. Matt Guerrier allowed two more in the seventh and the Twins couldn't rally. Now we play the waiting game.
Jamie Moyer tossed six innings of one-run ball Saturday to help the Phillies clinch their second consecutive NL East title.
Moyer allowed a hit per inning, but his control was excellent. Essentially, it was Moyer at his best. He's a free agent after this season and turns 46 in November, but he put up a 3.71 ERA and a record of 16-7 this year. If he wants to pitch next season, there won't be a shortage of suitors.
Manager Terry Francona announced Saturday that J.D. Drew (back) will start in right field in the second half of Sunday's doubleheader with the Yankees.
Drew underwent a ton of tests on Friday and the results must have been pretty encouraging. "We've been trying to play him and that's been the plan, but when he said he couldn't, we didn't and then he said he can, so we will."
Carl Crawford hit live pitching Saturday for the first time since injuring his right hand on August 29.
According to the Tampa Tribune, Crawford drove a couple balls over the right-center field fence. "He looked good, there was no hesitation," said manager Joe Maddon. "I didn't see any flinching, I didn't see him favor it one time. It looked absolutely normal." Crawford will take BP again Sunday and could end up on the Rays' ALDS roster.
Pitching on three days' rest, Johan Santana delivered a heroic three-hit shutout over the Marlins Saturday to keep the Mets' playoff hopes alive.
The Mets will be glued to their clubhouse television screens this afternoon, rooting for the Cubs to take down the Brewers, who held a one-game wild card lead heading into today's action. Santana should get the comfy recliner. He struck out a batter per inning while lowering his league-leading ERA to 2.53. He tossed 117 total pitches, four days after throwing 125, which does leave one to wonder just how much he'll have left in the tank if the Mets do advance.
American League BAL 2 TOR 1 (Recap and Boxscore) CLE 12 CHA 6 (Recap and Boxscore) DET 4 TB 3 (Recap and Boxscore) KC 4 MIN 2 (Recap and Boxscore) TEX 8 LAA 4 (Recap and Boxscore) SEA 7 OAK 3 (Recap and Boxscore) National League NYN 2 FLA 0 (Recap and Boxscore) PHI 4 WAS 3 (Recap and Boxscore) ATL 11 HOU 5 (Recap and Boxscore) CHN 7 MIL 3 (Recap and Boxscore) STL 8 CIN 5 (Recap and Boxscore) ARI 6 COL 4 (Recap and Boxscore) SD 3 PIT 2 (Recap and Boxscore) LAN 2 SF 1 (Recap and Boxscore)
National League --------------- Florida Marlins at New York Mets, 1:10 PM (L) Scott Olsen (8-11) vs. (L) Oliver Perez (10-7) Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies, 1:35 PM (L) Odalis Perez (7-11) vs. (R) Kyle Kendrick (11-9) Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee Brewers, 2:05 PM (R) Angel Guzman (0-0) vs. (L) CC Sabathia (10-2) Atlanta Braves at Houston Astros, 2:05 PM (L) Mike Hampton (3-3) vs. (L) Wandy Rodriguez (8-7) Cincinnati Reds at St. Louis Cardinals, 2:15 PM (L) Adam Pettyjohn (0-0) vs. (R) Kyle Lohse (15-6) Pittsburgh Pirates at San Diego Padres, 4:05 PM (R) Ross Ohlendorf (0-3) vs. (R) Cha Seung Baek (6-9) Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants, 4:05 PM (R) Hiroki Kuroda (9-10) vs. (R) Tim Lincecum (17-5) Colorado Rockies at Arizona Diamondbacks, 4:10 PM (R) Ubaldo Jimenez (12-12) vs. (L) Randy Johnson (10-10) American League --------------- Tampa Bay Rays at Detroit Tigers, 1:05 PM (R) James Shields (14-8) vs. (R) Zach Miner (8-5) Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles, 1:35 PM (R) Jesse Litsch (12-9) vs. (R) Jeremy Guthrie (10-11) New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox, 1:35 PM (R) Mike Mussina (19-9) vs. (R) Daisuke Matsuzaka (18-2) Cleveland Indians at Chicago White Sox, 2:05 PM (R) Bryan Bullington (0-1) vs. (L) Mark Buehrle (14-12) Kansas City Royals at Minnesota Twins, 2:10 PM (R) Brandon Duckworth (3-2) vs. (R) Scott Baker (10-4) Texas Rangers at LA Angels of Anaheim, 3:35 PM (R) Kevin Millwood (9-9) vs. (L) Joe Saunders (16-7) Oakland Athletics at Seattle Mariners, 4:10 PM (L) Josh Outman (1-1) vs. (R) R.A. Dickey (4-8) New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox, 7:35 PM (R) Sidney Ponson (8-5) vs. (R) Tim Wakefield (10-11)
StandingsThe graphics next to each team are called "sparklines.” They depict each team’s performance over the last month. Each "up" bar is a victory and a "down" bar is a loss. There are horizontal lines for home games and red bars represent games decided by two runs or less. "PWins" is short for Projected Wins, based on each team’s Run Differential, and is often a better measure of a team’s true strength. Other team graphs and stats can be found on our Team Page.
American League East Pwins Diff TB 96 65 .596 0.0 91 5 BOS 94 66 .588 1.5 95 -1 NYA 88 72 .550 7.5 86 2 TOR 85 76 .528 11.0 91 -6 BAL 68 92 .425 27.5 73 -5 American League Central MIN 87 74 .540 0.0 88 -1 CHA 86 74 .538 0.5 87 -1 CLE 81 80 .503 6.0 85 -4 KC 75 86 .466 12.0 72 3 DET 74 86 .463 12.5 77 -3 American League West LAA 99 62 .615 0.0 87 12 TEX 79 82 .491 20.0 75 4 OAK 75 85 .469 23.5 75 0 SEA 60 101 .373 39.0 66 -6 National League East Pwins Diff PHI 91 70 .565 0.0 92 -1 NYN 89 72 .553 2.0 89 0 FLA 83 77 .519 7.5 80 3 ATL 72 89 .447 19.0 78 -6 WAS 59 101 .369 31.5 62 -3 National League Central CHN 97 63 .606 0.0 98 -1 MIL 89 72 .553 8.5 87 2 HOU 85 75 .531 12.0 77 8 STL 85 76 .528 12.5 85 0 CIN 74 87 .460 23.5 71 3 PIT 66 95 .410 31.5 66 0 National League West LAN 84 77 .522 0.0 86 -2 ARI 81 80 .503 3.0 82 -1 COL 74 87 .460 10.0 73 1 SF 71 90 .441 13.0 68 3 SD 63 98 .391 21.0 68 -5
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Matthew Carruth is an editor for The Hardball Times. He welcomes any and all sorts of communication at his email.