The spread: The Yankees had a less-than-fabulous weekend in Anaheim yet they extend their lead over Boston to three and a half. Which tells you everything you need to known about Boston’s weekend in St. Petersburg. The Red Sox now lead the Rays by a mere three and a half in the wild card. And they have four games remaining against one another.
The skinny: If the Rays catch and beat the Sox, there are not enough bookend analogies in the world available to describe the horrifying beginning and end of Boston’s season.
The spread: The Tigers keep winning and the other guys don’t. They’re up 10.5 over Chicago, eleven over Cleveland.
The skinny: “Verlander and Fister and pray for a twister …” Eh, needs work.
The spread: No change over the weekend. Texas’ lead is two and a half.
The skinny: September 26-28th, Texas vs. Anaheim. Here’s hoping it’s still close.
The spread: The Phillies continue to lay waste. It’s a 12 game lead. The Braves are in desperate need of the Heimlich Maneuver. Their wild card lead over St. Louis is a mere 4.5 after getting swept.
The skinny: Philly lost yesterday, but really, it’s almost comical how much better they look than anyone else in the NL.
The spread: The Brewers dropping
two of three three of four to Philly combined with the Cards’ sweep of the Braves reduces St. Louis’ deficit to six games. But really, St. Louis is shooting for Atlanta.
The skinny: The Cardinals face the Phillies this weekend. First time I’ll be rooting for the Phillies all year.
The spread: The Diamondbacks extend their lead over the Giants to eight and a half games.
The skinny: The Giants are activating Barry Zito. That’s like putting your freshman quarterback in the game to get some reps. In other words, the competitive portion of this contest is over.
The Marlins were somehow able to muster up the strength not only to play Monday night’s game against the Mets, but also win it convincingly one day after losing Jose Fernandez in a tragic boating accident. The Marlins and Mets helped pay tribute to Fernandez prior to the start of the game as outlined here.
When the game started, the Marlins came out of the gate with a bang. Dee Gordon homered in his first at-bat, then the club hung a four-spot in the second inning. They tacked on two more in the third inning to chase starter Bartolo Colon and take a commanding 7-0 lead. The Mets chipped away for two runs in the fifth on an Asdrubal Cabrera two-run homer and tacked on one more in the eighth, but ultimately fell short by a 7-3 margin.
Gordon finished 4-for-5 with the homer and two RBI. Justin Bour went 3-for-3 with a single, double, triple, and a walk along with an RBI and two runs scored.
A.J. Ramos, who closed out the win, placed the ball on the pitcher’s mound for Fernandez. The Marlins huddled around the mound and said a prayer. The players huddled closer to the rubber on the mound, then left their hats behind as they retreated to the clubhouse as fans at Marlins Park chanted, “Jose, Jose, Jose.”
In a post-game interview, Gordon called his first-inning home run “the best moment of my life,” as NBC 6 Sports reports.
The Indians beat the Tigers 7-4 at Comerica Park on Monday night, clinching the AL Central for their first division title since 2007. Starter Corey Kluber lasted only four innings before exiting with right groin tightness, but the Indians were able to overcome the adversity.
Coco Crisp gave the Indians their first two runs with a two-run home run in the second inning off of starter Buck Farmer. The Tigers would promptly tie the game on a two-run homer by J.D. Martinez in the bottom half of the inning.
In the fifth, an RBI double by Jason Kipnis and a sacrifice fly by Mike Napoli put the Tribe back on top 4-2. The Tigers answered once again with a Miguel Cabrera RBI single in the bottom half to make it 4-3.
Roberto Perez homered for the Indians in the top of the top of the seventh, and Cabrera answered with another RBI single in the bottom half to keep it within one run at 5-4.
The Indians tacked on another insurance run in the eighth on three consecutive two-out singles by Crisp, Rajai Davis, and Perez. Carlos Santana then hit what should have been the final out of the eighth inning, but J.D. Martinez botched the catch, allowing the Indians’ seventh run to score.
Cody Allen shut the Tigers down in the bottom of the ninth, protecting the 7-4 lead for his 30th save of the season.
The last time the Indians won the AL Central, their starting lineup featured a 28-year-old Victor Martinez, a 25-year-old Jhonny Peralta, a 24-year-old Grady Sizemore, and a 26-year-old CC Sabathia. It’s been a long time.
The American League playoff picture still isn’t set yet, so the Indians will be intently watching the final week of the season to see who will be their playoff opponent.