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Friday, September 19, 2003
Thome HR in 8th lifts Phils by Marlins. It was his 43rd, tying Barry Bonds for the NL lead. The Phillies are now only half a game behind the Marlins in the wild card race. (Yahoo!)

Astros get rare shutout at Coors Field. Wade Miller, Octavio Dotel and Mike Gallo combined on a three-hitter. Houston is a full game ahead of the Cubs in the NL Central. (Yahoo!)

Jones helps Twins get sweep of White Sox. The Twins have beaten the White Sox five straight and are now 3 1/2 games ahead. (Yahoo!)

Aaron Gleeman is scared of the Yankees, the Twins' likely first-round playoff opponent. They've beaten the Twins 13 straight times. "The last two seasons against the Yankees have been so ugly for the Twins that it is something most Twins fans, myself included, have just sort of tried forget about. If you pretend hard enough that it never happened, it starts to feel like the truth after a while, you know? During their last 13 meetings, the Yankees have outscored the Twins by a total of 90 to 36. New York has beaten Minnesota with pitching, holding them to 3 runs or fewer in 10 of the 13 games, and they've beaten them by simply bashing the hell out of them, scoring 10+ runs in 4 of the 13 games." (Aaron's Baseball Blog)

Red Sox increase wild-card lead to 2 1/2. It wasn't easy, but they beat the Devil Rays 4-3. The Mariners lost to Texas. (Yahoo!)

Doug looks at the Giants' postseason prospects. "I want to play Florida. One of the cool things about last year's post season run was avenging previous post season losses. Nothing can fully erase the painful memories of losing the 1987 NLCS to the Cards (damn you, Candy Maldanado and your stupid, inept slip-n-slide fielding) and getting beat out by the Braves in 1993. However, beating those teams in 2002 made last year's post season a little more special." (Westwood Blues)

Prospectus Triple Play: Diamondbacks, Royals, Phillies. "The out-of-nowhere emergence of Brandon Webb is a big reason for the change in the D'backs' outlook. He brings their staff ace total to three, which makes the Diamondbacks pretty fearsome for 2004. The back of their rotation is also set, thanks to the $4 million option they have on Miguel Batista, and a slew of candidates for the fifth slot. If the Diamondbacks can muster even an average offense, they will again contend for the playoffs next year." (Baseball Prospectus)

Prospectus Triple Play: Indians, Dodgers, Mariners. "The Indians have only three players above the age of 33, and none are major contributors to the team, due to injury, ineffectiveness, or both. The Indians also have a tremendous proportion of their players between the ages of 23 and 26, which gives them an opportunity to significantly improve in a very short period of time. The Indians are one of very few clubs with virtually no systemic Alvin Davis Aging Syndrome, where players mysteriously fall of a cliff in terms of their production. The Indians have truly embraced portfolio theory; some of the young guys will fall by the wayside, but some won't, and a couple will take big steps forward." (Baseball Prospectus)

Baseball Prospectus Chat: Rany Jazayerli.
Eric (Boston MA): How do the Red Sox get through the postseason with only one Pedro?

Rany Jazayerli: With a lineup of nine guys who all have an OPS above 750, an offense that has already set the major league record for extra-base hits in a season, and a better bullpen than anyone wants to give them credit for. Pedro's just the tiebreaker.
(Baseball Prospectus)

The Baseball Crank looks at the teams with the greatest on-base percentages in a single season, relative to the league.



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