Hurricane Ike postponed, and moved, the Cubs/Astros games the past two days, but there certainly wasn't a lack of great baseball to enjoy. Thanks to mlb.tv (now letting you choose home/away broadcasts) I was able to see some great stuff Saturday.
There wasn't much else to do, as Chicago picked-up nearly seven inches of rain, overflowing rivers and flooding streets, basements and garages all over town.
Francisco Rodriquez picked up his 58th save, breaking Bobby Thigpen's record. In the post-game, on-field, celebration, Mike Scioscia embraced K-Rod. Watching that scene reminded me of how dangerous the Angels are in the post-season.
They dominated a weak division, and aren't the most impressive team in the AL by any stretch. But they have some critical pieces in place (pitching) and an NL style manager. Scioscia was Tommy Lasorda's catcher for two World Series winning Dodger teams, and caught for old Tommy's club for over 13 seasons.
Tim Lincecum had his first complete game shutout, but it took nearly 140 pitches. I watched in amazement as he was left in for the 8th and 9th innings. His velocity was still there, but that's a lot of pitches. I hope the Giants don't kill this kid, he's incredible. And we've seen this before.
Every time I look, the Reds are doing something in the 9th inning. At least it isn't the Cubs being victimized anymore. Francisco Cordero picked up save No. 30 for Cincinnati while knocking the Diamondbacks even further back of the Dodgers (who beat the Rockies).
The Dodgers are going to make it to LA teams, both coming out of ugly divisions. Want to win baseball games? Go West.
Probably the best part of the game was ex-Dback Micah Owings driving in the winning run with a pinch-hit double. The pitcher/slugger just joined the Reds as the last piece of the Adam Dunn trade.
The Phillies beat the Brewers, closing the gap in the NL Wild Card to just two games. Ned Yost is probably going the way of his Triple-A manager, who was fired after his season ended. And the Cardinals lost to the Pirates again. Their improbable run is ending, as they slip further behind the Astros, settling into 4th place in the NL Central.
Talking about the Astros, the Cubs finally face them tonight. Miller Park will host the clubs for a night game Sunday and a day game Monday. In the unlikely event it is necessary, the 3rd game of the series will be played in Houston on Sept. 29.
Worst case scenario for the Cubs—after three games in Milwaukee at the end of the schedule, there could be the make-up game in Houston, followed by a tie-breaker with the Brewers in Milwaukee. The Cubs' Magic Number is 10, and it could be five by Monday or Tuesday, so the worst case isn't a likely case.