October 1, 2012 |
THE DETROIT Tigers finally have a little bit of breathing room in what has been an air-tight AL Central title race. Miguel Cabrera has no such luxury as he tries to become the first Triple Crown winner in 45 years. Prince Fielder hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning to lift visiting Detroit to a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday, moving the Tigers to a season-high three game lead over the White Sox in the AL Central. The White Sox lost to Tampa Bay, 6-2. So with three games to go, Detroit can clinch the division title with a win in Kansas City on Monday or a Chicago loss to Cleveland.
September 29, 2012 |
MIAMI - The day began on an airplane, where Charlie Manuel stewed. His team departed Philadelphia with a losing record at Citizens Bank Park and arrived at its Florida hotel at 3:30 a.m. There was no avoiding doom. "That was a matter of time," Manuel said. These Phillies were formally eliminated from postseason contention in 2 hours and 22 minutes at Marlins Park. It was a 2-1 loss to Miami, delivered on a walk-off single by Carlos Lee off Josh Lindblom. Another outstanding Cliff Lee start was ruined.
September 27, 2012 |
MATT KEMP drove the ball to and over the centerfield fence with authority, showing that his left shoulder is OK. Whether the Dodgers can say the same about their playoff chances remains to be seen. Kemp had four hits, falling a triple shy of the cycle, and four RBI as the visiting Dodgers used a rare offensive outburst to beat San Diego, 8-2, Wednesday to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. After Wednesday's games, Los Angeles, which has struggled for the better part of a month, was tied with Milwaukee at 3 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the second NL wild card berth.
September 24, 2012
The San Francisco Giants knew full well that much of the baseball world figured they would flop after losing All-Star Game MVP Melky Cabrera to a 50-game suspension in mid-August for a positive testosterone test. Hardly. The Giants put it out of mind in a hurry and kept on winning. They won the West with an 8-4 victory over San Diego on Saturday, a few hours after the rival Dodgers did their part by losing at Cincinnati as the Reds clinched the NL Central. "The whole lineup has come to life," general manager Brian Sabean said as the champagne flowed.
September 23, 2012 |
This has been a season in which the Phillies have seen nearly everything, and now, after Roy Halladay left the mound at Citizens Bank Park to scattered boos on Saturday afternoon, they have heard everything as well. Halladay may have not deserved better from the game itself - he took little of his traditional arsenal to the mound with him - but he deserved at least a better last memory from what should really be his final appearance of the season. After the game, Halladay said he has experienced spasms behind his shoulder recently, but also said he would prefer to work through those issues and take his final two starts.
September 22, 2012 |
Things are starting to get more interesting for the Phillies thanks to righthander Kyle Kendrick, the long ball and the Chicago Cubs. With Kendrick limiting Atlanta to two runs in 62/3 innings and his teammates swatting a season-high four home runs, the Phillies defeated the Braves, 6-2, on Friday night before a sellout crowd of 44,052 at Citizens Bank Park. The Cubs? They used an impressive comeback to beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 5-4, in 11 innings on Friday. That means the Phillies trail the Cardinals for the second wild-card spot by three games with 11 to play for both teams.
September 20, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Shane Victorino let out a hearty laugh when one postseason scenario was suggested. What if his old team, the Phillies, met his current club, the Los Angeles Dodgers, in a play-in game to determine the second wild-card spot? It's not impossible. The Phillies, who were rained out Tuesday, entered the evening trailing St. Louis for the National League's second wild-card spot by 31/2 games with 14 to play. The Dodgers, who were rained out of Tuesdays' game against Washington at Nationals Park, were one game behind the Cardinals with 15 to play.
September 19, 2012 |
NEW YORK - Less than a week ago, as the Phillies embarked on this seven-game road trip through Houston and New York, manager Charlie Manuel declared that his team was "dead in" the middle of the National League race for the second wild card. After losing three of four to the Astros, the declaration was altered to "we're not dead yet. " It seems inevitable that some team is going to eventually serve as the anvil that crushes the Phillies' faded playoff hopes. Some would argue that is exactly what the Astros did over the weekend.
September 18, 2012 |
HOUSTON - The buses carrying a defeated team left Minute Maid Park late Sunday afternoon, and there was little to be said. The Phillies will never play another National League game in this city, the place where they once celebrated a championship 32 years ago. There is nothing but horror in recent seasons, and Sunday represented the last chapter. A 99-loss Houston Astros team won three of four games against these desperate Phillies, who cling to the slimmest of wild-card hopes following a 7-6 defeat.