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We've rounded the three-quarter turn, and we can see the finish line up ahead. Still a fair bit of ground to cover, and still some obstacles along the way. Let's see what they are.

What, you think I want to rehash last night's game? Bush was bad, League was worse. There ya go.

Let's look ahead:

Boston (70-50)
AWAY (17) - Los Angeles (2), Kansas City (3), New York (3), Toronto (3), Tampa Bay (3), Baltimore (3)
HOME (24) - Detroit (3), Tampa Bay (4), Baltimore (3), Los Angeles (3), Oakland (4), Toronto (4), New York (3)

How nice. The Red Sox have the best home record in the AL, and the most home games remaining. I do like their chances of hanging on to the division lead.

Los Angeles (70-52)
AWAY (22) - Baltimore (3), Tampa Bay (3), Boston (3), Chicago (3), Seattle (3), Oakland (4), Texas (3)
HOME (18) - Boston (2), Oakland (3), Seattle (3), Detroit (4), Texas (3), Tampa Bay (3)

If all else fails, the Angels play Oakland 7 timnes before it's all over. Their destiny is in their own hands. Both teams have lots of road games remaining, and that works in the Angels' favour as well. Oakland is a .500 team on the road, whereas the Angels play just as well away from Disneyland. So they should have the inside track on winning the division, to go along with their slender lead.

Oakland (68-53)
AWAY (23) - Detroit (3), Baltimore (4), Los Angeles (3), Texas (3), Cleveland (3), Boston (4), Seattle (3)
HOME (18) - Kansas City (2), New York (3), Seattle (3), Minnesota (3), Texas (3), Los Angeles (4)

A lot of games on the road, plus 7 games with the Angels, and 4 with the Red Sox - they're going to have to earn it.

New York (66-54)
AWAY (22) - Chicago (2), Seattle (4), Oakland (3), Tampa Bay (3), Toronto (3), Baltimore (4), Boston (3)
HOME (20) - Toronto (7), Kansas City (3), Tampa Bay (3), Boston (3), Baltimore (4)

The AL schedule-makers were clearly anticipating another Athens-Sparta blood match - the season wraps up with the Yankees playing three games in Fenway. The Bombers play the Red Sox 6 more times, the Blue Jays 7 times, and the Orioles 8 times - they also have a west coast trip, to Oakland and Seattle, to cope with, something none of the other eastern teams have to face.

Cleveland (66-56)
AWAY (20) - Tampa Bay (4), Toronto (3), Minnesota (3), Detroit (3), Chicago (3), Kansas City (4)
HOME (20) - Baltimore (2), Detroit (3), Minnesota (3), Oakland (3), Kansas City (3), Tampa Bay (3), Chicago (3)

The Indians have 7 games remaining with both Kansas City and Tampa Bay, which is what we call Very Good News Indeed. They also have 6 each with division rivals Chicago, Minnesota, and Detroit. Fortune smiles upon them...

Minnesota (65-57)
AWAY (19) - Texas (3), Kansas City (3), Cleveland (3), Detroit (3), Oakland (3), Chicago (4)
HOME (21) - Seattle (2), Chicago (6), Cleveland (3), Texas (3), Kansas City (4), Detroit (3)

The Twins also have 7 games with Kansas City to look forward to. Much more to the point, they actually play the White Sox 10 times in their final 40 games. So a lot depends on which Chicago team shows up - the guys who blitzed through the first few months, or the team that just lost their 6th straight game. The Twins are finished with the AL East.

Toronto (63-58)
AWAY (19) - Detroit (2), New York (7), Baltimore (3), Tampa Bay (3), Boston (4)
HOME (22) - Cleveland (3), Baltimore (3), Tampa Bay (3), Boston (3), New York (3), Seattle (4), Kansas City (3)

The Blue Jays have to play the Yankees 10 times, with seven of those games coming in the Bronx - they've also got 7 games with the Red Sox. On the bright side, they've got more home games remaining, they do get to play Tampa Bay 6 times and Seattle 4 times. And if it comes down to the final weekend, while the Yankees and Red Sox are beating each other senseless, the Kansas City Royals will be visiting the Rogers Centre.

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The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Jim - Saturday, August 20 2005 @ 10:24 AM EDT (#126169) #
29-12 would probably get it done. .707 baseball down the stretch.

Pepper Moffatt - Saturday, August 20 2005 @ 10:32 AM EDT (#126170) #
BP says 93.5 to win the East, 91.2 to win the Wild Card - so 29 wins seems right on the money.
westcoast dude - Saturday, August 20 2005 @ 10:56 AM EDT (#126172) #
Last night was a reality check: we have to win the East.
We can do this. In fact, we have to kill the Beast.
In the spirit of Aragorn and Gandalf, "They shall not pass."
CeeBee - Saturday, August 20 2005 @ 11:11 AM EDT (#126174) #
Even if the Jays don't make the post-season, this year has been a real pleasant surprise. The step they will need to take next year to become serious contenders may prove to be a lot more difficult.
Sean - Saturday, August 20 2005 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#126175) #
"Even if the Jays don't make the post-season, this year has been a real pleasant surprise. The step they will need to take next year to become serious contenders may prove to be a lot more difficult."

Isn't this what we thought a couple years ago...?
CeeBee - Saturday, August 20 2005 @ 11:20 AM EDT (#126176) #
History has a way of repeating itself, doesn't it?
Dave Till - Saturday, August 20 2005 @ 12:09 PM EDT (#126178) #
The Jays' situation is better than a couple of years ago, as their financial and contract situation is better. Their best players are signed for the next couple of years, and they have money to fill the gaps if needed.

The hard part: there aren't as many teams looking to dump salary as there were a few years ago, so it's harder to acquire outside talent. And the Jays haven't got much hitting coming up. If they're going to win in the next couple of years, it'll have to be with pitching and defense. Fortunately, they seem to have the "defense" part covered quite nicely.
VBF - Saturday, August 20 2005 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#126181) #
Before the season, I said in order to contend just about every offensive player would have to at least match their career years. Two of the three biggest impact players this year have been injured for an extended period of time, and one of the two has slumped in most of their playing time.

In 2003, everyone was playing their best. Looking at the rotation, any team with Corey Lidle as a number two can't do it. And despite the stress on the young players comtributing in that year, right now is when we are truly seeing everyone blossom.

Ron - Saturday, August 20 2005 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#126184) #
The Jays brass are badly mishandling Brandon League.

I'm afraid he's the next Adam Peterson.

I knew something was wrong when in ST, either JP or Gibby said he had nothing left to prove in the minors. That's a strange statement considering he didn't dominate AA and never pitched one inning at AAA.

JP has said numerous times players have to force his hand in order to get a promotion. They have a philosphy of not rushing players until they're ready. League has been awful all season. He got roughed up at AAA and in the majors. The make matters worse he's basically a high priced cheerleader in the pen. When you're developing young pitchers, the worse thing you could do is let them rot in the pen. Even JP has said young pitchers should be getting regular work. Whatever Arnsberg has been doing with League, clearly isn't working.
Magpie - Saturday, August 20 2005 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#126186) #
it's not working

Way too soon to tell. He looked awful last night, but one game means squat.

League spent three weeks in the bullpen, working on the side, not pitching in games (July 9-29). In his first four appearances since then, he did this:

IP  H  R  ER  K  W   ERA
 8  4  3   3  4  2   3.38
Last night, alas, was the fifth outing. I would like to see him get a little more work.
Mylegacy - Saturday, August 20 2005 @ 05:48 PM EDT (#126193) #
League is a puzzlement. All through his minor leagues BA and others have all said he doesn't miss as many bats as someone with his stuff should.

He throws up to 100 and McGowan throws up to 96 but both seem to throw their heat straight. I think both will have to pitch backwards, start out batters with offspeed stuff then blow smoke either high or just outside (inside) and hope for the best. Or slow down just enough to get some movement.
CeeBee - Saturday, August 20 2005 @ 06:05 PM EDT (#126194) #
Adding movement to a fastball can usually be taught. I suppose Billy "the kid" Koch is the anti-thesis to that argument but most pitchers CAN learn a trick or 2 :)
dr. haque - Saturday, August 20 2005 @ 06:24 PM EDT (#126195) #
I dont think they throw fastballs that are straight because any scouting report I have read and what I have seen is that both their fastballs have lots of movement and esp League before coming up always had a heavy fastball that induced groundballs. But with young pitchers is their inability to locate the fastball. Location is what they lack not movement.
westcoast dude - Saturday, August 20 2005 @ 06:47 PM EDT (#126196) #
Of our top prospects, who can best locate the fastball?
Jobu - Sunday, August 21 2005 @ 10:37 AM EDT (#126213) #
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