This Day In Baseball: 21 August 2005

Sunday, August 21 2005 @ 12:05 PM EDT

Contributed by: Magpie

I am starting to function
In the usual way
Everything is so provocative
Very, very temporary

The reward for winning the Wild Card, of course, is a series with the division winner with the best won-lost record. In the National League, that will be St. Louis. As we speak, the Wild Card would go to the Philadelphia Phillies, who are essentially in a dead heat with the Houston Astros. Of course, the Florida Marlins are just one game behind Philadelphia. Washington and the Mets also lurk, within two games of the post-saeason.

That's four NL East teams, and one from the Central division. Meanwhile, the NL East leaders, the Braves, suddenly find it very much in their interest to kick the crap out of all their divisional rivals. Because if the Wild Card comes from the NL East, it means Atlanta matches up with San Diego in the first round of the playoffs. The Braves have lost all five meetings with the Padres this season. So they're pulling for Houston. The Astros can't play a divisonal opponent in first round - they'd get Atlanta instead, while St.Louis would meet San Diego.

Up is down and down is up: longest current winning streak is 4, by Tampa Bay; longest current losing streak is 7, by the White Sox.

The schedule:

Baltimore (Chen 10-6, 4.03) at Cleveland (Sabathia 9-9, 4.97)
Toronto (McGowan 1-0, 5.95) at Detroit (Douglass 4-2, 4.65)
Seattle (Pineiro 5-7, 5.56) at Minnesota (Radke 7-10, 3.78)
Texas (Rogers 11-6, 3.03) at Tampa Bay (Fossum 6-10, 4.40)
New York (Johnson 11-7, 4.22) at Chicago (Contreras 7-7, 4.24)
Boston (Papelbon 0-0, 3.48) at Los Angeles (Byrd 9-7, 3.88)
Kansas City (Hernandez 8-11, 5.10) at Oakland (Blanton 7-9, 3.94)

Los Angeles (Lowe 8-11, 3.97) at Florida (Vargas 3-1, 2.89)
Washington (Halama 1-1, 5.55) at New York (Benson 9-4, 3.49)
Arizona (Halsey 8-9, 4.07) at Cincinnati (Milton 6-12, 6.63)
Pittsburgh (Redman 5-13, 4.77) at Philadelphia (Brito 0-0, 0.00)
Milwaukee (Santos 4-11, 4.21) at Houston (Pettitte 10-9, 2.67)
San Francisco (Schmidt 9-6, 4.63) at St.Louis (Suppan 12-8, 4.04)
Chicago (Maddux 10-9, 4.40) at Colorado (Francis 11-9, 5.87)
San Diego (Lawrence 7-12, 4.70) at Atlanta (Smoltz 12-6, 2.89)