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Making and ASS Out Of U And ME
2005-09-27 09:50
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Eleven days have passed since I last played the assumption game to try to predict how the Yankees, Red Sox and Indians would be stacked up heading into the season's final weekend. Thus far, the Red Sox and Indians have performed exactly as expected (though the Red Sox have done so by sweeping the Orioles and losing two of three to the Devil Rays where I expected them to take two of three from both), while the Yankees, in sweeping Baltimore last week at home, have exceeded my assumptions by one game. As a result, rather than trailing the Sox and Tribe by a game, the Yankees have pulled even with them (pending the result of Game One of today's doubleheader in Boston, that is).

With just three games left before the division showdowns in Boston and Cleveland, let's look at this another way. Let's assume the Red Sox win this afternoon and that the Yanks, Red Sox, White Sox, and Tribe all win two of their remaining three games prior to this weekend. That will keep the standings where they are and send the Bosox, Indians and Yankees into the final three games with identical records, two games behind the White Sox. If that were to happen, here are the possible outcomes this weekend:

Assuming the Yanks and Sox split their series two games to one, the winner winning the AL East:

If Cleveland sweeps Chicago, the Indians win the Central, the White Sox win the Wild Card and the NY/Bos loser goes home.

If Cleveland wins two of three, the White Sox win the Central, the Indians win the Wild Card and the NY/Bos loser goes home.

If Chicago wins two of three, the White Sox win the Central, and the Indians and NY/Bos loser play a one-game playoff on Monday for the Wild Card.

If Chicago sweeps Cleveland, the White Sox win the Central, the NY/Bos loser wins the Wild Card and the Indians winner go home.

If the NY/Bos series results in a sweep here's what changes:

If Chicago wins two of three, the White Sox win the Central, the Indians win the Wild Card and the NY/Bos loser goes home.

If Chicago sweeps Cleveland, the White Sox win the Central, and the Indians and NY/Bos loser play a one-game playoff on Monday for the Wild Card.

It seems unlikely that the standings will remain unchanged through Friday morning, but it's fun to speculate. This can also serve as a game thread for anyone watching or otherwise keeping track of the day game in Boston.

Comments (116)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-09-27 10:15:13
1.   Schteeve
Ich bein eighe Blue Jayer.
2005-09-27 10:17:34
2.   Cliff Corcoran
That's "ein," Schteeve. So you're a blueberry donut? I bet you're delicious.
2005-09-27 10:21:40
3.   BklynBomber
Ditto, Schteeve. Definitely my favorite team until 7:05 EST tonight...

Cliff — Thanks for the scenarios, realisitic assumptions to begin with. What a week!

Sox are set up in the bottom of the first. Second and third, 0 out, with Ortiz up...

2005-09-27 10:24:12
4.   unpopster
Me thinks Dave Bush might very well be the worst pitcher in the AL! Sheesh! Thanks for giving the Jays a chance today, Bushie!

Come to think of it, I do alot of complaining about "Bushes" these days...

2005-09-27 10:25:00
5.   Yankee Fan in Chicago
Well, at least he got Fat Papi out.
2005-09-27 10:27:29
6.   BklynBomber
Pfft! This is going to be a long day no matter what happens. Let's keep it at 2, Jays!
2005-09-27 10:30:11
7.   Cliff Corcoran
I don't like that Manny is in the groove. Bad news.

2-0 Sox, end of the first.

2005-09-27 10:32:15
8.   BklynBomber
Ohhh!!! Thought that was gonna bop Manny on the head!
2005-09-27 10:36:43
9.   Schteeve
I thought it was ein too, and then I googled it and got confused. Mmmmmm blueberry donut.
2005-09-27 10:36:49
10.   Cliff Corcoran
Three Ks through two perfect innings for Wakefield.
2005-09-27 10:43:39
11.   Alex Belth
Wakefield is gunna be tough today. The onus is on Schilling to make the Sox's night.
2005-09-27 10:47:24
12.   BklynBomber
Looks like Wakefield is working on a perfect game so far...
2005-09-27 10:49:15
13.   Yankee Fan in Chicago
Ok, so it's back to a tie going into tonight.
2005-09-27 10:50:00
14.   Schteeve
Yeah how a bout that? A no hit hit shut out so far for Wakefield. Hard to believe. A NO HIT SHUT OUT SO FAR. That's really impressive. I really can't believe we are watcing a NO HIT SHUT OUT from Time Wakefield of the Boston Red Sox right now! Wow!!
2005-09-27 10:50:18
15.   rbj
A perfect game for Wakefield? I hope no one jinxes it.
2005-09-27 10:51:28
16.   Alvaro Espinoza
Knucklehead alert! Mike and the Mad Dog are going nuts over an Elias stat that 51% of doubleheaders over the past 10 years were sweeps. They simply can not believe this. It's as if someone told them that grass is purple and sand is wet.

(1) Is anyone truly blown away by this stat?

and

(2) Was it not the Mets, whose flagship station has been FAN for close to 20 years, that had a recent dubious streak of getting swept in doubleheaders?

2005-09-27 10:52:01
17.   Schteeve
Well, he walked a guy, but still...NO HITS. That's really really impressive, and rare. I mean you never see that. NO HITS and NO RUNS. It's so improbably. Kudos to Wakefield!
2005-09-27 10:54:31
18.   KYK
crap - and i thought i'd get some work done this afternoon.
2005-09-27 10:56:10
19.   BklynBomber
7 or 8 inning starts by both Wakefield and Schilling today will screw up our plans to burn out their pen for the next few days. This cannot be allowed to happen.

All right, Bush looks like he's settling in...

2005-09-27 11:08:28
20.   rbj
Gee, I hope I didn't mess up the perfect game. And it'd be a shame if anyt'ing happened to da no hitter an da shutout, an da win.
2005-09-27 11:08:40
21.   Cliff Corcoran
16 Let's see, there are two possible outcomes from a double-header. A split or a sweep. So 51% are splits?

I'm hoping their stunned that it's so close to a coin toss.

2005-09-27 11:08:44
22.   Paul in Boston
He hit Wells in the 1st, so it was never a Perfect Game.

It's still a no-hitter, though!

2005-09-27 11:09:55
23.   Cliff Corcoran
ouch, "they're" -- terrible job there, Cliffy, just terrible.
2005-09-27 11:10:29
24.   Cliff Corcoran
Good point, Paul, that was my bad in 10
2005-09-27 11:11:56
25.   BklynBomber
I really wish everyone would stop trying to jinx the NO-HIT SHUTOUT that TIM WAKEFIELD is throwing through FOUR innings.
2005-09-27 11:15:50
26.   Cliff Corcoran
Like clockwork, Menechino singles to left and Manny throws it away to move him to second.
2005-09-27 11:15:59
27.   Nick from Washington Heights
Yeah, people should really stop talking about the Tim Wakefield no-hitter that's going on right now.
2005-09-27 11:16:18
28.   BklynBomber
A wild pitch would be nice right here..
2005-09-27 11:16:20
29.   Nick from Washington Heights
late jinx
2005-09-27 11:17:33
30.   BklynBomber
It worked, Nick ;-), it worked.
2005-09-27 11:17:55
31.   NetShrine
If Wakefield does throw a no-no, please, let him use 135 pitches in the process.
2005-09-27 11:17:58
32.   Cliff Corcoran
Productive fly out and a passed ball get Frankie home, 2-1 Sox.
2005-09-27 11:18:56
33.   Cliff Corcoran
Wake's in the upper 60s (pitches) with two out in the fifth.
2005-09-27 11:23:48
34.   rbj
Terrible shame 'bout dat shutout. Wakey, you don't want a win today, now do ya.
2005-09-27 11:24:13
35.   BklynBomber
I seem to remember some crazy pitch counts from Wakefield. Has he gone into the 100's fairly often?
2005-09-27 11:24:33
36.   Cliff Corcoran
Check that, Wake up to 78 pitches through five full.
2005-09-27 11:26:17
37.   BklynBomber
The MVP-runner up with another ribby... sh*t!
2005-09-27 11:28:42
38.   Cliff Corcoran
118 is his top total thus far this year, he's done that twice, 115 twice, 111, 110 twice, nothing unusual there. Since 2002, his tip total is 119, playoffs included. Overall, however, this year has seen him pass 100 and 110 more often than in the recent past. Still, nothing that would cause undue stress, expecially considering he throws 68 MPH knucklers.
2005-09-27 11:29:46
39.   Cliff Corcoran
Doubles by Renteria and Ortiz make it 3-1 Sox, Manny gets IBBed, Nixon grounds out to put runners at second and third with two outs for Mueller.
2005-09-27 11:31:40
40.   pistolpete
Stays at 3-1, Mueller grounds out.
2005-09-27 11:33:36
41.   BklynBomber
Thanks for that, Cliff...
2005-09-27 11:33:39
42.   JVarghese81
man, would it be great if the SOx were warming up someone crappy in the pen right now...someone who might have an ERA north of say....7. Someone like oh, I don't know...Alan Embree, perhaps? Oh wait, what's that you say? They dropped him like a bad habit after realizing that he sucked for an entire season...hmmm.
2005-09-27 11:34:37
43.   JVarghese81
Dammit! Why can't he (Wells) hit against the Sox like he does against the Yanks!>!
2005-09-27 11:37:16
44.   yankz
Wow, I didn't even know that MVP-Rod is pretty far ahead of Monkeyman Damon in batting average. That is awesome.
2005-09-27 11:39:27
45.   pistolpete
"Why can't he (Wells) hit against the Sox like he does against the Yanks!>! "

Or Hillenbrand for that matter...

One thing I'm starting to take away from this last few weeks of Sox games, though- if the 'big two' don't produce, no one else seems to step up big. That could work to our advantage come this weekend...

2005-09-27 11:39:28
46.   Cliff Corcoran
Wells was 1 for 12 this weekend in the Bronx. That said, he has indeed hit NY much better than Boston this year.
2005-09-27 11:42:10
47.   Cliff Corcoran
The only problem is the Big Two bat back-to-back, so you can't pitch around both of them, though if you get Ortiz out, it would be worth it to pitch around Manny, as the Blue Jays did succesfully last inning (IBB Manny led to outs by Nixon and Mueller to hold the Sox at three runs).

Meanwhile, Hillenbrand has raked against the Yanks and Sox equally this year.

2005-09-27 11:42:46
48.   JVarghese81
Hey, just as an aside, ESPN's eticket, whatever the hell that means - it looks like just a regular article to me, on Leo Mazzone has a sidebar entitled Top 10 Assistant coaches of All Time.

"10. Mel Stottlemyre.
After 10 years as the Mets' pitching coach (including the 1986 World Series Champs), he's survived a decade of George Steinbrenner in the Bronx, and helped build a dynasty."
Just thought it was interesting...

2005-09-27 11:45:33
49.   pistolpete
I'm still not as scared of Manny- he seems to chase more bad pitches than Ortiz these days.
2005-09-27 11:48:06
50.   KYK
Wow - Bush got a 1-2-3 inning. Of course it was against the bottom of the BOS line up.

Anyone know what this "Pinstripes in the Park" is tonight?

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-09-27 11:48:07
51.   Cliff Corcoran
You know, Goldman and Jaffe never did have it out over Mel. Since they threatened to Aaron Small, Shawn Chacon and Chien-Ming Wang have all exceeded expectations (and in the cases of Small and Chacon, their pre-pinstriped performances). Randy Johnson has stepped up his game and Sturtze, though burned out by Torre, remains the third most useful Yankee reliever. You don't hear much griping about Mel anymore. I'd like to see that conversation finally happen now that there's more evidence for Goldman. Would be more of a fair fight, and surely great reading.
2005-09-27 11:49:17
52.   Oscar Azocar
While Mel has had several quality pitchers go bad on his watch, he does deserve some props for the emergence of Aaron Small if what the YES network folks say is true. Apparently he changed Small's grip on his sinker....
2005-09-27 11:50:04
53.   rbj
How about, Friday, we start, oh, say, Embree. Just so he can hit & hurt Ortiz, and get ejected. Even sign him next year to a $2 million contract, then he gets injured in spring training and has to sit the year.
2005-09-27 11:51:50
54.   Cliff Corcoran
They're simulcasting the Yankee game in Bryant Park tonight. Tony Danza is hosting, Goose and Nettles are rumored to be in attendance. Sounds cool. I think the festivities kick off at 5:30. Don't know how much of a mob scene it will be.
2005-09-27 11:52:31
55.   tocho
100 pitch coming up. C'mon jays at least make him work.

Why does Wakefield always look like he has a very bad case of sunburn? (even in October)

2005-09-27 11:52:53
56.   Cliff Corcoran
Sorry, 54 is re: 50.
2005-09-27 11:55:31
57.   yankz
McGowan has a 6.86 ERA. Why is Toronto throwing this game?
2005-09-27 11:56:09
58.   pistolpete
And how is Wakefield not 30-0 every year if no one seems to be able to hit him?
2005-09-27 11:56:53
59.   marc
At least Toronto's keeping it a 2 run game with the Sahx coming up for the bottome ot the 7th. It will make them use their bullpen and who knows about the 8th and 9th if Boston doesn't put it away now.
2005-09-27 11:57:24
60.   Alex Belth
How is anyone ever going to bet against Wakefield? Three measly hits in seven innings. Pitch counts don't count with him. Watch Boston tack on another couple here just to put it away and put the drama into tonight's game, as well as th pressue back on the Yanks...facing wack ass B. Chen.
2005-09-27 11:57:28
61.   tocho
108 pitches through 7. My guess is Francona panics and takes him out so he can be ready on short rest (not that 10 more pitches would make a difference for a knuckleballer) and the pen gives the lead back, and the game goes to extra innings and ends on a walk-off HR in the 13th.

Wishfull thinking...

2005-09-27 12:01:22
62.   marc
After 7 we still got a game here and the not so mighty Boston bullpen taking over it sounds like.
2005-09-27 12:01:58
63.   yankz
McGowan strikes out the Fat Man. My bad in post 57.
2005-09-27 12:02:47
64.   tocho
Edit 61, on a HR by Quiroz (toront) on the 13th. (mental lapse).
2005-09-27 12:03:27
65.   pistolpete
Ok, so now we have to sign McGowan- he struck out Ortiz and that makes him a hot commodity in MY book. ;-)
2005-09-27 12:04:11
66.   hensley
Just what we needed, a nice breezy game of two hours and change.
2005-09-27 12:05:22
67.   rbj
As you requested, Tocho.
Papelbon?
2005-09-27 12:05:32
68.   pistolpete
Who's 'we'..?

Does anyone think that after facing all these junkballers this week- Lopez, Chen, etc, that we'll have any kind of edge going into Saturday against ol' Wakey?

2005-09-27 12:06:34
69.   JVarghese81
Good AB by Zaun - man - he's the like Chris Carter of baseball...
All He Does is Have Good ABs!
2005-09-27 12:06:37
70.   marc
Paperbon gives a lead off walk. We got a real shot here
2005-09-27 12:06:39
71.   yankz
Come on, Toronto. You can do this.
2005-09-27 12:07:28
72.   Cliff Corcoran
Well Quiroz is out in favor of Gregg Zaun, who is a walk machine, and did just that.
2005-09-27 12:08:23
73.   Cliff Corcoran
68 interesting idea, but the Yanks get fireballing Cabrera tomorrow.
2005-09-27 12:09:02
74.   pistolpete
If I didn't see them all on the same field, I'd swear Catalanotto, Graffanino and Menechino were all the same player...

Those Italian utility infielders, they're all over the place!

2005-09-27 12:09:36
75.   marc
if Rios doesn't hit into a DP maybe Wells can tie it up with a dinger
2005-09-27 12:10:51
76.   yankz
This is it
2005-09-27 12:11:06
77.   Cliff Corcoran
Better yet, Rios singles Zaun to third! Wells and Hillenbrand due up.
2005-09-27 12:11:32
78.   unpopster
ok, Francona is a bonehead too! I would have left Wakefield in to pitch one more inning.
2005-09-27 12:11:51
79.   Cliff Corcoran
"Alex Rios singles on a soft fly ball to right fielder Trot Nixon."

Has Nixon been taking fielding lessons from Matt Lawton?

2005-09-27 12:13:31
80.   yankz
DAMMIT WELLS
2005-09-27 12:15:12
81.   Cliff Corcoran
I'd like to hear Sox fans say that (80) a lot over the next four days (Friday included)
2005-09-27 12:15:35
82.   yankz
Crap.
2005-09-27 12:15:54
83.   Cliff Corcoran
Hillenbrand goes down hacking. Thhhhhpppttt.
2005-09-27 12:17:12
84.   yankz
If the BJ's can't score with a runner on third and only one out with their two best hitters up, I'm not very confident about the rest of this series.
2005-09-27 12:18:00
85.   pistolpete
Ok, (sigh), I'm resigned to the fact that we'll need to sweep Boston this weekend.
2005-09-27 12:18:01
86.   Cliff Corcoran
BTW, props to Gibbons for pinch-hitting Zaun to lead-off that inning. He is indeed trying to win these games.
2005-09-27 12:18:24
87.   atc
Hillenbrand only hits against us - or so it seems
2005-09-27 12:19:00
88.   Alex Belth
Couple of big outs there in the eighth. Sox are winning this one.
2005-09-27 12:19:03
89.   marc
This is officially bleek now however they are using up a lot of arms at least and they may use Timlin in the 9th if they don't go nuts and put the game away here.
2005-09-27 12:19:13
90.   Cliff Corcoran
Yankz, I have the most faith in Koskie in that situation, but he's sitting this game out.

So maybe I take back what I said about Gibbons. Still, I like his fire. He leads the league in ejections this year. Good stuff for a .500 team.

2005-09-27 12:21:10
91.   Cliff Corcoran
atc, see 47
2005-09-27 12:22:24
92.   Cliff Corcoran
Good relief by McGowan thus far, two perfect innings. Timlin's in. I bet we see Koskie for Menechino up second this inning.
2005-09-27 12:22:35
93.   marc
Let's go Jays. Time to dump a ton of birdshit on them.
2005-09-27 12:26:01
94.   Cliff Corcoran
Terrible AB by Hinski, ground out to first on two pitches. Adams hits for Frankie, well I was close.
2005-09-27 12:27:55
95.   Cliff Corcoran
Adams Ks on four pitches, here's Koskie to keep it alive.
2005-09-27 12:28:48
96.   Cliff Corcoran
And he does, a single to right. Gabe Gross due up. Too bad, Zaun is one more batter away.
2005-09-27 12:29:16
97.   pistolpete
Ugh, I see a sweep by Boston now - you just know ol' Ketchup Curt will step it up, based on the melodrama involved...

Best we can hope for now is for Clement and Arroyo to get hammered...

2005-09-27 12:29:16
98.   Cliff Corcoran
Koskie to second on defensive indifference.
2005-09-27 12:29:23
99.   unpopster
LET'S GO GROSS!
2005-09-27 12:31:26
100.   pistolpete
'Gross' indeed.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2005-09-27 12:32:37
101.   rbj
Awfully hard to sweep a doubleheader Boston. Just remember that. You are getting sleepy.
2005-09-27 12:32:44
102.   yankz
Dammit. Now we have to hope they avoid the sweep.
2005-09-27 12:35:00
103.   Alex Belth
So much for the pie-in-the-sky daydreams about the Sox being swept. Now, let's put our energies into hoping that Moose can have another good outing (I have my doubts) and that the Yanks can crack Bruce Chen again. Oh yeah, and that the Jays offense shows up tonight and gives the Sox a run for their money.
2005-09-27 12:35:50
104.   Max
This really wasn't that bad, all things considered. Of the four games, this was the one that favored the Sox most heavily. Wakefield throws over 100, Papelbon throws 25, and the Sox don't exactly run away with the win.

Would have been nice to see Wakefield throw more pitches and for the Jay batters to make Timlin work a little, but now the relief cushion narrows a bit for tonight's game.

2005-09-27 12:37:23
105.   Cliff Corcoran
Hey, 102 posts on a Red Sox game. Gotta love the stretch run.

The Sox went with all of their starters and got just three runs of Bush & McGowan, that's encouraging. Too Bad Wakefield is aces these days. Saturday's game may have lost it's made-for-FOX backstory, but with Wakefield facing Johnson it just might be an even better game than Schilling Johnson would have been.

2005-09-27 12:40:49
106.   BklynBomber
Like my father always said "You want something done right, you do it yourself". We just need to stay focused, keep grinding and we'll be OK. As Sheff said during the summer, Boston's been trying to hand it to us all season. It's time to take it!

F the Jays! Let's go Yankees!

2005-09-27 12:41:25
107.   pistolpete
IMO, Mussina will be in some trouble tonight, but also will pitch a little longer and the Yanks will give him some runs earlier than last time.

But, I could be wrong.

2005-09-27 12:46:11
108.   yankz
Remember Moose's legendary September last year? It's going to happen tonight.
2005-09-27 12:49:25
109.   marc
I can't stand the fact that I think we've won 13/15 unless I'm a day behind and we're still in total limbo with zero room for losses. After that tremendous run if we lose tonight and Boston wins it's almost likely we'll be sitting out the post-season. I guess it's pretty much the same situation for Boston and Cleveland. I desperately want Cleveland to at least open the door a notch to give us a shot at the WC if we're not perfect.
2005-09-27 12:53:53
110.   Cliff Corcoran
Limbo? The Yanks have six games left. If they win five, they go to the postseason. That simple.
2005-09-27 12:54:06
111.   marc
I hope we don't need a 5th inning back-up for Moose. It might depend on if his elbow's still good or not which we may not know until after the fact.
2005-09-27 13:07:23
112.   BklynBomber
#110 — Bingo! It's "The Drive for Five", baby!

Five wins to get in.

Five rings for the Joe Torre Yankees.

2005-09-27 13:08:50
113.   Dimelo
Hanging on every pitch, every swing, this is killing me......I can't stop thinking about tonight's game. There has been so much good coming out of every Yankee game, different heroes, different stories, etc, etc. I know the Yanks should be beaten by better pitchers than Chen, but you never know in baseball, just never know.

I started listening to the Sux game from MLB's website, I had to give up.....it makes me sick to my stomach seeing that team win or being ahead in any game they play.

2005-09-27 13:20:48
114.   debris
Cliff,

re: number 105 above: Varitek, Graffinino, and Millar all sat this afternoon. They're tanned rested and ready for the second half this evening.

Yes, Mirabelli regularly catches Wakefield, but that diminishes the offense greatly. Yes, Tony Graffinino is a journeyman, but he's been Denny Doyle since coming over from KC. Yes, Millar sucks, but...um, er, well, he didn't always and he's the best rah, rah guy in the bigs.

2005-09-27 13:26:47
115.   marc
Cliff, I think you mde my point. If a month ago someone would have said the Yankees would win 13/15 going into their last 6 games, most would assume we were a near lock to get into the playoffs. Now we've done the rare 13/15 wins and you're saying we have to win 5/6 to comfortably make the playoffs. Limbo means not having a clear idea whether you make the post-season or not. At least that's what I meant by it. So we just made an improbable climb over a steep mountain just to find we have to climb another mountain. That's because Cleveland and the Bosox put a lot more pressure on than anyone expected. At least that's certainly true for Cleveland as I thought we had a far better chance of beating Cleveland for the WC than beating Boston back then. Maybe Cleveland will still falter some more and make that true.
2005-09-27 14:08:24
116.   Schteeve
So by Limbo you mean Pennant race? I don't see the problem.

Look I know we all (mostly) root for the Yanks and just want to see them in the Post Season. But as a freaking baseball fan, how can you not love this? Did anyone think the Jay's were really going to sweep Boston today? Not a chance.

Sure this is tense, but this is why I love baseball.

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