there are now only 2 weeks left in the 2009 mlb regular season. the playoff scenario is starting to take shape, but there could still be surprises.
the yankees have cooled off going 5-5 in their last 10 games. at the same time the red sox were 9-1. the result of this is that the yankees divisional lead has been cut to 5 games (4 in the loss column). the red sox are now officially hot. their starting pitching seemed weak just a few weeks ago. now bucholz is pitching well, dice-k is back from injury and pitching effectively. the yankees on the other hand probably would have liked the playoffs to have started 2 weeks ago. now their bats have cooled off somewhat and their pitching has been inconsistent. joba got hit hard again on sunday, and on friday mariano blew his 1st save after 36 straight. the yankee offense scored 2 runs, 10 runs, and 1 run in their last 3 games and lost the 2 games where their offense failed. looking forward, the yankees play 3 against their nemesis the angels and then 3 against the red sox. the red sox play 4 against the last place royals and then the 3 against the yankees. a scenario where the red sox gain three more games against the yankees this week is not unrealistic. that would cut the yankees lead for the division to just 2 games, with about 7 more to play. of course, they must play the games on the field, not on paper so it wouldn't shock me to see the yankees gain on the red sox. my prediction - the red sox gain 2.5 games on the yankees but the yankees hold on and win the division (i'm not really going out on a limb.)
the tigers and twins continue to fight it out in the a.l. central as the white sox have fallen out of contention. on sunday, the twins went for the home series sweep against the tigers which would have cut the tigers lead to just 1 game. but the tigers prevailed increasing their lead back to 3 games. still the tigers lost 2 out of 3 to the twins and 2 out of 3 to the last place royals. in that space of time the twins won 6 out of 7 games. the white sox losers of 5 out of 7 have now fallen out of the race. by the way, the cleveland indians are in a free fall having lost 8 in a row and now are tied for last place with the kc royals. finally did you know that the royals employ arguably the best pitcher in baseball in zach greinke. for a last place team he is 14-8 with 6 complete games, 3 shutouts, leads the league in strikeouts with 224 and era with 2.14. zach is the most likely cy young award winner in the a.l.
the angels have finally put away the texas rangers and will win the n.l. west as texas lost 6 of 7 including 2 of 3 to the angels. the brightest spot all season for the rangers has been pitcher scott feldman who at age 26 has had a breakout season and is currently 17 - 5. wow - i'm sure you've never heard of him. otherwise the seattle mariners continue to play good ball. remember they lost 101 games last year and this year are currently 78-72. ichiro has been great as usual and on friday hit a walk off homer against mariano rivera. seattle's star pitcher felix hernandez, only 23 years old is 16-5 with a 2.45 era. and in last place are the much improved oakland athletics who have recently won 12 out of 14 games and are now only 7 games under .500. at their worst they were 22 games under .500 and without a legitimate star have played great ball during the 2nd half of the season.
coming soon - n.l. week in review, yankees/red sox weekend series preview, and more. send in your comments.