The Commish and I are headed to NYC today to pay our respects to Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium before thay go to ballpark heaven. We are taking in the Yankees-Rays contest tonight, and the Mets-Braves game late Saturday afternoon. This is all weather permitting, of course. Not only is it a rainy day in Chicago, by NYC is supposed to get rain late tonight through Sunday. In any case, I'll be blogging from NYC this weekend, and will attempt to scout the Yanks for the Sox, who face them for an upcoming four-game series, and will do the same for the Cubs with the Mets, who they face for four games later this month.
Weather already has had its way with the Cubs-Astros series, as Hurricane Ike, arriving in Houston, forced the first two games of a weekend series to be postponed. The Cubs my fly down Saturday for a Sunday game and Monday double-header, or the games may take place at a neutral site. The break will let the Cubs refresh, though they now have a two-game winning streak after slipping by the Cards 3-2 last night.
The bad thing about the break is that it's the last one for this season, and I wonder if the Astros will make the Cubs pay by bringing Roy Oswalt back for a Monday game. The Astros are the hottest team in MLB since the All-Star break, but Oswalt is hotter, having pitched his second straight complete-game shut-out last night, and it would have been three in a row if Cecil Cooper had let him pitch the final 2/3 on the 9th inning in his 3-0 demoralizing of the Cubs in Wrigley Field on Labor Day.
Anyway, before the break, the Cubs again didn't muster much offense, but it was enough, their first two runs scored on a base-loaded walk and then an error, but we'll take what's given. The third run came on consecutive doubles by De-Ro and Mighty Mite, but with Fontenot on 2nd base and no outs, the Cubs couldn't manage to bring him home. Harden was mostly terrific, as usual; Marmol was shaky, but was helped by two fantastic game-saving catches by Al-So and Fukie; Woody was again not very good, but was helped by a bad slide into 3rd base that resulted in a very-close-call out. Woody had to get Pujols with the tying run at 2nd, and got him to harmlessly pop out to end this one. After Woody's bad September so far, that was a pleasant surprise. And, the Brewers lost.
The Sox need a break this weekend, and hopefully will be able to beat up on some Detroit pitching after losing the series finale to the Blue Jays last night 6-4. This was a stange one in that both Gavin Floyd and Jays starter Marcum were spotless until the 8th inning. All season, Floyd has been great for long stretches, with his mistakes and losses usually coming from one big, bad inning. Last night, he was extremely efficient with his pitch count until the 8th, when he gave up 4 runs during a 6-run rally by the Jays.
The Sox did what they could to come back, scoring 4 in the bottom of the inning off a homerun and 2-run double from Thome and JeDye, but it was too late in this one. Good news there is that the Twins lost, too. The Tigers come to town now, and though they score a lot of runs, their pitching has been awful. It will be interesting to see if this series is broken up somewhat by rain, as it expected throughout the weekend. Maybe, we'll see sunny days in October...
Brad Ausmus worked out as well as Robin Ventura
3 hours ago