Purgatory Online

Monday, August 09, 2004

Three games with Kansas City, three nail-biters, three wins. They may not be winning "with authority" (a statistic that is not yet a tiebreaker in MLB), but they're takin' care of business. And now it's all tied up at the top of the wild-card race:

Boston: 60-49
Texas: 60-49
Anaheim: 61-50

Hoo, baby.

Some interesting stuff going on in the other games of note this weekend:

The A's and Twins have been clawing each others' eyes out. Yesterday they went 18 innings, and the game was only decided when the Minnesotas were forced to run Old Man Mulholland out to the mound, who promptly surrendered three runs. Word is that Mulholland wanted to tell his grandchildren he'd pitched in an 18-inning game, and was worried because they were supposed to be driving back to college that night.

But wait! Even so, the Twins were able to make a game of it, since the A's plopped Octavio "Quote, Closer, Unquote" Dotel onto the mound for the bottom half of the eighth. Minnesota got two of those runs back, but ultimately dropped the ball game. This was triply-bad news for Mulholland, who (1) lost the game, (2) missed his grandkids, and (3) was too late for the 4:30 seating at Old Country Buffet.

Speaking of those fleeing the flinty-eyed spectre of Death, Andres Galarragagagaga had another good day at Salt Lake, going 1 for 2 with three walks. Thus far, his lines have looked like this:

8/5 - 0-4
8/6 - 3-4, HR
8/7 - 2-5, 2B
8/8 - 1-2, 3 BB

Small sample size? No way! Bring his lymphoma-beating ass up! Hell, make that the undercard at Tuesday's game! "The Angels take on Miguel Tejada and the Baltimore Orioles...but first, it's Andres Galarraga versus cancer on the pitcher's mound!"

Sorry, sorry. Don't know what's come over me.

Anyway, the other event of note this weekend was Texas getting absolutely, mercilessly pounded by those selfsame Orioles on Friday and Sunday, and dropping a 3-1 contest on Saturday. This is bad freakin' news for the Rangers, who continue to have one decent starter in the bunch. If the Braves used to have "Spahn and Sain and pray for rain," and the Diamondbacks had "Johnson and Schilling and take a drilling," the Rangers currently sport a rotation along the lines of "Drese and...oh, we are so fucked."

The Angels, A's, and Rangers all complete wraparound series today, while the Red Sox return to Boston.

Right about now, in fact, the Orioles and Rangers are getting underway (Bacsik v. Borkowski). Some damn fool wrote last week that "...the Angels can't expect to gain too much ground whilst the division leaders are in Charm City...," but apparently the Orioles are a bit better than advertised. The exact same damn fool wrote, before Bacsik's last start, "You know your pitching staff is in trouble when your choices are (a) a guy with a 6.12 ERA in 19 Major League games and (b) Joaquin Benoit." Bacsik, of course, went on to shut out the Tigers for seven innings, giving up four hits. So let me merely say this: MIKE BACSIK! WOO! BEST PITCHER I EVER SAW! EVERYONE SHOULD SNAP UP MIKE BACSIK IN THEIR FANTASY LEAGUES! Thank you.

At 1:10 ET, it's the A's and Twins (Harden v. Lohse). Harden is in the process of supplanting Zito in the "big three" rotation, which is a pretty revoltin' development, as it were. The A's have already taken two of three in Minnesota; three of four looks like a pretty decent proposition.

At 7:05 ET, the Devil Rays visit Fenway for the next in a series of several painful (for Angels fans) opportunities for the Red Sox to mulch and spread lower-tier opponents between now and the end of the season. John Halama goes for the Rays, Curt Schilling for the Sox.

So the Angels have their work cut out for them at 8:10 ET. Ramon Ortiz, who has a little bit of security in the starting rotation now that it looks like Jarrod Washburn may not be back until September, will need to show that the six runs he gave up against Minnesota the last time out was a fluke, and not a return to the bad old days when he was scored upon more often than an assistant groupie after a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert. The Royals' pin their sweep-avoidance hopes on former Angel Brian Anderson, who's actually having a nice little stretch of games - a 3.86 ERA in his last six starts, coinciding with the arrival of new KC pitching coach Mike Mason.