Posted at 9:20 AM on September 28, 2007
by Chris Dall
Earlier in the season, I took pleasure in piling on two much-maligned former Twins, Kyle Lohse and Jacque Jones. Well, now both are playing key roles for two teams fighting for the playoffs. And I'm nibbling on some crow.
First to Lohse. While I'm not ready to bestow greatness upon him, Kyle has been a solid pick-up for the Philadelphia Phillies, going 3-0 with a 4.76 ERA for them in 12 games. He came up particulary big on Wednesday night, pitching 7 innings in a 5-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves. So I'll tip my cap to Ryan, one of our readers, for his earlier defense of Lohse.
As for Jones, he's batted .330 and driven in 34 runs for the Chicago Cubs since August 1, and has played all three outfield positions for them. This from a guy who was almost traded twice by the Cubs in July. I believe I said earlier in the season that I wouldn't trade a bag of balls for Jones, but Steve Rudolph has been a consistent Jones backer, and even lobbied for a reunion of the "Soul Patrol." So Steve, maybe you were right.
Posted at 12:48 PM on September 28, 2007
by Steve Rudolph
As the seasons go, fall ranks third on my list ahead of only winter. That’s akin to finishing ahead of the Kansas City Royals in the A.L. Central.
That said, I’ve always loved what fall means to sports fans, at least until this year. We’ve been spoiled the past few years with the Twins playing meaningful games in September and postseason contests in October. Even the Gophers and Vikings have gotten off to good starts in recent years making Minneapolis a fall sports Mecca.
Unfortunately, most of our teams were mathematically eliminated in September this year and it’s just now that I’m realizing there are still plenty of great games to watch, particularly in Major League Baseball.
The American League may be decided with most of the usual suspects having bought their way in to postseason play. But in the National League, it’s all up for grabs, creating the potential for a great final weekend.
Will the once “Miracle Mets” be passed by the Phillies and become known for one of the greatest collapse in baseball history?
Will the Cubs erase a century of disappointment with a postseason run or will the kids up the lake keep the curse intact?
It’s even more exciting out west with the red-hot Rockies, winners of 11 in a row, taking on the division-leading D-Backs in Arizona while the second-place Padres play in Milwaukee.
If the weather turns sour as expected, it’s going to be a great weekend to stay indoors and watch baseball. If we’re lucky, Sunday’s games won’t sort it out and we’ll start the playoffs early with a tie-breaker game on Monday.
Suddenly fall doesn't seem quite so bad.