1. Becoming the Best: The Red Sox’s recent struggles mean two things. First, the Yankees are closing in on them (more on that later). Also, two other teams have caught up to them for the league’s best record. The Indians and Angels, both at 90-62, have the same number of wins as Boston with one less loss. They both have huge leads in their respective divisions and are on three game winning streaks. The Indians just swept the Tigers to virtually lock up their division. The Tigers, who could have closed the gap in the division with a sweep themselves, instead find themselves 7.5 games back. Cleveland’s 4-2 victory on Wednesday included CC Sabathia’s 18th win of the season. The Angels completed a sweep of the Devil Rays, who on Thursday lost their 90th game for the 10th straight season, an MLB record. The Angels, who improved to 52-25 at home this season, also have a commanding lead in their division. They are up by 8.5 games on the Mariners despite Seattle’s three-game winning streak. Both of these teams, though they get less attention than the Yankees or Red Sox, have a solid shot at winning the World Series.
2. The Yankees Draw Closer: This AL East division race, one-sided for most of this season, is finally getting interesting. The Yankees, with four straight wins, have climbed to 1.5 games back of the once-untouchable Red Sox. They beat the Orioles 2-1 thanks to Andy Pettitte’s strong pitching, completing a sweep of lowly Baltimore. The Red Sox, meanwhile, were swept by the Blue Jays, giving them their fifth loss of their last six games. The Yankees, who were 14.5 games back at one point this season, could make the largest divisional comeback since 1969 if they win it. Even if they don’t, they are guaranteed the wild card anyway.
3. Another Day, Another Win: The Padres are the hottest team in baseball right now, with six straight wins. They are still 1 game back of the Diamondbacks for the division lead. They beat the Pirates 5-3 on Thursday thanks to a walk-off three run homerun by Scott Hariston. If they win on Thursday it will be their second straight sweep. The D-backs are still holding on, as won a series against the Giants; however, the Padres are playing better right now. This is yet another divisional race that is going down to the wire.
Player of the Day: Matt Holliday, Rockies: 2-3, 2 HRs (35), 2 RBIs in a 6-5 win over the Dodgers. Holliday would be the easy choice for MVP if he played on a first place team. He is leading the league in batting average (.340) and RBIs (128), and has 11 homeruns in the month of September.