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MLB General

The Full Count: Mets and Red Sox are trying to give it away


1. The Shrinking Lead, Part 1: On September 10, the Phillies were six games back in the division and just focused on the wild card. Now, they have closed the gap to only 1.5 games thanks to a six game winning streak along with the Mets’ five game losing streak. Now the Phillies have a realistic shot of winning the division. They beat the Cardinals in 14 innings on Tuesday. In a game that saw 19 combined pitchers but only 19 combined hits, the Phillies won 7-4. They scored three 14th-inning runs off Mike Maroth, who has an 11.25 ERA since joining the Cardinals. The Mets lost 9-8 to Washington, their second straight loss against the pitiful Nationals. Because their schedule for the rest of the year includes only Washington and Florida, the Mets still are the likely division champs. However, it would no longer be surprising if the Phillies overtook New York and won the division.

2. The Shrinking Lead, Part 2: Everyone thought the Red Sox had the division wrapped up months ago. But the Yankees, who were down 5.5 games only four days ago, have cut that gap to 2.5. They have won three in a row while the Red Sox have dropped their last three. The Yankees dominated the Orioles 12-0 on Tuesday, with Mike Mussina going for seven shutout innings. Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano had three hits each in the rout, while Doug Mientkiewicz drove in four runs. The Red Sox, meanwhile, were topped for the second straight day by the Blue Jays, this time by a score of 4-3. AJ Burnett pitched brilliantly, going 8.2 innings with three runs and 11 strikeouts. Eric Gagne blew a save in eighth inning, ruining Jon Lester’s solid start. The Yankees have the schedule advantage compared with the Red Sox, as they face Tampa and Baltimore their last two series as opposed to Minnesota and Oakland. If New York wins the division, it will be either one of the greatest comebacks or collapses in league history, depending on your perspective. It really wouldn’t make a difference when it comes to playoff seeding, though, as the Red Sox would still likely win the wild card.

3. The Nonexistent Lead: Once again, the Brewers and Cubs find themselves tied for the NL Central lead. Milwaukee has won four straight to regain their share of the lead. The two teams together are the only division leader in baseball with less than 83 wins, with only 78 and 79, respectively. That still doesn’t make their race any less heated, as it has been back and forth for the last few weeks. The Brewers flattened the Astros 9-1, though ace Ben Sheets is out for an uncertain amount of time with a leg injury. the powerful Brewers had four homeruns. The Cubs lost 5-2, as ace Carlos Zambrano had his sixth loss in his last eight starts. Chicago does have the edge in the race as they only play terrible teams the remainder of the season, while the Brewers play Atlanta and San Diego.

Player of the Day: John Lackey, Angels: 8 innings, 1 run, 10 K’s in a 2-1 win over Tampa. Lackey is yet another AL Cy Young candidate, with a 17-9 record and 3.13 ERA.

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MLB General

The Full Count: Not so wild


1. Masters of the Wild: Usually the wild card races are extremely crowded even at this point in the season, but this year things are different. The Yankees and Padres both have a relatively big lead on the rest of the field, with leads of 4 and 2.5 games respectively. Both teams won on Tuesday. The Yankees won their sixth consecutive game 9-2 over the Blue Jays as Jason Giambi hit a grand slam and Jorge Posada also homered. Phil Hughes gave his second straight quality start after three poor starts in a row. The Padres beat the Dodgers 9-4 as Jake Peavy won his 17th game. Barring a late-season collapse, Peavy will win the NL Cy Young in addition to the pitching triple crown. He leads the league by a huge margin in every major category, giving the National League version of Johan Santana’s 2006. The Padres gained a game on the division-leading Diamondbacks with the win, and are now 2.5 back of them.

2. Low Tide: The Mariners, who were leading the wild card race three weeks ago, have suffered a huge string of defeats since then. They have lost 15 of their last 18 games, dropping them to 9.5 games back in their division and 6.5 back in the wild card. Their offense has cooled down since their early-August excellency, and their pitching staff has the second-worst ERA in the majors this month. The Mariners lost 7-4 to the A’s on Tuesday, as Jarrod Washburn was shelled for six runs and the offense failed to capitalize on 11 hits. The Mariners have played themselves out of the playoff race, though they could be a sleeper team for 2008.

3. Lead Retaken: After being tied with the Cubs as division leaders for a day, the Brewers pulled ahead with a 6-1 win combined with a Chicago loss. They beat the Pirates thanks to great pitching by Yovani Gallardo, who didn’t allow a run for his second straight start. Gallardo has allowed 2 runs in his last 20 innings pitched, and has become one of Milwaukee’s better starters. Prince Fielder hit his league-leading 44th homer in the win, and Ryan Braun had three more RBIs. The Cubs were beat 5-4 by Houston in 11 innings, dropping them to one game back. The Cardinals, now at four back after five consecutive losses, are becoming less and less of a threat.

Player of the Day: Hanley Ramirez, Marlins: 4-5, 2 HRs (28), 3 runs in a 13-8 win over the Nationals. Ramirez is having the best season of any player for a last-place team, with a .332 average, 28 homer, 46 steals, and a whopping .575 slugging percentage.

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MLB General

The Full Count: Hey, don’t forget about baseball


1. The Amazing A-Rod: Alex Rodriguez is having the best month of his incredible season so far in September. He has 8 homers and 15 RBIs in just eight games this month, including a home run in five straight games. Rodriguez now has 52 long balls this year, setting a new MLB record for a third baseman. He is the first Yankee to hit fifty homers in a season since 1961, and is only the fourth MLB player ever to record at least three fifty-homer seasons (Ruth, Sosa, and McGwire). If he remains hot he could record a 60-160 season, which only Ruth and Sosa have ever accomplished. Rodriguez helped the Yanks to a 6-3 win over the Royals, with Chien-Ming Wang picking up his 18th win. Wang remains tied with Josh Beckett for the major league wins lead. The Yankees swept the Royals for the second straight series, and they took 9 out of 10 games against KC this season. Barring a complete collapse they should win the wild card, as they have a four game lead over the inconsistent Tigers.

2. The Crazy Central: The NL Central lead changed hands once again, as the hot Brewers passed the slumping Cubs. Milwaukee has won 4 out of its last 5 games to retake their lead, which they have held the majority of the season. They beat the Reds 10-5 on Sunday thanks to six homers. Ryan Braun and Rickie Weeks each went deep twice, with Braun recording his 30th homer in only 94 games. Ben Sheets improved to 12-4 despite allowing five runs, but he fared much better than Reds starter Phil Dumatrait. Dumatrait failed to record an out, giving up homers to Weeks, JJ Hardy, and Braun to lead off the game. He is 0-4 with a 15.00 ERA in six starts this year, making him perhaps the worst pitcher in baseball. Dumatrait has more runs allowed than innings pitched in all but one of his starts this season. The Brewers should be able to hold on to the division lead for a while, as they will face the three worst teams in their division (Pirates, Reds, Astros) in consecutive series.

3. D-Back Domination: Arizona is beginning to pull away in the NL West division, with five straight wins. They swept the Cardinals over the weekend, extending their lead to three games over the Padres. All three games were close, and the Diamondbacks relied on stellar bullpen play to win. On Sunday they won 6-5 thanks to a four-run rally in the seventh. Bob Wickman, who was acquired off waivers, pitched a scoreless inning in his debut for Arizona. The Diamondbacks continue to win despite a pitiful .248 team batting average and a mediocre bottom of the rotation. This is due mainly to their bullpen, which features four relievers who have below a 3.00 ERA. Arizona, who is tied for the NL wins lead at 81, is certainly the surprise story of the majors this season.

Player of the Day: Johan Santana, Twins: 7 innings, five hits, one run, 10 strikeouts in a 5-2 win over the White Sox. Santana ended a personal slump as well as a six-game losing streak for Minnesota.

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MLB General

The Full Count: Ray of hope


1. Coming out of Nowhere: Possibly the most underreported story of the year has been the random emergence of Devil Rays first baseman Carlos Pena. Despite playing on the league’s worst team, Pena has 37 homers (2nd in the league), 105 RBIs (4th), and a 1.014 OPS (3rd). All of those numbers rank higher than David Ortiz, Justin Morneau, and a host of other All Stars. Pena led the charge for the D-Rays on Wednesday with 2 homers and 7 RBIs in a 17-2 rout of the Orioles. Eight of Tampa’s nine starters had a multi-hit game, and they had 22 hits and 5 homers in all. The real story is Pena, who has 9 homers and 22 RBIs in his last 11 games. The D-Rays have won 8 of those 11 games, but are still the worst team in baseball. Pena’s play would warrant MVP consideration if he played on almost any other team in the majors.

2. The Terrific Tribe: After finishing in a disappointing fourth place last season, the Indians are rolling in first and have already passed their 2006 win total. They completed their second consecutive sweep of the Twins on Wednesday in a 6-2 win. Overall they finished 14-4 against the Twins this year, with four sweeps in six series. Fausto Carmona, who improved to 15-8 with the victory, has been a surprise standout for the Indians. Though his numbers rival CC Sabathia in most major categories (3.27 ERA vs. 3.24), he hasn’t generated nearly as much Cy Young talk. On offense, Travis Hafner has regained his swing with 13 RBIs his last 11 games. Victor Martinez knocked in his 100th RBI of the season and 400th for his career. Over all, the Indians are a whopping seven games ahead of the still-struggling Tigers, who led the division the majority of the season.

3. The Brewers are Back: The Brewers, who were awful in August and fell to third place, now have a chance to capture the division lead. They are only a half game back after winning 4 out of 5, and their upcoming schedule is as easy as it gets. They have multiple series against the worst teams in their division, playing Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Houston over the next two weeks. The Cubs’ schedule is just as easy, as they will not play a winning team the rest of the season. The Brewers just finished up a series with the Astros, which they won 2-1. On Wednesday, they hit five homers in a 14-2 victory. Prince Fielder went deep for the 41st time, which is second in the majors. Rookie of the Year lock Ryan Braun hit his 28th homer. Braun has 78 RBIs and a .334 average in 91 games this year. For Milwaukee, the victory was the 45th at home this year, the most in the NL and third-most in the majors. On the other hand, their road record is awful at 26-42.

Player of the Day: Alex Rodriguez, Yankees: 2-3, 2 HR (48), 3 RBIs (134) in a 10-2 win over Seattle. A-Rod continues to pad his numbers and remains the clear MVP favorite. The Yankees now lead the Mariners by three games in the wild card race.

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MLB General

The Full Count: Wins leader is Chien-Ming Wang?


1. The Quiet Winner: Chien-Ming Wang is not a great pitcher, but, thanks mainly to the team he’s on, he’s racked up the most combined wins in baseball the last two seasons. Wang, after going 19-6 with a 3.63 ERA last year, is having a very similar season this year, at 17-6 and 3.68. His 17th win, tying him with Josh Beckett for the major league lead, came in the Yankees’ 12-3 blowout of the Mariners. Wang went 7-plus, allowing one run in his fourth consecutive win. He was supported in a big way by the Yankees’ offense, which pounded Seattle for 20 hits. Jorge Posada went 4-4 with four runs and two homers, raising his average to an elite .337. Bobby Abreu also had four hits and a homer, and Alex Rodriguez went deep again for the 46th time this year. The Yanks upped their wild card lead over the Mariners to two games with the victory. Both teams need the wild card, because they stand at seven games back in their respective divisions. It’s a shame that one of these clubs will be sitting at home during the postseason while a team from the NL Central is guaranteed a playoff spot.

2. Back in Contention: After losing 10 of 12 games in early August and falling as low as fourth place in the division, it seemed like the Dodgers’ season was nearly over. But now, thanks to a 7-2 run, Los Angeles is right back in the playoff picture. They have climbed to 3.5 back in the division and wild card races. The Dodgers continued their success with a 6-2 win over the Cubs on Tuesday. Ace Brad Penny returned to form after a bad start with seven shutdown innings. He improved to 15-4 on the year as the Dodgers received just enough offense for the victory. With David Wells added to fortify the pitching staff, the Dodgers have a legit shot at the playoffs.

3. D-back Attack: The Diamondbacks and
Padres are once again tied for the NL West lead. After San Diego won the first game of their series, the Diamondbacks routed them 9-1. Chris Young continued to struggle against Arizona, allowing 5 runs in 4 innings and losing his third straight decision. Young has a 7.32 ERA against the D-backs this season, compared with a 1.88 mark against the rest of the league. Eric Byrnes and Tony Clark both homered off Young as D-backs starter Doug Davis cruised to an easy victory. Davis, who allowed one run in seven innings, won his 13th game of the season, a career high. Over his career Davis has been the model of an average pitcher, with a 75-74 record and 4.30 ERA. This season, he has been better, and is the D-backs’ second-best starter only behind Brandon Webb. On Wednesday, the final game of this matchup for the season, Jake Peavy will pitch off three day’s rest against Livan Hernandez.

Player of the Day: Paul Lo Duca, Mets: 3-5, 2 HR, 7 RBIs in a 10-7 win over the Reds.

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MLB General

The Full Count: Pedro drives Mets to 5 game lead


1. Pedro Returns: The Mets’ Pedro Martinez made his first start since last September, picking up a personal milestone and giving the Mets another win in the process. Working with a 75-pitch limit, Pedro threw five innings, striking out four to give him 3,000 K’s in his career. He became the 15th member of the 3,000 strikeout club, as well as about the twentieth player to reach a major milestone this year. Martinez received plenty of support from the Mets’ offense in their 10-4 victory. Moises Alou went 3-3 with a homer, and David Wright and Carlos Delgado also went deep. With their fourth win in a row and 77th on the year, New York has the best record in the National League and the fourth-best mark in the majors. They now hold a comfortable 5-game lead on the Phillies, who were within two games of New York last week but have lost three in a row. If Pedro can stay healthy for the postseason (which he failed to do last year), the Mets have all the tools they need to win the NL pennant.

2. Santana’s Achilles Heel: Johan Santana would be having a great season if he didn’t have to face the Indians so many times. The two-time Cy Young winner is 14-11, with an 0-5 mark against Cleveland. According to ESPN, this marks the first time a reigning Cy Young winner put up an 0-5 mark against one team. Santana allowed four runs in six innings on Monday as he was greatly outdeuled by CC Sabathia. Sabathia had eight scoreless innings in the Indians’ 5-0 win as he improved to 16-7. Meanwhile, Santana gave up four runs for the third straight start as he continues to uncharacteristically struggle since the All Star break. He is 3-5 with a 4.22 ERA since the break, compared with a 32-3 record and 1.78 ERA after the break the previous three seasons. Santana is still having a great season, as he is second in the league in strikeouts, first in WHIP, and third in ERA. He is just being let down by his offense, which has put up an average of 2 runs a game in his losses. All things considered, however, the Cy Young will probably be headed elsewhere this season.

3. The Struggles of the Rocket: Though the expectations of him were far too high, Roger Clemens has still been a disappointment for the New York Yankees. The $28 million man has been merely average, with a 6-6 record and 4.45 ERA. His problem has been consistency; while he looks excellent in some starts, he seems pedestrian in others. On Monday, Clemens gave up five runs in four innings in a 7-1 loss to Seattle. Ichiro homered off Roger and Felix Hernandez outpitched him as the Yankees lost game one of an important series. The Mariners pulled within one game of New York for the wild card lead, finally snapping a nine-game losing streak. Clemens will undergo an MRI exam on his elbow after feeling some pain in it during the game. The Yankees need Mike Mussina to be back in the rotation and pitching well; otherwise they might not even reach October.

Player of the Day: Mike Lowell, Red Sox: 3-4, HR (18), 4 RBIs in a 13-10 win over the Blue Jays. Lowell became the seventh player this season to reach 100 RBIs. He is also among the league leaders with a .333 average.

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MLB General

The Full Count: The NL East just got very interesting


1. Philly Power: The Philadelphia Phillies beat the Mets in wild fashion to complete a four-game sweep of New York and climb within two games of them in the division. Philly’s 11-10 win on Thursday was highlighted by four homers, including two by Pat Burrell and Ryan Howard’s 36th on the year. The Phils got out to a 5-0 lead in the third off Aaron Rowand’s homer, but then the Mets scored five straight runs of their own. After Philly scored to make it 8-5, the Mets put up five more runs in the eighth. Philly rallied the last two innings to win the game, winning on a Chase Utley single in the ninth. The win sent them within two games of the Mets in the division. The Phils were seven back as recently as Saturday. The Braves have a chance to make up some ground on New York over the weekend, as the Mets travel to Turner Field for a three-game set.

2. The Pointless Sweep: The Yankees swept the Red Sox, but in doing so they ended up about where they were last week. At five games back, they still have a lot of work to do. The Yanks beat the Sox with pitching, especially on Thursday, when Chien-Ming Wang completely shut down Boston in a 5-0 win. Wang went seven innings with one hit and no runs allowed. He improved to 16-6, tying Josh Beckett and John Lackey for the major league wins lead. Wang had a no-hitter going through six innings. Robinson Cano hit two homers for the Yankees, who have taken 8 of 15 games against Boston this season. Curt Schilling’s above-average effort for the Red Sox was ruined by the lack of offense and Hideki Okajima’s three runs allowed in the eighth. The next and final Red Sox-Yankees meeting this year will be September 14-16 at Fenway.

3. Keeping the Lead: The Diamondbacks scored five runs off Cy Young candidate Chris Young and got out to an 8-0 lead, but they still had to hold on to win the game and take the division lead over San Diego. The Padres rallied in the 7th-9th innings, scoring seven runs. However, after Milton Bradley’s solo homer in the ninth with one out, they were unable to score again. The D-Backs now have a one game lead over the Padres in the division. San Diego will face the red-hot Dodgers this weekend, who have won four straight and are four games back. Then they will play the D-Backs again in a hugely important series.

Player of the Day: Magglio Ordonez, Tigers: 3-4, HR (26), 3 RBIs in the Tigers’ 6-1 win over the Royals. Ordonez, who has 119 RBIs, helped the Tigers avoid an embarrassing sweep at the hands of KC.

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Detroit Tigers

The Full Count: The Tigers looked grrr-eat!


1. Statement Win: The Tigers’ win on Monday gave them a series win over the Yankees as well as some confidence. They crushed New York 16-0, scoring runs in each of the first five innings. The Tigers had seven players with multi-hit games and 20 hits overall in the rout. Brandon Inge had four RBIs, while Curtis Granderson and Placido Polanco each had two runs and two RBIs. The Tigers’ pitching was excellent too, as Justin Verlander shut down the majors’ highest-scoring team. Verlander went seven innings, giving up three hits and no runs, in what was his best start since June. Despite the win the Tigers are still 2.5 games back of the Indians, who beat the Twins 8-3. However, that could change quickly, as the Tigers have some momentum going into nine straight games against losing teams. The Yankees, who are now 8 games behind Boston, start a three-game set with the Red Sox on Tuesday.

2. Closing the Gap: Jake Peavy helped the Padres narrow the gap with the Diamondbacks as the teams began a four-game set. The Padres drew within two games of Arizona after their 3-1 victory. Peavy threw 7 innings, allowing three hits and one run and striking out 11. He picked up his 15th win of the season, tying Tim Hudson for the NL lead. Peavy also neared 200 strikeouts on the season (197) and lowered his ERA to 2.18. The Padres have an enormously important stretch of games over the next two weeks. They will face the Diamondbacks six more times, in addition to six games with the Dodgers and three with the Rockies.

3. You’re fired: Two years removed from back-to-back NLCS appearances, Astros manager Phil Garner and GM Tim Purpura were fired on Monday. Garner, who posted a 277-252 record in four years with Houston, will be replaced by Cecil Cooper as skipper. The 58-73 Astros are in last place despite playing in the league’s worst division. The team made the World Series in 2005, then sputtered to an 82-80 record last season. Cooper, a former five-time All Star with the Brewers, has managerial experience in AAA but not in the majors. The decision to fire Garner is certainly questionable (is he really responsible for the team not being able to hit?). However, when you’re in last place, any kind of change is good.

Player of the Day: John Lackey, Angels: 9 innings, no runs, five strikeouts in a 6-0 win over Seattle. Lackey has posted back-to-back shutouts his last two starts against the Mariners.

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MLB General

The Full Count: Teixeira still paying dividends


1. Terrific Tex: The biggest winner at the trade deadline is as clear now as it was on August 1. The Atlanta Braves, with their acquisition of Mark Teixeira, got one of the best hitters in the league. In 18 games with the Braves, Teixeira has nine homers and 25 RBIs, including two homers and six runs driven in on Monday against the Reds. It was Teixeira’s second straight multi-homer game as he led the Braves to a 14-4 blowout of Cincy. Brian McCann added a grand slam, and Andruw Jones also homered for Atlanta. Tim Hudson didn’t pitch at his best level (6 innings, 3 runs), but he was good enough to become the first National League pitcher with 15 wins. The win puts the Braves at one game back of the Padres in the wild card race.

2. Battle of the Best: Two of baseball’s best teams, the Angels and the Yankees, began a series in exciting fashion on Monday. The Angels won 7-6 in the 10th inning thanks to a game-winning RBI double by backup catcher Ryan Budde. The Angels barely survived in a game that had six lead changes and not a lot of pitching. For the Yankees, Alex Rodriguez became the first player in baseball to hit 40 homers this year, and had three more RBIs, giving him 118. Jorge Posada also homered and drove in three, but the Angels were able to win with a more balanced attack on offense. LA improved to 73-51, the second-best record in baseball behind the Red Sox. The Yanks fell to five games back in the division and 1.5 back in the wild card.

3. The Streaks are Over: Overall it was a good night for the Chicago White Sox, as they snapped an eight-game losing streak with 4-3 win over the Royals. But the best thing that has happened to the team this season, Bobby Jenks’ 41 straight retired batters, came to a close. Jenks gave up a leadoff single to Joey Gathright in the ninth, ending his remarkable streak, which tied the previous major league record. He then retired the next three batters for his 34th save. The Sox were able to win with a rally in the seventh, tying them with Kansas City for last place. It’s an embarrassment for the franchise to be even near the Royals, especially considering their above-average payroll and recent World Series championship. But it’s been a lost season for the White Sox for months now, so many Chicago fans are probably already looking forward to next season.

Player of the Day: Tim Wakefield, Red Sox: 7 innings, four hits, no runs, 5 strikeouts in a 6-0 win over the Devil Rays. Wakefield improved to 15-10, tying him for the major league wins lead.

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MLB General

The Full Count: Santana strikes out seventeen


1. The Strikeout Machine: Johan Santana has led the American League in strikeouts three straight years, but he’s never fanned as many batters as he did on Sunday. With an incredible 17 strikeouts in eight innings, Santana set a personal and team single-game record. He struck out the side three times, and had at least two strikeouts in seven different innings. Santana allowed only two hits, both to Sammy Sosa. He could have challenged the major league strikeout record of 20 if he had stayed in the ninth inning, but with 112 pitches he was removed. Joe Nathan had two K’s of his own as he recorded his 27th save. The Twins needed all the pitching they could get, scoring only one run on offense. In Santana’s last seven starts, they have scored more than four runs only once, continuing a yearlong trend of poor run support for their ace. Despite mediocre play by the Twins recently, they are still only six games out in the division thanks to struggles by the Indians and Tigers.

2. New York, New York: Both teams from the Big Apple are red-hot, as each reached 70 wins with wins on Sunday. The Mets completed a sweep of the Nationals, while the Yankees took three out of four from the Tigers. For the Mets, Orlando Hernandez had another excellent start, while Carlos Beltran powered the offense with two homers. Beltran, who has struggled mightily since a stellar April, now has five homers in his last nine games. The Mets took advantage of a poor weekend by the Braves and Phillies in extending their division lead to five games. Meanwhile, the Yankees are now four games behind Boston after a 9-3 win on Sunday combined with a Red Sox loss. Hideki Matsui had three more RBIs, while recently acquired Wilson Betemit knocked in four runs. After the Tigers won the first game of this series on Thursday, the Yanks dominated with three wins in a row by a combined 20-6 score. Unfortunately for Detroit, they will face the Yankees four more times later this week. The Yankees’ first series with the Red Sox since June is coming up on August 28.

3. Moving up without playing: The Cubs encountered a unique situation on Sunday. Despite their game against the Cardinals on Sunday Night Baseball being rained out, they still managed to capture the lead in the NL Central division. That was due to another loss by the Brewers, who fell 7-6 to the Reds in a crazy game. Despite a poor start by ace Aaron Harang, the Reds came back thanks to homers by Adam Dunn and Brandon Phillips, as well as a go-ahead pinch-hit double by Javier Valentin. For Brewers starter Chris Capuano, it was his 16th straight start in which the Brewers lost. That is approaching the major league record of 18, set way back in 1912. Milwaukee hasn’t won in one of Capuano’s starts since May 8, when he was 5-0 with a 2.31 ERA. Since then he has lost ten decisions and his ERA has risen by three. The Brewers have given up a once-huge division thanks to a 7-20 record since July 25.

Player of the Day: Johan Santana, Twins: 8 innings, no runs, two hits, 17 strikeouts in a 1-0 win over the Rangers.