Baseball Roundup:

Steve O Speak

World Champs Clinch the East:  The Philadelphia Phillies clinched the N.L. East for the third year in a row last night with the Braves losing to the Marlins 5-4 (not to mention the Phils trouncing the Astros 10-3). The win takes some pressure off the Phillies and allows them to rest up some as they wait to see who their opponent will be in the first round (likely the Rockies). While it wasn’t his best outing last night, how much did the signing of Pedro Martinez pay off for Philadelphia? He’s 5-1 with a 3.63 ERA in nine starts. Not only have his numbers been impressive, but the team is 8-1 in his starts, helping the Phils be where they are right now. If their bullpen can come together and start pitching big this October, Philadelphia could be in line for a repeat.

Indians Fire Wedge, Sort of:  The Indians announced at a press conference yesterday that Manager Eric Wedge and his staff were fired, but would finish out the season. This is one of the few times where an employee (or in this case employee’s) get two weeks notice from their employer. Was it really necessary to have a press conference to announce, what pretty much everyone in baseball already knew? No one thought that Wedge was going to be retained after the year he had. The Indians came into this year with legitimate playoff and World Series hopes, and are ending it with a bottom five finish. I don’t understand why you couldn’t just wait a week to have the press conference the day after the season is over. That seems to send a bit of a mix message to the players. At least the Indians didn’t pull an “Astros” and try to hire an “interim” manager for a handful of games. At this point you need to let Wedge manage out the rest of the season. Anything else would have been cheap and petty. Though the Indians P.R. department could probably use some lessons in decorum.

Tigers and Rockies pull away:  The Tigers and Rockies each picked up a game yesterday in their respective playoff races. The Rockies win over the Brewers yesterday, coupled with the Braves loss (Atlanta shot themselves in the foot all around yesterday) left the Rockies magic number at 1. Any Colorado win or Atlanta loss will clinch a playoff berth for the Rockies. Colorado still has an outside shot of winning the N.L. West and actually control their own destiny. They finish up with a three game series against the Dodgers, if they sweep the ‘boys in blue’, the Rockies will win the West. The Tigers did double damage yesterday with their win over the Twins, giving themselves a three game lead over Minnesota. With Detroit’s magic number now at 2, the Tigers can clinch the division today with another win over the Twins. If not things get a bit dicey as the Twins finish up with the Royals, while the Tigers have three remaining games against the White Sox. I’d look for Detroit to close it out at home today.

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