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  1. The State of the Races

    Sep 19, 2011, 8:25 AM EST

    Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz reacts after flying out against the Tampa Bay Rays during the eighth inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston

    The division races are secondary right now. Let’s go with the wild cards first: AL Wild Card: Unless you’ve been living under a rock or (worse) watched football all weekend, you know that Boston leads Tampa Bay by a mere two games now after dropping three of four to the Rays.  What you can be…

  2. And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

    Sep 19, 2011, 5:20 AM EST

    Joel Peralta

    Rays 8, Red Sox 5: Tim Wakefield got a lot of love for his 200th win last week. But it didn’t change the fact that Tim Wakefield doesn’t have a whole hell of a lot left. Now only two games separate these two in the wild card race. And the Rays-love has gotten so crazy…

  3. Mets lock up left-hander Tim Byrdak for 2012

    Sep 18, 2011, 8:05 PM EST

    Tim Byrdak

    The Mets sent Carlos Beltran to the Giants in July, but they were surprisingly unwilling to deal any of their lesser free-agents-to-be, a group that included Chris Capuano, Scott Hairston, Willie Harris, Jason Isringhausen and Tim Byrdak.  Today they retained the least expensive member of that bunch for 2012, signing the 37-year-old Byrdak to a one-year extension.…

  4. Could Freddy Garcia pitch his way out of the postseason rotation?

    Sep 18, 2011, 6:23 PM EST

    Freddy Garcia, Joe Girardi

    It still looks like the Yankees are going to finish with the American League’s best record, but not everything is fine and dandy in New York.  Freddy Garcia just turned in his third straight poor start Sunday, giving up three runs in 4 2/3 innings in a loss to the Blue Jays.  Adam Lind homered…

  5. Red Sox fall to Rays, wild card lead down to two games

    Sep 18, 2011, 5:48 PM EST

    Tim Wakefield

    The Red Sox were able to knock David Price out of Sunday’s game, but they dropped another one to the Rays anyway, leaving them just two games up in the wild card standings. The Rays, who were nine games back on Sept. 3, beat the Red Sox for the sixth time in seven games this…

  6. Carlos Guillen comes up lame, leaves game

    Sep 18, 2011, 5:36 PM EST

    Carlos Guillen, Carlos Santana

    It’s a shame, but Carlos Guillen doesn’t appear likely to contribute to the Tigers’ postseason run this year. On what appeared to be a perfectly innocent play, Guillen suffered a right calf strain and left Sunday’s game against the A’s.  It unfolded as Jemile Weeks hit a slow grounder back to pitcher Justin Verlander.  Guillen…

  7. Jorge De La Rosa to begin throwing program Friday

    Sep 18, 2011, 4:52 PM EST

    de la rosa ap

    Rockies left-hander Jorge De La Rosa underwent Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery back in early June. He’s made good progress thus far and has managed to avoid setbacks, so the Rockies’ medical staff has cleared him to take a major step. According to Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post, De La Rosa will begin a…

  8. Chone Figgins done for the year because of hip injury

    Sep 18, 2011, 3:26 PM EST

    Chone Figgins

    Shocking news out of Seattle. OK, not really. From beat writer Greg Johns of MLB.com comes word that the Mariners have shut infielder Chone Figgins down for the remainder of the 2011 season due to ongoing discomfort in his right hip. Figgins suffered a right hip flexor strain back in late July and was placed…

  9. Giants activate closer Brian Wilson from disabled list

    Sep 18, 2011, 2:30 PM EST

    brian wilson getty wide

    As expected, the Giants activated closer Brian Wilson from the 15-day disabled list before Sunday afternoon’s series finale against the Rockies. This according to the club’s official Twitter feed. Wilson has been sidelined since the middle of August due to inflammation in his throwing elbow. The Giants were considering shutting him down at one point…

  10. Dontrelle Willis scratched from Sunday start vs. Brewers

    Sep 18, 2011, 1:07 PM EST

    willis ap

    Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that the Reds have scratched left-hander Dontrelle Willis from his scheduled Sunday afternoon outing against the Brewers due to a recurrence of lower back spasms. The announcement was made around 90 minutes before first pitch. Matt Maloney, who has a rough 6.88 ERA and 1.82 WHIP in 17 innings this…

  11. Justin Morneau will not return this season

    Sep 18, 2011, 12:21 PM EST

    morneau getty wide

    The Twins put an end to catcher Joe Mauer‘s season on Friday due to a case of pneumonia. Now it’s Justin Morneau‘s turn. According to Phil Mackey of 1500ESPN, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire acknowledged on a radio program Sunday that his first baseman is unlikely to return this year due to ongoing complications related to…

  12. Carlos Santana has four homers in past five games

    Sep 18, 2011, 11:15 AM EST

    Cleveland Indians v Minnesota Twins

    Indians catcher Carlos Santana offered the world a glimpse of his immense power potential last season when he slugged six home runs in 150 at-bats before straining a ligament in his left knee during an ugly early-August collision at home plate. Now healthy and a full-time major leaguer, the 25-year-old Dominican continues to impress. Santana…

  13. Picture of the Day: Pence, Phillies celebrate NL East title

    Sep 18, 2011, 10:38 AM EST

    Hunter Pence was part of only one team with a winning record during his five-year stint with the Astros. Now he’s in a far different situation, and looks to be loving every minute of it. (Courtesy of Reuters).

  14. Phil Hughes pushed back due to back spasms

    Sep 18, 2011, 10:03 AM EST

    hughes throws getty

    From Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News comes word that Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes has been scratched from his scheduled Monday start against the Twins due to back spams. Hughes’ back locked up on him Friday after he threw a routine bullpen session in Toronto. He rested all day Saturday and will try…

  15. Drew Pomeranz impressive through two big league starts

    Sep 18, 2011, 9:34 AM EST

    pomeranz square getty

    The Rockies fell to the Giants on Saturday night in Colorado by a score of 6-5, but young left-hander Drew Pomeranz looked sharp and effective for the second time in two career major league starts. Pomeranz allowed just four hits and two runs over 5 2/3 innings, striking out five San Francisco hitters while inducing…

  16. Settling the Score: Saturday’s results

    Sep 18, 2011, 8:29 AM EST

    Raul Ibanez, Yadier Molina

    It is September 18. On this date in baseball history, the final game was played at New York’s Polo Grounds (1963), Indians player-manager Frank Robinson hit a single in his final major league at-bat (1976), the Braves became the first franchise to clinch six consecutive postseason berths (1997), and Sammy Sosa became the first player…

  17. Phillies beat Cardinals, clinch fifth straight NL East title

    Sep 17, 2011, 11:12 PM EST

    oswalt getty

    Pop that champagne, Philadelphia. Roy Oswalt fanned seven batters and scattered five hits over seven dominant innings Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park as the Phillies topped St. Louis 9-2 and locked up their fifth consecutive National League East title in front of a sold-out home crowd. Jimmy Rollins went 4-for-5 with two runs scored,…

  18. Stephen Strasburg goes six strong in third outing

    Sep 17, 2011, 10:36 PM EST

    Strasburg throws a pitch against the Florida Marlins during the first inning of their MLB National League baseball game in Washington

    Nationals righty Stephen Strasburg made his third start since returning from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery on Saturday night against the Marlins. And he was as dominant as you might expect. Via Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com, Strasburg tossed six innings of one-run ball, allowing just four hits while striking out three Marlins hitters. The right-hander…

  19. Tommy Hanson cleared to pitch in instructional league

    Sep 17, 2011, 9:21 PM EST

    hanson wide ap

    From Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution comes word that Braves right-hander Tommy Hanson completed his “third and final” bullpen session Saturday in Atlanta and plans to head to Orlando next week to begin making appearances in instructional league games. Hanson has been sidelined since the first week of August due to a slight undersurface…

  20. Cody Ross done for season due to right hamstring strain?

    Sep 17, 2011, 8:03 PM EST

    San Francisco Giants v Colorado Rockies

    An MRI taken Saturday in Denver confirmed what the Giants had been fearing for the past 18 hours or so. According to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News, outfielder Cody Ross — who made an early exit Friday night against the Rockies — has been diagnosed with a strained right hamstring. Ross was…

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