Six days, six games. Normally the MLB season extends a couple days into October but this year it ends, elegantly, on September 30th. I'm tuning in right now for the first of three games Rockies fans should be looking at, Phillies versus Braves in Philadelphia. The Phillies and Padres are tied one game in front of the Rockies for the NL wild card. The Padres play the Giants tonight in a game that starts shortly after Colorado's game in L.A.
Ubaldo Jimenez will pitch tonight for Colorado; he's looked good in his last two outings against the Dodgers. Los Angeles, who ought to be demoralized after the Rockies effectively ended their season last week (or maybe energized and motivated -- who knows) will unfortunately throw Brad Penny, who is always good against Colorado.
For the Padres it'll be Brett Tomko against the Giants' Matt Cain -- that could work. The Phillies are starting Jamie Moyer against Chuck James.
This doesn't have anything to do with the pennant race, but I have been following with interest this story about Oklahoman columnist Jenni Carlson and the childish rant her column about benched quarterback Bobby Reid inspired out of Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy. If you watch ESPN at all, you've probably seen highlights of Gundy's Jim Mora-esque tirade, which features a truly splendid (and unconvincing) boast of "I'm a MAN!" and argues that Carlson ought to know better than to pick on a sensitive 21-year-old major college athlete. Gundy's behavior is self-evidently silly, but there was a particular underreported element to the story that struck me. Newspaper journalists are a dying breed. 24-hour web feeds and highly media-sensitive athletes have rendered locker-room access almost completely meaningless, and the proliferation of opinionmakers-without-portfolio such as myself on the web has made "breaking" a story almost impossible, such as it is. So here's Carlson just trying to do her job and write a piece that really does take some intelligent advantage of her privileged access as a beat writer, draw some intelligent conclusions from close observation and just on the whole being a sports journalist. And all that wins the poor writer is some juvenile abuse from a coach who'd sooner hold anyone else accountable than his spoiled lump of a QB.
3-1 Atlanta in the first after Jimmy Rollins almost hit a leadoff homer that went slightly foul... and then did hit a leadoff homer on the next pitch. Baseball season, I wish you could last forever!