1.) Congratulations Matt Garza! The Dome has been cursed ground for the phenom since he came up to the bigs, but he finally got that monkey off his back with a win. The only reason to have been worried about the Dome drought was psychological -- while the streak was ongoing, Garza was going to keep being asked about it, and that couldn't be anything but a distraction. Now, that potential distraction has disappeared, and Garza can go into next season without thinking about it.
2.) I said before that I thought Nick Punto would finish reasonably strong -- and he's making me look decent right now. He's now 8-for-17 over the last five games, and has his season average up to .211. He's also hitting .318 in September. Punto's season bottomed out in August, when he hit .127 (yes, you read that right), but it looks like he's been motivated to improve. I'm hopeful that next season, if he does in fact become the starting second baseman, that he's a bit more like the September version than the August version. If nothing else, his finish has (so far) been promising.
3.) Michael Cuddyer has had an unbelievably unremarkable season. His name just hasn't come up much this year -- he's been virtually an afterthought throughout. I really just realized this tonight, when he had a great game -- 2-for-4 with a HR. That brought his homerun total to 15, and his average to .275. Which Michael Cuddyer are we going to get next year? The Twins need him to be more than just average.
4.) Mike Redmond is done for the year -- it's too bad, but this is the right decision. He doesn't need to risk getting injured more seriously while playing in essentially meaningless games. Perhaps we'll see Chris Heintz catch a couple of games down the stretch -- but please, please don't put Matt LeCroy behind the plate!
5.) Stick a fork in the Tigers -- a sweep by the Indians, coupled with a strong 3 days from the Yankees, has virtually eliminated their chances of making the playoffs and made the AL playoff race one of the least suspenseful in memory.
6.) Speaking of those Yankees, how is it possible that they're just 1.5 out now? This team was terrible for a chunk of the year, and now they're a threat to finish with the best record in the bigs? Ugh.
7.) The National League -- well -- it's got a better playoff race, that's for sure. The Cubbies lead the Brewers by 1 in the Central, the D-backs lead the Padres by 1 out west, and the Mets lead the Phillies by 2.5 in the East. Heck, the Rockies are still in the Wild Card hunt! My attention will be focused on the senior circuit as we roar down the stretch.
8.) In a non-baseball related note, let me just say how sad I was when I watched FOX's "Back to You" tonight. The show is the return to primetime of Kelsey Grammer, a.k.a. Dr. Frasier Crane. The reviews weren't that bad, but in my opinion there was very little about the show that was worthwhile. The jokes were pretty lame, the character is completely unsympathetic, and the show just doesn't seem that worthwhile. I'll give it another shot next week, but if it doesn't hit its stride quickly, I'll regretfully give up on it.
Labels: Nightly Notes