Wednesday, September 19, 2012

GIANTS      85-63   ...            Magic number: 7.
Los Angeles 76-71   8.5 GB   Weatherman does no favors, either.

Giants defeated Colorado, 6-3, as Tim Lincecum won his 10th game.
LA was rained out at Washington.

Giants host Colorado again; 7:15 PDT at the 'Bell. Matt Cain's turn.
LA have a doubleheader at Washington; early game at 4:05 EDT, nightcap around 7:30 EDT depending on the first game. Aaron Harang and Josh Beckett, two of the Dodgers' mid-season pickups, will start.

Last Night's Game
Don't look now, but Tim Lincecum, after a season of unprecedented struggle, is turnin' the ol' corner. Last night's six-plus shutout innings were his best start since 'way back on July 31. More importantly, it was "The Freak's" fourth straight quality start, officially marking September as his 'turnaround month'. His last bad start was August 15, the day of Melky Cabrera's suspension, and his second-half ERA now stands at 3.06, good enough to lower his season mark to 4.91-- awful by his standard, but a season low nonetheless. The whole line, in fact, looked like typical Lincecum : five hits, six K's, a modest 106 pitches. As for the offense, two RBI singles by Xavier "Welcome Back" Nady and two runs scored by Marco "3-for-5" Scutaro tell most of the story, though Angel Pagan did hit his 14th triple to highlight a two-run eighth that made things a lot easier for Sergio Romo in the ninth.

The Dodgers remain "contenduhs" for that second wild-card spot, which the Cardinals would claim if the season ended today. Should LA sweep the Nats tonight, they could tie if St Louis loses to Houston. Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia are one, two, and two-and-a-half games behind, respectively... The Yankees and Baltimore have turned the AL East into a two- team battle, with Tampa fading six games back... Chicago has, for now, beaten back Detroit's challenge in the Central; the Sox lead by three... The LA Angels beat Texas last night in the first game of a series that may be their final chance to stay in either the division or wild-card race. Meanwhile, Oakland still has a shot at overtaking the Rangers... LA skipper Don Mattingly has a major challenge with his pitching rotation, thanks to the rainout, the doubleheader, and Clayton Kershaw's continuing day-to-day unavailability... OK, the earliest the Giants could possibly clinch would be Friday night. They'd have to sweep the next two from Colorado, then win the weekend opener against the Padres, while LA would need to lose all three at Washington plus the weekend opener at Cincinnati. Not likely, but not impossible, either; we're just sayin'.

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