The Baseball Desert

Friday, August 29, 2003

Gimme five!

The Expos rode a great pitching performance yesterday by Javier Vazquez (8 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 10 K) to shut out the Phillies (who are phading phast) and complete a four-game sweep, the Astros and the Marlins both lost, and the Cardinals beat the Cubs with a walk-off home run. So, what does it all mean? It means there's a five-way tie for first place in the NL Wild Card race (with St. Louis and Houston also tied for first place in the NL Central divisional race). Not only that, but there are three other clubs no more than 1 1/2 games behind this leading group - the Wild Card spot really is anybody's for the taking, even if USA Today's Hal Bodley suggests that nobody (outside of the currently-hot Expos) seems to actually want to do so...

So, one series to watch this weekend will be the Expos / Marlins one down in Florida, but most of the attention is going to be focused on the Yankees / Red Sox series at Fenway Park. The Yankees, as ever, seems to be trying to downplay the importance of this series between the two rival ballclubs, but don't try to tell me that the Red Sox aren't hoping to pick up three crucial games in the standings. I won't get to see the games, but I'm nonetheless looking forward to the Andy Pettitte / Pedro Martinez matchup on Saturday afternoon - there could be some fine baseball in store.