Between The Lines by Kevin Stott | So many questions, so little time. The first is how can Cliff Lee (18-2, 2.43 ERA) be so good on such a bad team? The Indians are six games under .500 as a team and he is 16 games over .500 as a pitcher. So what would Cliff Lee’s record be if he was on the Cubs? 24-0? Maybe 27 and minus-2? This is "Twilight Zone" stuff here…
And how about those Philadelphia Phillies having troubles on offense? With three of the top six NL home run guys in Ryan Howard (34), Chase Utley (31) and Pat Burrell (30) and guys like Shane Victorino (.290) and Jimmy Rollins to boot, there should be no way this team has trouble scoring runs but the second half of this season has been a nightmare in The City of Brotherly Love in terms of run production. And that doesn’t bode well for Philly in the postseason.
On to this week’s diamond schedule…
Starts Monday, August 25
Cubs at Pirates (M-W): Chicago has been awesome on the road as of late while the Bucs have been the ones walking the plank, going just 3-8 in their last 11. CUBS.
Diamondbacks at Padres (M-W): Arizona has been dominant within its division and needs these games to hang with the Dodgers while SD has been just plain awful and has lost seven straight heading into Monday’s series opener where the Friars will send Jake Peavy to the hill to try and stop the bleeding. DIAMONDBACKS.
A’s at Angels (M-W): Oakland has much trouble scoring runs and has been a complete flop since the All-Star break. Motivation may be a problem for the Halos here, but their bench could beast Oakland. ANGELS.
Starts Thursday, August 28
Dodgers at Nationals (Th-Sun): A long, long way from Chavez Ravine, Los Angeles will need to beat up on bad teams and no one in baseball is as bad as these Nats (46-85, 2-9 L11 as of Sunday night). With Manny, the Dodgers are a different team but still are hovering around that .500 mark (65-64). LA needs three of four here to be satisfied. I see runs here also. DODGERS, OVER.
Twins at Athletics (Thu-Sun): If Minny can hang with the Angels in Anaheim than it can certainly win three of four against the lowly Athletics. Twins 8-2 L10 heading into Sunday’s series finale at Anaheim. TWINS.
Rangers at Angels (Th-Sun): Just 16 games back of the Angels, Texas looks to make up some ground … just kidding! This division race has been over with since George Washington had a new set of wooden teeth made. Look for a lot of scoring in this matchup as the lineups are loaded and the motivation to win in this series is nowhere to be found on either side. OVER.