Posted on: September 5, 2010 10:31 pm
Edited on: September 6, 2010 9:18 am
Last Friday, the Padres had a seven-game losing streak, and we told you that it was all right, because five of the last 10 teams to make the World Series had a seven-game losing streak at some point during the season.
Now the Padres have a 10-game losing streak. Any chance history can help?
Not really. Of the 350 teams that have made it to the postseason, only two had a 10-game losing streak. Those two were 1951 Giants (think Bobby Thomson) and the 1982 Braves (think . . . Joe Morgan?).
The Braves were in first place, 6 1/2 games ahead, when they slipped up against the Giants in the middle of August and went on a losing streak that lasted 11 games. They actually lost 15 of 16, going from 6 1/2 up to four games behind, before recovering. They won the division on the final day of the season, when Morgan's seventh-inning home run for the Giants eliminated the second-place Dodgers.
And who managed that Braves team? Joe Torre, whose Dodgers play in San Diego this week. So as the Dodgers try to extend the Padres' misery, Torre can explain to Bud Black that this crazy season can still be rescued.
On to 3 to watch, with a reminder that two of the big series this coming weekend actually begin on Thursday (Giants at Padres, Cardinals at Braves):
1. For all the fuss over Manny Ramirez, the most significant acquisition the White Sox made this summer may have been Edwin Jackson. In five starts for the Sox, Jackson is 3-0 with a 1.47 ERA. Meanwhile, the guy he was traded for, Daniel Hudson, has gone 4-1 with a 1.99 ERA in seven starts for the Diamondbacks. And the guy Jackson was traded for last winter, Max Scherzer, is 8-4 with a 1.90 ERA in his last 16 starts for the Tigers. We bring all this up because Jackson faces Scherzer, in White Sox at Tigers, Monday afternoon (1:05 ET) at Comerica Park . This is a big week for the White Sox, because they need to stay close enough to the Twins to make next week's three-game showdown in Chicago meaningful.
2. It's not that long ago that the Padres' big Mat Latos question was how they would hold their 22-year-old ace within his innings limit. Now, with Latos scheduled to start in Dodgers at Padres, Monday night (10:05 ET) at Petco Park , it's whether Latos can be the guy who stops this losing streak. Latos hasn't gone more than two starts without a win all season, and he's at two now, having taken a no-decision in a 3-2 loss to the Phillies (while allowing just one run in seven innings) and again in a 5-2 loss to the Diamondbacks (while allowing just one run in six innings). Of course, before this losing streak began, the Padres hadn't lost more than three in a row all year.
3. Two Septembers ago, when the Rays went into Fenway Park with a 1 1/2-game lead over the Red Sox, we still weren't sure the Rays were that good. Heck, they still weren't sure they were that good. "If you want to be true with it, you say you want to be who [the Red Sox] are," Rays veteran Cliff Floyd said that week. You can bet no one on the Rays will be saying they want to be what the Red Sox are this week. You can also bet that we'll have some memories of 2008, especially when 2008 playoff hero David Price starts for Tampa Bay in Rays at Red Sox, Tuesday night (7:10 ET) at Fenway Park .
Posted on: September 14, 2008 6:59 pm
Edited on: September 14, 2008 7:02 pm
Derek Jeter tied Lou Gehrig, and I'm still not sure that's what I'll remember most out of an interesting afternoon in the Bronx.
That's no offense to Jeter, and no slight on the record he tied with his 1,269th career Yankee Stadium hit. If it wasn't enough to tie Gehrig, Jeter did it with a home run, and he did it with his third consecutive three-hit game.
It was just a few weeks ago that scouts were watching Jeter and speculating that he's been playing hurt, Now he's hitting .370 over the last month.
Very impressive. Just like David Price.
This was Jeter's 1,976th big-league game. It was Price's first. And even though the Rays big left-hander gave up that milestone home run to Jeter, Price pitched so well that you had the idea you were seeing the start of something big.
You also had the idea that the Rays have a huge decision to make in the next two weeks.
Price allowed two runs on three hits in 5 1/3 innings, showing a fastball that hit 97 mph and a very good slider, too. He looks like the kind of guy who could help the Rays in the playoffs as a reliever. He also looks like the kind of guy who could help them as a starter down the stretch.
Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon let Price throw 87 pitches today, and he said afterwards that Price is a candidate to make a spot start when the Rays play a doubleheader in Baltimore next week. Others wonder if Price should be a candidate to replace Edwin Jackson (who allowed six runs in two innings today) in the Rays rotation.
The only thing is, the Rays wouldn't need Price as a playoff starter. They might need him as a playoff reliever. And while he's always been a starter, you've got to think he could pitch out of the bullpen.
"He's very talented, and he's obviously one of our starters in the future," Maddon said. "But we're keeping our options open."
Even though Price spent most of the year in the minors, the Rays have roster flexibility that would allow them to put him on the playoff roster, should they wish. Maddon was the Angels bench coach in 2002, when September callup Francisco Rodriguez was so good that he became a playoff difference-maker.
"I think (Price) could be what he was," Floyd said.
We'll see. And if he is, or if he becomes a big-time starter down the line, we'll remember that we saw him first on a Sunday afternoon in one of the last-ever games at Yankee Stadium.