CLINCH WATCH 2021 – The Wildest NL Wild, Wild West Day Yet – 9/23/2021

travel day


The Chicago White Sox have clinched the AL Central division win on a 7-2 win in Cleveland.  Or at least they won the first game of the day, as they were scheduled for a doubleheader after bad weather postponed the earlier games.  Cleveland came back to win the second game, but the clinch stands and the White Sox have their first division win since 2008.  

And, given the talent and tensions on the team, I think it’s more despite of Tony LaRussa instead of because of him. Still, this group of guys has a real shot at getting to the last game of the season.

Dodgers Win In Extras Again

Boy howdy was this a game and a half!  Ok, well, technically it was a game and 1/9th but hot damn that’s what it took to win and win they did.

Austin Barnes singled in the first run, scoring AJ Pollock.  I think all of the Dodger fandom held its breath when Pollo slid across the plate and had a collective sigh of relief as he stood without any apparent pain or tightness.  Pollock is so necessary to the Dodgers, both in left field and in the batter’s box.

That same inning, Corey Seager singled to score Austin Barnes and Gavin Lux, putting the Dodgers up by three.

Coors Field gonna Coors Field, and Max Scherzer (who has historically done poorly in the Mile High City), didn’t have his best stuff.  The Rockies tagged him for five earned runs on six hits in five innings, putting Colorado ahead of the Dodgers 5-3 until the eighth inning, when Pollock doubled in Trea Turner to make it 5-4.

And when the Dodgers were down to their very last out, their very last strike in the ninth inning, Seager hit a single that moved Mookie Betts into scoring position.  Trea Turner then singled and Betts gassed it around third to score standing up.  Tie ball game. 

As previously mentioned, the Dodgers did not fare well in extras for much of the season.  And Max Muncy, as per usual, had something to say about that.  But this time he put down the power instead of the sass and sent a 440 foot statement to waterfall in the batter’s eye. Ghost runner Justin Turner also scores, putting the Dodgers up 7-5.

Blake Treinen came on to pitch the bottom of the 10th, inducing a grounder double play ball out of C.J. Cron to end the game.

Two things of note: Max Scherzer passed Justin Verlander on the All Time Strikeouts list, making him the pitcher with 18th most strikeouts of all time and first in active pitchers. And Chris Taylor pinch hit in the 10th, which might mean his neck issues are starting to resolve.  We’ll await more news with bated breath. 

Dodgers improved to 98-55 and if you watched or listened to the game, then you know that there was a fair amount of scoreboard watching happening in the booths.  More on that later.  The Rockies move to 71-81 and will hopefully recast their salt circle and re-up the devilry for when the Giants come to town next.  The Rockies will be retiring Larry Walker’s number 33, so hopefully that will fire them up to win.

Oh, and don’t forget, it’s Travel Day.

Padres Walk It Off Against Giants

Within the span of a few minutes, the Dodgers revamped and the Giants got winded.  The Padres were up by four in the first inning, when Giants starter Logan Webb got smacked around for four earned runs. Webb didn’t do himself many favors – walking Tatis Jr., allowing a wild pitch to advance runners, walking Eric Hosmer, then issuing a HBP to Jurickson Profar to bring in a run.  He finally managed to retire the side when pitcher Yu Darvish struck out and then he put up zeroes for the next three innings.

Right about the same time when things were getting interesting in Coors Field, the Giants put up two in the second, then three in the sixth for the lead. Padres answered in the bottom of the 6th with two, putting them back on top. Giants come back with a run off a Tommy LaStella double to tied the game in the 7th.

Orange and Brown stayed locked in a dead heat into extras.

Jurickson Profar started as the ghost runner for the tenth.  The Giants intentionally walked Dominic Leone and Ha-Seong Kim hit a sac fly that moved the runners to second and third.  Victor Caratini, the Padres catcher, singled in the winning run on a sinking liner that sprawled Giants second baseman Tommy La Stella on the ground for an awkward throw home that did not make it in time.

Padres walk it off and move their record to 77-75.  The Giants move to 99-54 and stay in the Dodger crosshairs.

They also had Travel Day shenanigans.

Diamondbacks Still A Team

And they beat the NL East division leaders 6-4 today!  But the best news out of Arizona is that the Diamondbacks have resigned much beloved manager Torey Lovullo for another year.  In a dumpster fire of a season, Lovullo has been a bright spot for players.  His extensive work in player development means the FO has at least a casual eye to the future.

Pair that with one of the top ten ranking farm systems in MLB and just perhaps D-back fans have some better times in store.

Arizona improves to 49-104.  Annoyingly for them, the Orioles also won today, so they are still tied for the worst record in baseball.  


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