Good news continues to roll in after the Wild Card berth was clinched. First it was the Biggio signing for '06; now it's that Andy Pettitte has been named NL pitcher of the month for September. I might actually have given the award to Jon Lieber, who for the month won as often, pitched slightly more innings and had a slightly lower ERA, but since And's not getting any Cy Young notice at all (except from Baseball Analyst), I think that Andy should greedily grab any and all awards they let him near.
In the possible good news department, we find Tim Hudson's picture at the official site, right next to Andy's, and right above the words, "probable pitchers." Does this mean that Smoltz is unable to go? That he's maybe able, but they wanna give him as much time as they're able?
Starting to collect the predictions from across the web on the Braves series, and while I won't post that entry just yet, it certainly looks as if the Astros have become the fashionable pick.
Just 'cause I've got the forum, and the semi-captive audience, I figured it might be fun to pick the series, see how I do:
Angels over Yankees in five -- Good pitching beats good hitting, or words to that effect. Only Randy Johnson has been as good as Colon, Lackey and Byrd, and the dropoff from there for the hated Yanks is steep. Anaheim/LA whatever it is, has polished New York before, and when in doubt, invoke the Rally Monkey.
Red Sox over White Sox in four-- Think of Cleveland, and say what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. Then put a double sawbuck on Boston's gang of idiots. You weren't surprised that Curt Schilling pitched well Sunday, were you? He's been up and down all year, but I'm sure you haven't forgotten the bloody sock as symbol of sacrifice just yet. I'd look for a game four victory for Schilling--if it even goes that far. Boston are the Anti-Astros: if Houston gave up the fewest runs in the majors, Boston scored the most. ChiSox Red Sox is small ball vs. Money Ball. Money Ball wins.
Cardinals over Padres in four --I'm thinking Peavy gets it done in game one, and the entire world comes down on LaRussa, asking what's wrong with the Cardinals?. After which, I expect the Cardinals--still the most balanced team in the majors--to run the table on the poor pathetic Pads. But if Peavy gets two starts, watch out.
Astros over Braves in five-- The debt will still not be repaid. But much as the Red Sox turned a parlor joke into a rivalry last year, the Astros can turn the one-liners into serious discussion with a victory in this series. The fact that Atlanta is 5 - 1 against Houston on the year is irrelevant; all the games were played in April and May, and as we all know, that was a different team playing those contests. I'll guess Pettitte to get two wins, as well.
Anyone like to drop their predictions about any or all, feel free. I'll be looking at more predictions from the media on the Astros series tomorrow.