We’ve been saying for the past month that the Mixed League battle is a three-way one (most of the good jokes have in that area have been exhausted by now so I’ll move on) between myself, Nick Minnix and Tim Heaney.Â But, I’m sure that Tim and I will be united today, as we both use our Minnix voodoo dolls to try to come from behind (OK, just one more joke) and sneak through for the title.
Yes, it’s TIME for TIM&ME to put down our petty differences and focus on one thing we agree on – Minnix needs to have a bad day.Â Nick leads my squad by two points and Heaney’s by 2.5.Â Here’s a snapshot of what Tim and I will collectively pray for today:
2:10 – Brandon Morrow has been up and down all season and has been one of Nick’s most frustrating players.Â He’s been up lately (15 scoreless IP in his last two starts) but he needs to come crashing down today against the White Sox.Â If that happens, Nick may lose his .016 ERA lead on Dave Feldman in ERA and his .0009 lead on Tim in WHIP.Â It also would help my chances since I roll out four White Sox hitters (how am I in this race?) and could use some BA and homers.
3:35 – Time for the Rockies-Giants barn-burner to start.Â It’s the first of two games that needs to go the right way so that Nick doesn’t get a save and pick up another half point on Gene McCaffrey.Â Thanks to Chris Sale’s Tuesday effort, Gene pulled even with Nick.Â Minnix owns Rafael Betancourt and Santiago Casilla.Â If this game doesn’t finish within three runs he will be down to just Joe Nathan (who pitched yesterday and may not be used today) at 8:10 against the Royals.
7:00 – This is when the long-running batting average battles will finally settle themselves.Â Nick leads Eric Mack by .0002 and myself by .0006.Â Tim will be hoping to make up .0002 on Derek Carty.Â Major League lineups will likely be missing several regulars on the season’s final day and no category will be driven more by luck over the next 6 hours than this one.
It would also help Tim and I a lot if the Tigers were to lose to the Indians.Â I know, it doesn’t seem possible for the Tigers to lose right now but if that were to happen it would lock up the second place seed in the AL for the Rangers, and manager Ron Washington would likely shorten the start of Matt Harrison later in the evening.Â Â Nick trails Nando DiFino by 12 in punchouts, and a short start by Harrison would hurt his chances of catching up and earning another point.
Tim and I will be cheering hard for the Red Sox and Marlins tonight.Â If Jon Lester and Chris Volstad can win their games, it would pull J.P. Kastner into a tie with Nick for wins at 89 and cost him a half-point.
10:10 – The race could be over when my bed time time arrives but if not, I’ll be staying up for the late games while Tim and I collectively root for Gio Gonzalez.Â The hard-throwing lefty facing the Mariners and is Dave Feldman’s last starter of the season.Â If the ERA battle with Nick is still close after Morrow and Harrison leaves their respective games it will be up to Gonzalez to throw a few shutout innings in Safeco and bring it home.
Of course, Tim and I will also be worried about our own races in batting average, steals (Tim), homers and strikeouts (me) but none of those things will matter if Minnix is satisfied with his team’s Wednesday’s performance.
I’d like to finish things off by offering a giant “thanks for nothing” to Angels manager Mike Scioscia.Â Apparently screwing over the Rangers’ home-field hopes wasn’t enough of a reason to roll Ervin Santana and Jered Weaver onto the hill for at least five innings this week.Â When Scioscia decided to throw in the towel and deny disappointed Angels fans two more chances to see their stars in action he also may have cost me two points in my pursuit of Minnix.Â A Tuesday start by Santana likely would have resulted in the four K’s I needed last night to push past Gene, while Weaver’s expected punchouts on Wednesday would have certainly kept Nando ahead of Nick.Â My Christmas card list just got one name shorter!