5 points in 2 days? No problem.

This is what I need to have happen today and tomorrow…

1. Detroit and Minesota need to maintain their respective momentum. That is the only way to ensure that Justin Verlander will pitch tomorrow.

2. Five RBIs. Currently one behind Steve Moyer, I figure 5 will be enough to sneak by and gain a point.

3. Need to maintain my slim leads in stolen bases and ERA (no problem).

4. That will leave my All-Star mound quartet to work their mastery on Sunday. Verlander, Felix Hernandez, Wade Davis and Clay Buchholz. Three wins and 30 strikeouts will mean potentially 4-5 points.

This is exactly why we call it fantasy baseball.

Good luck to my fellow nail-biters, and thank goodness Lawr is going to keep his clothes on.

not much i can add, mike…

going into the last weekend, jake peavy has just done what i needed him to do, putting me within half a point.

i guess, though, it is in the hands of those infamous baseball gods.

it has been a great season and more than exciting final month.

best of luck mike and ron. duking it out to the end with you both has been as woody allen might note, “as much fun as i have had with my clothes on.”

justin masterson, you are killing me…

note that i wrote this last night, and thought it was posted, but something happened…in many directions. computer. american league. time.

tim wakefield and carlos torres were cooperating, but carl pavano would not.

i did not need much from him. six innings. five whiffs. 1.25 whip.

i did not get it.

although, at the point when he gave up three rbi and a hit to mags, i was, for a flicker, in first. because he did get the strikeouts and that got me a point.

but, part of my last week strategy was sitting justin masterson because he simply could not be trusted to protect in whip and era. at least pavano could help in whip and he has pitched well against the tigers.

so, masterson strikes out 11 and gives up almost nothing over seven while pavano is getting raked.

now, i did have to sit masterson. but, the two weeks i did, this season, he pitched great.

if i can pull the string and get it right with chad gaudin, how can i be so off with masterson?

i guess it is the zen. that balance thing.

but, one other thing i know is, whether it kills me or not, i had to sit masterson, and never second guess a move like that as a caclulated attempt to win.

but, that does not mean it is not killing me justin…

I Feel Like……

Admiral Ramius in Hunt for Red October. There is a scene where Admiral Painter tells Jack Ryan :”Your Russian’s going to make it to America, Mr. Ryan. He’s going to die within sight of it.”

Is Sunday Night Here Yet?
Is Sunday Night Here Yet?

I have a 1.5 point lead with five full days of baseball to go. Ron made up some serious points last night and even though he may be pessimistic, I think with just the right breaks he may be able to leap frog both Lawr and me. It is mind blowing to think I could be in the lead all week going into Sunday and still lose, but that’s what an incredible season this has been. Lawr said it best, nobody is going to choke, two of us are going to have very good seasons but have “nothing” to show for it. Whoever comes in 2nd or even 3rd will know exactly what the 93′ Giants felt like. That year they won 103 games and didn’t make the playoffs, the Braves won 104. In contrast to Ron rooting for the Twins, for fantasy purposes I have become an enormous Tigers fan. Needing them to throw Pavano (Lawr) a beating then not needing Verlander (Ron) this weekend if they wrap it up and want to line him up for game 1 vs. Yankees. With all that said I still need my guys to perform. After a nuclear weekend (no pun intended) my bats had a quiet day yesterday due to a rainout and the Angels sending out the JV. If Doc, Erv and E-Jack can keep it strong and the bats do a notable job this just may be crazy enough to work. Then again I could be in 3rd tomorrow morning……Siano

On life support…

Four starters, three wins, 20 strikeouts. Most days, I would have been thrilled to pick up enough points to move within 3.5 of first place. But it’s not likely going to be enough.

The problem was the one starter who didn’t get a win. Three batters into Clay Buchholz’s start, I was reaching for the oxygen. Thanks to his 7 ER gopheritis attack, I could not pick up a needed point in ERA.

So what’s left to hope for? This same quartet of pitchers (Verlander, Felix, Wade Davis and Buchholz) are all scheduled to go out on the season’s final day. Verlander will only pitch if the Tigers need the game to get into the post-season, so I’ll be rooting for the Twins the rest of the week. Any of the remaining trio might also sit since none will be in meaningful games. So winning this thing on my own is going to be tough.

As for help from others, Mike could lose a half point in wins, but would need massive meltdowns in his remaining three starts — Halladay, Jackson and Santana — to lose ground anywhere else. I do trail him by only 4 HRs, but my bats have recently gone silent. Lawr could still lose a point in stolen bases, and maybe WHIP. I can’t see how today’s standings are going to change much by Sunday night.

In 25 years of playing this game, I have seen a few miracles. I have seen a team come back from a 30 point deficit in September. I have seen a team pick up 10 points in the final week alone. I have seen a team run the board, wire to wire, only to lose it in the final weekend. But I just don’t see it happening for me in these final five days.

But I’ll still be rooting for the Twins, because, if there is even the tiniest molecule of a chance, I am going to need Verlander to pitch on Sunday.

more about schaedenfreude..

ok, so i have written before here about rooting for my guys to do well, as opposed to mike’s or ron’s players doing poorly.

the germans, should you not know, had a word, schaedenfreude, which basically means deriving pleasure from the misery of others.

which is a little shy of what i would like to think we are doing, but, i gotta confess, it takes a lot of consciousness not to engage.

i know if tim wakefield or carlos torres get clobbered tomorrow, it will probably be to my advantage.

and, it is sooooooooo bloody hard to not think of that. although, i do need to focus on scott feldman having his own good start today, for that is as important.

as of now i am half a point down, with maybe six categories where in mike or i can pick up or drop a point or so to the other.

and, ron is not far off, although only in strikeouts can he directly influence the battle between mike and i.

although, if he does, and we have a blip, well…

i am trying to watch the tigers and twins, and am rooting for the twins to go all the way. cos i like them and it would be a good story.

i am trying not to pay attention to jeremy gutherie, whom i have benched, and don’t have to not pay attention to justin masterson cos his game got rained out.

and, now i understand peavy will go against the tigers this weekend. meaning maybe i have to rethink and hope the tigers clinch friday, giving peavy a second string roster?

sigh. i don’t know. i think i will go hide in ken burns wonderful documentary on the national park system, and forget about watching.

just wake me when it is over….

Black Tuesday

Seven points out this morning, and my brief cameo appearance as a contender hinges on today’s games.

I came into the week with my pitchers potentially making 8 starts. But Tillman has been shut down (in atonement for Sunday’s debacle, I suppose) and Verlander might not pitch next Sunday, so I might be looking at only a 6-start week.

Four of those starts are today. Justin Verlander, Felix Hernandez, Clay Buchholz and Wade Davis. If I managed a 3-win, 30 strikeout performance from three starters last week, can I hope for any less from four starters today? But that’s what it will take to keep me in the race. If this quartet performs to their abilities (and only Verlander is facing an opponent of any consequence), five points potentially hang in the balance. Of course, none of those five would come from Lawr or Mike, but 5 points is 5 points. That would put me two points out, potentially, and would still give me a shot.

Oh, and I could use a bunch of home runs too because there’s a point I could steal from Mike in that category. But given that Mike’s had all the momentum there, and Russ Branyan looks like he’s done, I’m probably going to have to stick a fork in hopes of any HR gains.

So, this could be the last day of my season. It’s all on today and four ballgames… Verlander at 7:05, Davis at 7:08, Buchholz at 7:10 and Felix at 10:10. Nice of them to at least stagger the schedule for me.