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The Pennant Chase, 27 September 2007

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-P- The Yankees are officially in after beating the Rays yesterday, so the AL playoff field is set.

-P- With their likely win today against the Pirates, the Diamondbacks should widen their lead in the NL West to a game and a half.

-P- The Rockies completely snuck up on me - I hadn't noticed until yesterday morning that they were in the hunt. That's what enormous winning streaks will do, I guess. Now they're just one game behind San Diego in the Wild Card race, and they're playing the Dodgers tonight at 10:10, with Franklin Morales facing Esteban Loaiza. Todd Helton has never played in the postseason, so there's a good reason to root for them.

-P- The Padres, meanwhile, visit the Brewers tonight at 8:05. San Diego's clinging to its Wild Card lead, and Milwaukee is still two back in the NL Central, having failed to make up any ground on the Cubs, who lost yesterday. The Brewers can clinch their first winning season since 1992 with a win tonight (they finished at .500 exactly in 2005). Jack Cassel pitches against Yovani Gallardo.

-P- Steve Trachsel and the Cubs face Scott Olsen (I think his nickname should be "Saint", what do you say?) and the Fish at 4:05.

-P- John Smoltz pitches against Kyle Kendrick and the Phillies at 7:05 PM. This in a very important game for the Phillies, who are just one game back of the idle Mets in the NL East and a half game off the Wild Card lead. Kendrick's a groundball pitcher who plays well in the Phillies' homer-friendly ballpark, so this could be a good matchup. And Atlanta's actually not completely out of the hunt either - they're three and a half games back in the Wild Card race. That's probably an insurmountable deficit at this point, but if they can sweep the Phillies, well, you never know.