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Thursday, September 28, 2006

MLB Playoff Picture Still Unclear

Heading into the final weekend of the season, there is still plenty to be determined before the playfoffs begin. We do know one thing for sure, and that is that San Francisco Giants will be missing it for the 3rd straight season. However, the NL Wild Card, NL West and NL Central are all still very much up for grabs. The St. Louis Cardinals have had a terrible 2nd half battling injuries and bad starting pitching and they now find themselves with just a 1 game lead on the surging Houston Astros. As far as the West and the Wild Card are concerned, 2 teams out of the Phillies, Dodgers and Padres will be heading to October. As far as the scheduling goes, I think the Dodgers and Padres will both make the playoffs. The Phillies have to play the Marlins for 3 this weekend, and unless they take all 3, the likely won't make it to the playoffs. The NL Central is still very close as well, but even with all the tough breaks for the Cardinals this season, I don't see them being passed up by Houston. Albert Pujols has been healthy down the stretch and playing well and how he goes, so go the Cardinals. There are so many question marks surrouding all the teams in the NL Playoff hunt right now, even the Mets who clinched their division weeks ago have huge pitching issues. Pedro Martinez has looked horrible in since his return from the disabled list, as he was topping out at 84 mph the other night at Shea Stadium. The Mets are definetely going to have their work cut out for them. It's a huge difference in going from Pedro Martinez to Orlando Hernandez as your game 1 starter.

The NL is so thin this year that even the Giants would have had a decent chance at reaching the series if they didn't absolutley choke as hard as they possibly could during their last road trip. As I said in my last post before the trip was even over, that was the worst road trip I have seen the Giants take since they moved to this new ballpark. A lot of must win games against very winnable opponents but the Giants blew their chance. The team has played so bad as of late that even Barry Bonds doesen't want to be in the line-up with that pitching staff anymore this year. Bonds announced earlier in the week that he would only play Friday night's game and maybe Sunday's game and that would be it for the season. Bonds' will have surgery on his throwing elbow in the offseason, and he will be back playing somewhere next spring. Both Felipe and Moises Alou's future's are still unclear at this point as well and I'd say that it looks like this may be it for both of them. Moises has been red hot lately it may make him think twice about what he plans to do next year. I hope he continues his hot streak this weekend vs. the Dodgers and the Giants can knock those guys out of the playoffs. I doubt it though, and the only game I will be tuning into this weekend will be Saturday's Matt Cain start and possibly Barry's at bat's Sunday, just incase this is indeed the last we see of the great Barry Bonds in a Giants' uniform.
The Giants Baseball Blog


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