Saturday, August 09, 2008

Down the Stretch they Come…

No, this isn't a horse racing post. Sorry stable boys.

Come on Clement, give us a better picture than THIS to start this post off!
That's better...
Credit: New York Times

Instead of MORE Big Brown talk (then again, did that ever start at PHSports?), I’m STILL wondering about the divisional and wild-card races in both the American and National early August.

In fact, let’s see if I can’t raise a little H-E-…you know the rest!

Which question, unanswered, will haunt each of these teams more?

Um, if you could just give me a second or two to get my thoughts together...

Okay, I'm ready now! Wait, what? We already started?

American League

Tampa Bay Rays

Question #1: Who is the veteran that this team clings to down the stretch?

Question #2: Is Troy Percival stable enough to anchor this team’s bullpen?

Boston Red Sox

Question #1: Can Jason Bay be Manny-like come playoff time?

Question #2: Was the lack of acquiring arms for their pen the biggest mistake of the Boston front office come trade deadline time?

New York Yankees

Question #1: How many injuries (seriously) can this lineup and rotation withstand before wilting?

Question #2: Will this team get anything of value from Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy, and Carl Pavano (shudder)?

Chicago White Sox

Question #1: Is Paul Konerko officially washed up?

Question #2: What will be the impact, positive or negative, of the Griffey deal behind the plate and in the outfield?

Okay, so we're PROBABLY not going to see this Griffey ever again.
Credit: FullCountPitch

Minnesota Twins

Question #1: Will the future of Francisco Liriano be jeopardized by a post-season run in ’08?

Question #2: Does this team have the starting pitching to win crucial series come late September?

Los Angeles Angels (of Anaheim, I know)

Question #1: Will K-Rod flame out after torching Thigpen’s single-season saves record?

Question #2: Slated, as of now, to take on the Red Sox come playoff time…can their pitchers be rested in September for this crucial series?

Whew, I need a break!

That's better!

National League

Philadelphia Phillies

Question #1: Is Joe Blanton the answer down the stretch to put this team over the top?

Question #2: Will the bottom of the lineup provide enough pop to give the middle of the order baserunners to knock in?

New York Mets

Question #1: Pedro Pedro Pedro?

Question #2: Ryan Church: are you ever coming back to normality this season?

Florida Marlins

Question #1: Josh Johnson: what do you have left in your arm for ’08?

Question #2: Can a team who only mashes the ball really make it to the playoffs on a $22-million payroll?

Chicago Cubs

Question #1: Do you still believe in curses?

Question #2: Rich Harden…can you stay healthy?

Dang! Wrong Bartman...
Credit: Fecot

Milwaukee Brewers

Question #1: Will manager Ned Yost again lose his team come September?

Question #2: Ryan Braun for MVP???

St. Louis Cardinals

Question #1: Carpenter/Wainwright: can 1 of the 2 return to prime form?

Question #2: Carptenter/Wainwright: can both of the 2 return to prime form?

Arizona Diamondbacks

Question #1: Forget

Webb & Haren, what does RJ have left in the tank?

Question #2: Can they score any runs for their pitching?

Los Angeles Dodgers (of ManRam)

Question #1: Is ManRam going through a faze or a changed man in LA?

Question #2: Seriously Andruw Jones. You gonna stink like this from now on?

The drum BOTH of these outfielders march to is pivotal for Hollywoodland.
Credit: Yahoo! Sports

Unfortunately, in all cases like this, time is the ultimate answer.

Time, you ain't no friend of mine!
Credit: Rolling Stone

Until next time…

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