2008 September

1stThe Indians shut out the White Sox, 5-0, for Cliff Lee’s 20th win of the season. Lee (20-2) becomes the 2nd pitcher over the past 30 years to win 20 of his first 22 decisions. Roger Clemens was 20-1 for the Yankees in 2001.

Recycle Day. The Diamondbacks defeat the Cardinals, 8-6. Albert Pujols hits his 30th HR of the season for St. Louis giving him 30 or more for each of his first 8 ML seasons. The next-longest such streak to start a career is 4 by Mark McGuire. Arizona SS Stephen Drew gets 5 hits in the game, and hits for the cycle.

The Mariners down the Rangers, 12-6. Adrian Beltre has 5 hits for Seattle and hits for the cycle. His triple in the 8this his first three-bagger of the year. He also scores 5 runs.

2ndAt Wrigley, the Cubs hit 4 homeruns to help send the game with the Astros into extra innings, but Geoff Blum’s 2-run homer off Kerry Wood in the 11thprovides the margin of victory as Houston wins, 9-7.  Hunter Pence has 4 hits including a controversial triple in Houston’s 4-run 6th.  His long drive bounces off the ivy-covered wall in front of Jim Edmonds, but then a second ball pops out of the vines. Edmonds throws the first ball back to the infield and tosses the second ball, likely a practice ball, into the stands.

3rdThe Giants crush the Rockies, 9-2. 36-year-old Scott McClain hits his first ML HR for San Francisco. He becomes the oldest position player to hit first big-league homer since Cincinnati’s Bob Thurman at the age of 37 in 1955.

At Tropicana Field, the Yankees double up the Rays, winning, 8-4.  Alex Rodriguez has 4 RBIs on 3 hits, including a controversial homer in the 9thinning. The ball goes over the LF wall above the foul pole and is ruled fair.  When Rays manager Joe Madden questions the call the umps invoke the replay, the first use of the rule instituted 6 days ago.

4thStrikeout on a 4-2 count.  In the Angels 7-1 win over Detroit, Sean Rodriguez K’s in the 4thinning on a 4-2 count. With the scoreboard showing a 2-2 count on Rodriguez, home plate umpire Tim Welke asks Tiger catcher Brandon Inge what the count was and Inge says 1-2. Rodriguez agrees, and no one on the Angels’ bench protests. so the ump has the scoreboard reset to 1-2. Tiger pitcher Aquilino Lopez fires two more balls to Rodriguez then strikes. A replay of the pitch sequence shows that Rodriguez should have been given a base on balls. Welke apologizes to Rodriguez during his next at bat. Ervin Santana (15-5) misses a shutout when Curtis Granderson hits a solo homer in the 8th.

5thThe Mariners defeat the Yankees, 3-1. Brandon Morrow hurls 7 2/3 innings before allowing the Bombers a hit in his first ML start. He had previously made 100 appearances in relief.

The Dodgers move a half game behind the front-running Diamondbacks as they win, 7-0, behind Derek Lowe.  Lowe allows 2 hits in 8 innings. Adrian Ethier is 5-for-5 with 5 RBIs, and belts his 20thhomer, off Dan Haren, in the 1stinning.

The Orioles hand the Athletics a 9-run 8thinning as Oakland walks over the host O’s, 11-2.  Rajai Davis, who enters the 8thinning as a pinch runner after Jack Cust walks, belts a grand slam to complete the scoring in the frame. It is the only hit as the Orioles pitchers issue a near-record four bases-loaded walks in the inning. In the last three weeks the Orioles have issued 15 bases-loaded walks (as noted by Mal Allen).

6thThe Cubs beat the Reds, 14-9 as leadoff batter Alfonso Soriano slugs 3 homers and drives in 5 runs for Chicago. Derrek Lee has 4 hits and 3 RBIs, Mark DeRosa clubs a 3-run homer and starter Jason Marquis hits a homer in the 8thbefore being knocked out of the box in the bottom of the frame. Jolbert Cabrera, who enters as a pinch runner for the Reds, scores twice and clubs a 9thinning grand slam off Carlos Marmol in his only at bat.

At Coors Field, Roy Oswalt pitches a one-hitter as the Astros down the Rockies, 2-0. Brad Hawpe’s single in the 5this the lone hit.  Hunter Pence’s 2-run homer in the 6th, off Jeff Francis, provides the only score.

7thThe Giants score 10 runs in the 4th inning on their way to an 11-6 win over the Pirates. Pablo Sandoval has a pair of doubles and 5 RBIs, while six Giants pitchers stop the Bucs, pelting them with 4 HBPs along the way.

8thPlaying before their ML record 456th consecutive regular-season sellout at Fenway Park, the Red Sox shut out the Rays, 3-0, behind Jon Lester (14-5). Lester pitches into the 8thand Jonathan Papelbon picks up the save.

Astros edge the Pirates, 3-2. Houston rookie Mark Saccomanno hits a HR on the first pitch he sees in the ML. He is the 22nd player to homer on his first pitch in the majors.

In Chicago, the Angels and White Sox each score in the 9thto send the match into overtime.  In the bottom of the 10ththe Angels insert Robb Quinlan into left field but in fact he plays as a fifth infielder, alternating between the first-base side and the third-base side depending on whether Paul Konerko is up or left Jim Thome.  Thome ignores the distraction by belting a walkoff 15thinning homer to give the Sox an 8-7 win.

The Tigers beat the Athletics, 14-8, scoring in each of the first four innings. Gary Sheffield hits a homer in the 1stinning and a grand slam in the 2nd. The second dinger is the 250,000th HR in ML history. Magglio Ordonex has 3 hits including a homer and scores 4 times.

10thThe Angels edge the Yankees, 4-2, in a win clinches the American League West title for Los Angeles. Andy Pettitte takes the loss, his 5thin a row, to even his record at 13-13.

The Mets defeat the Nationals, 13-10. David Wright gets 4 hits for NY, including his 40th 2B and 28th HR. He becomes just the 2nd player in ML history, after Albert Pujols, to have at least 25 homers and 40 doubles in 4 consecutive seasons.

12thAt Oakland, Rangers rookie Matt Harrison allows 5 hits in beating the A’s, 7-0. Harrison (8-3) will win one more game to finish the year at 9-3 with a lofty 5.49 ERA. Roxie Lawson, in 1937, went 18-7, despite an ERA of 5.26. Roxie’s .700+ winning percentage with a 5.00+ ERA topped the mark set by Ed Wells in 1930.

14thAt Milwaukee’s Miller Park, the Cubs shut out the Astros, 5-0, on Carlos Zambrano’s no-hitter. Zambrano, pitching after 11 days off to rest a sore shoulder, walks only one and hits a batter while striking out 10 batters. The game, originally scheduled for Houston, was shifted to Milwaukee’s Miller Park because of Hurricane Ike. A crowd of 23,441, mostly Cubs fans, watched Zambrano’s gem.

The White Sox take two from Detroit, winning 4-2 over Jason Verlander, and 11-7, handing the loss to Bobby Seay. DeWayne Wise belts a pinch grand slam, off Kyle Farnsworth, in game 2. Tiger starter Kenny Rogers gives up 7 runs on 8 hits in 4+ innings, the fifth game in a row that Rogers has allowed 8 hits in his outing. This is the last ML appearance for the 20-year vet, who knows when to fold them.

15thMaybe we shoulda played in Houston. In a game scheduled for September 13 in Houston, but moved to Milwaukee’s Miller Park because of Hurricane Ike, the Cubs down the Astros, 6-1. Ted Lilly and 3 relief pitchers combine to hold Houston to one hit, Mark Loretta’s 7th-inning single. The Astros become the first team in ML history to be held to one hit over a 2-game span. Loretta, as a member of the Brewers, broke up Kerry Wood’s no-hitter on May 25, 2001. The Astros 15 innings without a hit over is the longest streak June 1995 when the Expos held the Padres hitless in 15 straight innings.

At Tampa Bay, the Red Sox outslug the Rays to win, 13-5, as 9 different players hits homers. Losing pitcher Scott Kazmir gives up 4 in his 3 innings. Daisuke Matsuzaka pitches 5 innings to go to 17-2.

The Yankees defeat the White Sox, 4-2. Mariano Rivera gets his 479th career save, giving him sole possession of 2nd place on the all-time list behind Trevor Hoffman.

The Brewers fire manager Ned Yost and replace him with coach Dale Sveum as interim manager. With the Brewers tied for the lead in the NL Wild Card race, it is only the second time in ML history that a team has changed managers in August or later while the team was in postseason position.

17thThe Mariners lose to the Royals, 5-2. Seattle OF Ichiro Suzuki reaches the 200-hit mark for the 8th straight year, tying Willie Keeler’s 107-year-old record.

The Phillies defeat the Braves, 6-1, as JA Happ earns his first ML win. He becomes the first pitcher in ML history to get his first win, this late in the season, for a first-place team that enters the day with no more than a 1-game lead.

18thThe Twins allow 5 runs in the 1stinning but defeat the Rays, 11-8, despite 3 homers by rookie 3B Evan Longoria. It is the first time a rookie third baseman has hit three homeruns in a game since Eddie Mathews in 1952. Joe Mauer has 3 RBIs as does Jason Kubel, who connects on a 3-run homer.

At Yankee Stadium, Mike Mussina (18-9) pitches an efficient 6 innings and the Yankees chase Javier Vazquez to beat the White Sox, 9-2.  Bobby Abreu has a single and 2 homers to knock in 6 runs.

The Angels beat the Athletics, 6-4, as Kendry Morales, Mike Napoli and Brandon Wood hit consecutive homers for LA in the 7th inning.

19thThe Reds trounce the Brewers, 11-2. Joey Votto and Jay Bruce each hit 2 homers in the contest, marking the first time since 1957 (when the current rookie status rule was established) that two rookie teammates each hit a pair in the same game. The pair both hit 20+ homers for the year and join Fred Lynn and Jim Rice (1975), Wayne Gross and Mitchell Page (1977), Gary Gaetti, Kent Hrbek and Tom Brunansky (1982), and Dan Uggla and Josh Willingham (2006) as the only pairs of rookie teammates since 1969 to each hit at least 20 homers in a season.

The Marlins beat the Phillies, 14-8, as each team clubs three homers. Florida rookie OF Curtis Maybin gets 4 hits for the second straight game, making him the first rookie in 20 years to do so. The Phils now trail the Mets by a half game in the NL East.

The Rays clobber the Twins, 11-1. TB’s Carlos Pena has a double changed to a 3-run HR in the first reversal under MLB’s new instant replay system.

20thThe Rays defeat the Twins, 7-2, to clinch a playoff spot for the first time in their history.

At Dodger Stadium, Manny Ramirez hits 2 homers and drives in 5 runs to pace the Dodgers to a 10-7 win over the Giants. Manny will join Carlos Beltran as the only big-leaguers to drive in 50 runs or more in both leagues in the same season; Beltran accomplished the feat in 2004 for the Royals and Astros while Ramirez had 68 with the Red Sox and will drive in 53 with the Dodgers this year.

21stThe Yankees defeat the Orioles, 7-3, in the last game played in 85-year-old Yankee Stadium. The field is opened at 2 p.m. and, with pre-game ceremonies, the regular game doesn’t start till 8:30.  Babe Ruth’s daughter throws out the first ball.

The Angels beat the Rangers, 7-3, as pitcher John Lackey fans 12 in 6 innings, including one stretch of 7 in a row. He gets one to finish the 1stinning, then K’s the side in the 2ndand 3rd. Lackey joins Aaron Harang of the Reds as the only pitchers to strike out seven straight batters this season.

The Phillies trip the Marlins, 5-2, as 45-year-old soft tosser Jamie Moyer becomes the second-oldest pitcher ever to win 15 games in a season. Only Phil Niekro did so at an older age.

The Braves edge the Mets, 7-6, New York’s Carlos Delgado gets his 30th double of the season to become just the second player in ML history with 10 seasons of at least 30 doubles and 30 homers. Manny Ramirez is the other to perform the feat.

22nd  At Shea, Cubs pitcher Jason Marquis pitches 6+ innings to beat the Mets, 9-5. He also leads the offense, clubbing a grand slam in the 4thinning off Jonathon Niese, and driving in another run in the 5th.

23rdThe Rays sweep a DH against the Orioles, winning the 1st game by a score of 5-2 and the 2nd, 7-5. It is the 1st DH sweep for the team in franchise history. The Rays had played 1,772 games prior to that, the most games played by any franchise before sweeping its 1st DH of any kind.

At Safeco field, the A’s score 3 runs in the 1stinning against R.A. Dickey but that is it as Seattle wins, 4-3. The A’s Jack Cust finishes his season going 0-for-2 with two walks and a strikeout. He leads the AL in both categories (111 walks: 197 K’s), just the 9thplayer to lead a league in both. He joins such luminaries as Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle.

The Dodgers put the visiting Padres away early as their first seven batters in the 1stinning reach base safely. Nomar Garciaparra’s three-run homer is the big blow. Chad Billingsley goes 6 innings and the Dodgers win, 10-1.

      The Red Sox clinch a playoff spot with a 5-4 win over the Indians. The win means the Yankees are eliminated from the postseason for the first time since 1993.

24th  At San Francisco, Rockies leadoff hitter Clint Barmes collects 4 hits, including a homer, scores 4 and knocks in 4 as Colorado downs the Giants, 15-6. Garrett Atkins adds a 3-run homer as the Rox have 18 hits. In the 7thinning, the Giants field a team of all-rookies, the first lineup like that since the Dodgers did it in 1983.

The Braves down the front-running Phillies, 10-4, as Chipper Jones chips in with a 3-run pinch homer, Brian McCann adds 3 doubles for Atlanta, and Kelly Johnson extends his hitting streak to 23 games. Hitting solo homers for the Phils are Chase Utley (#33) and Ryan Howard (#47). Chipper is hitting .365, and will finish a point lower to win the NL batting title.  He is the third first-round draft pick (Mauer, Rodriguez) to win a batting title.

In Toronto, Bobby Abreu of the Yankees belts a grand slam in the 10th, off reliever Jesse Carlson (7-2), to give New York a 6-2 win over the Jays.  Jose Veras is the winning pitcher.

25thThe Dodgers clinch the NL West title as the Diamondbacks lose to the Cardinals, 12-3.

The Mets defeat the Cubs, 7-6, despite a pair of homers and 5 hits by rookie 1B Micah Hoffpauir. Hoffpauir also hits a double and drives home 5 runs.

In Toronto, Vernon Wells drives in 4 runs, 2 in the 3rdinning on a homer off Carl Pavano, and the Blue Jays cruise to an 8-2 victory over the Yankees.  Roy Halladay allows 6 hits—3 by Brett Gardner—in 9 innings as he wins his 20th. Halladay and A.J. Burnett become the winningest Jays’ pitching duo in a season with 38 between them; the previous record was set in 1992 when Jack Morris and Juan Guzman had 37 wins.

The Tigers slow the Rays advance with a 7-5 win at Tampa. Ramon Santiago has a pair of homers for Detroit, both off Scott Kazmir, who servies up 4 homers. Ben Zobrist has a pair of homers, both off Armando Galarraga, who wins his 13th.  Magglio Ordonez grounds into his AL-high 27thdouble play and ties an AL mark with 6 straight seasons of 20 GIDP.

At Pittsburgh, Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun hits his 36thhomer of the year, a grand slam off Jesse Chavez. The Brewers top the Pirates, 5-1.

26thThe Red Sox lose to the Yankees, 19-8, giving the Rays their first AL East division title. Cano and Gardner combine to drive in 9 runs as the Yanks pound out 20 hits.

The Mariners defeat the Athletics, 7-3. Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki scores his 100th run of the season to tie Lou Gehrig’s record of 8 seasons with at least 200 hits and 100 runs scored.

The Giants edge the Dodgers, 6-5, when Dave Roberts drives in the winning run in the 10thwith a single.  In a strange play, Giants catcher Bengie Molina gets credit for a two-run homer but does not score a run.  Molina’s long hit off the top of the wall in right is originally called a single and the slow-footed catcher is replaced by pinch runner Emmanuel Burriss.  The Giants then ask the umps to check the ball, which has a green paint slash on it from hitting the splash sign.  After reviewing the tape the umps rule the hit a homer, Molina’s 16th, but since he was replaced by a runner, he gets no run scored, but does collect 2 ribbies.

27thThe Phillies edge the Nationals, 4-3, to clinch the NL East title for the 2nd consecutive year.

The Giants sign J.T. Snow to a one-day contract so that he can retire as a Giant. The popular Snow starts today and then is replaced by Travis Ishikawa before the first pitch. Perhaps he should have played the whole game as the Giants go down, 2-1, to the Dodgers.  Greg Maddux (8-13) allows just 2 hits in 6 innings. One of the hits is a homer by Randy Winn.  Blake DeWitt has 3 hits, including a homer for LA, and drives in both runs.

Johan Santana (16-7) fires a 3-hitter to beat the Marlins, 2-0.  Days later it is revealed that he pitched the game with a torn meniscus in his knee requiring surgery.

In a 4-3 win over Tampa Bay, Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera hits his 37thhomer of the season. His 37 will lead the AL this year, the first time the AL homer leader has not reached 40 dingers since Fred McGriff had 36 for the 1989 Blue Jays. McGriff is the last NL player to lead with fewer than 40 homers, doing it when he hit 35 for the 1992 Padres.

At Chase Field, Arizona scores 3 in the 8thto beat the Rockies, 6-4, as Adam Dunn connects for his 40thhomer of the year. This is the fourth year in a row he hits exactly 40 homers, a little-known record. He also has exactly 100 RBIs, joining Manny Ramirez (121 with the Red Sox/Dodgers), Mark Teixeira (121 with the Braves/Angels) and Jason Bay (101 with the Pirates/Red Sox) who drove in 100 runs while playing for two different teams in a year.

28thBehind CC Sabathia’s 4-hitter, the Brewers beat the Cubs, 3-1, to clinch the NL Wild Card berth. The Brewers manage just two hits until the 8thinning when Ryan Braun hits a 2-run homer off Bobby Howry.

The Yankees down the Red Sox, 6-2, as Mike Mussina in his last start of the year wins his 20th game of the season and the 270thof his career. At age 39, he becomes the oldest pitcher to win 20 games in a season for the first time. The win drops him from the record book as the pitcher with the most wins without a 20-game season. This will also turn out to be his last game making him the first pitcher since Koufax in 1966 to finish his career with a 20-game season.

Behind 7 innings from Tim Lincecum (18-5) the Giants down the first-place Dodgers, 3-1. For the second time this year the ace strikes out 13 batters.

At Camden Yards the Blue Jays peck the Orioles, 10-1, as red-hot Vernon Wells drives in 5 runs on 4 hits, including 2 homers. Jesse Litsch wins his 13thwith a 7-inning effort. Nick Markakis has three hits for the O’s to finish the year at .306, but he fails to draw a walk and ends the season with 99. With a base on balls he would have joined Albert Belle as the only Oriole to notch 100 bases on balls and 100 runs scored in the same season.

In an 8-3 Phillies win over the Nationals in the season finale, Ryan Howard slaps a pinch single. He had gone to bat with 199 strikeouts and avoids the ignominy of joining Mark Reynolds who reached 200 K’s last week. Howard finished 2007 with 199 K’s as well.

29thThe White Sox defeat the Tigers, 8-2, to finish the season in a tie for the AL Central Division lead with the Twins. Alexei Ramirez hits a grand slam for Chicago, setting a new rookie record with his 4th slam of the season.

30thJim Thome’s HR gives the White Sox a 1-0 win over the Twins in the playoff game to decide the AL Central Division title. John Danks hurls 2-hit shutout ball for 8 innings to get the win for Chicago. The Sox become the first team in ML history to win their last 3 games of a season against 3 different opponents.