As the calendar turns over to October (or, as we like to call it around here, “Ricktober!”) sports start to get a little … intense. So much so, that we thought it might be wise to offer you a bit of a recap on what you may have missed today. But before we do, let’s examine the following photo of A’s pitcher Brad Ziegler:
Ziegler, the victim of the best rookie hazing we’ve seen in awhile, is sporting a combination of what appears to be a Little Bo Peep hat, a Dorothy Gale-style blue dress, the red pigtails of the Wendy’s girl, and the knee-high red-striped socks that Waldo presumably wears under his jeans. Luckily for Ziegler, all of the girlishness is offset by the manly gold chain he wears around his neck. That said, there can be no more embarrassing part of the ensemble than the garish Walmart bag.
Your full recap of the crazy day after the jump.
- The Fightin’ Phillies clinch an NL East divisional title with a 4-3 win over the horrendous Nationals. Tomorrow will be presumably spent resting their starters as they prepare to get insulted by their fans for an extra few games. With that settled, there’s only one playoff spot remaining in the NL, which will go to either the Mets or Brewers. And that race got a bit more interesting today.
- The Mets get an enormous win behind the ace arm of Johan Santana, who pitched a 3-hit shutout against the Marlins. Santana threw 117 pitches on 4-days rest after pitching 125 in his last outing. The win pulled the Mets within a half-game of the wild card chase with the Brewers.
- The Brew Crew, meanwhile, went out and lost 7-3 to the Cubs, finished up the second-part of the best-case scenario for Mr. Met. Heading into the final(?) day of the season, the Mets and Brewers are tied for the Wild Card. Yowzas!
- Over in the AL, the only playoff spot remaining is the AL Central spot between the Twins and White Sox. Heading into today, the Twins held a half-game lead, following up their 3-game sweep of the Sox with a letdown game last night against the Royals. And the hangover continued into today as they fell 4-2 to the suddenly dynastic Kansas City team. The loss puts them into a tie (for the moment, at least) with the Pale Hose.
- The White Sox, meanwhile, lost to the Indians 12-6. That puts them a half-game back of the Twinkies yet again. More and more, it’s looking like that makeup game with the Tigers on Monday is going to be necessary. More good news for the White Sox: Cy-Young bound Cliff Lee has apparently been scratched from his last start of the season tomorrow.
Let’s head over to the college football landscape, shall we? As previously mentioned, the #4-ranked Gators got upset by the 600-win Ole Miss, and Duke ended their long ACC losing streak. But that was just the tip of the iceberg:
- Michigan got their first big win under Rich Rodriguez as they came back and shocked the 9th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers 27-25. Wisconsin narrowly tied it with a last-second 2-point conversion, but it was called back for an ineligible man down field. Seconds later, from 5 yards back, Allan Evridge’s throw sailed high and the upset was official.
- Maryland made their case for a Top 25 ranking by toppling 20th-ranked Clemson in Clemson, 20-17.
- 14th-ranked Auburn narrowly escaped Tennessee by holding on for a 14-12 victory.
- Behind a career-high 175 yards on the ground by running back Eric Kettani, Navy takes advantage of a very giving 16th-ranked Wake Forest team and wins 24-17.
- And finally, in today’s version of a mid-20s-ranked squad getting upset by an unranked team, Houston upends 23rd-ranked East Carolina, 24-17.
That’ll do it for us. See you’s tomorrow.