HIGHLAND PARK–Entering today’s play, it is a four-team race to the finish:
The Craydawgs have turned up the heat in August, scorching their way to a six-point lead over the Fish. They have led the BEML this month in six categories, hitting .312 with a 2.65 ERA and 1.07 WHIP.The Dawgs have been helped by strong performances from Dan Uggla (.349/10/19 in August), Aramis Ramirez (.447/5/20), Ryan Braun (.361/4/14/10), Joey Votto (.375/7/16/1) and Troy Tulowitzki (.383/6/16/1), with pitching support from Tim Lincecum (1.23/0.95, 3 Wins, 37 Ks) and Zack Greinke (3.44/1.12, 4 Wins, 32 Ks).
The Dawgs are always wary of the Barracudas, of course, who–as BEML fans will recall–wrested the title from them on the last day of the 2008 season. The Cudas have been hot this month as well, placing second or third in eight of the ten categories. A powerful catching tandem has helped keep them in strong contention; Alex Avila has hit .418 with six homers and 16 RBI, and Mike Napoli has gone .305/7/16/1.
The Snowmen are leading in every pitching category, but are held back by an anemic offense. The situation may be unraveling, as pitching studs Justin Verlander (4 Wins, 2.51 ERA) and Cliff Lee (4 Wins, 0.58 ERA) have been rumored to be pointing fingers at weak links such as Brennan Boesch (.208, 3 RBI) and Brian McCann (.139).
The George Kents have been hampered by poor production from new arrival Ricky Nolasco (22 baserunners in 9.7 IP, 13.97 ERA).
This will likely be the first BEML season to go to the wire since the aforementioned 2008 classic.