Around Major League Baseball

San Francisco: Pitcher Kirk Reuter was upset that he was placed on the disabled list due to a case of gout in his big toe. Reuter claimed he would be ready to pitch this week, but general manager Brian Sabean thought otherwise. It’s no secret that Reuter has been wanting out of SF for a while, hoping he can help out a contender. But, his $6 million contract made it difficult for the Giants to move him.

Houston: Is Roger Clemens amazing or what? He earned another win on Sunday while once again lowering his ERA on the road to 0.37. The only run he gave up was an unearned run. Chris Carpenter and Dontrelle Willis have had great seasons, but why is anyone wondering if Clemens will win the NL Cy Young Award? He is a lock for that if I have ever seen one.

Chicago Cubs: The Cubs have gotten injured stars Kerry Wood and Nomar Garciaparra back in time for the wild-card race, but the Cubbies once again struggle to score runs. Manager Dusty Baker’s job security will again be an issue if he doesn’t get back on his feet quickly. If Baker doesn’t return for the final year of his four-year deal, he could be “the hot manager” during the offseason, and he’ll most likely be on the bench for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2006.

Atlanta Braves: The Braves had a hot run in July to take control of the NL East, but with their bullpen continuing to struggle, it seems too early to crown them division champions. Chris Reitsma gave up a grand slam to 5-foot-7 David Eckstein as the Cardinals came from behind to beat the Braves on Sunday. Newly acquired Kyle Farnsworth could soon be closing out games for the Braves.

AL West: I may be a Midwestern kid when it comes to baseball, but I’ll be up late for the Oakland/LA Angels series that starts tomorrow night in Oakland. The A’s have been red hot led by their new Big 3 (Zito, Haren, Harden), while the Angels have had their ups and downs over the past two weeks. These two teams are stuck atop the AL West, and this one may not be resolved until the end of the season. If these two teams finish the year strong, the NY Yankees could miss the playoffs for the first time in a decade.

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