Twins, White Sox ready to rumble

Originally Published: August 23, 2005
By Buster Olney | ESPN The Magazine

•  7:05 p.m. ET: The Pirates' Zach Duke tries to run his career record to 7-0, pitching against the Cardinals' Jason Marquis. Jason Bay of the Pirates is The Most Likely Guy To Go Deep, because he's got seven hits in 14 at-bats against Marquis, including three doubles, a triple and two homers.

•  7:05 p.m. ET: Josh Towers has quietly refined his game -- winning in double digits for the first time in his career and lowering his ERA by a full run since last season. He's allowed only 23 walks in 151.2 innings, but the guy he's pitching against in the Bronx, Al Leiter, has allowed 17 walks this month. Until Leiter is more consistent, he'll always be one really bad start away from getting dropped from the rotation.

•  7:05 ET: Oakland is playing a sub-.500 team in Detroit, but the A's are catching the Tigers at the worst possible time, with Detroit playing very well right now. Danny Haren throws for the Athletics, while Nate Robertson takes the hill for the Tigers.

•  8:05 p.m. ET: The Florida Marlins will try to keep the momentum going -- having just completed a strong homestand -- and they've got Josh Beckett pitching in Milwaukee, against the surprising Chris Capuano, who is looking for his 14th victory of the season. The Brewers probably won't make the playoffs, but they will have a lot to say about who does make it.

Johan Santana
Santana
Freddy Garcia
Garcia
•  8:10 ET: Johan Santana seems poised to run off another long winning streak, and in fact, he's lost once since July 6, improving his record to 12-6, with a 3.37 ERA; since the All-Star break, he's 5-1 with a 1.82 ERA. With Minnesota edging closer to the front of the wild-card race, Santana faces the White Sox and Freddy Garcia in the Must-Watch Game of the Night.

•  8:10 p.m. ET: Talk about pressure on the Red Sox. They've got David Wells pitching against Zack Greinke in Kansas City, at a time when Greinke is coming off a strong start but still in jeopardy of losing 20 games this year. All logic points to a Boston victory, making Kansas City The Reverse Lock of the Night.

•  10:05 p.m. ET: Roger Clemens allowed five runs in his last start, and that was as many runs as he had allowed in the six starts before that. Even then, his ERA rose only to 1.53, and in San Diego he will face last year's NL ERA champion -- the Padres' Jake Peavy. This is The Best Pitching Matchup of the Night.

Buster Olney is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine. His book, "The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty," is available in paperback and can be ordered through HarperCollins.com.

Buster Olney | email

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine

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