These Bombers are reminiscent of '27 squad

Originally Published: September 12, 2006


What did we learn from the Yankees' pounding of Tampa Bay on Tuesday night? If the Bronx Bombers had Bobby Abreu for a full season, they might have put up the best offensive numbers of any Yankees team in history.

The 1927 squad is generally considered the standard for offensive excellence, but its current incarnation could make a legitimate argument for being the best team since.

The '06 lineup is impossible to get out with any regularity. Ridiculously good numbers through 11 games in September (76 runs scored and a batting average above .300) make it clear that the Yankees are the team to beat in the American League in October.

  2006 1998 1961 1927
Runs per game 5.7 6.0 5.1 6.3
Batting average .285 .288 .263 .307
Home runs 177 207 240 158
Slugging percentage .460 .460 .442 .489

• The king is dead, expiring at 12:44 Wednesday morning, when Billy Wagner struck out Miguel Cabrera to finish off the Mets' rain-delayed, 6-4 comeback win over the Marlins in South Florida. That victory eliminated the Braves from contention for the N.L. East division title -- ending Atlanta's streak of 14 consecutive division titles, the longest in the history of major pro sports in North America. (No division titles were awarded -- properly -- in the 1994 season, terminated early because of a players' strike starting in mid-August.) The streak began on Oct. 5, 1991, when the Braves won that year's N.L. West title by defeating the Astros while the second-place Dodgers lost at San Francisco.

• What a night for the Giants! Not only did they earn a 10-6 win over the Rockies -- after having trailed by four runs early -- but the two teams ahead of them in the N.L. West, the Dodgers and the Padres, both blew leads in one-run losses. And the Marlins, a wild-card rival that had started the night with the same record as the Giants, blew a four-run lead in a loss to the Mets.

• Justin Morneau's two-run double turned a one-run deficit into a one-run lead in the midst of an eighth-inning rally that left the Twins a 7-5 winner over the A's. It was Morneau's 18th game-winning RBI of the season, tying Alex Rodriguez for the American League lead, and the eighth one of them that came in the eighth inning or later, the most in the majors.

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Mark Mulder • St. Louis pitcher Mark Mulder underwent surgery to repair a partial tear of his rotator cuff on Tuesday. The surgery was done by Mets team physician Dr. David Altchek and Cardinals team physician Dr. George Paletta. The team said Mulder will begin physical therapy and rehabilitation in one or two weeks and, while his prognosis for a recovery was "excellent," no timetable had been set for his return.

• The first radio station to broadcast a major-league baseball game is losing the rights to Pittsburgh Pirates games after 51 years. KDKA will cease to be the Pirates' flagship station in 2007 as the team's radio rights shift for the first time to FM news-talk station WPGB. KDKA has carried Pirates games since 1955 and, in 1921, carried the first live broadcast of a major-league game -- about a year after becoming the nation's first licensed commercial radio station.

• Tigers reliever Joel Zumaya has a sprained right wrist and won't be available for a few days. "He has tendinitis in his right wrist, which is causing some tightness in his forearm," said team trainer Kevin Rand. A doctor examined Zumaya on Monday and the right-hander received a cortisone shot. He will not pick up a baseball until at least Friday.

Welcome to the South Side?
Chone Figgins The Angels may have a potential offseason trade partner in the White Sox, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

With Chicago likely in the market for a left fielder (Scott Podsednik probably won't be back), center fielder and shortstop this offseason, Angels super-utility man Chone Figgins could be part of a package to land third baseman Joe Crede.

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Pitcher and catcher fight, Royals win.
Carlos Guillen played hero in the Tigers' 3-2 win over the Rangers. Guillen led off the bottom of the ninth with a solo home run (his second of the game) as Detroit won for just the sixth time in 19 contests to maintain its 1½-game lead over Minnesota in the AL Central.
Derek Lowe failed to deliver in the Dodgers' 9-8 loss to the Cubs in 11 innings. Lowe, looking for his 15th win, was staked to an early 7-0 lead but gave up seven hits and five runs in the fifth. He lasted five innings, allowing 10 hits and five runs before the Cubs tied it in the seventh against L.A.'s bullpen.
Joe Kennedy was unable to hold a 5-3 lead in the eighth inning, and the A's lost to the Twins 7-5. Kennedy allowed four runs (all earned) on five hits in one-plus inning. Oakland's lead over the Angels in the AL West is now 4½ games.
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
Jason LaRue's one-out homer in the 11th inning sent the Reds to a 5-4 win over the Padres and tightened the NL playoff race.
"He's one of the best guys in the league and he's got good stuff. I'd take him on my team anytime."
-- Cardinals 1B Albert Pujols on Astros closer Brad Lidge. Pujols hit a two-run double off Lidge with two outs in the ninth inning to give the Cardinals a 6-5 victory over Houston.
Dan HarenA's at Twins, 1:10 ET: Oakland will try to avoid getting swept with Dan Haren (13-11, 3.95) on the hill. Haren is 1-2 with a 5.50 ERA in his last three appearances after winnings six straight decisions. Rookie phenom Francisco Liriano (12-3, 2.19) returns after being on the DL since Aug. 8 with a strained ligament in his left elbow.

Rangers at Tigers, 7:05 ET: Kevin Millwood (14-10, 4.49) has pitched well on the road. He is 8-4 with a 3.69 ERA away from Ameriquest Field. Justin Verlander (16-7, 3.19) continues to build a strong Rookie of the Year case. He has allowed only one earned over 14 innings in his last two starts.

Scott OlsenMets at Marlins, 7:05 ET: Experience meets youth in the rubber match. Tom Glavine (13-6, 3.98) has shown no ill effects from missing time with numbness in his left ring finger. He was dominant in his last outing and ranks eighth in the NL in wins. Scott Olsen (12-8, 4.01) seems to be getting stronger down the stretch. He is 3-1 in his last four starts, allowing only six earned runs over 28 2/3 innings.

Wednesday's probable starters