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The Late Show

Hi everyone. My name is Cameron Smith, and I'm an online sports producer here at washingtonpost.com. I'm also one of the bloggers here at Baseball Insider, so while you don't know me now, don't worry, you will soon.

I'm also headed across the pond tomorrow to run the final leg of the World Marathon Majors in Berlin, but I'll be providing your late-night recaps and keeping you up to date on whatever you might have missed the night before a lot more as soon as I'm back.

In the meantime, here's what you might have overlooked while pondering how many of these bad boys you could get with that $700 billion Wall Street bailout.

For tonight's episode of American Choppers Chokers, the role of the 2007 Mets was played by ... the Chicago White Sox! The AL Central frontrunners officially lost control of their own destiny with a 7-6 loss to the Twins in the Hubert H. Humphrey Memorial Mausoleum Metrodome Baseball and Football Multipurpose Facility. Here's the fun, fact-filled box score.The fact that the Southsiders dropped a third straight in the twin cities really wasn't that surprising considering the demoralizing nature of the last two losses. What was a bit of shock was how the Twins swept the series. Every night a different player came through with the huge hit. Last night? That would Alexei Cassilla, the second baseman who has stealthily moved up to an OBP (on base percentage) of .335 while batting out of the two hole. That shouldn't minimize closer Joe Nathan's two innings of relief to earn the win, but Cassilla's rise seems emblematic of what the Twins organization has done so well. They've put trust in young players and are being rewarded for it, again.

If you're wondering who has the edge in the AL Central run out, the Twins host the Royals while the White Sox head to Cleveland. Advantage: Twins. That tea-kettle hissing you hear is the steam blowing out Ozzie Guillen's ears.

But the AL Central didn't have a monopoly on the night's drama, as both the Mets and the Brewers had to rally late for season-saving wins. Not only did New York trail by three runs in the seventh to the Cubs, they looked positively deflated. Again. It was all making Boz's earlier post look pretty precient. Then the bats came alive and, with the stage set in the ninth, a soggy Carlos Beltran came through with the game-winning hit. Sometimes box scores don't tell the whole story, but this one does a pretty good job.

The Brewers kept pace with a stirring win of their own, Ryan Braun's extra-inning grand slam providing Milwaukee with it's second walk-off homer in three nights (Box Score here). That kept the Brew Crew in a Wild Card tie with the Mets, with the Astros keeping themselves in the hunt, thanks to Roy Oswalt's arm.

And all that happened before you consider the two divisions that could be clinched on Thursday: the AL East and NL West. An on-point Jon Lester and the Red Sox made the Rays pay for not finishing the job in Detroit earlier, but the NL West sorted itself out in rather undramatic fashion, with the Diamondbacks running up a white flag, (disappointing Box Score here) leaving the Dodgers no chance to clinch their title on the field. Something tells us Manny Ramirez didn't mind.

And just in case you thought Philadelphia would enjoy a quiet day without baseball at Citizen's Bank Park, they were still in the throes of a bizarre investigation into a bomb threat which led officials directly to ... the Philly Fanatic. Seriously. No word yet about whether he's going to start Saran-Wrapping his tubular lunch meat for future trajectory transparency.

There's plenty more pre-playoff madness to come, so keep your eyes on all the washingtonpost.com coverage in our MLB section, on the scoreboard, and, from now on, here at Baseball Insider.

Auf Wiedersehen for now.

By Cameron Smith  |  September 26, 2008; 12:12 AM ET
 
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Comments

hey love baseball glad this is here. good job so far, but please try not to overly focus on the yankees and red sox. espn really pisses me off sometimes with their "coverage" of baseball. this will become a must read for me if you can keep it even. yeah cover the yankees if ian kennedy throws a no hitter next year but dont spend 1000 words on if joba might move to the bullpen next year. cover the whole league, there are compelling stories in every city on every team, dont forget it.

Posted by: love | September 26, 2008 1:38 AM | Report abuse

Agree re. potential Yankees/Sox focus.

That Philly item is wild! Something tells me that Charlie and Dave will have a field day with that one on tonight's broadcast...

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 26, 2008 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Sometimes, Nothing can be a real cool hand.

"'We did the right thing. It turned out to be nothing.' said Michael Stiles, Phillies senior vice president of administration and operations."

Posted by: Luke | September 26, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

As far as the NL Pennant Race goes between the Phillies, Mets, and Brewers, the weather and soggy conditions could play a major factor. I am definitely excited to see what happens. Great job, Cam!

Posted by: Andy B. | September 26, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

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