- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 11, 2009

HE SAID WHAT?

“It’s a beautiful city. It’s a college town, but it has life. It’s not dead with cow pastures and horses all around it.” — Tennessee football commitment Michael Taylor on Knoxville, presumably bashing suitors Georgia, Auburn and Alabama

TAKE YOUR PICK: Who will win the NL wild card?

Colorado — The Rockies have become a much stronger pitching team, and Colorado still has one of the most potent offenses in the majors. Tied with San Francisco atop the wild-card standings entering Monday, the Rockies have the added advantage of closing with the softest schedule among those in contention.

San Francisco — The Giants have the lowest ERA in the majors by a fair margin, but they also are a weak hitting team. San Francisco ranks second-to-last in the NL in homers, and only the hapless Padres, Reds, Royals and Mariners have scored fewer runs.

Chicago — The Cubs are the pretenders of the wild-card bunch thanks to their residence in the absurdly pedestrian NL Central. The Cubs feature a solid pitching staff but rank 14th in the league in batting average and fielding percentage.

Florida — Fresh off an impressive road sweep of the East-leading Phillies, the Marlins have the strongest 1-2 punch of the teams in contention with MVP candidate Hanley Ramirez (.348, 16 HRs, 74 RBI) and Cy Young candidate Josh Johnson (11-2, 2.92 ERA).

Atlanta — The Braves feature arguably the strongest and deepest pitching staff in baseball but lack a player who strikes fear into opposing pitchers. With power prospects like Jason Heyward waiting in the wings, Atlanta could be a force behind its impressive staff in years to come… but not this season.

Our take — The Marlins are the best of the bunch, and two of the East threesome of Philadelphia, Florida and Atlanta belong in the postseason. Given their laughable closing schedule, however, the Rockies are the team to beat, leaving the East victimized by its strength and balance.

TWT FIVE PGA TOUR VICTORIES

Tiger Woods posted his 70th at the Bridgestone Invitational, putting him well ahead of Sam Snead’s record pace:

PlayerVictoriesAge at 10th25th50thLast

Sam Snead8226313752

Jack Nicklaus7324273346

Tiger Woods7023253033

Ben Hogan6429333646

Arnold Palmer6228313743

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