Around the horn: Aug. 21
? C.C. Sabathia and Jason Vargas (right) have a few things in common. They are both in their 20s, they both hail from California and they are both southpaws. They also tossed gems on Sunday, as their teams kept pace in the Wild Card races. Sabathia pitched the Indians past the going-nowhere-fast Orioles while Vargas and the Marlins routed the Dodgers.
? It was Vargas’ first career complete game and the Marlins’ Major League-leading 13th of the season. He is the first National League rookie to toss a complete game this season. Vargas also contributed a two-run single at the plate. Vargas (4-1, 2.43 ERA) gives the Marlins another formidable starter to go along with A.J. Burnett, Josh Beckett and Dontrelle Willis. This could be the team to beat in the National League, considering…
? That the Cardinals will be without Scott Rolen for the rest of the season. Rolen undergo season-ending surgery to repair the torn labrum in his left shoulder.
? Even more bad news for the Cards. Second baseman Mark Grudzielanek was unable to play on Sunday due to an infection in his left knee. He will not travel with the team to Pittsburgh on Monday.
And outfielder Reggie Sanders continues to recuperate from his fractured right leg, but has backed off on pinpointing his return date.
? Prior to the season, I predicted a Marlins-Red Sox World Series. I am sticking with that prediction.
? They’ve struggled mightily this season, but the Rays, Rockies and Royals had big weekends on the field. The Rays completed a three-game sweep with a 6-3 win over the Rangers. And the Rockies and Royals each won their series, beating the Cubs and A’s, respectively. The Rays are baseball’s hottest team, having won five straight games.
? All five teams in the American League Central — White Sox, Indians, Twins, Tigers and Royals — won on Sunday, while all four in the AL West — Angels, A’s, Rangers and Mariners — lost.