Around the horn: Sept. 3
? It’s about that time, where bullpens are absolutely gassed. Brendan Donnelly, Chad Cordero and Joe Nathan all blew saves on Saturday night.
Luckily, for Cordero and Nathan, the Twins and Nationals won in their last at-bat. Juan Castro scored on an error in the ninth as the Twins topped the Indians, 3-2. And Preston Wilson’s RBI single in the 12th pushed D.C. past the Phillies, 5-4.
? Nathan’s blown save ruined Johan Santana’s sick start. Santana retired the first 13 Indians he faced, and I thought for sure he was going to get the perfect game. But Victor Martinez broke it up in the fifth with a much-deserved single after an exhausting at-bat. Not sure why Twins skipper Ron Gardenhire pulled Santana after eight innings and 100 pitches. He should have let Johan finish what he started.
? Cordero’s running on fumes. He gave up three straight hits to open the ninth, including back-to-back jacks by Ryan Howard and David Bell. If the Nats lost Saturday, put a fork in them. Instead, they came through in the 12th and are still in the Wild Card hunt, three games behind Philly.
? Donnelly wasn’t as lucky as the Angels lost to the Mariners, 6-3. He gave up the game-tying run — ruining Jarod Washburn’s quality start — and then the Mariners bopped Scot Shields for three runs. The Angels bullpen is running on empty, and I think it’s going to cost them a playoff spot.
? Speaking of blown saves: Shingo Takatsu made his Mets debut on Saturday night, and picked up right where he left off with the White Sox. Senor Zero came in with the bases loaded in the seventh, and gave up a three-run double to Miguel Cabrera. That ended up being the difference for the Marlins, who beat the un-Amazins’, 5-4. The comeback gave Trader Jack McKeon 1,000 career managerial wins.
? The Red Sox are just four games behind the White Sox for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Considering how good the Red Sox are at home, the home-field advantage would make them a prohibitive favorite in the postseason — if they get there.
The BoSox won for the 20th time in their last 22 games Saturday, outlasting the Orioles, 7-6. Matt Clement turned in his fifth consecutive strong outing, making his July slump seem distant. The right-hander held the Orioles to six hits and two earned runs over eight gritty — albeit unspectacular — innings. He improved his record to 12-3, and the Red Sox are 20-7 in his 27 starts.