Originally Published: September 28, 2004By Rob Neyer | ESPN Insider
Like you, this week I'll be watching the A's and Angels battling for the American League West title, and that four-team battle for the National League wild card. But those aren't the only things worth watching, and here are a few more in case you're not patient enough to sit through the commercials. Will Jake Peavy become the first Padre to lead the majors in ERA, and only the second Padres to lead the National League? It's likely that he will. At the moment, Peavy's No. 1 in the majors with a 2.25 ERA, and with only one and two-thirds innings more, he'll qualify for the season title. The only other contenders are Carlos Zambrano (2.60), Johan Santana (2.62), and Randy Johnson (2.65). Could Peavy give up the lead? Let's assume something like a worst case for Peavy, which is that 1) he gives up six earned runs in four innings in his next start, and 2) one (or, for the sake of argument, two) of the other guys throw shutouts. That would leave Peavy with a 2.52 ERA, and Zambrano at 2.49 and Johnson at 2.55 (it's not worth figuring Santana, because he's not going to throw nine innings with the Twins getting ready for their Division Series).