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Original Issue

Three Strikes

SI's lead baseball writer goes inside the game. This is just a taste of what you'll get online.

1 This year hasnot been kind to future Hall of Famers Tom Glavine and John Smoltz (below).First, Glavine gets dumped by the Braves while finishing a minor league rehabassignment and remains unsigned. Now Glavine's former Atlanta teammate Smoltz,in the wake of one of the worst of his 474 big league starts last Thursdaynight in New York against the Yankees, essentially gets cut from the Red Sox inwhat could be a humbling end to his storied career.

2 There's evenmore bad news for Boston. And it's not just that they let pitcher Chad Gaudinpass through waivers to help the Yankees. It's that they have no shortstop. JedLowrie, overmatched much of this year (he's hitting .048 against powerpitchers), left last Thursday's game with numbness in his left arm, includinghis surgically repaired wrist and fingers.

3 The Yankees arethe best team in the AL right now. Yes, the Angels match up well against them,and the Red Sox still have time to fix their flaws, but New York is a ferociousoffensive team that wears down opponents, not so much with its ability to drawout at bats but with the constant threat of power.