Players who must perform down stretch

From Justin Verlander to Mark Buehrle to Bronson Arroyo, several players need to step up in the month of September.

Originally Published: September 1, 2006
By Tim Kurkjian | ESPN The Magazine

The stretch run is here. With just over a month left in the season, this is the time for those who have slumped to get going and for those who have been hot to stay hot. This is the time when reputations are made and when MVPs are won. This is simply the best time of the year.

Here's a look at the one player from each contender -- by our definition, teams less than six games out of the division or wild-card lead -- who needs to be at his best in the final month.

National League New York ...

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