The Diamondbacks completed a sweep of the Dodgers last night with a 3-1 victory. The Dbacks have now won 13 straight dating back to August 23rd. This is the second time they've swept the Dodgers in that stretch, yet they're still 11 games out of the NL West division lead. Just goes to show you how much distance the Dodgers put between themselves and the rest of the pack throughout the first 5 months of the season. The Dodgers have hit a bump in the road, they've now lost 6 straight games, and have lost 11 of their last 13 games. Good thing they got off to that amazing start or they might actually be in some trouble right about now. Truly amazing how a team can go from nearly unbeatable to looking horrendous in the matter of a couple weeks. This is why I love baseball.
Two weeks ago we're talking about how the Dodgers are on pace to break the all time regular season wins record, now that's definitely not going to happen. Now, the conversation has shifted to are the Dbacks are real threat to the Dodgers. I'd say they made that pretty clear after they swept them at home and on the road. The Dbacks and Dodgers will most likely face off in the NLDS as long as the Dbacks don't get upset in the wildcard, something that could likely happen I. A one game playoff. Something I'm sure the Dodgers are hoping happens since they just can't seem to beat those pesky Dbacks. Everyone thought after the Yu Darvish trade that the Dodgers were the clear cut World Series favorite and they'd essentially be unbeatable. Well, Yu Darvish hasn't been good and the rest of the pitching staff has begun to fall apart. Mix that in with the lineup beginning to slump and there's no wonder why the Dodgers are in this skid. I'm sure a skid is all it is, however now is not the right time for a team to be losing momentum.
The Dbacks have all the momentum in the world heading into the postseason, whereas the Dodger do not. With these teams on a collision course to meet up in the NLDS, that is bad news bears for the Dodgers. Imagine having this awesome regular season just to lose in the NLDS, that'd have to be one of the biggest let downs of all time. Ask Nationals fans, they're used to it at this point. The Dbacks have none of the pressure and all the momentum, which is a dangerous formula for October. I'm not going to make any hot takes just yet, but just know if these trends continue we should be in for one of the biggest first round upsets in MLB history.
Was watching the MLB network when I heard the guys bring up a very valid point... When Addison Russell is cleared to return what are the Cubs going to do about the shortstop position? In Russell's absence Javy Baez has proved he is a premier shortstop in this league. Seems like every night I see a new clip of him making some acrobatic play that only Javy Baez could make. The increase of production at the plate has also helped Javy Baez's case for staying put at shortstop, although it's going to be awfully hard to just cut off Addison Russell from the position he's done so well at for the Cubs.
The case one can make for Javy Baez is that he is clearly the better defensive player. This is true, but by no stretch is Addison Russell not capable of making all the plays at shortstop. Javy Baez brings an element of making plays that no one else can, however Russell is just as good defensively as essentially any shortstop in baseball, so it's not like he's a liability whatsoever in the field. On the base paths I give Javy Baez the edge as well, he's just so explosive, he makes opposing pitchers nervous, and his baseball IQ is off the charts. He stole home, I don't think Addison Russell has that game changing ability on the base paths. At the plate most would say Addison Russell is the more consistent bat. I tend to disagree. Yes, in 2016 Russell was clearly the better hitter, he drove in 95 RBI's, hit 20+ dingers, but he had a batting average below .240. Javy Baez, has shown he can hit for power just as good if not better than Russell by putting 21 balls over the fence this season. He hits for a much better average, hitting about 30 points higher than Addison Russell. He hasn't been able to drive in nearly as many runs as Russell did a year ago, but that could also be to the lack oppurtunities. Let's be real, the Cubs offense was a lot better last year than it is this year, so it's totally possible that the 95 RBI's Russell had last year are just a mirage. Baez does strike out a bunch, but if he's hitting for a higher average, has a better on base percentage, and hits for more power, I don't really see that to be much of a problem. The plate discipline needs improvement with Baez, which will come with the experience of being an everyday player.
If I'm Theo Epstein I'm telling Joe Maddon keep Javy Baez at shortstop. In the offseason I get a nice haul for Addison Russell since his value is still incredibly high and the Cubs can start getting some elite prospects back in their farm system. These last two seasons have kinda dried up the farm in Chicago with all the win now trades they are making, so this is an excellent way to start retooling. It's not an easy decision, although I do think it's the necessary one. Russell still has the beef with his ex-wife looming over his head, so who knows how that will play out, and Javy Baez has those special intangibles that just can't be taught. I feel it'd be a huge mistake for the Cubs to take Javy Baez out of the spot he's produced so well for them at. It's unfortunate that Russell loses his job due to injury, however that's the nature of the business. What do you think the Cubs should do? Keep Baez at shortstop, move Baez and put Russell back at shortstop, or do you have a different theory? Let me know in the poll below.
I was sick to my stomach when I woke up this morning and saw the final score was Baltimore 7 Yankees 6. I feel asleep in the 8th inning, something I'd almost never do, however the game didn't start until like he 10pm last night, so I'm sure a lot of fans missed out on this one. Let me just say right now, this was a good game to miss. A game that looked like it was won early in the 3rd inning, turned into one of the most devastating defeats the Yankees have encountered this season.
Yankees were riding high coming into this game, just having taken 3 of 4 from Boston in the previous series, and they won the opener in this series. Now, all was left to do was win this series, even better sweep this series, carrying all momementum into the Yankees next serie as they continue to chase the top spot in the AL East. Unfortunately, any momentum we had is probably gone after last night. The Yankees were leading 6-1 in the 3rd inning. A lead that anyone would feel comfortable with saying this game is essentially won, especially when you have a great bullpen like the Yankees do. Anyways, Manny Machado comes up in the bottom of the third, hits a laser beam homer to left center, and the Yankees lead was cut to 6-2. Still, no big deal, big enough lead where I'm very comfortable. Then, in the bottom of the 5th Jonathan Schoop, who is quietly making a nice little MVP campaign, blasts his 31st home run of the season, and the score was now 6-3. Still not worried. The 6th inning is where the scaries started creeping in after Mark Trumbo hit a 2 run Camden Yards special that just made it over the wall. Anywhere else, even at Yankee stadium this a routine fly ball, but at Camden Yards it was a 2 run homer cutting the Yankee lead to 6-5. Now, I was worried.
Still a one run lead with a bullpen of unlimited flame throwing arms should be enough to get the Yankees the W. Tommy Kahnle came in to finish off the 6th and that's exactly what he did without much problem. David Robertson shut down the O's in just 10 pitches in the 7th. Aroldis Chapman came in the 8th leaving me in doubt due to him being awful this season, but even he was lights out last night. We were about to win the series and remain just 2 1/2 games out of first place in the AL East. Dellin Betances came in for the save, usually I'm more than confident with him on the mound, however there's something about him closing games in September that just never sits right with me. Probably because last year he was horrendous as the closer in September. Whatever, that was last year, this is this year, I had nothing to worry about, right. Well, turns out my initial gut wrenching feeling was right, Betances just isn't the same pitcher in September for whatever reason. Worst part was he gets the first two outs of the inning, Yankees are marching on to victory, then he walks Tim Beckham, big mistake, leaving Manny Machado an opportunity to win this game for his team. Machado hit an absolute bomb to centerfield, ball game, walk off, Orioles win, and the Yankees suffer a devastating loss blowing a 5 run lead.
Nothing worse than being one out away from victory and then losing the game. Demoralizing loss for the Yankees, hopefully they bounce back quicker than I do because I might be upset over this one for awhile. Yankees had their chance to bury the Orioles, instead we gave them a second life. Big big mistake. Yankees need to bounce back in a big way today, I have faith they can do it, I mean that has been their mantra all season. Forget about the last one and move onto the next one, baby. Unfortunately, Boston won a marathon game against Toronto in 19 innings, so the deficit in the AL East is back to 3 1/2 games. Still plenty of time to catch those cheating basterds, though.
Red Sox Get Caught Cheating Using an Apple Watch Further Proving All Boston Sports Franchises Need to Cheat to WinRead Now
Stop if you've heard this before, Boston team gets caught cheating using electronic technology to try to gain an advantage over their opponent. No, this isn't the Patriots involved in Spygate, this time it's Boston's baseball team doing the cheating. Apparently, the Yankees caught the Red Sox using some elaborate scheme involving an apple watch, yes an apple watch, to steal signs from opposing teams, specifically the Yankees. They were then relaying the signs to the batters and getting an unfair advantage against the opposing pitcher. Classic Boston team trying to get an advantage anyway possible. Do they not teach sportsmanship, hard work, and respect in Boston? I guess not because these teams get involved in more scandals regarding cheating than any other sports town.
The saddest part about this whole situation is that the Red Sox lineup knows exactly what pitch is coming and they still can't hit the ball. If I'm a Red Sox fan right now I'm very nervous. Your team was stealing signs and they still couldn't produce with runners in scoring positions, they are still the worst power hitting team in the league, and the Yankees still crushed them in the season series. As far as I'm concerned that Rafael Devers home run off Aroldis Chapman was a result of this cheating, therefore the Yankees should be rewarded the winner of that game. Of course that won't happen, though. That's why these Boston teams continue to cheat. They get caught, they get a slap on the wrist, and if they don't get caught they cheat their way to championships. Well, at least the Patriots do anyways, Red Sox on the other hand aren't quite in the same tier of dominance as the Patriots, which makes this even more sad. Bunch of cheaters that can't even win, pathetic.
Realistically, Boston will probably just get fined and all will be forgotten. I mean for Christ sake their GM, douschebag Dave Dombroski, was literally laughing his ass off at these claims because he knows Rob Manfred is too spineless to do anything about this. The only thing we have going for us is that Joe Torre handles the discipline in these types of situations, so hopefully good ole Joe will hold it down for the Yankees and screw over the Red Sox due to his history with the ball clubs. At least we know that this season for the Red Sox has an asterisk next to it now, anyone that disagrees might as well admit that cheating should be allowed, and the league should just be total chaos. Why have rules if no one is going to follow them. This Red Sox season is officially a sham and anyone that thinks otherwise doesn't respect the game of baseball.
Yankees straight up stole the souls of the Red Sox last night as they faced their ace, crushed him, and finished the season series winning 11 of the 19 games. Winning 3 of 4 going into this series was imperative if the Yankees wanted to have any hopes of capturing the AL East division crown, and the Yankees managed to do just that. Everyone on the squad did their part this weekend to help bring Boston's lead in the division back down to within striking distance.
CC Sabathia took the mound in game 1 and did what he's done all year against Boston, which is dominate them. He gave the Yankees 6 strong innings allowing just one run, even after a troublesome first inning where it looked like it was all going to fall apart, he recovered nicely, and finished strong. He called out the Red Sox for bunting against him, a ridiculous debate, one in which I will not involve myself. Still I support him calling the Red Sox soft and lighting a fire under the ass of anyone in that Yankee clubhouse. Friday the Yankees bats fell asleep and the Red Sox did just enough to squeak out a victory against Sonny Gray.
The weekend arrived and so did the Yankees first must win games of the season. Well, at least in terms of winning the division. Tanaka pitched like the ace we've expected him
to be all season cruising through the Red Sox lineup. Matt Holliday made his triumphant return by blasting a three run shot to seal a Yankees victory. The Yankees had now taken 2 of 3 from Boston securing the season series win. The Yankees needed to win this series to realistically have a good chance at winning this division, though, a split was not going to be enough. Heading into a final game against Chris Sale the cards seemed to be stacked against the Yankees.
Sale like all great Red Sox pitchers just has simply struggled to beat the Yankees, in fact he has not been able to defeat the Yankees all season despite pitching well against them. One might even say we're his Daddy. If that wasn't cut and dry going into last night it certainly was following his atrocious performance. The Yankees took Sale deep not once, not twice, but three times, and it probably would've been even more if that bum could've lasted more than 4 1/3 innings. The Yankees had a 3-0 lead following solo homers from Headley, Frazier, and Holliday. Talk about getting production from where you least expect it. The Yankees then donated a run to the Red Sox the following inning since we felt bad about destroying their ace pitcher. Then, we got into the Red Sox bullpen and did serious damage scoring six runs in one inning thanks to a Gary Sanchez infield single, a Starlin Castro bases clearing double, and an Aaron Judge moonshot that still might be in orbit somewhere up in the stratosphere. Yankees went onto stomp the Red Sox 9-2.
What a way to end the season series. Dismantling the Red Sox, shaking them to their core after they watched their ace fail to show up in a big spot once again. The Yankees just seem to own Sale, and it's only going to get buried deeper into his head that he's property of the New York Yankees if the Red Sox keep allowing us to beat him to a pulp. Yankees now have all the momentum they could possibly need heading into the stretch run whereas the Red Sox are shaking in their boots. Will the Yankees do the unthinkable and cap
off this magical season with a division title run or will the Red Sox be able to hold onto first place for dear life. I guess
will just have to wait and let September baseball run its course. I will say this, momentum is key this time of year, and the Yankees seem to be on fire right about now. Time to sweep the Orioles and keep this momentum train rolling.
Djack- Chief editor