Baseball

#38 this week in baseball

First I have to apologize for missing last week, I’m getting burnt out on baseball and it’s getting super tough for me to sit down and write a full post. Those who know me know that I can still talk about baseball like no other but I’m struggling to find inspiration to write about it for hours, just getting tough doesn’t mean I’m done for the year. Anyway just had to take a week off and try to recharge my batteries. I have a few talking points from the last week to mention so I’ll just keep each subject short and simple.

First up the Verlander trade. The Houston Astros got the ace they needed for this stretch run by trading for the Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander. In the second half Verlander has been pitching like he’s five years younger and the Astros needed an ace all year it might of taken them longer than expected but they got him.

The rise and fall from grace. This is actually about two different teams not the same team. The rise part is about the Cleveland Indians ridiculous and current winning streak of 19 games. And they go for 20 tonight with their ace, Corey Kluber, taking the mound. The Oakland Athletics are the only team to have a 20 game streak in the modern era, and the Indians have a real shot to at least tie that record. The fall part is about the LA Dodgers. The Dodgers have lost 10 in a row and are 1-15 in the last 16 games and this downfall started when Adrian Gonzalez came back from the DL. Hate to say I told you so but… I totally did, I knew Agon was going to get some playing time and it would mess up the mojo they had going. Not my fault no one listens.

On Sunday September 10th the Washington Nationals clinched the NL east. Still early September and the Nats have already clinched a playoff spot, if the Dodgers keep falling the Nats might get home field advantage in the playoffs. Nats are playing the Dodgers this weekend could be a big series.

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#37 waiver trade deadline

Tonight is the waiver trade deadline, last month was the non-waiver trade deadline, and there has already been a couple deals that were made. The main difference is money, the non-waiver deadline doesn’t matter who it is no one is off limits now the waiver deadline is for the major leaguers who pass through waivers which is usually the guys who are paid some money. Examples are Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson who have already been dealt during this waiver period. Like I said it’s basically about money so I don’t have much to say about the trading teams return so basically I’ll just be mentioning the main part.

First one was Cameron Maybin going from the Angels to the Astros. Not even sure he’ll get any playing time on the ‘Stros but he’s another athletic outfielder the Astros get to use off the bench. Which they already have plenty of, the rich get richer.

And then the Angels get Justin Upton from the Tigers. Upton is having a good year and has an opt-out clause in his contract after this year, because of his bounce back year the Tigers were pretty sure he would opt-out after the year anyway so might as well trade him and get something in return (even a small return) while you can. And all I got to say about this deal is throw Upton in a lineup with Mike Trout and I consider that a definite upgrade, especially for an Angels team that’s currently in the playoffs/wildcard hunt.

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#36 a case for Stanton

While I was thinking of something to write about today, it came across my mind that I could totally write/rant about the HOF for a whole post or I can just write about Giancarlo Stanton. The hall of fame thing isn’t too interesting so I’ll just save it for later besides Stanton is crazy hot right now. Just to be clear I do not think Stanton will will the MVP but with the current hot streak he’s getting his name into the conversation. Like I said he isn’t my pick to win or anything but doesn’t mean I can’t put together a legitimate case for Giancarlo to get the MVP.

To be honest all I have to say to make the MVP case for Stanton is 50 homers in August. Seriously he has all of September left. He has 16 more homers than the guy in second, for the NL that is. His full stat line, hitting .294 with 50 homers and 108 rbis. There isn’t much else to say except there is literally a month until the season ends. He could win it if he can keep his average up over .290, 50+ homers isn’t enough to win you a MVP. The Marlins themselves can actually ruin Giancarlo’s MVP chances, currently they are over .500 and somewhat are in the playoff hunt. Usually the MVP goes to the player that helps their team win, at least win enough to be in playoff contention. Then again after Trout getting the AL MVP over Mookie Betts last year I don’t know, they had very similar numbers Trout was slightly better but I thought the defining factor was Betts and the Red Sox were a first place team while Trout and the Angels were one of the worst. Trout still won though, my point is I don’t know what the voters vote on anymore so don’t count Stanton out if his team doesn’t do anything.

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#35 almost perfect

There isn’t anything more important for me to talk about today than Rich Hill’s incredible night on the mound last night. Just to be clear I didn’t watch it live, basing my opinion off the highlights, despite texts from my cousin telling me turn on the game. Just like Tuesday I pretty sure this will be a short post, not exactly a lot to say on this subject so you’ve been warned let’s get into it.

Let’s go back a little. Would you believe that just 2 short years ago Rich Hill was pitching in independent ball? It’s true, he’s 37 years old now and always had a devastating curveball but was mainly just a reliever throughout his career. While he was in independent ball he proved he can be a starter and that fast tracked his road back to the majors. Fast forward back to 2017 and Hill is legitimately a strong starter, constantly injured though so when he’s healthy that is. And last night against the Pirates he was dealing, he lost his perfect game in the ninth inning but he did throw a 9 inning no hitter. The Dodgers couldn’t score a single run for him or we would be talking about a no hitter today. But since they couldn’t score it was still 0-0 going into extra innings, Hill came back out for the tenth inning with the no hitter still in tact and he gives up a leadoff homer. Walk off Pirates. Tough luck. I just hope people are reporting about how Hill was literally in independent ball 2 years ago, that’s just awesome shows that you should never give up you never know where you’ll be in 2 years.

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#34 a new star shortstop?

Today will be an extremely short post, not feeling the greatest but I have to write something today so you’ve been warned. So let’s clear the title up real quick, no I don’t mean Tim Beckham who does fit the title because he looks to be a star in the making. No I’m actually talking about the Blue Jays Josh Donaldson, a usual third baseman has recently seen some time at shortstop and might be seeing some more time there going forward.

I would say the Blue Jays are just experimenting with this new defense of Jose Bautista at third and Donaldson at short. I wouldn’t say JD is now the shortstop in Toronto, but the manager of the Blue Jays did say we’ll probably see more of it. Josh Donaldson is definitely athletic enough to play shortstop and there’s not a doubt in my mind that he couldn’t be an average defender. Because of all the shifts now days he has already played shortstop more than enough, but the fact of the matter is Troy Tulowitzki (currently on the DL) is still one of the better defensive shortstops out there even though he’s not in his prime anymore. I think this experiment of playing JD at shortstop will only last until Tulo gets back.

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#33 don’t do it LA

Because the title might be a little misleading today’s post will be about the LA Dodgers not the LA Angels. I just want to mention a possible move the Dodgers will probably be making, as soon as this weekend too. Adrain Gonzalez is due to come off the DL soon and I know he might even start and I’m here to say if it ain’t broke, that’s what I mean in the title. Just saying this will most likely be a short post, don’t have a lot to say on the subject just want to throw in my two cents.

Like I said Adrian Gonzalez, the starting first baseman for the first few weeks of the season, is due to return soon and there’s talk that the Dodgers are thinking about benching one of their current starters for him. The only reason this is possible is Cody Bellinger, getting majority of time at first base, can also play the outfield. The main target for this benching speculation is center fielder Joc Perderson, because Bellinger can fill in at center. I’m just going to say that is a very dumb idea, the Dodgers are on pace to win 115-116 games this year why would you rock the boat now? Yeah I know Agon is a consistent player and a gold glove first baseman but the dude is only hitting .250 with only one homer, yes one homer. Cody Bellinger has the most homers on the team by a lot and is a great first baseman so again why rock the boat? So you want to make a guy with 34 homers switch to a different position so a guy with 1 homer can play while you’re in the midst of a possible historic season? Don’t do it LA!

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#32 Harper’s injury

After Bryce Harper fell to the ground clutching his knee late Saturday night, I’ve been thinking about the whole situation since so I figured I would write about it today. Yes, I am a Nats so you can call me biased it doesn’t bother me any. With this injury there are implications to the MVP race and that’s mainly what I’ve been thinking about, because the Nats are far enough ahead in the division they can withstand losing their 3-hole hitter for a couple weeks while he heals up.

Bryce Harper was trying to beat out a ground ball and he got to the base and his foot slipped off and his knee buckled, buckled the wrong way. The base was probably slippery because of the 2 hour rain delay before the game, and not to mention the base is pretty hard and doesn’t give much. From what I saw it looked like he just hyper extended it, and after that happens you can’t really put any pressure on that leg, so he had to be pretty much carried off the field. To no surprise people were assuming the worst “he tore his ACL” “Harper out for the rest of the year” but I personally didn’t believe that. Was it possible he tore his ACL and everything else? Yes very possible. To me it looked like just a hyper extension especially when it was reported that he came to park the next day with an ace bandage UNDER the knee and not even a real limp. So it looks like Harper will miss a couple weeks with a severe bone bruise, not as bad as it could’ve been. Now to the MVP implications, I wrote about the MVP race just last week and I said I think Harper will win it in the NL. I’m not completely flipping I still think Harper can do it but because of this injury he might miss some time and it would take a lot more now to win it. He doesn’t want to, and the Nats wouldn’t even let him, hurry back and risk further injury and potentially miss a good playoff/world series run. With Giancarlo Stanton absolutely on fire, probably going to end up with 50+ homers this year, he’s making this MVP race tighter than it already was. The person I think benefits most with Harper having to miss some time is Nolan Arenado, the dude already has 100 rbis. The Rockies are actually good this year and will probably be a playoff team, that’s why I think Arenado is getting some real consideration for MVP. I’m not sure he can continue hitting .311 down the stretch, he’s been around .280 the last couple years, but the homers and the rbis will be there for sure. 26 homers and 100 rbis right now and has a little over a month left.

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