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Photo Credit: © Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Around The League: Alive But Not Well

The American League race has for quite some team been one between two horses. Sorry Tampa. How about that wild card, though? The Jays actually managed to make up some ground this week despite splitting six games and suffering some heartbreakers.

American League East

Boston Red Sox 63-49 (0 GB) +77 run differential 

The Red Sox apparently lost at the trade deadline last week. The Yankees made a bunch of moves, and all the Sox did was add Eduardo Nunez and Addison Reed. Well, the Sox had a 6-0 week and have pulled three games up on New York in the division.

They had a two-game sweep of Cleveland — a series that featured a walk-off three-run homer after Craig Kimbrel blew a save — and a four-game sweep of the shitty White Sox. Obviously we have to be fair because the White Sox are a Triple-A team, but Boston got good pitching from pretty much everyone this week, which is key to their success.

Speaking of pitchers, there’s a new chapter to the David Price Hates Boston saga, as he looked upset as the team walked it off on Tuesday. Or, ya know, they just panned away too quickly.

New York Yankees 59-51 (3 GB) +115 run differential 

Those trade deadline winners, the Yankees, had themselves a pretty meh week. They dropped two of three against the Tigers and split a four-game series with Cleveland.

The big issue for New York this week was offence, as they were held to three or fewer runs in five of the seven games they played. Starlin Castro and Aaron Hicks on the disabled list have been big losses to this already-thin lineup and Matt Holliday has a back issue and could hit the DL himself. Since being acquired from the White Sox, Todd Fraizer has a .192 batting average and .642 OPS, which obviously isn’t helping.

Aaron Judge had been very bad coming out of the All-Star game, promoting that generic worry that he forgot how to play baseball because he participated in the home run derby. But then he hit this hilarious and absurd home run.

Tampa Bay Rays 58-55 (5.5 GB) +4 run differential 

The Rays, who seem to be the odd team out in this AL East race, went 4-3 this week. They’re 5.5 games back and catching Boston seems like a stretch, but they did win three of four against the top-seeded Astros this week, which is an impressive feat. After that, though, they dropped two of three to Milwaukee, and were nearly swept, hut Steve Souza hit the team’s first walk-off homer since 2014.

Yes, the Rays hadn’t hit a walk-off homer since 2014.

Baltimore Orioles 55-56 (7.5 GB) -53 run differential 

Like the Blue Jays, the Trash Birds are well out of the division race at this point. But thanks to a good week and a sweep of the second-wild-card-occupying Royals, the O’s are inexplicably in the mix for a playoff spot.

They wont three against Kansas City, including a walk-off, then split a four-game series with the Tigers. Oddly enough, the key to this successful week was good pitching. Or, well, Kansas City and Detroit being bad. I don’t know. Anyways, Baltimore got good starts from Ubaldo Jimenez (???) and Jeremy Hellickson (???!!!) and very good starts from Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman. But, of course, Chris Tillman got drilled again, giving up seven runs over two innings to Detroit. He now owns a 8.10 ERA on the season.

Another thing worth mentioning, since being acquired from Tampa last week, Tim Beckham has 14 hits and three homers in 24 at bats. He also hit Baltimore’s 10,000th homer since the franchise moved from St. Louis in 1954.

Toronto Blue Jays 52-59 (10.5 GB) -87 run differential 

Oh, those Blue Jays. With a win Sunday, Toronto could have been four-and-a-half games back of the not-very-good Royals for the second wild card. But they blew a three-run lead in the ninth inning. They ended up going 3-3 for the week, blowing two very, very winnable games against Houston and Chicago in the process.

Obviously the playoff hopes are faint, but it’s hard not to think, despite how big of a yard sale this season has been, that the team easily could be right in the mix.

The Wild Card

New York Yankees 59-51 (+2 GU)

Kansas City Royals 57-53 (0 GB)

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Tampa Bay Rays 58-55 (0.5 GB)

Seattle Mariners 57-56 (1.5 GB)

Baltimore Orioles 55-56 (2.5 GB)

L.A. Angels 55-57 (3 GB)

Minnesota Twins 53-56 (3.5 GB)

Texas Rangers 53-58 (4.5 GB)

Toronto Blue Jays 52-59 (5.5 GB)

Detroit Tigers 51-59 (6 GB)

Oakland Athletics 50-62 (8 GB)

Chicago White Sox 41-68 (15.5 GB)

When I looked last week, the Jays were seven games back of the wild card. Since Kansas City is so so sooooo bad, the Jays, who went 3-3 this week, managed to make up a game-and-a-half in the race! It easily could have been three-and-a-half games, but, ugh. Fuck! Jumping seven teams ain’t gonna be easy, but competitive baseball in September and all that blah blah.

Elsewhere…

This guy at the Pirates game got drilled in the nuts by a home run ball. I don’t know how you let that happen to yourself.

The Dodgers are insane. They swept the Mets this weekend, the only team left this season who hadn’t been swept. It was their 15th sweep of the year. They’re 79-32. They’re on pace to win 115 games. They’re 47 games over .500. They have a 15.5 game lead over a team that would be in first place in the AL East. They acquired Yu Darvish at the trade deadline. They’re fucking insane.

  • Jeff2sayshi

    So… David Price is happy, he gets hit by cold Gatorade and has a very human reaction of stone coldness for a second, then can be seen being happy again as he goes off camera… and that’s a problem?

    The Dodgers may be on pace for 115 wins, but that’s taking into account their first 60 games or so. They’ve been playing at a 130 win pace the last 50 games.