The dog days of August can go one of two ways for baseball fans. The first way is that your team is fucked. Plain and simple. If your team is 10-15 games under .500 the season is over and you salivate over just the though of preseason football. The other way is that your team is legitimately fighting for a playoff spot. Every game has meaning and it’s just a goddamn heart attack waiting to happen. It seems like the first two weeks in August are really where these two roads divide.
The AL East, AL West, and NL West races are all but over with the Yankees, Astros, and Dodgers all holding at least a 9 game lead. The NL East is almost there but the Nationals, Mets, and Phillies (all within 8.5 games) are all playing well enough to make a run at the Braves. The NL Central is going to be a dog fight til the end for 3 teams and the AL Central is a two dog race as the Indians have finally caught up to the homer happy Twins. The AL Wild Card has come down to the loser of the AL Central, the Rays, and the Athletics, while the NL Wild Card race is absolutely batshit with 8 teams within 6.5 games of each other fighting over 2 spots. Let’s get into some of the impctful weekend series we had.
The Mets made up some ground as they had two come from behind wins to take the series from the Nats. They were going for a sweep today until that FUCKING IDIOT Edwin Diaz blew any chance of a comeback by giving up another rocket over the fence. Aside from him The Mets rotation will hold against any rotation in baseball and if the bullpen, other than Diaz, can hold up, the Mets may make some noise down the stretch.
The Cardinals had a huge come from behind win today to sweep the Pirates and take the second wild card spot for now. Not only that but they cut the division lead to 2 after the Cubs dropped 2 of 3 to the Reds. That race will be interesting as the Cards offense is really shifting into gear at the right time. In that same division the Brewers took 2 of 3 from Texas to stay a half game back of the Cards in the Wild Card as well as 2.5 back from the Cubbies in the division. They have Yelich so don’t count them out. These races are just starting to get heated up so stay tuned over the next couple of weeks.
The Indians took 3 of 4 from the Twins to finally catch them after being as much as 10 games back in June. The Indians have been the best team in baseball for the last two months and it does not look like they will settle for less than the division right now. The Rays are looking for a sweep against the Mariners as we speak and are holding on to the second Wild Card spot while the A’s took 2 of the 3 from the White Sox to remain within a game of the Rays.
A couple things outside of the races that should be discussed as well are umpires making themselves bigger than they need to be and history made by two rookies.
First the ugly and then we will end on a good note. Brett Gardner was sitting in the dugout during the Yankees-Blue Jays game minding his own business, only to be ejected. Almost everyone on the Yanks was chirping at the ump, but he tossed Garnder. The ump said he heard Gardner chirping, but the video clearly shows Gardner keeping his mouth shut. The point is, these Umpires are not perfect, but for fuck sake stay in your fucking lane. Nobody left the dugout, nobody needed to be ejected. Plus you dont eject someone because you thought they may have said something. After the ejection Aaron Boone didn’t even know who the ump ejected. These umpires are trying to make themselves bigger than the players and it will not work. Nobody will remember your name asshole, so sit down, shut the fuck up and call balls and strikes like you’re supposed to.
Finally, some history made by a pair of rookies. Yordan Alvarez of the Astros, and Aristides Aquino of the Reds became the first pair of rookies to hit 3 Yabos on the same day in MLB history. Aquino on his own became the first rookie to hit 3 home runs in consecutive innings in the same game and he also tied the record for most home runs in his first 10 games with 7. The year of the juiced ball does not look to be losing any steam. More in depth analysis will be done on the contenders once September rolls around.