Thursday, August 5, 2010

With no more breaks or trades only thing in sight is the finish line

There seems to be a feeling of contemplation in most MLB cities as the trade deadline has come and gone, there are no more substantial breaks in play left to get healthy so they’re going to sink or swim with what’s on the field. The July/August turn has been a real litmus test for many as the MLB schedule couldn’t have been structured more perfectly to help separate the contenders from pretenders. In the American League, it’s “meat and potatoes” time for the Yankees as they’re coming off a tough series with Tampa Bay in which the Rays in which they lost 2 of 3 and saw their lead in the East trimmed to 2, they followed that up by dropping 2 of 3 to Toronto and found themselves in a tie for the division lead (and I don’t want to hear it about A-Rod and 600, if you give up 28 runs in six games you’re gonna’ drop 4/6). It doesn’t get any easier for the Empire as upcoming series with the Sox and Rangers could drop them into the Wild Card chase.
There seems to be a feeling of contemplation in most MLB cities as the trade deadline has come and gone, there are no more substantial breaks in play left to get healthy so they’re going to sink or swim with what’s on the field. The July/August turn has been a real litmus test for many as the MLB schedule couldn’t have been structured more perfectly to help separate the contenders from pretenders. In the American League, it’s “meat and potatoes” time for the Yankees as they’re coming off a tough series with Tampa Bay in which the Rays in which they lost 2 of 3 and saw their lead in the East trimmed to 2, they followed that up by dropping 2 of 3 to Toronto and found themselves in a tie for the division lead (and I don’t want to hear it about A-Rod and 600, if you give up 28 runs in six games you’re gonna’ drop 4/6). It doesn’t get any easier for the Empire as upcoming series with the Sox and Rangers could drop them into the Wild Card chase.
Moving to the AL West, the Rangers have already split the first two games against hapless Seattle, but have one more and then three with the A’s for an opportunity to get into the hunt for best record. The division is already theirs as the Angels have fallen off the map and are under .500 in August for the first time in almost a decade. But the Rangers have bigger fish to fry as they’ve got a shot to make up the five games on the Empire, as NY moves into a brutal six game stretch.In the NL, it’s become a series of 3 two-team races. Starting in the Central where, although they seemed to sleep through the trade deadline without making any major moves, the Reds have held on to first place but it’s a tenuous lead at best. Once again, the schedule is conducive to settling the argument as the Cards come to town next week after the Reds travel to Chi-Town for 3 with the Cubs. I guess when you look at it, what moves would you make if your club was in the top five of all four major offensive categories (BA- 4th, HR- th, RBI-3rd, Hits-5th) and you had a fireballer in triple-A droppin’ three-digit heat topping out at 103MPH, that you can bring up for the stretch? Aroldis Chapman may have flown under the radar for quite some time but he could be a major component of the Reds push to stay on top of the division as St. Louis is the benefactor of the weakest schedule of any of the division leaders as they have only 3 games in the entire month of August against teams with a record above .500 and those three are against the Reds.
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