You think you’re having a good week? Maybe, but not as good as Brewers centerfielder Christian Yelich. What did he do against the Reds? Nothing much. Just going six-for- six. And hitting for the cycle. While leading his team to a massive extra innings comeback. Where he hit the game winning home run in the tenth. Take a break, man. You’ve earned it…
Ohtani fever is back. The best two-way player in the game will take the mound against the Astros this Sunday for the first time since June, when he went down with a sprained UCL. While this is clearly too little, too late to make a difference for the Angels, who sit eighteen games back in the AL West, it will be a shot in the arm for a club that has languished below .500 for most of the season. Ohtani was brought in to help build a winner in southern California, and before the injury, he was as exciting as any player in baseball, posting a 4-1 record and 1.14 WHIP…and also hitting fifteen home runs. Here’s hoping he can stay healthy and help Mike Trout get to the playoffs before his entire career is wasted.
Speaking of returns, the Yankees will get a boost from two returning stars this week in Didi Gregorious and Gary Sanchez. Sanchez has been sidelined with a groin injury since mid-July, while the speedy Gregorious has only been out for a week or so with a bruised heel. While all of that is good news in the Bronx, the guy they REALLY want back doesn’t seem to be making much progress, per Lindsay Adler of the Athletic. Aaron Judge remains sidelined with a chip fracture in his right wrist that doesn’t seem to be getting any better. It’s particularly frustrating for a Yankee team that has drawn closer to a faltering Red Sox squad. Without their young slugger, their chances of catching Boston in the AL East remain slim. On the bright side for the pinstripes, they’ve just added veteran outfielder Andrew McCutcheon via trade with the Giants, so they have that going for them.
The NL West is the closest division in the majors, with four teams separated by less than eight games at the top. This weekend’s series between the Diamondbacks and Dodgers could help clarify the scenario. Sure, it’s not a must win, but if Zach Greinke and crew can pull off a win tonight, they’ll put some serious pressure on Clayton Kershaw come Saturday evening. I expect that the Diamondbacks will watch these guys slug it out with interest, as they beat up on the lowly Padres all weekend.
Seattle has been a surprise all year long, but recent stumbles have them trailing Oakland by 4.5 games in the Wild Card standings. With about a month to play, that’s not insurmountable, but it will be a lot easier if they can sneak away from the Bay with a few wins this weekend. If they can take three of four or better, this division remains exceptionally interesting. If they lose the series, it’s probable over.
Image Source: USA Today