It’s hardly a surprise when the Red Sox win this season, but what about when they trail by six runs entering the eighth inning of a road game. The odds on that can’t be good, can they? In fact, they weren’t. The number crunchers at FanGraphs gave the visiting Red Sox a .6% chance of BEATING Atlanta when they came to bat in the top of the eighth trailing 7-1. Some thirty-plus minutes later, after all the Red Sox had come to bat (and then some) the Braves looked shell shocked, and Boston was on its way to a series sweep and MLB-leading 97 th win. Moral of the story. Literally everyone in a Boston uniform can mash the ball. Not just Triple Crown threat J.D. Martinez. Not just Mookie Betts. Everyone. Did I mention that they’ve won seven of ten and Cy Young candidate Chris Sale is about to come off the disabled list? Yeah. On the down side, spark plug second baseman Dustin Pedroia is officially done for the year, following slower than expected recovery from microfracture surgery.
Ohtani fever is back. And just like that, it’s over. Kind of. It’s going to evolve in any case. Just days after returning from the disabled list, the Angels medical team have recommended Tommy John surgery to repair a sprained UCL in his throwing arm. The less aggressive treatments apparently weren’t effective enough to deal with the strain of Ohtani’s first year in the big leagues as a full-time two-way player. So how did he respond to the news? He hit two home runs, of course. Ohtani will continue to swing his potent bat from the DH slot for the Angels down the stretch, which seems like a waste, given that recovery from the surgery generally lasts a full year or more and the Angels are out of contention. Will Ohtani be just another outfielder, or a full-time DH next season as he rehabs that pitching arm? Only time will tell.
Remember when I said that we should start to see some more clarity in the N.L. West a few weeks back?
Yeah, I was wrong. This sucker is going down to the wire. Aside from a late season swoon by the Giants to remove themselves from contention, nothing has happened that give us any indication of who’s in the driver’s seat. Is it the Rockies, who have reeled off five straight to take the lead? Is it the Dodgers, who’ve won seven of their last ten? Is it Arizona, who could have done much to help their situation last week, but lost who three of four to the Dodgers by the identical score of 3-2? I really don’t know. Only 2.5 games separate the three teams, and the Wild Card might be tricky, with two teams in the N.L. Central (Milwaukee and St. Louis) up by a couple of games in the win column. September baseball at its finest, folks. Get your popcorn ready.
Image Source: USA Today