In the beginning of the month we were celebrating the 4th with a long weekend, and as we head into the final weekend of July, we now have this:
What a difference a month makes in the American League:
AL East. Baltimore had a four game lead over Boston, but now they have a two game lead over Toronto who as predicted is starting to warm up, while Boston is still hanging around 2.5 games back.
And while the division had a mediocre last ten games, somebody watch out, the Stankees have gone 8-2, and while they are still 6.5 games back, they bear keeping an eye on. Speaking of which, they traded Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs for plenty of players.
AL Central. I honestly expected Cleveland to start to come back to the pack in this division, yet they actually gained a half game and are up 5.5 games, this time over Detroit.
Meanwhile in other news, Chicago has locker room issues. Kansas City is reeling and what the hell is going on there because they are sitting at 48-51 (3-7 over their last ten and a four game losing streak)? Minnesota has settled in though it’s far too late for them to be anything other than spoilers.
Does somebody pull the trigger on a trade to help them?
AL West. At the end of June, I was bragging about Texas boatracing the AL West – a ten game lead over Houston. That lead? Yeah, it’s down to 3.5 games. Are you kidding me? No wonder they are rumored to be chasing any available pitcher.
Houston is moving towards where they were expected, but watch the bottom of this division because Seattle, Oakland, and Anaheim are all playing well, though Oakland and Anaheim are still around ten games under .500.
AL Wild Card. If the season ended today, it would be Boston traveling to Toronto, and my oh my would the media cream all over that one.
NL East. I’m struck by the fact that Washington for whatever reason can’t put more distance between themselves and New York and Miami. Washington has a four game lead over Miami and 4.5 over New York.
But wait a minute here, lost in all the fog of the race up top, there’s Philly sitting ten games under .500 – which to me isn’t bad at all.
NL Central. Chicago was Nine games up last month and now they’re 6.5 games up on St. Louis. But the bigger question remains, what will Chicago do next in terms of trades and pickups?
And what about Pittsburgh?
Will we hear Ryan Braun’s name in trade talk? After all, he is batting .324/14 HR/46 RBI/12 SB.
NL West. Freaking San Francisco – are you kidding me? You gave up an EIGHT game lead last month and now only lead Lower Arkansas by 2.5 games? I get this was post-all star break, but to lose six straight on the road in Boston and the Bronx, then struggle with Cincinnati at home? Really?
Meanwhile LA is taking care of business against teams they should.
And Colorado is only four games below .500? That ain’t bad.
Meanwhile I think I put the kiss of death on Arizona at the beginning of the season. It’s nothing but chaos down there.
NL Wild Card. If the season ended today, Miami would be traveling to LA? Don Mattingly facing his old team in a one game playoff? Yet another reason for the media to get all crazy.
And what of the stats? Courtesy of MLB.com:
Batting Average. Jose Altuve (HOU) has raised his average to .355, while Murphy went from .349 to .350.
100 at bats since my last recap, Murphy in Washington went from .394 to .349, while Jose Altuve is up to .347.
Boston leads in team BA with an amazing .290 TEAM BA, second is Miami with a .270.
Home Runs. Mark Trumbo (BAL) has smacked eight more dingers in July and leads MLB with 30, but Frazier (CWS) also had eight diingers to get to 29.
Baltimore leads in team HR with 149, while Toronto has 144, and Seattle has 143.
RBI. Encarnacion in Toronto went ape-shit in June and in July he had 21 more RBI’s and leads MLB with 87. It’s freaking July, and he’ll get to 100 in August!!!
Boston leads in team RBI with 531, Colorado is 2nd with 489.
Stolen Bases. Villar (MIL) maintains the lead here with 36 (ten in July). Could you imagine where his numbers could be if he hadn’t been caught 11 times? But Marte in Pittsburgh has seemingly come out of nowhere to now have 35 SB, while Hamilton (CIN) has 34.
Milwaukee continues to be aggressive on the bases, leading in team SB with 96.
Pitching wins. Edward Scissorhands (err, Chris Sale) has 14 wins (only one this month) while Tillman (BAL) also now has 14 wins, while Cueto (SF), Happ (TOR), Porcello (BOS), and Strasburg (WAS) all have 13. By the way, it took all the way into June before Strasburg got beat. He’s now 13-1.
ERA. Clayton Kershaw (LA) has a 1.79 ERA far outdistancing #2, Madison Bumgarner (SF) with a 2.14.
Washington and the New York (NL) lead in team ERA with a 3.30 ERA, bit what happened to the Cubs? Last month they had a 2.83 team ERA, and now they have a 3.31 ERA.
Strike outs. Scherzer had 43 strikeouts in July to lead the league with 181, while Fernandez (MIA) has 175.
LA leads with 962 Strikeouts, while Washington has 951.
Home Defenders/Road Warriors. Baltimore is 37-15 at home (6-2 at home in July), while Cleveland is the true road warriors – they are 30-25 on the road, while San Francisco is 29-23 on the road (after that six game losing streak).
- Jimmy Rollins is three stolen bases from tying for 45th all time.
- Ichiro is four hits away from 3000 and tying Roberto Clemente for 29th all time.
- Adrian Gonzales is one HR away from 300.
- Joey Bats is two HR away from 300.
- Alex Rodriguez is still four HR away from 700.
- Adrian Beltre and Carlos Beltran are so close on so many different milestones…
I had the opportunity this afternoon to sit back and enjoy a game, this was was Cincinnati at San Francisco, too bad the freaking Giants can’t hit for Madison Bumgarner who continues to pitch to the highest levels. Imagine if you will 100 miles away from the Casa, it was a beautiful 66 degree day to catch a game. Oh me? Yeah, it was 106!