MLB Thoughts & Theories 8/31/12
Thoughts & Theories
-The Cardinals are picking a bad time to have a losing streak. Bryce Harper hit his third home run in the last two games as the Nationals defeated St. Louis 8-1 behind 10 strikeouts from Edwin Jackson. St. Louis is a half game ahead of Pittsburgh and 1 1/2 games clear of the Dodgers for the final Wild Card spot and need a good showing in this four game set with the NL leading Nats.
-There have not been many bigger surprises this season than Oakland’s Josh Reddick. Acquired in the Andrew Bailey trade with Boston this past offseason, Reddick has a .498 slugging percentage in a pitcher’s park and smacked his 27th home run in a 12-7 win over Cleveland. The A’s completed a sweep of the Tribe for its sixth straight win and are tied with Baltimore atop the Wild Card standings.
-Speaking of the O’s, they just took three of four from the White Sox behind 10 Zach Britton strikeouts and Jim Johnson’s 41st save. Dan Duquette has done a tremendous job in his first year as Baltimore’s general manager and cannot get enough credit for the team’s success.
-Buster Olney points out that the Red Sox are 69-90 since September 1 of last year. I’ll let you guys discuss that amongst yourselves.
Thursday’s Key Quotes
“We’ve played that story way too often and we’ve got to get by it somehow.” –Rays manager Joe Maddon on being shut out for the sixth time in the team’s last 25 games, this time 2-0 to Toronto. Tampa Bay has lost five of six to fall 1 1/2 games behind Baltimore.
“We couldn’t get the big hit. We got hits to lead off innings and couldn’t do anything with them. We got two-out hits and that ended it. We certainly had enough hits and we had a chance there at the end.” –Tigers manager Jim Leyland after his team was swept by Kansas City. Detroit could not gain ground on the White Sox going into their big series this weekend.
“It’s a loss that we really can’t afford. There’s guys in that clubhouse I trust are going to get the job done. I continue to believe in these guys.” –Dodgers manager Don Mattingly after his team lost its seventh game in the last 10 to fall further out of the playoff race.
Weekend Series To Watch
Orioles @ Yankees- Baltimore trails New York by three games going into a crucial stretch for both teams. Chris Tillman and David Phelps will be the starters on Sunday as TBS broadcasts the game nationally. Hitters to watch in this series are Chris Davis for the Orioles, who’s on a power surge, and Nick Swisher for the Yankees, who is hitting .391 with seven RBI’s over the last week.
White Sox @ Tigers- Detroit trails Chicago by just three games in the AL Central and both teams are on cold streaks. Francisco Liriano and Max Scherzer pitch on Saturday and ESPN2 will have Sunday night’s game in Comerica with an amazing Chris Sale-Justin Verlander matchup. The hitter to watch is actually Alexi Ramirez, who’s hitting .478 with eight RBI’s over the last week.
Cardinals @ Nationals- After Washington’s 8-1 Thursday win, the two sides continue a four game series in style Friday with Adam Wainwright and Gio Gonzalez. Kyle Lohse and Jordan Zimmerman will make for a great FOX Saturday matchup and Jake Westbrook and Stephen Strasburg finish things off on Sunday.