MLB Week in Review (May 18-24)

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Almost two months into the season and teams are beginning to straighten out where they stand in the league. The fast starters are beginning to show their true colours as some are slowing down while others continue on. The slow starters are beginning to do the same as some are starting to get better and others are just proving that they will remain at the bottom of the league for the rest of the season. The surprises are beginning to look like legitimate threats or flashes in the pan. It is an important time in the season and two teams have emerged as the biggest surprises this year but for very different reasons. The New York Yankees have been the dominant team for more than a decade but they have done it with an aging team every year. This year a lot of people were looking at the veteran team and seeing a team that was running out of steam. Injuries in spring training would only make those predictions seem more legitimate as the pinstrips would lose three of their best players in Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson, and Derek Jeter. To fill the gaps the Yankees would do what they do best and sign free agents although not the biggest names. Vernon Wells and Lyle Overbay would join the team as spot fillers while they waited for the injured players to return. That would change throughout the first month though as Overbay and Wells proved to be more than just spot fillers. This rang especially true for Wells who has had a resurgence since joining the Yankees and has helped the Yankees to first place in the AL East. The Yankees are not going away no matter how many people thought their time was done. They continue to be one of the best teams in the league which is surprisingly, surprising. As the Yankees continue their dominance in the league another team is looking to climb out of the basement. The Cleveland Indians have been a middle of the road team for a long time as they have not been good enough to make the playoffs but not bad enough to be considered one of the worst teams. The organization got sick of the middle of the road seasons and in the offseason they would retool. Instead of signing big name players though, the Indians would take on a number of reclamation projects. The Indians would sign players like Michael Bourn, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Nick Swisher, and a number of other players. The biggest move for them would be the hiring of their new manager in Terry Francona who would attempt to bring all of these pieces together. So far he has done his job as the Indians have come out and surprised everyone. The Indians are 27-20 this season and have been good through the first two months of the season. The Indians are finally looking like a legitimate team in the MLB and the biggest question is if they can keep it up. The season is only two months in and there is a lot of baseball to play which can mean that the Indians have time to slow down. It is likely that they will not stay at the same pace but a playoff run is not out of the question for a team of mid-level stars. The Yankees and Indians have surprised many and are looking like some of the top teams to beat this year. With plenty of baseball to play both could end up on the opposite side of things if they cannot keep up the pace but only time will tell. After almost two months in the season teams are emerging and falling as the season is in full swing with plenty more to be determined.

 

Extra Innings:
(Thoughts on the past week in the MLB)

Trouty’s Cycle
Mike Trout had an amazing season last year winning the AL Rookie of the Year and continuing his pace this year including this week when he became the latest player to hit for a cycle adding to his growing legend

Mattingly’s Criticism
The Dodgers have not had the season they expected and manager Don Mattingly showed his frustration stating he was not happy with the performance of his “All-Star” roster in what many saw as a criticism of Dodgers’ management but in reality was a criticism of the players

Miggy’s at it Again
Miguel Cabrera finished last year as the best hitter in the league and he continues to be the best hitter in the league including a streak of 6 HRs in 4 games proving that he is the most dominant hitter possibly of this generation

 

MLB Standings

American League
AL East:
1. New York Yankees (.617)
2. Boston Red Sox (.592)
3. Baltimore Orioles (.542)
4. Tampa Bay Rays (.511)
5. Toronto Blue Jays (.417)
AL Central:
1. Detroit Tigers (.587)
2. Cleveland Indians (.574)
3. Chicago White Sox (.478)
4. Kansas City Royals (.467)
5. Minnesota Twins (.400)
AL West:
1. Texas Rangers (.646)
2. Oakland Athletics (.531)
3. Los Angeles Angels (.438)
4. Seattle Mariners (.417)
5. Houston Astros (.292)

 

National League
NL East:
1. Atlanta Braves (.609)
2. Washington Nationals (.521)
3. Philadelphia Phillies (.479)
4. New York Mets (.386)
5. Miami Marlins (.271)
NL Central:
1. St. Louis Cardinals (.660)
2. Cincinnati Reds (.625)
3. Pittsburgh Pirates (.604)
4. Milwaukee Brewers (.413)
5. Chicago Cubs (.383)
NL West:
1. Arizona Diamondbacks (.563)
2. Colorado Rockies (.563)
3. San Francisco Giants (.542)
4. San Diego Padres (.447)
5. Los Angeles Dodgers (.413)

 

Scores:
Boston Red Sox 12 – 5 Minnesota Twins
– The Red Sox are not the same team as the one that started the season but they are still doing well this year and a big reason is the return of Big Papi David Ortiz who would hit 2 HRs to lead the Sox past the Twins

Cleveland Indians 10 – 8 Seattle Mariners
– The Indians would continue their strong season as they would get past the Mariners but would not do it too easily with Scott Gomes hitting a Walk-Off HR to finish off the game and take home the win

Los Angeles Angels 12 – 0 Seattle Mariners
– The Seattle Mariners were on the end of another loss this week and this time it was mainly at the end of one player’s bat too with Mike Trout hitting for the cycle and helping the Angels to a big win

Cleveland Indians 12 – 3 Boston Red Sox
– The Indians would continue their strong start to the season this time giving a boost to their first year manager as Terry Francona would return to Fenway Park for the first time since becoming the Indians’ manager

 

Next Week:
New York Yankees vs. New York Mets (Monday May 27th; 7:10 pm ET)
– The Subway Series gets underway once again as the surprising Yankees are on a roll but may not have as easy a time as they are used to against their cross-town rivals as the Mets are a better team than before

Chicago Cubs vs. Chicago White Sox (Tuesday May 28th; 810 pm ET)
– The interleague rivalries continue this week as the battle of Chi-Town is back as the Cubbies and Chi-Sox face off with both teams struggling and trying to get something going this season before it is too late

Oakland Athletics vs. San Francisco Giants (Wednesday May 29th; 10:15 pm ET)
– The Battle of the Bay is just another interleague rivalry this week as the A’;s and Giants face off in a matchup that looks to be much better than in recent years as the Giants are still one of the best teams and the A’s continue to be great.

Los Angeles Angels vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (Thursday May 30th; 10:05 pm ET)
– The Freeway Rivalry will match two struggling teams against each other this year as the Angels and Dodgers face off against each other for a chance to climb back up their division standings especially after both teams went on a spending spree in the offseason

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