MLB Week in Review (September 7-13)

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The MLB postseason race is in full swing with many teams looking towards the playoffs and many more looking to next year. These teams are not the fun teams to watch though as the fun part of the race are the teams that are fighting for their spot. The teams that need to win or will find themselves out of the postseason are the teams that everyone is watching with only a few weeks left to earn their spot. There are only a handful of battles left in the MLB as the season winds down and the games get fewer and fewer with teams falling under the Out of the Running status. With the battles continuing the MLB begins to look at the stories that are developing before the postseason. The stories of an aging team’s last chance to win the World Series or the stories of the new kids on the block ready to make their impact begin to surface as teams progress towards October. The stories are already forming and everyone is taking their role including one team that has the distinction of being the underdogs in 2013. The Pittsburgh Pirates are firmly in this role and for very good reason. They are ready to finish their first season above 500 in the last twenty years and may get their first shot at the postseason in the last two decades. They will continue to fight with the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds to earn that postseason spot but it seems to be close to ending the second longest current postseason drought in the MLB. They will need to prevent a collapse at the end of this month but if they can continue winning they seem to be ready to be in the conversation. Whether they will be a division champion or need to win the wild card game will come down to the best battle in the MLB but either way they seem on their way. The Pirates have had two decades of being bad and now they enter an area that not many can remember or has experienced in the franchise. They will take this underdog role and use it to their advantage as they will look at the rest of the league as thinking they are not worthy. No matter where the Pirates finish they will be considered the underdogs of the postseason but an underdog that has what it takes. Some teams may overlook them as they are the new kids on the block in October baseball and that might be a mistake. The inexperience will have an effect on the Bucs but the skill is there for this team to take the postseason by storm. They will look to surprise everyone and move their way up to the ladder to contend for the World Series. The underdogs are always fun to watch and to cheer for as they are the teams that nobody thinks can do anything but surprises everyone. The underdogs are the teams that have a number of players that have been thrown away by other teams and considered career minor leaguers. Yet when put together they make an impact and find ways to win. They are not the team that can dominate the others in the postseason but they can do the little things and get a little luck in order to win games. The Pirates will love to play this role as they hope to be the unsuspecting team that can win the World Series. There is a lot of work to do though as some very good teams will be waiting for them in the postseason and will be looking to end the underdog story. Before all of this though, the Pirates have to fight for their division in one of the best division battles in the MLB. The Bucs will have to take on the Cardinals and the Reds before everything is determined as they hope to take the division and avoid the one game playoff. It will all come down to these last few weeks as the underdogs look for a spot among the rest in the postseason race.

 

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

Baseball back in Montreal
The Toronto Blue Jays have been rumoured to host the New York Mets at the old Olympic Stadium in Montreal as they look to show the following that baseball has in the city that used to house the Expos

Looking ahead
The 2014 Schedule was released this week with two opening games in Australia highlighting the start of the season as many teams begin to look ahead as their playoff hopes have been slashed this week

Heart of the Yankees out
Derek Jeter has not had a very productive season for the simple reason that he has been on the IR for the majority of the year and this week he would make one final trip with the Yankees putting him on the 15-Day DL essentially ending his season

 

MLB Standings

American League
Division Leaders:
1. Boston Red Sox (.604)
2. Detroit Tigers (.578)
3. Oakland Athletics (.585)
Wild Card:
4. Texas Rangers (.555)
5. Tampa Bay Rays (.548)
In the Hunt (GB):
6. Cleveland Indians (1.5)
7. New York Yankees (2.0)
8. Baltimore Orioles (2.5)
9. Kansas City Royals (3.5)
10. Los Angeles Angels (10.5)
11. Toronto Blue Jays (13.5)
12. Seattle Mariners (15.5)
Out of the Running:
13. Minnesota Twins (17.0)
14. Chicago White Sox (22.5)
15. Houston Astros (29.5)

 

National League
Division Leaders:
1. Atlanta Braves (.599)
2. St. Louis Cardinals (.585)
3. Los Angeles Dodgers (.585)
Wild Card:
4. Pittsburgh Pirates (.578)
5. Cincinnati Reds (.561)
In the Hunt (GB):
6. Washington Nationals (4.5)
7. Arizona Diamondbacks (9.0)
8. Philadelphia Phillies (14.5)
9. Colorado Rockies (15.0)
10. San Diego Padres (15.0)
11. San Francisco Giants (16.0)
Out of the Running:
12. New York Mets (17.0)
13. Milwaukee Brewers (18.0)
14. Chicago Cubs (19.5)
15. Miami Marlins (28.0)

 

Scores:
St. Louis Cardinals 5 – 0 Pittsburgh Pirates
– The Cards would take the latest swing in the fight for the NL Central division as they would beat the Pirates and take another step towards the division crown in the hopes that they do not have to play the wild card game

Pittsburgh Pirates 1 – 0 Texas Rangers
– It was the game that the Pirates and their fans had been waiting to see for the last 20 years as the Bucs would take the close win and would seal their first winning season in two decades ending a sports wide record

Cincinnati Reds 6 – 0 Chicago Cubs
– It was good luck that the Reds were able to face a struggling team as they look to keep their wild card spot while other teams come on and the Pirates and Cardinals take each other out for the division title

New York Yankees 7 – 5 Baltimore Orioles
– The O’s and the Yankees continue to fight each other in the division battle with the Yankees taking this contest and ending up one game behind the wild card race in what could be a big step to one of the best comebacks of the year

 

Next Week:
Oakland Athletics vs. Texas Rangers (Saturday September 14th; 1:05 pm ET)
– It is the battle that almost nobody is talking about and it is an important one as the winner of the AL West will make the playoffs while the loser will likely find themselves forced into the unpredictable Wild Card game making this series very important

Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals (Monday September 16th; 7:05 pm ET)
– This battle was supposed to be the biggest one in the MLB this year but a bad start would put the Nationals out of the playoff spot but there is still time as they look to go on a last second run and earn a wild card spot making this a very important game for them

New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays (Wednesday September 18th; 7:07 pm ET)
– The Yankees are fighting for their spot in the postseason after a year that saw them reach the second last spot in the division and now they have a shot and will look to get some much-needed wins against the Blue Jays who are simply looking to be spoilers at this point

Baltimore Orioles vs. Tampa Bay Rays (Friday September 20th; 7:10 pm ET)
– The O’s are fighting for the wild card spot alongside the Yankees but they will get the chance to make some immediate ground in the race facing the Rays who sit in the last wild card spot as the O’s look to return to the postseason

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