MLB Week in Review (July 5-11)

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The MLB season is reaching the halfway point of the season as the all-star break shuts down the league for a brief stint. As the halfway point of the season approaches the league is seeing a bad trend. With the All-Star game right around the corner teams are seeing some of their top players falling onto the DL at an alarming rate. The injury bug is running rampant in the league but it is not a new trend. There has been plenty of talk about the increase in the amount of Tommy John Surgeries in the MLB as arm injuries in pitchers seem to be increasing steadily over the last few years. That trend has continued this year with more young pitchers going under the knife but it seems to be continuing on. In the last few weeks it has creeping into the top players in the league as many of the top players are dropping out right before the all-star game. It seemed to all start with the Toronto Blue Jays who, while in a slump, would lose one of their best players. Edwin Encarnacion would enter the Disabled List on July 7 when he suffered a quad strain taking the man with the second most home runs in the league out of the lineup. It wouldn’t stop there though as the Yankees would also get some bad news this week. The Yankees have struggled to stay at the top of the division this year but the one bright spot ahs been the performance of rookie pitcher and Japanese sensation Masahiro Tanaka, who came as advertised after a massive bidding war in the offseason. Now Tanaka is no longer there to help them out as he would find his way to the disable list as well with a minor tear in his UCL. There are no plans for surgery right now as he will undergo a rehab program but Tommy John has not been ruled out if Tanaka cannot return with just rehab. The hits would keep coming for teams like the Cincinnati Reds who just got Joey Votto back after a lengthy injury only to see Brandon Phillips suffer a thumb injury that will keep him out for six weeks. Meanwhile the Cards would see one of their most steady produces and one of their best players hit the DL in Yadier Molina. Molina has been a solid catcher for the Cards for years and is widely considered a leader of the team. They will have to do without him for a long time though as he would have surgery on an injured hand and will now be out for 8-12 weeks. These injuries will have a big effect on all of the teams involved as all are looking to make their way into the postseason. For the Blue Jays their grip on the East division is gone and they are looking to find their way into the postseason for the first time in 20 years. They still have a shot at the wild card and at the division title if they can get out of their current slump which is only made difficult with one of their biggest offensive weapons on the bench. The New York Yankees are also still in the fight for the division and a wild card spot but without their best pitcher it could be difficult. They had already lost CC Sabathia earlier in season and if they lose Tanaka for the season as well their hopes of making the postseason could be finished. The Reds were just on their way back into the battle for the central with a healthy team and they were getting ready for another long battle in one of the closest divisions in the league. Without Phillips, who is hitting .272 this year, it will become harder to keep that comeback going as they lose one of their best hitters. The Cards are one of the most steady teams in the MLB but losing their team leader is not going to help them as they try to catch the Brewers in the race for the division. If Molina cannot comeback by September that race may be over by the time they get their leader back forcing them into a fight for the wild card. The one piece of good news for all of these teams though is the fact that they are suffering the losses just as the All-Star break is coming. That will give these key players a little bit extra time to recover without missing games. Many of the teams will not see their injured players coming back at all this year but for the ones that are they are hoping that this extra break gives them more opportunity to get their guys back as they start the second half of the season.

 

Extra Innings
(Extra Thoughts on this week in baseball)

The Debut
The MLB continues to celebrate major milestones this year as 100 years ago this week the greatest baseball player in the history of the MLB would make his MLB debut as Babe Ruth as the 19-year old, then pitcher, would step onto the mound for the Boston Red Sox on July 11th, 1914

Streak over
Clayton Kershaw could not keep it going forever as everyone knew his streak would come to an end which it did this week when he ended his scoreless streak at 42 innings in one of the more impressive feats of the year so far

All-Stars selected
The All-Stars teams have been selected as the Midsummer Classic is right around the corner and one of the highlights of the game will be another farewell to a Yankee great as Derek Jeter will participate in his last All-Star game

 

standings_w15

 

Key Scores:
Pittsburgh Pirates 3 – 2 Philadelphia Phillies
– The battle of Pennsylvania is not what it used to be but is still important as both teams look for some bragging rights in the state while the Pirates took the win and continued to try to get back in the fight for the division

Houston Astros 12 – 7 Texas Rangers
– The new division rivalry between Houston and Texas is now getting more important with both teams at the bottom of the division as the Astros took the win and moved past Texas in the division standings

Philadelphia Phillies 4 – 1 Milwaukee Brewers
– The Brewers have had a great year so far as they have come out to take the first place spot in the division but they would show some signs of faltering as they would take this loss to the Phillies who are sitting at the bottom of the division

Oakland Athletics 6 – 1 San Francisco Giants
– The Battle of the Bay would see the Giants continue to fall out of the top spot in their division as they would take the loss to the Athletics who continue to build on their lead in the AL West division

 

Next Week:
National League vs. American League (Tuesday July 15th; 8:00 pm ET)
– The Midsummer Classic is here again as Minnesota hosts the All-Star game with home field advantage in the World Series on the line as the best players in both leagues face off with Derek Jeter taking a focus on his last All-Star game

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