MLB Week in Review (Sept. 4-10)

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The MLB season is almost over and the run to the postseason is heating up as teams continue to try to find their way to the playoffs.

For many teams that means making some major adjustments to ensure that they are better prepared for the stretch run.

They bring in new players with the recent roster expansion and allow for more rest days for some of their best players.

Where the adjustments are seen the most is in the pitching rotation where teams that seem to be headed to the playoffs try to make moves that give their pitchers a rest heading into the postseason.

Starts are often skipped to provide an extra rest day and put the best pitchers in the most important games.

The hope is that by the time the run to the playoffs is finished their best pitchers are ready to pitch throughout the postseason.

As much as the pitchers are changing in the MLB there is one team making a massive decision in the midst of trying to win a division.

The New York Mets have made a great run to the top of the NL East this year and it has largely been thanks to a young rotation.

That rotation is one of the best in the league with some of the best young pitchers in the league.

They also mix in some great veterans to create a powerful five, and sometimes six, pitchers.

One of the leaders of the group is the man known as “The Dark Knight” as Matt Harvey has been such a great pitcher that Harvey Nights are now a tough ticket to get in New York.

He has become the ace of this group two years after he introduced himself to the MLB. The problem for the Mets comes with the end of the season as Harvey is coming off of Tommy John Surgery that kept him out of the lineup the entire 2014 season.baseball-sidebar

The surgery is not as devastating as it once was but it is still the end of the road for a number of pitchers.

Harvey is one season removed from the surgery and the Mets organization is getting more concerned as his innings increase heading into the postseason.

The concern is that Harvey will reinjure his arm and need to undergo another surgery which is much tougher to return from.

They hope to have Harvey leading their rotation for years to come as they try to be true contenders in the league with a relatively young team.

Protecting him from reinjuring his arm is a practice in planning for the future of the team. This is where the debate comes in though as the Mets have to weigh the future against the right now.

Harvey is reportedly on a season innings limit of 180 and he currently sits at 171.2 innings with weeks left in the season.

The Mets have stated that he will only start two more times this season as they hope to save his arm from any further damage.

The Mets seem headed to the postseason though and if Harvey is only going to start two more times to preserve his arm what happens when they get into the postseason.

Harvey is the ace of the team and the most important man in the pitching rotation. Not having him play in the postseason will be a massive blow to the hopes of Mets fans.

Yes they have a number of great pitchers to choose from but Harvey is the best of them and one of the few pitchers in the league that provides confidence in winning before the game starts.

The Mets have yet to make a comment on the postseason although Harvey has stated that he will play for the Mets in the postseason.

It is a tough decision for the organization as they are concerned about his injury history but they don’t know if they will be back in the postseason next year.

The Mets may get into the postseason this year and not get back for years to come. The future is uncertain but right now they have a chance to make a run with a big rotation.

Whether or not Harvey will be used in the postseason will remain a massive debate as the postseason run makes every decision bigger than the last.

Extra Innings
(More on this week in baseball)

Tying Hammerin’ Hank
Alex Rodriguez is having a resurgent season and is not making headlines off of the field for the first time in a long time and that included this week when he hit his 30th home run for the 15th season tying Hank Aaron for the most seasons with 30 home runs

Hudson Leaves the Game
Tim Hudson is one of the oldest pitchers in the league and has had a career of ups and downs but now he is hanging his cleats up as he told the world that he will retire after this season which eventually will lead to the debate over whether he is one of the best in the game

Staying in Oakland
The Oakland Athletics are set to finish at the bottom of the American League this year but that didn’t stop them from handing manager Bob Melvin a contract extension through 2018 as they have clearly stated that they are staying the course

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Key Series:
Pittsburgh Pirates 2 – 1 St. Louis Cardinals
– The Cardinals are the best team in baseball right now and seemingly have a lock on their division but the Pirates are still fighting as they gained one game during this weekend series while helping to extend their lead in the wild card

Boston Red Sox 2 – 1 Toronto Blue Jays
– The Blue Jays are attempting to take the division for the first time in twenty years but they struggled to get any further ahead of the Yankees when they took on the worst team in the division losing twice to the Red Sox

Baltimore Orioles 2 – 1 New York Yankees
– The Yankees are trying to overtake the Jays in the AL East race but they can’t seem to take advantage of the opportunities as the Jays struggled in their series but so too did the Yankees who remained behind the Jays

Los Angeles Dodgers 2 – 1 Los Angeles Angels
– The Freeway Series was underway again with both teams looking to take advantage in their postseason races, the Dodgers came out on top extending their division lead while the Angels fell further back in their attempt at a wild card

Upcoming Series:
Toronto Blue Jays vs. New York Yankees [Sept. 11/12/13]
– It is the tightest division race in the league and there is plenty of time for either team to take the series and move into first place in the division with only one more series between the two this year

Minnesota Twins vs. Chicago White Sox [Sept. 14/15/16]
– The Twins were at one time solidly in the wild card but fell off in August now they are trying to find their way back as they continue to stay in the hunt only a few games out of a spot and will hope to take that spot after they face the White Sox

Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates [Sept. 15/16/17]
– The Cubs and the Pirates are both sitting in the wild card and now they face-off in a four game series including a double-header in a series that could go a long way to determining who will host the wild card game this year

Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers [Sept. 14/15/16/17]
– The battle of Texas has never been this important as the Astros try to hold onto their lead in the division after an unexpected season while the Rangers try to take the title for themselves and take away from their in-state rivals

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