MLB Week in Review (August 10-16)

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It is a strange time in the MLB as there are a lot of teams just trying to get through the end of the year.

The postseason is coming and for some teams, the games are getting more intense as they need every win trying to find their way to the second season.

On the other hand, there are teams far out of the running for the postseason and they have very little to play for.

Most of the teams heading into the end of the season with nothing to play for can find it very hard to get the motivation they need to be good.

The baseball season can be a real grind and when things don’t go as planned that grind only gets worse.

Teams enter the year hoping to compete for the postseason and they know they have to get through a marathon of a season to get to that point.

When they head into the second half of the season and their season hasn’t gone as planned it becomes a bigger grind to get to the end.

With nothing to play for it can be very tough to get to the end and find a reason to come to the park every day.

With the intensity of the postseason teams and the frustration of the teams set to miss the postseason, there will inevitably be sparks.

Both are emotions that don’t usually result in good things with postseason intensity leading to players going that little bit extra to get the win and frustration leading to teams taking everything as more important than it really is.

In California, the rivalry is real between the Giants and the Dodgers and frustration has built up for both teams.

The Dodgers were headed straight for the postseason until recent struggles have sent them down the standings with a real risk of potentially missing the postseason.

The Giants have never really been that close as they had a brief run in the middle of the season but have fallen off.

The Giants are not very likely to make the postseason while the Dodgers still have a legitimate chance at making it

With both headed in different directions and frustration on both sides of a bitter rivalry, it seems like there was only a matter of time until tempers began to flare for either team, it just happened to be against each other.

After fouling off a good pitch to hit, Yasiel Puig was angry at himself and catcher Nick Hundley took offence to that frustration.baseball-sidebar

Both players got up in each other’s face and the benches cleared for an all-out brawl that has only added to the history between the two teams.

It wasn’t the only series to get heated though as the Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins had their own bench-clearing brawl.

Like the matchup between the Dodgers and Giants, the Braves and Marlins are sitting on different ends of the spectrum.

The Braves are fighting for the division crown and are riding some great performances from a young group to get there.

The Marlins are sitting right at the bottom of the league and have been throughout the year after unloading their best talent in the offseason.

At the beginning of the series, the Braves brightest young star burned a little brighter hitting a leadoff home run in both games.

Ronald Acuna Jr. has been a driving force in the resurgence of the Braves and has helped them make a serious run at the division title.

His two lead-off home runs were big for the Braves in the start of the series but for some, it might have been too much for the Marlins to handle.

In the third game, Acuna came up looking to make it three home runs in three games but was hit by Jose Urena.

Urena claims that he simply missed on the pitch and never meant to hit Acuna but others aren’t believing that story.

Taking offence to two home runs isn’t really on the list of unwritten rules but hitting the best player is always going to cause a reaction.

Teams are fighting very different fights right now and it seems like tempers are beginning to flare from the intensity and the frustration felt by teams.

The issues might only grow as the final month approaches and that intensity and the frustration only grow with fireworks potentially in the future.

 

Extra Innings

Martinez Calling it Quits

The Detroit Tigers were once one of the most feared teams in the league thanks to a combination of great hitting and powerful pitching. An important part of that equation was Victor Martinez who played a vital role alongside Miguel Cabrera to create a great combination at the plate. That time has long gone though and the Tigers are no longer what they used to be. The same can be said for Martinez who went from a perennial all-star to an average batter. As a result, Martinez is calling it quits as this will be his final season in the major leagues announcing that he will not return after this year.

Controversial Retirement

There may be no more controversial name in the MLB than Barry Bonds who holds the records for all-time home runs but is also the face of the steroid era. He was never officially failed a  brightest or been proven to have used steroids but the prevailing thought is that the difference in his body from his early days to the days when he started hitting home runs at a rapid pace is proof enough that he used PEDs to get bigger and stronger. As a result of that suspicious muscle gain he has appeared in front of Congress and in multiple reports on steroids in the MLB and has been kept out of the Hall of Fame. This week he earned one honour with the Giants retiring his jersey showing that there is some possibility of the chilly reception beginning to warm on the greatest home run hitter and most controversial player in MLB history.

End of an Era

The Seattle Mariners are fighting for the postseason looking to break the longest postseason drought in the MLB. They are going to do so without the guy that had long been the only reason to watch the Mariners in Felix Hernandez. This week the man known as King Felix was moved from the starting role to the bullpen making way for a young pitcher to take his spot. It isn’t entirely a strange move as Hernandez has been one of the worst starters in the league over the last few years. Just as the Mariners seem ready to make a run their star player might not even be a part of it as the fall of King Felix is coinciding with the rise of a contender.

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