“Baseball-At Halfway Point-A Mess”
Baseball’s 162-game marathon is at the halfway point.
Can we just start the playoffs now, and forget the dog days of summer.
The Yankees-Red Sox and Astros are making a shambles of the American League pennant race.
New York is just mashing people with its home run hitters, led by Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge, though the latter isn’t having the power season he had last year when he captivated everyone all summer. The Yankees issues are whether or not they have enough starting pitching. Add in streaky hitters like Gary Sanchez, Didi Gregarious, and they have lots of firepower.
In Boston, they’ve got bats, they’ve got arms. When you roll out Chris Sale, David Price and Drew Pomeranz, then back it up with the booming bats of Mookie Betts, Andrew Benetendi, Xander Bogaerts and more, opponents don’t have much of a chance.
Houston is searching for its 2nd ring in a row, and why not. Justin Verlande leads a rotation that includes Garrett Cole, Dallas Keuchel and Charley Morton backed a a tremendous batting order, you know Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve and friends..
For all the talent and diversity in the Indians batting order, and some strong pitching led by Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber,you’d think they’d be running away in the NL Centra, rather than trying to stay above.500. But there is half a season ahead.
Injuries to the pitching staff, for the second year in a row, have robbed the Angels of potential dominance. The elbow injury to Shohei Ohtani has slowed down the Halos bid to get to the upper echelon in the American League. People feel they are wasting the career of superstar Mike Trout.
The flavor-du-jour in the National League could be anybody and everybody, depending on who’s had the lasted injury.
If this was supposed to be Washington’s year, then it’s going to be a disappointment. Start with Bryce Harper’s (.213) batting average, add in an ailing Stephen Strasburg, again, and combine that with no bullpen, and you have problems, and no pennant.
Arizona has survived a slow Paul Goldschmidt start, the oft injured loss of AJ Pollock, but they are deep in pitching, even if Zach Grienke is not what he used to be. Pat Corbin, Robbie Ray and others make a difference.
Atlanta has been a surprise with such a young team, but who knows what fatigue, war and tear, and the pressure might bring the Braves. Freddie Freeman is an MVP candidate, and journeyman Nick Markakis is having a career type season, backing kid pitching.
Milwaukee has called back from behind woeful for so many years., and seems to have a pretty good group of bats, led by Ryan Braun, Jesus Aguilar, Lorenzo Cain and more.
The Cubs have nagging injuries to their everyday lineup, a slumping Anthony Rizzo, a solid Kris Bryant, and a developing star Javy Baez. They need to find starting pitching to match the awesome first half of Jon Lester.
The Phillies are young, and you always wonder if they have enough pitching. But they have loaded up an everyday lineup that is fun to watch.
The Dodgers are on a roll, and this with 5-of the starting rotation having spent time on th disabled list. Matt Kemp has had a revival type season, they survived the early loss Justin Turner, and season ending season of Corey Seager. Can you believe the contributions of Yasiel Puig and Joc Pederson? They could be there at the end, if ownership decides it will spend money to ‘rent a vet’ pitcher.
This baseball season has also been about team’s tanking. Kansas City, Baltimore, Cincinnati, All on pace to lose from 100 to 110-games. The teams are getting to the halfway mark 30-games under .500 already.
The Padres are in the midst of rebuilding, but for every nice win they get, they saddle us with losing streaks too, reminding everyone, playoff spots could be two years away, at least.
The Mets, at one time were (11-1) then lost lots of pitching to arm problems. A miserable summer in New York for them, and we’re not talking about the weather.
The White Sox are force feeding a lot of kids, as witnessed by the record. Texas has been a terrible disappointment. The rage directed at Derek Jeter and the Miami Marlins operation continues unabated.
Baseball attendance is down 7%. TV ratings are off too. Pace of Play rules haven’t made much of a difference yet.
We just came thru the Summer Solstice, longest day of the year. We’re headed for the longest stretch of unimportant baseball now, the second half of the season.
Yankees-Red Sox-Astros, the American Legue playoffs will be the actual World Series. No one else is close. I fear the fans are going to say no one cares either.