Friday, September 4, 2015
It's become one of those seasons where the Braves...just don't feel like the Braves.
The guys that made them great last year are all gone. The pitchers that all came up in the system are either injured or toiling on somebody else's DL. Julio Teheran and Freddie Freeman are the only real people who stuck around, and both are trying to stay off the DL. The closer they grabbed after giving away Kimbrel, Jason Grilli...he's now on the DL! The guys that were hitting this season, like Jonny Gomes, Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe, have all been traded away.
This is a sad looking team that is falling further and further from the rafters.
I mean, I can say that people like Cameron Maybin or AJ Pierzynski are doing well, but it's not likely that either of those guys will still be around come next year. It needs to ride on Andrelton Simmons, Julio Teheran and Freddie Freeman. Those guys are the youth, and they need to be strong. And when they're not...there isn't much left.
I hope the Braves can eventually reform the farm system, because that is where the power needs to come from. They need to rebuild from there, or else they're gonna have more cookie-cutter years like 2015 when half the roster was imported from the dregs of other rosters.
The Braves deserve better than this. I wish they'd be able to do more.
Coming Tomorrow- He may not be the holder of the 'Best Pitcher in Baseball' rank anymore, and his team may be circling last, but you can't deny that the guy can shut down batters like nobody else.
They were the talk of the majors. They were inches away from making the world series. They had a team that made people love baseball again. And now...they have less of a chance than the Cleveland Indians of making the playoffs.
I hate it when a team with a ton of potential just completely bottoms out, and I hate it even more when it's the Orioles. I have a major soft spot for the Orioles, because I went to a ton of games at Camden Yards as a kid, with some family friends. I got to see Cal Ripken play, and I got to see the Baltimore staff tout Tony Batista as the next Cal Ripken...which he definitely was not.
So when a team where people like Wei-Yin Chen and Adam Jones are playing so damn well, and nothing's coming of it...it makes me sad. It makes me sad for O's fans, because they were literally right there in the race last year. If it weren't for the Royals, then the Orioles would have easily won that world series.
Still, Wei-Yin Chen has been pitching really well, and making a case for his longevity in Baltimore. Hell, they've even gotten some good starts out of Ubaldo Jimenez, a guy whose career was basically pronounced dead last year. So good things are indeed happening in Baltimore. Just not enough of them.
I really hope they can retool things to have a stronger 2016, because I love this team, and wish that better things could happen to it.
Coming Today- The Braves had most of their progress traded away. At least they've got this guy, who's finally pitching some gems out there.
Thursday, September 3, 2015
I don't know how it happened, and I don't know why, but the Arizona Diamondbacks are making a third place team out of nothing at all.
This is a team whose main selling points going into this season were Paul Goldschmidt and A.J. Pollock, and now they've called up a ton of people who have been playing well. Nick Ahmed, Ender Inciarte, Jake Lamb, David Peralta, Yasmany Tomas and Chris Owings, all relatively new players, are all making an impact this season. This team is striving from youth, and they are winning games, which is unbelievable.
The biggest surprise? They've taken players who were counted out and turning them into successes. Welington Castillo was shelved by the Cubs earlier this year, and now he's the starting catcher. Brad Ziegler was having control issues and now he's the closer. Rubby de la Rosa has been in a ton of minor league systems, and now he's pitching gems. Even Patrick Corbin has returned from the dead, and is pitching pretty well.
Now, the team's only in third, and it's not looking like they'll pull anything out, but it's nice to see a team that started with nothing do so well in the standings, especially compared to the flop that is the Padres. I dunno if anything well come of this in 2016 or anything, but it's kind of cool. Inexplicable, but cool.
Coming Tomorrow- As his team continues to fall out of the wild card race, a Taiwanese pitcher fights to stay relevant and hot.
Jonny Gomes can deliver in October. He's done that for the last two Octobers, in a bit shorter form last year, but still. The man can be a beast at the right moments, which is why I'm glad the Royals picked him up a few days ago.
I'm even gladder that I got to make a really freaking cool custom of him. That must strike fear into the hearts of anybody the Royals have to play in the next month or so.
I do feel really bad for the Angels right now. At one point they were right there with the Astros in the NL West race. Now they're fighting to hang onto a CHANCE to get a wild card spot.
It's a shame, because there are a lot of people on this team that are doing things really right. Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Garrett Richards, Huston Street, and even Erick Aybar are all doing really well right now. This is a pretty cohesive team that's suffering because of injuries. David Freese and CJ Wilson are on the DL, and it looks as though the Angels really needed them.
I don't know if they have too much of a shot to make the playoffs, because right now it's likely gonna be a race between the Yankees, Twins and Rangers. I don't know if the Angels have as much of a shot, because right now they're behind the Rays in the standings, and the Rays, suffice to say, are not a playoff team.
I don't know if there are going to be any more epic collapses this season, but if there are, the Angels need to capitalize on it. If it needs to be the Trout and Pujols show at the plate, it might have to be. They need to take any chance they can get to win, because if not, they will be watching the postseason from the sidelines, and after the season they've had, I don't think anyone wants that.
Coming Today/Tonight: The speedy rookie for a team that is somehow above .500 this season.
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Man, these guys have to be the most powerful team to ever spend most of the season in second.
I mean it. There is so much talent packed into this team, so much power and speed and good pitching, that it's kind of sad that they'll likely be playing in the wild card game next month.
Look at Jung-Ho Kang. Thanks to Jordy Mercer's injury, he got a starting job as a shortstop, and has been playing wonderfully so far, along with a surprisingly strong infield of Aramis Ramirez, Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez.
Kang's probably going to get a ton of votes for ROY, and while it's very unlikely that he'll get it, one cannot deny the effect he's had on the Pirates. He's made an already-strong team even stronger.
I dunno if the Pirates will be as good this postseason as I want them to be, but I'm hoping they can finally have an awesome playoff season.
Coming Tomorrow- Speaking of shortstops, one that plays for a team sliding out of the race.
Okay, you're up against one of the better teams in baseball right now, and you do have a considerable amount of talent right now. So why, Indians, am I fearing that this consistent stymying by the Blue Jays is gonna get them 3 more games up from the Yankees?
I mean, the pitching staff is pretty amazing. A bunch of young guys throwing absolute smoke, most of them homegrown, some of them prospects in other farm systems. The youth of the offense hasn't especially showed up yet, but they can definitely hit. Hell, they were pretty good when the Yankees came to town.
Yeah, there's a question. How come you guys can bring your a-game against the Yankees, but not the Blue Jays. And yes, the Blue Jays may be the better team, but the Yankees are still really good this year. So, what am I missing. Because it is possible to beat the Blue Jays. For most of the game last night, that's what the Indians were doing...and then RYAN GOINS of all people, the man who couldn't hit his way out of a glass cage, hits a walk off home run.
I mean, I'm expecting a better performance today, because I believe in you guys, and I think you guys could be a great team in a few years. I just think that the Blue Jays need to be stopped. And if the Indians can't stop them...they're gonna keep on rolling until November.
Coming Tonight: The big import from Japan that the Pirates corralled this year, who's been playing really well so far.