As the major league season grinds on, and there’s plenty of grinding going on in the AL East and West and the NL Central, a lot of my energy is currently directed toward the 40+ Cape Cod Baseball League. Our second half began and so far we’re not fairing very well, having lost the first two games. We got completely blown out last night 14-1 when our pitching was less than stellar, and on a night when our defense was finally doing its job, for the most part, keeping us in the game. We’ve had those kinds of nights before.
It also didn’t help that our team failed to hit, same as in our first game of the second half which we lost 5-1. So we sputter out of the gate, leaving for the moment the slight bit of momentum we may have built up for ourselves when we went 4-8-1 in the first half. We have some hitters so there’s potential if our pitching and defense start to click.
Major League Baseball has reached the stage of the season for me when I feel it’s the mad dash to the finish line for all contenders. The final month of the year is just around the corner and as we approach September I’ll always think of the great collapse of 2011 for the Boston Red Sox and the Atlanta Braves.
It’s foolish to feel that this year’s Red Sox team in any way resembles that team and it’s pretty obvious that this years’ Braves roster is absolutely nothing like the 2011 team, not with that commanding 15.5 game lead. But whenever the Red Sox start to stumble a bit I immediately conjure up the image of that 7 wins and 20 losses sprint to the end.
Because it’s baseball, anything can happen, and often history repeats itself to varying degrees. Boston has to battle the scrappy Tampa Bay Rays in the really, really tough AL East. The Baltimore Orioles, while sitting six games out of first, are still enough of a threat to not easily dismiss, as are the hated Yankees from New York who never seem to go away completely. I would give Joe Girardi Manager of the Year for what’s he’s done with that stitched together squad.
In the AL Central my hometown Detroit Tigers are handling their lead as they try to pull away from Terry Francona’s Cleveland Indians, who have decent chance to grab one of the wild card slots. The Tigers have the firepower and the power arms to repeat as Central Champs, and this is as solid a team, if not better than they had last year when they went to the World Series.
And what has happened to last year’s World Series Champions, the San Francisco Giants? Talk about a fall from grace, this year’s team can’t seem to do anything right. They’re holed up in the basement of the NL West, some 18 games behind the ever dazzling LA Dodgers who have gone an incredible 26-5 since the All-Star break. That’s some pretty smokin’ baseball being played out West. They began the second half 1.5 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks and now lead the NL West by 8 games.
I’m hoping the Pittsburgh Pirates are able to hold on in the NL Central and reverse their losing ways, finally. I like the team and always marvel at the play of Andrew McCutcheon who’s having an MVP style year, and I really think they have enough pitching to stand up to both the Braves and Dodgers come October. I like Pittsburgh’s chances this year.
So far the 2013 season has not disappointed. Lots of intrigue, lots of plot lines, lots of baseball bulls**t (thank you Ryan Dempster). We’ve already separated the wheat from the chaff this season, now it’s down to the warriors that want it the most. I love baseball because anything is possible.
Posted on August 21, 2013, in 2013, Braves, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Giants, Indians, MLB, Orioles, Pirates, Rays, Red Sox, Tigers, Yankees and tagged baseball, joe girardi manager, joe girardi manager of the year, Major League Baseball. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.