August 13, 2020

Climbing the Ladder with the American League 9/1/08

September 1, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Seattle and Cleveland Hot???? plus more in this week’s Climbing the Ladder with the American League.

A.L. East W L PCT. GB L10 STRK
Tampa Bay 84 51 .622 7-3 W5
Boston 79 57 .581 5.5 6-4 L1
New York 72 64 .529 12.5 5-5 L2
Toronto 70 66 .515 14.5 5-5 W2
Baltimore 63 74 .463 21.5 2-8 L3

Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays finished the month of August 21-7, beating the previous record for wins in a month by one (20-6, June 2004) and 30 games better than they were a year ago after 135 games.  Carlos Pena’s 9 home runs and 29 RBI’s in August were each a club record for the month and the 9 home runs were also good enough to tie Miguel Cabrera for most in the American League.

Boston Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox finished August with a 18-9 record and the teams best winning percentage (.667) since Boston finished May of 2007 with at .714.  Of the 170 runs the Red Sox scored in August, Dustin Pedroia has scored 33 of them, the most by a Red Sox player in any month since Dom DiMaggo and Billy Goodman each scored 35 in August of 1950.

New York Yankees

Yankee Captain Derek Jeter has collected 1,260 hits at Yankee Stadium and is just 9 shy of Lou Gehrig’s all time record of 1,269.  With just 10 games remaining at the Stadium this season, Jeter will look to capture the record in the last year of its existance.  Jeter also became the 88th player all time to reach 2,500 hits.

Toronto Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays notched their 100th win in Yankee Stadium yesterday, moving the Stadium ahead of Fenway Park as the venue with the most wins for the Jays outside of Toronto.  The Blue Jay pitching staff continues to lead the majors in ERA (3.61), complete games (12), fewest runs allowed (524) and fewest earned runs allowed (484).

Baltimore Orioles

The Baltimore Orioles are a pitiful 10 games under .500 and remain the only team in the American League East with a losing record.  The O’s are fresh off a tough stretch of games  in which they have allowed the opponents lead off hitter to bat twice in the first two innings in 11 of their last 13 games. In Baltimore’s 24.1 innings over the weekend, O’s pitching retired the side in order just twice and more of the same can be expected against the Boston Red Sox staring tonight.

A.L. Central W L PCT. GB L10 STRK
Chicago 77 59 .566 5-5 W1
Minnesota 77 60 .562 0.5 4-6 W1
Detroit 66 70 .485 11.0 4-6 W1
Cleveland 65 70 .481 11.5 7-3 L3
Kansas City 57 79 .419 20.0 2-8 L1

Chicago White Sox  

The Chicago White Sox were nearly swept over the weekend in Fenway Park but managed to take the last game of the series to maintain their hold on 1st place in the Central.  According to Baseball Prospectus’ post season odds report, the White Sox hold a  65.4% chance of making the playoffs and a 64.5% chance of winning the division.  Chicago will need to play better during its upcoming series with the Cleveland Indians if they want to fend off the pesky Minnesota Twins.

Minnesota Twins

The Minnesota Twins are hanging in there in the Central and are just 0.5 games behind the Chicago White Sox in the Central Division.  The Twins hold just a 35.4 % chance of winnings the division and a 36.8% chance of making the playoffs this season (according to BP).  It seems like the race in the Central will come down the wire this season and Minnesota may be able to gain some ground in the standings with its significantly easier schedule.

Detroit Tigers

The Tigers 2008 season will go down as a major disappointment in the eyes of the players, fans, and front office.  With the season having been “over” for more than a week now, Detroit recalled pitchers Feddy Dolsi and Dontrelle Willis to let them finish their season with the big league club.  Dolis posted a 1.00 ERA in 9.0 innings pitched over 4 games while Willis posted a 3-1 record in 6 starts with Toledo.

Cleveland Indians

Its a little too late for the red hot Cleveland Indians but they have been able to put together a nice end of the month.   The Indians are 7-3 over their last 10 games and have 28 wins in their last 44 games (.636).   Starter Cliff Lee will go for win number 20 today against the Chicago White Sox.  If Lee is victorious, he will become the Tribe’s first 20 game winner since Gaylord Perry went 21-13 for the Indians in 34 years ago in 1974.

Kansas City Royals

In case you missed it in all of the ‘Last season of Yankee Stadium” hoopla going around, the home of the Royals, Kaufman Stadium, will host just 13 more games before the newly renovated $250 million “K” opens next April.  Although renovating a stadium isn’t the same as replacing one, the opening of a newly renovated Kaufman Stadium should come just in time for the 2009 season, providing the increase in revenue the team needs pay the stars the Royals need to complement their young talent.

A.L. West
Los Angeles 83 53 .610 6-4 L1
Texas 67 71 .486 17.0 4-6 W1
Oakland 63 74 .460 20.5 5-5 L1
Seattle 53 83 .390 30.0 7-3 W3

Los Angeles Angels

After a rough go of it in the middle of August the Angels have bounced back, winning 6 of their last 9 games. Los Angeles failed to complete the teams first ever 4 game sweep of Texas last night but took 3 of the 4 games in the series.  The Angels 83-53 record is a franchise best after 136 games.  Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez has moved to within just 4 saves (53) of the Major League record held by Bobby Thigpen who racked up 57 saves in 1990 for the Chicago White Sox.

Texas Rangers

I guess it’s safe to say that Josh Hamilton has cooled off a bit.  Over the last 30 days, Hamilton has posted a .240 batting average, 4 home runs and just 11 RBI’s while striking out 24 times in his last 100 at bats.   Over the last week, Hamilton has batted just .167 with a home run and 2 RBI’s.  Not to discount the tremendous, heart warming season he’s had so far, but with a month left of meaningless baseball, what more can you expect?

Oakland Athletics

Does anyone even care about the A’s any more this season?  Do A’s fans, who are now watching the players they used to root for in the playoff hunt wearing different uniforms even care any more?  Their attendance would suggest that they do not.  Over the weekend series with the Minnesota Twins, Oakland drew just 12,357 people to Friday’s game, 22,355 on Saturday and 25,238 on Sunday.    Not bad for a weekend series.

Seattle Mariners

Who knew that the Mariners could ever win 7 of their last 9 games? This significant string of wins in the same general time frame even included a stretch of 3 straight, matching their season high. Seattle must have scored more than 4 runs during these 7 games because when they don’t, the M’ are just 8-52.

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