December 1, 2021

Climbing the Ladder with the American League 8/24/08

August 24, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

A Size-able 30-30 on the Horizon plus more in this week’s Climbing the Ladder with the American League.

A.L. East W L PCT. GB L10 STRK
Tampa Bay 79 49 .617 8-2 W2
Boston 74 55 .574 5.5 6-4 L1
New York 69 60 .535 10.5 6-4 W2
Toronto 67 62 .519 12.5 7-3 W1
Baltimore 61 67 .477 18.0 5-5 L2

Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays are now 30 games above .500. Of the 261 Major League teams who have lost 95+ games, only one other team, the 1999 Diamondbacks (+38), has ever been 30 games over .500 the following year. Before this season, the Rays had never been more than +4 games over .500 in the history of the franchise. Tampa Bay is a Major League best 24-10 since the All Star break thanks to the Rays pitching staff posting a 3.41 ERA and slugger Carlos Pena’s 12 home runs.

Boston Red Sox

Boston has fallen to 5.5 games behind the first place Tampa Bay Rays but still remains 0.5 games ahead of the Chicago White Sox. The Red Sox have now spent 37 games in second place this season and their 5.5 game deficit is Boston’s largest American League East deficit since 2006. The fate of Boston’s season lies in the hands of its pitching staff and if the Sox lose Josh Beckett, they can hand over the Wild Card to the American League Central.

New York Yankees

RHP Carl Pavano recorded his first start and win for the Yankees since 4/9/07. Pavano allowed 3ER over 5.0 innings (7H, 1BB, 2HP, &5K’s) and pitched well enough to earn another start for New York. The Yankees are almost dead in the playoff hunt, but not close enough to just give up on the season. Until then, the Yankees will still plan to bring back Joba Chamberlain this season, but if they fall too far out, it may make sense to shut him down and focus on 2009.

Toronto Blue Jays

The Blue Jays continue to play spoiler in the American League East. Toronto has taken 7 of their 10 games against Boston this season and are 4-1 against the Sox at home. Toronto has played well during their 6 game home stand and has gone 5 straight games (45.0 innings) without committing an error. Vernon Wells slugged two home runs on Saturday, marking his 17th multi-home run game of his career.

Baltimore Orioles

The Baltimore Orioles remain the only American League East team to not have a .500 record. The O’s are 5-5 over their last 10 games despite losing two straight to the Yankees. Third baseman Melvin Mora was named the American League co-player of the week after hitting .397 with 12 doubles, 1 triple, 10 home runs, and 25 runs, and 47 RBI’s since the All Star Break.

A.L. Central W L PCT. GB L10 STRK
Minnesota 74 55 .574 8-2 L1
Chicago 73 55 .570 0.5 7-3 L2
Detroit 64 65 .496 10.0 6-4 W2
Cleveland 61 67 .477 12.5 7-3 W6
Kansas City 55 74 .426 19.0 1-9 L7

Minnesota Twins

The Twins have won 4 of their last 5 and 8 of their last 10 to take hold of the American League Central. Minnesota has won the first game 25 times in 32 series so far this season and have gone on to win 20 of those 25 series. After the Twins play their rubber match against the Angels today, they will travel to Seattle and Oakland to pad their lead on the Chicago White Sox.

Chicago White Sox

The Chicago White Sox have continued their winning ways, winning 5 of their last 7 and 8 of their last 11, but have let their lead in the American League Central slip away by losing the first 2 games of a 3 game series against the Tampa Bay Rays. Rookie Alexei Ramirez continues to give Eval Longoria a run for his money in the American League Rookie of the Year contest. Ramirez is hitting .333 with 14 home runs, 52 RBI’s in 82 games since 5/18, including 4 home runs and 14 RBI in his last 6 games.

Detroit Tigers

Tiger third baseman Miguel Cabrera reached the 100 RBI mark on Saturday. This makes it the 5th consecutive season in which Cabrera has topped the 100 RBI mark. The Tigers have continued to have success on the road this season and are not hitting .285 with 133 runs scored, 45 doubles, 9 triples, and 27 home runs over the clubs last 21 road games.

Cleveland Indians

The Indians have been red hot, winning 7 of their last 10, including 6 straight wins. Cleveland has won 23 of its last 37 games and Indian starters now rank 4th in the American League with a 3.97 ERA. Outfielder Grady Sizemore leads the Indians in virtually every offensive category and is one home run away from the 14th 30-30 season in American League history, the last being Alfonso Soriano back in 2005.

Kansas City Royals

The Kansas City Royals have been out homered 24-2 over their last 11 games and are the first team in 8 years to allow at least 22 more home runs than they’ve hit over an 11 game stretch. The last team to accomplish such a feat were the Boston Red Sox, who were out homered 27-5 in 11 games in 2000.

A.L. West
Los Angeles 78 50 .609 3-7 W1
Texas 63 67 .485 16.0 2-8 L2
Oakland 59 70 .457 19.5 4-6 W1
Seattle 47 82 .364 31.5 2-8 L1

Los Angeles Angels

The Los Angeles Angels have returned to the team we saw during the beginning of the season. The Halo’s have 3 straight home games for the first time this season, 5 of their last 6, and 7 of their last 9. Despite the teams recent string of poor play, the Angels have managed to lose just 0.5 games off their commanding lead in the American League West. The Angles have proven over the last few seasons that costing into the playoffs does not work for this team.

Texas Rangers

The American League West is a combined 11-29 over the divisions last 40 games and the Rangers and Mariners hold the worst records of the four teams (2-8, 4-16 combined). Texas still leads the Major Leagues in runs scored (726) but also leads the Major Leagues in runs allowed (792).

Oakland Athletics

The Oakland Athletics must face the reality of losing between 85-90 games this season. Billy Beane one said “If you can’t win 90 games, you may as well lose 90” and I think that trading away Rich Harden and Joe Blanton is evidence of Beane really believing that. Rob Neyer pointed out in a column last week that the A’s were just 4 games out of first place on July 11th and had just come off a win against the Angels, but “simply don’t hit enough to win.” Neyer goes on to point out that the A’s were probably over achieving during that time and that ranking 13th in OBP and 14th in slugging is evidence enough.

Seattle Mariners

Fresh of a 7 game losing streak, the Seattle Mariners are now 47-82. The M’s are just 2-8 over their last 10 despite great offensive out put from Raul Ibanez and Ichiro Suzuki. In 21 games in August, Ibanez has hit .400, with 15 runs, 9 doubles, 2 triples, 5 home runs, and 24 RBI’s and has also accounted for 25% of the Mariner runs in 2008.

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