At Bat: Nobody is hotter in baseball right now than the Texas Rangers’ Adrian Beltre. Beltre belted three home runs last Wednesday against the Baltimore Orioles. He then proceeded to hit two more home runs the next two nights, the latter resulting in Beltre hitting for the cycle. He cooled off a little bit in his next two games before going a perfect 3-for-3 with a home run off David Price, who surrendered back-to-backs with Nelson Cruz also going yard.
Beltre had another three-home run effort against the Tampa Bay Rays last year in the playoffs as his three solo shots were just enough to edge past the Rays for a 4-3 victory and a trip to the American League Championship Series.
After back-to-back losses in the World Series, Texas was my favorite to finally win its first championship in franchise history when the season opened. Even though they hit a little bump in the road with the Los Angeles Angels hot on their trail after the break, they’ve started to go back to winning games they should and are now just one game behind the Washington Nationals for the best record in the MLB.
If they can coast into the postseason by winning the division and Josh Hamilton, Cruz and Beltre continue to put up the numbers they are now in the playoffs, no one should be able to stop the Rangers from winning it all.
On Deck: My typical Saturday morning consists of watching ESPN, and sadly, the only thing on last week was the Little League World Series. So while half-watching it, I could not believe what I was reading on the ticker and had to wait for it to come up three more times before I confirmed it as truth.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox completed probably the most shocking trade in the history of sports—if not the most expensive. The Dodgers acquired Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto and sent James Loney, Ivan De Jesus, Allen Webster, Rubby De La Rosa and Jerry Sands to Boston that clears over $250 million in salaries through the 2018 season for Boston.
Even though I think the Dodgers might just miss the cut of reaching the postseason, this team is a lock in seasons to come, not only win the NL West, but a few World Series, too.
At some point next season, the Dodgers’ roster will consist of Crawford, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier across the outfield. And their infield will at least consist of Gonzalez, Punto and Hanley Ramiez. If this team doesn’t win at least two World Series with that roster out there almost every day, they become the most overpaid failures in the MLB and everyone forgets about the horrible contracts the Philadelphia Phillies made.
In the Hole: Just when things for the New York Yankees couldn’t get any worse, they did Tuesday night when Mark Teixeira left the game with a pulled left calf that was later revealed to be a Grade 1 strain. The injury will require Teixeira to miss a week, maybe even two weeks, to rest before he returns to action on a regular basis.
This injury could not come at a worse time for the Yankees, who have struggled in their last 10, which included a three-game sweep at the hands of the Chicago White Sox. New York currently holds a 3½ and 4 game lead over the Orioles and Rays, respectively, but guess what games Teixeira is expected to miss?
The Yankees should take extreme caution when activating Teixeira back into the lineup, as they will need him completely healthy if they are to have any chance of making a deep October run. So it seems best to bench him for two weeks. However, if they decide to go on that path, they will find themselves in a three-team race for the AL East with 10 games against those same Orioles and Rays—three at home against Baltimore before embarking on a three-game series in Tampa and then traveling back north for a four-gamer in Baltimore.
If they Yankees don’t get hot fast, especially against their division rivals, they could be looking up at Baltimore and Tampa Bay when Teixeira returns to his duties at first.
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