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Marty’s musings: COVID, winning streaks, and the AL-leading A’s

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Orioles put-up a winning streak, White Sox flex some power muscle, the A’s lead the AL. 

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago White Sox Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to ‘Marty’s Musings’, my weekly column of numbers summarizing the happenings in the baseball world. I am your guide for taking an analytic look at the news and notes throughout the game, and highlighting this week’s key pitching matchups.

Last week the Baltimore Orioles (of all teams) went on a winning streak, the Cardinals finally got back on the field after a lengthy COVID-related delay of their season, and the White Sox go back-to-back-to-back-to-back against the Cardinals.

News & Notes

4 - Consecutive home runs for White Sox hitters in the bottom of the fifth inning on Sunday afternoon. Yoan Moncada blasted a three-run home run with two outs, expanding Chicago’s 1-0 lead to 4-0. Yasmani Grandal, then Jose Abreu, then Eloy Jiminez followed it up with home runs of their own. Not the best of innings for St. Louis pitcher Roel Ramirez.

2 - Series sweeps last week for the Orioles who took three game series against both the Nationals and the Phillies. Unfortunately, they got swept by the Marlins in a four game set prior to the winning streak, and then followed it up with a series loss to the Nationals. Still, for a team that was projected to be in the cellar, they are holding their own with a 12-9 record.

16 - Days off for the Cardinals who were taking the time off to contain a number of positive COVID tests. The Cards are in for a number of seven-inning double headers in the upcoming weeks to make up for the postponed games.

20 - Game winning streak for the Indians over the Tigers. Cleveland scored 22 runs in their most recent three-game sweep of Detroit.

42 - Runs allowed by Red Sox pitching in their four game series against the Tampa Bay Rays. Boston pitching was atrocious, as it has been all year. The four-game sweep began a current seven-game losing streak for Boston. They are trying to avoid their second consecutive four game sweep by taking on the Yankees Monday night. New York has already taken the first three games of the series.

2 - Games between the Pirates and Reds were postponed this weekend due to positive COVID tests on the Reds.

8/15/2014 - The last time the Oakland Athletics had the best-record in baseball. They enter the week with a 16-6 record, the best winning percentage in baseball at .727.

0 - Innings pitched, but several days accrued in service time for Mets strater Marcus Stroman, who reached the service time milestone, and then opted out of the season. Kenny Kelly has the details in a post that went up last week.

Series of Note

Rockies v. Astros, August 17th - August 20th

The Rockies have been one of the surprises in the National League so far. Colorado is 13-8, and only two games behind the Dodgers in the West. They played the 2020 AL Pennant Winners in a four game series this week in Colorado, where their pitching will most definitely be tested.

Yankees v. Rays, August 18th - August 20th

The Yankees are yet to lose a game at home this year, and they host the Rays, who are neck-in-neck with them in the American League East. Masahiro Tanaka goes up against Blake Snell on Tuesday to kick-off the three-game set.

White Sox v. Cubs, August 21st - August 23rd

Several annual geographic rivalries kickoff next weekend, with cross-town rivals meeting-up for the first time this season including the Mets and Yankees and White Sox and Cubs. The Cubs are off to a hot-start, and are well-positioned in the NL Central. The White Sox are chasing the Indians and Twins in the AL Central.

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Steven Martano is an Editor at Beyond the Box Score, a Contributing Prospect Writer for the Colorado Rockies at Purple Row, and a contributing writer for The Hardball Times. You can follow him on Twitter at @SMartano