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Marty’s musings: milestones and pennant races

Miguel Cabrera joins the elite 500 home run club and Joey Votto gets hit number 2,000. 

Detroit Tigers v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

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 key pitching matchups.

The Padres continue to swoon, and the Yankees and Braves are both on a tear.

News & Notes

500 - Home runs for Tigers veteran Miguel Cabrera. 28 sluggers are part of the elite club with Cabrera being the most recent with his opposite field homer against the Tigers on Sunday afternoon.

5 - Players in Reds history to tally 2,000 hits. Joey Votta joined the club last Monday in a 14-5 win over the Cubs. The Reds are well-positioned going into the end of August, as they are currently in a wild card spot, one game ahead of the swooning Padres.

2 - Teams with identical records after 125 games. The Red Sox and Athletics are tied for the last American League playoff spot. The Yankees have been on a team, winning nine straight. New York has not lost since the Field of Dreams game when the White Sox walked them off the field.

3 - Game sweep of the Red Sox for the Yankees, who have overtaken Boston in the AL East. The Red Sox are having their roughest stretch of the year, and are now fighting for their playoff lives.

10 - Total bases for Freddie Freeman, who hit for the cycle against the Marlins last Wednesday. Atlanta has won their last nine games, taking advantage of a weak schedule and sweeping the Nationals, Marlins, and Orioles in Atlanta.

Injury Report

Oakland pitcher Chris Bassitt is in stable condition after being hit in the head with a line drive. It was a scary moment, but despite suffering from a fractured cheekbone and upper jawbone, all scans have come back clean and his vision is 20/20.

Rays slugger Nelson Cruz is on the IL with COVID-19 symptoms.

Mike Trout is trying to return this season from a calf injury that has sidelined him since May.

Matchups to Watch

Monday, August 23

Jordan Montgomery (NYY) v. Huascar Ynoa (ATL), 7:20 ET

The Yankees are surging and have positioned themselves first in the AL wild card race. The Braves’ have been on fire as well, and have taken command of the NL East.

Tuesday, August 24

Drew Rasmussen (TB) v. Ranger Suarez (PHI), 7:05 ET

The Rays just keep doing their thing atop the AL East. Tampa has the best record in the AL and is 4 ½ games ahead of the Yankees, who despite winning nine in a row, have only gained two games on Tampa.

Wednesday, August 25

Luis Castillo (CIN) v. Brendan Woodruff (MIL), 8:10 ET

The Reds are way behind the Brewers, who have a 7 ½ game lead on Cincy, but the Reds are currently in a wild card position. This week they get the Brewers, Marlins, and Braves.

Thursday, August 26

Max Scherzer (LAD) v. TBD (SD), 9:10 ET

The Padres have joined the likes of the Mets and Red Sox in being well-positioned for the post-season and falling off a cliff this summer. The Giants remain in first place in the NL West with the Dodgers nipping at their heels. A strong showing by San Diego in their series against LA can get them back on track, a sweep and they’re in big trouble going into the end of August.

Friday, August 27

Kevin Gausman (SF) v. Max Fried (ATL), 7:20 ET

This weekend features a first place matchup between San Francisco and Atlanta. The Braves have decent distance between themselves and the floundering Phillies, while the Giants are trying to stay in first place, a position they’ve held since Memorial Day weekend.

Saturday, August 21

Gerrit Cole (NYY) v. Frankie Montas (OAK), 4:07 ET

The Yankees have a stretch against two strong teams in Atlanta and Oakland this week. This is their last west coast trip of the season.


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