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 Yankees posted their most impressive winning streak in a generation, the Rays complete their utter dominance of the lowly Orioles, who set a streak of their own.
News & Notes
1961 - The last time the New York Yankees won 13 consecutive games. They tied that mark over the last couple weeks, dominating on the road, at home, against good teams, and against bad teams. Despite this, they gained just 2 ½ games on the division leading Rays.
18-1 - Tampa Bay’s record against Baltimore this season. The Rays utterly dominated the Orioles, posting a +74 run differential against them this season. The O’s came off a 19 game losing streak last week, finally winning a game against the Angels. The Rays swept them in Baltimore over the weekend.
3 - Game sweep by the Dodgers of the Padres, who have fallen out of playoff contention. San Diego is 3-13 since August 11th, with two of those wins being one-run walk offs. The Pads fired pitching coach Larry Rothchild last weekend amidst the team’s woes.
10 - Game suspension for Diamondbacks’ reliever Caleb Smith who got caught with a foreign substance.
2 - Thumbs down that infielder and newly acquired Met Javy Baez game New York fans this weekend. The dissing of fans caused GM Sandy Alderson to issue a statement, when Mets fans collectively lost their minds. It’s no wonder fans are upset with Baez after swings like this.
The hits keep coming for the Mets as Noah Syndergaard missed a rehab assignment due to the vaccinated hurler testing positive for COVID.
Red Sox utility man Kike Hernandez also tested positive for COVID.
The Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins is out for the year with an abdominal tear.
Matchups to Watch
Monday, August 30
Brandon Woodruff (MIL) v. Johnny Cueto (SF), 9:45 ET
Two division leaders face-off this week with the Brewers, who are in control of the Central division, take on the Giants, who are barely staying ahead of the Dodgers. Woodruff shut down the Reds in six scoreless innings in which he struck out ten and walked zero in his last start.
Tuesday, August 31
Charlie Morton (ATL) v. Walker Buehler (LAD), 10:10 ET
A strange matchup, since it’s a division leader against a team with an additional 12 wins who happens to be in second place in their own division. Atlanta has pulled ahead in the East since the Mets and Phillies both collapsed. The Giants have led the Dodgers in the West since Memorial Day
Wednesday, September 1
Chris Sale (BOS) v. Shane McClanahan (TB), 7:10 ET
The Red Sox have benefitted from Chris Sale joining their rotation. Sale has been excellent in his starts, though it’s been the Boston bullpen that has been their Achilles Heel. For the Rays, their bullpen has been utterly dominant, and the reason they’re well-positioned in the AL East heading into September.
Friday, September 3
Frankie Montas (OAK) v. Alek Manoah (TOR), 7:10 ET
Heading into the week both Oakland and Toronto are on the outside-looking-in to the playoff picture. The Yankees and Red Sox sit in the wild card slots, but both the A’s and Jays are within striking distance if they go on a run.
Sunday, September 5
Julio Urias (LAD) v. Alex Wood (SF), 7:08 ET
It’s most likely that the Giants will still be in front of the Dodgers heading into Labor Day, a position they’ve held since Memorial Day. Despite this, LA is still favored to win the division. The exciting three-game set this weekend will be a showdown for positioning in the West.
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