Is the year gaining speed, or am I slowing down? Anyway, here’s what I got from Saturday through Thursday, Aug. 14 — going backwards:
Your narrator was overtaken by events, so here’s some scattered jottings. With apologies for any split infinitives…
@Mariners 4, Bravos 2 (Tues.) — Two M’s scored when Tommy La Stella dropped a two-out popup in the 4th, and one more right afterward, as Atlanta fell to King Felix and their cliff-dive reached seven games. But don’t you think Jason Heyward should have called him off? J-Hey was playing deep, but he closed quickly and was there in time. It’s one thing if the infielder is camped under it, but La Stella was weaving the whole way — a fact on which the A.P. story whiffed badly.
One to chew on, then back to the series format:
Angels 5, @Rays 3 (Fri.) — An interesting exchange as the MLB Tonight crew watched Tampa load the bases with no outs in the 9th:
- Greg Amsinger, with a doubtful tone on Huston Street: “In the postseason, strikeout stuff plays.“
- Harold Reynolds countered: “Strikeout stuff plays when they’re in a jam. But usually, they’re not in a jam.“
Dave Dombrowski’s deal for David Price is getting good reviews. As a Tigers fan, I have mixed feelings. I think Price boosts our October chances for this year and next, compared to what they were the day before. But since the trade amounts to going “all-in” for those two years, I can’t help reflecting on how we got to this point — namely, these four Dombrowski decisions:
Another go-round with the recent format … rushed to press so we can get to chewing on the deadline deals.
I’m sticking with this format for now — a division-based look at series featuring contenders. Once again, mixed matchups are classified by the better team or series winner; and as always, I gloss over my teams’ losses.
A divisional look at this week’s opening series, with mixed matchups classified by best team or who won the set.
A busy back-to-baseball weekend tightened four division races, while the others stood pat. All three NL quintets are tied, while three AL runners-up moved within two games of Seattle’s wild-card seat, and the cellar-dwelling Rays & Red Sox found some reasons to believe. A look at the series that were:
Most of the first-half reviews that I saw made a point like this one:
“Pitchers continue to dominate. We enter the break with 21 qualified starters holding an ERA under 3.00 … Kershaw (11-2, 1.78 ERA), Adam Wainwright (12-4, 1.83) and Felix Hernandez (11-2, 2.12) highlight a season with many top pitching performers … Kershaw had a 15-strikeout no-hitter with no walks, perfect other than a fielding error behind him. Wainwright hasn’t allowed a run in nine of his 19 starts. Brilliance.”
Fell into a vicious cycle last week, never quite able to finish a day’s work. Damn the sentence fragments; full speed ahead!
Tigers 16, @Royals 4 (Thurs.) — Payback …
Tigers 2, @Royals 1 (Fri.) — … lived up to …
Tigers 5, @Royals 1 (Sat.) — its reputation. Since KC took those three in Motown to snatch first place, they’ve gone 8-14, and the Tigers 17-5 in building a season-high 7.5-game lead.