AL East Round-Up


Sep 13, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Orioles’ Davis (19) hits his 50th homerun of the year in the eighth inning against the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre. Baltimore defeated Toronto 5-3. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

I feel like every season, the Toronto Blue Jays seem to give up the moment that either:

1.) Turns a struggling player’s season around (SEE David Ortiz, May 20, 2009 35 previous games without a HR)
2.) Turns a struggling team’s season around (SEE Tampa Bay Rays, Aug. 3 56-52 W-L Rec. Went 35-19 to finish the season, got in the playoffs)
3.) Gives up the career milestone (SEE Chris Davis 50th HR Sept. 13, 2013, Nolan Ryan 7th No-Hitter May, 1, 1991, Justin Verlander 2nd No-Hitter May 7, 2011)

As you can see, Davis hit his 50th HR against the Blue Jays this week.  He becomes the first player to reach 50 since 2010, when the Jays’ Jose Bautista did it on his way to 54.  To compound the situation, it was the tie breaking HR that would cost the Blue Jays the game.  With the home run as well as his 40 doubles, Davis becomes only the 3rd person in MLB history to hit 50 HRs and 40 Doubles in a single season, joining Babe Ruth and Albert Belle.  Here’s the rest of your AL East Round-Up

Boston Red Sox: (RECAP) The Red Sox continue to make it look effortless.  After going 5-2 this past week, their magic number is down to 6 with 12 games remaining.  At the rate they’re going, Beantown should be celebrating another AL East title sometime this week, with the first opportunity to clinch coming Saturday, Sept. 21st against… crap… the Toronto Blue Jays.  Boston has just been owning it this week.  They took series from Tampa Bay and New York (x2), dealing major blows to both clubs trying to get a Wild Card spot.  The statement game this week came Wednesday on 9/11 with Mike Carp‘s 10th inning Grand Slam to beat the Rays, 7-3.

(NEWS & NOTES) Mike Carp’s extra inning Grand Slam was the first time in Boston Red Sox history where a left-handed batter hit an extra inning Grand Slam.  RHP Allen Webster was recalled.  Jose De La Torre was designated and claimed by the Milwaukee Brewers.

Tampa Bay Rays: (RECAP) Dropping a series to Boston definitely puts a damper on your week when you need to win to have any hopes of capturing the AL East.  After going 4-3 this week, the Rays seemed to have the fixed their problems a little.  They’ve won their last 3 games, without allowing a run in their last 2 (against the Twins, but still worth mentioning).  The problem for Tampa Bay is, even if they sweep the Twins tonight, that’s the last “gift” they get on their schedule until they close out their season with… aww crap… Toronto.  They have 4 teams currently chasing them in the Wild Card Standings, with the Cleveland Indians closest at 1.5 GB.

(NEWS & NOTES) Much like at the trade deadline, the Rays made no major moves.  The good news is RP Jesse Crain is most likely going to make his Rays debut this week, possibly against the Rangers.  It will all depend on how his live hitters session goes.  3B Evan Longoria may be showing signs of life, with 3 multi-hit games in his last 4.  1B James Loney has been in a prolonged slump.  Since his BA peaked at .321 in July, he’s only batting .252 in his last 37 games, with only 2 HRs and 16 RBIs, lowering his BA to .301.

New York Yankees: (RECAP) I was just about to type in “Baltimore Orioles” and then I had to do a double take.  The Yankees are in front of the Orioles?  I guess that’s what happens when you take 3 of 4 from Baltimore.  They’re only 3 GB of Tampa Bay?  Here’s an IF, and it’s a very big IF.  IF the Yankees make the playoffs, even with that insane payroll they have, Joe Girardi deserves to be Manager of the Year.  Just look at their team stats.  They have absolutely no business being in a playoff race, yet here they are, going 4-4 over the previous week.  They have silently leapfrogged Baltimore in the standings.  You have to give Girardi a lot of the credit.  Toronto has been their equal, yet they’re 10.5 GB New York.  Oh no… I realized what I just did. I started the #FireGibby chants and tweets again didn’t I?

(NEWS & NOTES) SS Derek Jeter is done for the season.  With the recent set back in his surgically repaired ankle, he’s been transferred to the DL60.  SS Brendan Ryan was acquired from the Seattle Mariners for a Player To Be Named.  Ryan already hit his 1st HR as a Yankee Sept.12.  RHP David Phelps was activated from the DL.  RP Jim Miller was DFA’d

Baltimore Orioles: (RECAP) With all the glory that went towards Chris Davis reaching 50 HRs this past week, as well as Adam Jones‘ monster season, the Orioles slid in the standings.  Balitmore went 2-5 more than likely killing off their chances of making the playoffs.  Sure, they have Toronto twice down the stretch, but the Dirty Blue Birds have been a menace to the Orioles.  That’s because the Orioles are an inferior bird to the Blue Jay and Blue Jays can be mea… uh… ok, I got off track a little there.  It’s really because the Orioles are the ONLY AL East team to have a losing record against Toronto (7-8).  Combine that with 2 more battles with Boston and a series against Tampa Bay, it’s fairly safe to say Baltimore is done.  If (oh I love these big “if” statements) the Orioles take all the series from their remaining foes and the AL Central implodes, which it has been known to do, Baltimore should consider themselves World Series contenders with that kind of luck.  But it’s not happening.  Write that down.

(NEWS & NOTES) 1B/DH Dan Johnson was brought up from AAA Norfolk.  It’s ironic that the man that kept Tampa Bay alive in that awesome 2011 run is arriving just in time to help the Orioles.  Of course, it helps that OF Henry Urrutia isn’t allowed into Canada due to VISA issues.  The Orioles are considering shutting Urrutia down for the season.