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przez hong wei 31-01-2019 - 08:57:53
 
Since divisional play began in 1969 <a title="Wes Horton Jersey" href="[www.pantherscheapshop.com] Horton Jersey</a> , only three times has a division had two teams with at least 100 wins.

That could happen again this year in the AL East – and maybe the AL West as well.

The Yankees, Red Sox, Astros and Mariners are all on pace to win over 100 games, and they’ve created tight races atop those two divisions. With two wild cards in each league, those four teams have some breathing room in the race for the postseason, but there should be plenty of incentive to win the division title and avoid the one-game, winner-take-all scenario that the wild cards have to deal with.

The Yankees and Red Sox just played a three-game series in New York. The games weren’t all that suspenseful – they ended 8-1, 11-0 and 11-1, with the Yankees winning two of three.

The first time two teams from one division won at least 100 games was in 1980, when the Yankees (103-59) outlasted the Orioles (100-62) atop the AL East. A seven-game winning streak in mid-September helped New York hold on.

In 1993, the last year before the wild card, the Braves (104-58) and Giants (103-59) dueled all the way to the final day before San Francisco was done in by a 12-1 loss to the rival Dodgers. Atlanta was 10 games out on the morning of July 23 but went 49-16 the rest of the way.

The only time in the six-division era that a 100-win team failed to finish first was when Oakland went 102-60 in 2001 and still ended up 14 games behind a 116-win Seattle team.

None of the teams involved in those three previous examples made it to the World Series, so consider that a word of caution to this year’s American League behemoths.

Some other developments around the majors:

SHORTER WAITS

If the Mariners make the postseason this year, it will be their first appearance since that remarkable 2001 season. Baseball’s next-longest drought belongs to the Marlins, who haven’t made it since winning the World Series as a wild card in 2003.

The addition of extra wild cards has made it easier for teams to avoid long stretches without a postseason berth. The Padres haven’t made it since 2006 and the White Sox haven’t been in since 2008. Aside from those two teams <a title="Stephen Curry Jersey" href="[www.pantherscheapshop.com] Curry Jersey</a> , the Marlins and the Mariners, every major league franchise has made the postseason at least once since 2011.

HIGHLIGHT

The outfield wall in Toronto is high enough that it doesn’t lend itself to home run-robbing catches. Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar figured out a solution, however, planting a foot on the wall and using it to vault himself up while making a catch on a drive by Detroit’s Nicholas Castellanos. Even Castellanos applauded that catch Sunday.

LINES OF THE WEEK

Two from the Red Sox-Yankees series: Chris Sale allowed one hit in seven innings, striking out 11 in Boston’s 11-0 win Saturday night. The following evening, it was New York delivering an 11-1 blowout. Aaron Hicks hit three home runs for the Yankees in that game.

Sale has a 1.73 career ERA against the Yankees, best among pitchers with at least 10 starts against them since 1920. But Sunday’s six-homer barrage brought New York’s season total to 137, a franchise record for before the All-Star break.




HOUSTON — For a third consecutive start on Sunday, Houston Astros right-hander Gerrit Cole encountered a stretch where he wrestled with his control, a span of innings that called for his battery mate to help steer him through the rough patch and into smoother waters.

Cole needed 33 pitches to post a scoreless first inning, and while he logged a season-low-tying five innings in the Astros’ 11-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals, Cole was effective enough to pick up his ninth victory of the season and produce a line than plenty of pitchers would envy.

Cole allowed only one run, two hits and three walks with eight strikeouts. Despite a challenging start, Cole rebounded and retired the side in order in the third and fifth.

The backstop — Max Stassi caught Cole on Sunday — is responsible for helping the starting pitcher navigate trouble.

Veteran Brian McCann will likely be back behind the plate on Monday when the Astros open a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays at Minute Maid Park.

“You’ve got to try and find whatever the correction pitch is,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “If a guy’s delivery is one way you might find a correction pitch to get him kind of locked in. You have to keep going to the secondary pitches even if he doesn’t have a feel for it until it clicks for him. You’ve got to keep going to the well as much as you can to hopefully where he finds it.

“Whether that’s rhythm or timing of pitches <a title="Ryan Kalil Jersey" href="[www.pantherscheapshop.com] Kalil Jersey</a> , every pitcher has a key that will get him back in line with his delivery, his arm action, and his execution. You’ve got to find that by how you sequence your pitches along with attacking the hitter. It’s a nice challenge for the catcher.”

Right-hander Justin Verlander (9-2, 1.60 ERA) will start the series opener for the Astros (52-27). Verlander suffered a defeat in his lone start against Toronto last season, allowing three runs, three hits and three walks with five strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings of a 7-2 setback on July 14 with Detroit.

He is 3-5 with a 4.67 ERA in 12 career starts against the Blue Jays.

Verlander leads the American League in ERA, WHIP (0.78), opponent batting average (.164) and OPS (.506), and is tied for second in innings (107) and ranks fourth with 130 strikeouts.

The Blue Jays will counter with left-hander J.A. Happ (9-3, 3.56 ERA) on Monday. He is 4-2 with a 3.33 ERA in eight career starts against Houston, with whom he spent parts of three seasons (2010-12) and compiled an 18-28 record and 4.84 ERA in 59 starts.

Happ allowed six runs (two earned), seven hits and three walks with three strikeouts in four innings of a 19-1 loss to the Astros on July 9 at Rogers Centre.

Happ is 5-0 with a 2.35 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 46 innings during his last seven starts.

Toronto (36-41) split its four-game series with the Los Angeles Angels with a 7-6, 10-inning road win on Sunday. The Blue Jays are 6-6 in their last 12 games and were last above .500 on May 16.
hong wei
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