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Monday, August 26, 2013

MLB Wekly Walk-Off - August 26

Wild on Sports
MLB Weekly Walk-Off
August 26, 2013
By Wild on Sports MLB Analyst Kyle Kargel

This past week in baseball saw a historic first in the game. The two pitchers who started the all-star game actually started against each other in the regular season. The Max Scherzer vs. Matt Harvey matchup was anticipated throughout the whole week, but Scherzer came with more of a punch than Harvey did as he pitched six scoreless innings striking out 11 while Harvey lasted 6.2 innings allowing a season high 13 hits. Even more bad news came for Harvey and the Mets as an MRI found that Harvey has a UCL tear and Tommy John surgery might be in his future. The wildcard picture in the AL is still much different than the NL as the AL has six teams vying for two spots while the Reds and either the Cardinals or Pirates have the spots in the NL secured. Ryan Braun apologized for his PED use, but it didn’t come how most would have wanted. He released a statement with the apology rather than the hold a press conference like the one last year when it was found out then that he was innocent. Hopefully, before the start of next season Braun comes to his senses and lets the media ask him a few questions about what actually happened rather than an awkward silence and questions to still be answered.

Studs of the Past Week

1. Austin Jackson OF Det- He was just on the duds list a week ago, but it’s time to shine some light on one of the under rated hitters in the AL. Jackson is often overshadowed by Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, but some of the RBIs that Cabrera and Fielder have are due to Jackson. Jackson has a hit in seven straight games, six of those multi-hit games. He’s also seen a couple homeruns, seven RBIs, and nine runs scored over the past week.

2. Carlos Beltran OF Stl
- One of the league’s most consistent hitters this season, Beltran is part of the reason that the Cardinals are where they are in the NL Central. He’s hitting .419 in the past week with a few homeruns and the Cardinals are 7-3 their last ten games. He should have no problem getting to 25 homeruns, but 30 might be a challenge. His average should stay above .300 though.

3. Jarrod Parker SP Oak
- At the start of the year Parker was expected to breakout and have an all-star type season. That hasn’t been the case until now. In his last three starts Parker has allowed three earned runs in 27.1 innings pitched and 19 strikeouts. Now that he’s back to last season’s form, he should have no trouble matching last year’s win total of 13.

Duds of the Past Week

1. Jay Bruce OF Cin- With only five hits in the past week, Bruce hasn’t been what the Reds need right now. The Reds still have one wildcard spot in the NL secured, but a bad September from Bruce or any of the Reds key hitters could cost them a wildcard race they don’t want to be in. His career average is .257, so he’s on pace to at least have the same or better average this year than in years past.

2. Asdrubal Cabrera SS Cle- This season for Cabrera has been subpar, but it’s been hard to notice with success coming from different Indians. He’s hitting 40 points lower than his career average and has no RBIs in the past week. Since his breakout year in 2011 Cabrera’s numbers have decreased significantly and by the start of next season don’t be surprised if the Indians have another starting shortstop.

3. Kyle Seager 3B/2B Sea- Not that anyone is expecting much out of the Mariners at this point in the season, but Seager was expected to do more than what he did in 2012 for the Mariners. He’s on pace for another 20 homerun, but will finish with around 70 RBIs which is below last year’s total of 86. Seager only has a couple hits in the past week and no RBIs which won’t make Mariner fans happy.

Pickups for Next Week

1. Carlos Ruiz C Phi
- Ruiz was one of the best hitting catchers last season batting .325, but he has only been playing the past couple months due to injury. He’s still hitting .284 this season with four homeruns, and with his experience should be a top hitting catcher for the final month of the season.

2. Adam Eaton OF Ariz- The future of the D-backs is Adam Eaton and he has done nothing to let the franchise down thus far during the season. He’s hit .310 over the past week with a homerun and a steal. With only 35 games played Eaton will likely start every chance he gets in September especially if he can keep consistently hitting the ball. That will make for a nice transition into the 2014 season.

3. Denard Span OF Wash- Span’s average sits at .270 for the first time this season, and with a hit in nine straight, he’s not stopping there. He’s always a threat to swipe a bag on the base path and with the Nationals desperate to score runs and try and claw their way back into the wildcard picture, it’s easy to see manager Davey Johnson getting aggressive down the stretch.

Top Matchups in the Next Week

Indians at Braves- The Indians are desperately trying to stay in the hunt for the AL Central title, but that is going to get much tougher heading into Atlanta who is one of the hottest teams in August. The Braves not only have one of the best records in the league, but the best home record. The Indians are good enough to take one or maybe two games though with their power.

Orioles at Yankees- In the past couple weeks the Yankees have one of the best records in the MLB, much to the return of Alex Rodriguez. Both these teams are still battling for one of the wildcard spots. If the Yanks can sweep they will be only a few games out of the last wildcard spot.

Cardinals at Pirates- No surprise here as these two keep trading the top spot in the NL Central and that will likely be the case until the end of the season. The first game of this series will feature breakout pitcher Shelby Miller for the Cards and rejuvenated Francisco Liriano for the Pirates.


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