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Monday, September 16, 2013

MLB Weekly Walk-Off -- September 16th

Wild on Sports
MLB Weekly Walk-Off
September 16, 2013
By Wild on Sports Analyst Kyle Kargel

The most exciting part of the past week has to be Mariano Rivera making his final regular season trip to Fenway Park and the Red Sox honoring him over the weekend. The Yankees are still in the wildcard hunt so a playoff matchup between the two teams isn’t out of the question. They didn’t help their cause though as they dropped three straight in Boston and dropped to three games out of the hunt, where as they were only one game back before the series. The Yankees are also fighting off the Royals, Orioles, Indians and Rays for the final spot. It’s going to be a dog fight until the finish between these five teams to see who will get the spot. The National league has seen a surprise though in the Nationals as they have pushed themselves into only four and a half games back of the Reds for that last wildcard spot. Surprisingly, the Nationals have had one of the league’s best records since the beginning of August. If Bryce Harper and the Nationals’ pitching staff can stay healthy, the Reds are going to have some company they didn’t expect in the last week or so of the season.

Studs of the Past Week

1. Hunter Pence OF SF- I know I’ve had Pence up here before, but it’s kind of hard to ignore a week that saw Pence knock in 19 runs and rip six homeruns. The Giants are out of contention so it’s easy to see with the pressure off why Pence is doing so good. He’s had multiple hits in three straight, and an RBI in six straight. Doesn’t look like he’ll be slowing down soon so at least there’s a bright spot for Giants fans heading into next season.

2. Wilson Ramos C Wash- It’s already been mentioned that the Nats are riding a hot streak into the end of the season, and much to do with it is Ramos. The Nats are hoping that he’s the future at the catcher position for them and with four homeruns and 13 RBIs in the past week it’s hard to argue with them. Ramos tied his career high already in homeruns this season with 15, but he’s not done yet. Expect Ramos to have at least a few more bombs before seasons end.

3. Ubaldo Jimenez SP Cle- Remember when this guy was untouchable at the end of his tenure in Colorado? It looks as if Jimenez has found his groove again in Cleveland and it’s better late than never in this case as Cleveland is still fighting for a playoff spot. In his last couple starts Jimenez has 15.1 innings pitched allowing only one earned run while striking out 18. He’s lowered his ERA a whole run since the end of July so the Indians are going to ride his hot streak for a couple more starts until the end of the regular season.

Duds of the Past Week

1. David Freese 3B Stl- The Cardinals expected a little more than what they’ve gotten out of Freese this season. Although, he missed some games due to injury the Cardinals wanted more than eight homeruns and an average just above .260. In the past week Freese only has one RBI and one extra base hit. The Cardinals have been rolling this season though so as long as Freese can keep playing average ball then they should be in good shape.

2. Will Middlebrooks 3B Bos- I think I may have put a jinx on Middlebrooks since I had him in my top stud spot last week. Since that date, Middlebrooks doesn’t even have a hit and has gone zero for his last 17 at bats which has lowered his average 14 points to .231. Boston just took three from the Yankees so besides shuffling the lineup around a bit Middlebrooks should be ok.

3. Ryan Vogelsong SP SF
- It’s been a disappointing year for Vogelsong, and his past couple starts have reflected that. Although, he did go six innings allowing only three runs against the Dodgers, he also pitched only five innings against the Rockies allowing five earned runs. His two season ERAs before this season were 2.71 and 3.37. He is far off from that this season as his ERA has reached a sky high 5.73.

Top Pickups for This Week

1. Jonathon Villar SS Hou- There’s a hodge podge of players in Houston and Villar is making the most of his playing time. He’s riding a nine game hitting streak and has four steals in the past week. He hit his first career homerun six days ago and is batting nearly .290.

2. Matt Adams 1B Stl
- Filling in for Allen Craig until he returns, Adams has been a decent commodity in the Cardinals lineup racking up a few homeruns in the past week to put him at 14 for the year. Adams will start at first until Craig returns so use him while you can.

3. Chris Iannetta C LAA
- With the Angels out of contention expect Iannetta to get a lot of reps behind the plate to close out the season. He has three of his 11 homeruns in the past week along with bumping his average up 20 points.


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