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Nl Wild Card Newsbeat

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Counted out? Defying expectations would be nothing new for the Diamondbacks

NEW YORK – Torey Lovullo walked to the Citi Field mound Thursday while Mets fans celebrated a Juan Lagares grand slam that had all but ended this game. This was not a trip Lovullo planned to make in the third inning of a critical game, but the Diamondbacks, the hottest team in MLB entering the series, had just fallen behind by six runs.

He removed his starter, Alex Young, then watched another six-plus innings of uninspiring baseball in an 11-1 loss before finally escaping New York.

“This is a tough series. We came here feeling pretty good about ourselves and got socked in the face. Got our asses kicked,” Lovullo said. “Turn the page.”

Before the first pitch of this series had been thrown, the Diamondbacks had won 11 of 13. Now, after a four-game sweep, they are losers of five straight games.

Mind you, this declaration of competitive spirit would mean a lot more if the National League this season wasn’t so mired in mediocrity…..

 

QLE Posted: September 12, 2019 at 11:48 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, nl wild card, pennant race

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The biggest roadblocks facing every MLB playoff contender down the stretch

With three weeks left in the season, the wild card races seem destined to come down to the final few games. The American League has three teams neck and neck for two spots with the defending champion Boston Red Sox hoping for a late surge.

The National League features seven teams competing for three spots, and the National League Central crown could be decided in the last week.

With so many teams in the race, here’s a peek into what could be the biggest roadblock for the teams that are hoping to play in October:

So, how threatening do we see these roadblocks?

 

QLE Posted: September 10, 2019 at 01:15 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: al wild card, nl central, nl wild card, pennant race, roadblocks

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

September Storylines to Follow as MLB’s Stretch Run Begins

If players are defined by what they do in October, their fates are often sealed in September. This is the month that makes postseason success possible. Divisions will be won, wild-card berths will be secured and MVP races will be decided. Here are the top storylines to follow as summer turns to fall.

1. The Last Division Race Standing

The NL Central was expected to be a three-team race all season, as the Cardinals, Cubs and Brewers expected to be in contention for the division title. St. Louis has been surging in the second half, when Paul Goldschmidt got hot and Jack Flaherty and Dakota Hudson emerged as a strong one-two rotation duo. Entering play Monday, the Cardinals (76-60) are three games ahead of Chicago in the division after winning eight of their last 10.

The Cubs (73-63), who hold a 2 1/2-game lead for the second wild-card, have been wildly inconsistent for much of the season. Their last three series (nine games) are the perfect example: They got swept at home by the Nationals, then swept the Mets at Citi Field before returning home to Wrigley Field and dropping two of three against Milwaukee. Offensive consistency has been a problem, as has an overworked bullpen with a less-effective Craig Kimbrel as the closer. Chicago is ultra talented, with a lineup anchored by a handful of all-stars. The Cubs are more than capable of rivaling the Cardinals for the division title, making the NL Central a worthy narrative to follow the rest of the way.

So, do we agree with these claims, or are there other stories that could emerge between now and the end of the regular season?


Friday, August 16, 2019

From 12 games under to 10 over, Nats lead NL wild-card race

WASHINGTON (AP) — Right now, 19-31 is just a distant memory for the Washington Nationals.

Even without Max Scherzer for all but one game over the past month-plus, even with recurring bullpen issues, even though they dug themselves quite a hole, the Nationals are suddenly 65-55 — 10 games over .500 for the first time in 14 months.

What’s more, they’re leading the NL wild-card standings as they head into Friday’s opener of a three-game series against one of the clubs chasing them for a playoff berth: reigning league MVP Christian Yelich and the Milwaukee Brewers.

Winning the NL East presents more of a challenge, because Washington entered Thursday trailing the first-place Atlanta Braves by six games. The rivals play each other seven more times, though: four games at Atlanta on Sept. 5-8, and three at Washington on Sept. 13-15.

I believe that this is what we call “addition by subtraction” in action.

 

QLE Posted: August 16, 2019 at 04:41 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, nl wild card

 

 

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