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September Baseball Newsbeat

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?


Monday, September 02, 2019

Alex Cora’s only hope for his Red Sox is September

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Alex Cora, erudite leader of the Boston Red Sox, shaper of a World Series champion, bearer of modest perspectives and global empathies, is not above the dispositions of the calendar. Some days it blesses him. Others, it comes for him. Same as for everyone. The best he—anyone—could hope for is to see it heading in his direction, the latter in particular.

He is 43 years old. That is not, in this case, how the calendar hounds him. Rather, on this Sunday, warm and sticky on the final afternoon of an eight-gamer first through San Diego and Colorado, Alex Cora awakened to September. He smiled. September can be an overbearing and wolfish beast. September fills his clubhouse and his bullpen, fills his nights, sends him home exhausted and drags him back for more September. September from 5 games back, from 15 ½ games back, is a god-awful mucky slog. September is his only hope. Their only hope.

Today, it comes for him, for them all.

“It’s not impossible,” Alex Cora said Sunday morning, which, sometimes, is about the best you can say for September.

Do you suppose he remembers dancing in September?

 

QLE Posted: September 02, 2019 at 04:29 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: alex cora, red sox, september baseball

 

 

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